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Unread 10-06-2011, 05:20 PM   #1
attackcammel
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brake cleaner problem (welding)

I have a part that was covered in tranny fluid, stupid me cleaned it off with brake cleaner forgeting I have to weld somthin to it if I wipe it down with acetone can I weld it what else can I do?

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Unread 10-06-2011, 06:08 PM   #2
athos76
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Wipe it down and let it fully evaporate. And get a respirator
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Unread 10-06-2011, 06:21 PM   #3
Netpackrat
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Having nearly killed myself in this manner once before, I wouldn't weld on it for any price. Just because you think it has all evaporated (I did), doesn't mean that it has. A respirator won't do ****. A military gas mask will probably work, as should a fresh air supplied hood like some painters use.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 06:05 AM   #4
SteveK22
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As a newbie, I've never heard of a problem with Brake-Clean... even after it evaporates?

Could someone elaborate on why....for me and others who don't know?
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Unread 10-07-2011, 09:01 AM   #5
athos76
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http://www.brewracingframes.com/id75.htm
Here's an article on it...

The short of it is, it turns into a poisonous gas that can kill you quick.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 10:18 AM   #6
TimV
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Upon reading that article, it says that the chemical becomes dangerous when exposed to excessive heat and argon. Does that mean you could use a flux core wire or a stick welder and be fine? Not recommending this, just curious.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athos76 View Post
http://www.brewracingframes.com/id75.htm
Here's an article on it...

The short of it is, it turns into a poisonous gas that can kill you quick.
I though that was with things like PBblast and other agents. I never heard of brake cleen doing it as well.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 10:32 AM   #8
SteveK22
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Well i just got educated today... thanks.

Although I've used this stuff all the time for brake jobs, I avoid the vapors as much as possible (outside, up-wind), sometimes with a respirator (Home Depot brand with Vapor Filters).

I never took a torch or welded any surface I "hosed down" with the stuff... probably just lucky. I knew the stuff was nasty but not to that degree.

Thanks again.

Last edited by SteveK22; 10-07-2011 at 10:35 AM.. Reason: typo
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Unread 10-07-2011, 10:35 AM   #9
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Wow, this is some great information. Thank you for potentially saving our lives.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 11:20 AM   #10
athos76
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Its more of the combo of the chemicals and the heat. I'm sure Argon mixing makes it worse. I've cleaned metal off with Brake Cleaner before and done stick welding on it. We were outside and I was under the trailer when we did it. I didn't know about the dangers then, and didn't feel any of the symptoms.

I was told by one of my old welders that Aviation gas and jet fuel residues can do the same thing, so he always would flush the part with hot water and denatured alcohol before welding. He did mention letting all of the alcohol vent and evaporate before striking an arc... and his eyebrows (or lack of) told me why.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 12:21 PM   #11
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The Argon has nothing to do with it. The brake cleaner decomposes into phosgene gas (which the Germans used to kill people in the Great War) in the presence of the heat and the arc ray. The same goes for the refrigerants used in air conditioning systems; people who weld on car bodies in autobody shops sometimes are exposed due to welding on/near a car with a leaky AC system. And some insulation foams will emit phosgene when burned, so it's also an occupational hazard for firefighters. We've had some informative threads here about it in the past.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 12:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athos76 View Post
I was told by one of my old welders that Aviation gas and jet fuel residues can do the same thing, so he always would flush the part with hot water and denatured alcohol before welding. He did mention letting all of the alcohol vent and evaporate before striking an arc... and his eyebrows (or lack of) told me why.
Never heard of that. Avgas and jet fuel can burn or go boom if you have enough of it, so you'll still want to remove it completely. And avgas has tetraethyl lead in it, so that's probably not something good to expose yourself or your welds (contamination) to. Isopropyl alcohol is the only solvent I will use on parts that will be welded these days. I still use brake cleaner, but I'm careful not to use it on anything that has the remotest chance of needing to be welded.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 01:00 PM   #13
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Why is this not a sticky?
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Unread 10-07-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
athos76
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Well, I just went by my local steel supply shop for some supplies and brought this up to their chief welder. He introduced me to a guy their who sounded like he has smoked 20 packs a day since he was born.... This guy was a victim of Brake clean and welding. And on top of that, their was tranny fluid on the part as well. He told me he went to a ranch to re-weld a crossmember on a thrasher and sprayed the part down with what he had handy.... brake clean... and welded the piece. He noticed soon after the job that he was short of breath and had a sore throat. That night he was admitted to the hospital and put on oxygen. Everyone in the hospital thought it was pesticide that did it... He was on a breather and meds for 5 days until he could breathe "regularly"... He still welds, but uses rubbing alcohol now to clean...
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Unread 10-07-2011, 02:16 PM   #15
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Yeah, I was real lucky, and didn't have any lasting effects. I took a trip to the ER to get checked out afterward, but they couldn't find anything wrong with me. According to what I read at the time, if you survive, you generally make a full recovery.

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Why is this not a sticky?
Uh, because I don't run the forum and it takes a moderator to sticky it? Lots of people were calling for that last time around, too. Here is the previous thread we had on this topic:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/s...lding-1012133/
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