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If you have some better photos, I'd think any good welding/fabrication shop could do a job like that.
 

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l also attempted to contact Jim via email regarding the reinforcement kit. I sent a note to "info" at autocomponenti.com but I never heard anything back. I do not believe the kit is available so I am looking into other options. If you manage to find any other options please share. I will do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Frank, after careful consideration, I've decided to go with the Alfaholics billet housing. At $ik, it's a tough bill to swallow, but I want something that looks correct for my car. I decided against the kind of bracketry others are using because that's not the look I want in my car. I found a local guy who has rebuilt boxes that will use the parts from the three boxes I have to put one together.

I too emailed Jim using that email address and got no reply. I emailed the folks at Alfaholics with some questions and was answered promptly. They obviously want my business. That is another reason for my decision.





 

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I do not believe the kit is available so I am looking into other options.

You might give a call to Daron Walker at Vintage Customs in Tacoma, Wash. In one of his Alfa restoration videos YouTube videos he talks about repairing/reinforcing a cracked steering box. I don't want to take anything away from Alfaholics's excellent product but, if your box, isn't cracked to the point of being deformed then some skilled welding can probably repair it. Daron's video is still up on his channel but you'll have to search for it. (Come to think of it, I think Horsewhisperer on his Alfa bb thread recently had his cracked box similarly repaird---you might also ask him for the name of the guy who fixed his.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
You might give a call to Daron Walker at Vintage Customs in Tacoma, Wash. In one of his Alfa restoration videos YouTube videos he talks about repairing/reinforcing a cracked steering box. I don't want to take anything away from Alfaholics's excellent product but, if your box, isn't cracked to the point of being deformed then some skilled welding can probably repair it. Daron's video is still up on his channel but you'll have to search for it. (Come to think of it, I think Horsewhisperer on his Alfa bb thread recently had his cracked box similarly repaird---you might also ask him for the name of the guy who fixed his.)
Thank you. I've seen the video.

I've had a box welded by someone who is an excellent tig welder. He is not comfortable with the repair as the welds were fairly dirty. He also felt that running a bead around the perimeter of the steering shaft mount and the front would also be dirty no matter how much he prepped the part.

I forgot to mention that without knowing the type of aluminum that was used, it's even more difficult to do a proper repair. If the aluminum that was originally used is of poor quality wouldn't it make sense that even after it was welded, it would still fail without some sort of bracketry to strengthen it?

I'd rather go with the Alfaholics box and not have to worry if the 50 year old box in my car is going to fail.
 

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Thank you. I've seen the video.

I've had a box welded by someone who is an excellent tig welder. He is not comfortable with the repair as the welds were fairly dirty. He also felt that running a bead around the perimeter of the steering shaft mount and the front would also be dirty no matter how much he prepped the part.

I forgot to mention that without knowing the type of aluminum that was used, it's even more difficult to do a proper repair. If the aluminum that was originally used is of poor quality wouldn't it make sense that even after it was welded, it would still fail without some sort of bracketry to strengthen it?

I'd rather go with the Alfaholics box and not have to worry if the 50 year old box in my car is going to fail.

Osso, a billet machined box will definitely be stronger than a cast box of similar dimension. I make the comments below in case someone else finds this thread and needs a repair option.

FWIW, castings by nature contain impurities and the grease and oil of use makes it worse. A good TIG welder can run a "false bead" (without filler rod) and float the impurities out of the molten aluminum. Clean with grinder and acetone. A pass or two (or three) like that can clean the metal sufficiently for a good, sound filler pass (without porosity) to be laid. Of course, the resulting grain structure of the weld will be similar to the casting, unlike (and weaker than) a unidirectional machined billet. This approach works well on Alfa castings. As to the alloy of the aluminum, it seems (and probably is) similar to 356 and has good weldability. Both 4043 and 5356 fillers seem to yield acceptable results. Can't use 4043 if you're subsequently going to anodize.

BTW, avoid most cracked steering boxes by not turning tires (esp. big or sticky ones) while the car is not rolling.

Hope this helps someone,

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the feedback, Paul. I watched and photographed the guy who welded the box. It was obvious how dirty the welds were. He floated all the crap up just as you mentioned. Still he wasn't happy with it and recommended the added bracketry.

For me the bottom line is trust in the box, even after its been welded. I have three boxes. All have cracks in them radiating from those screw holes. One even has cracks from the two non threaded holes for the top.
 

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if it is off the car, place it so the mounting are is level, and fill the open backside with fiberglass resin, this will fill the open area, and as long as you fill the area all the way, this will give you more load area, instead of the void in back of the casting
 

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