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Old 08-21-2007, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default T-Top Seperated , welding question

Heres another T-Top welding question. Not sure why it happened but noticed after towing boat over 400 miles last week. This is a well known high quality manufacturer (irrelevant at this point), boat is a 2003 with 500 hours.[*]Can it be welded, both vertical post have same damage.[*]Looks like metal fatigue, maybe additional bracing or fatgue from the heat of TIG from initial welding job?[/list]
Link from a previous thread, interested if it was a similiar problem.

http://www.thehulltruth.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=163613&posts=13&highlight=wel d&highlightmode=1#M1686730







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Old 08-21-2007, 10:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Reel Magic

Your cracks look to have more seperation than mine did on my hardtop. Initially, I had the cracks welded and they just seperated again. My welder took some stainless steel triangles and welded them into the horizontal and vertical pipes to give the new welds added support. I've gone 6 months with no more cracks.

Hope this helps!
Dave

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Old 08-21-2007, 11:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Ouch. The metal has fatigued. Due to too much flexing . The metal is work-hardened. You can have it ground out to remove all traces of corrosion, and re-welded, but it will likely come back quickly. It will need gussets welded in all corners to reinforce it to prevent it from re-occurring. Root cause...either poor design, or the tubing is too undersized or thin wall for the load.

Of course, trailering on the hwy at 75mph can introduces a lot more stress than 40mph on the water (almost 4x more). A mfg should provide a top that can handle it, but I know that most dont. This is done by trial and error, there is no engineering involved in T-top design and construction.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

As mbb said, when towing at 75MPH bad things can happen. The top itself will generate lift & a high frequency vibration will occur which although of short period will cause the alloy to be come brittle. If you have a soft top & are travelling a long distance, remove it before the trip.
Hardtop is harder -no pun intended. Less speed & the addition of some extra bracing at the forward edge by use of crank tiedowns will help. I have had the same thing happen & those cracked welds cannot be repaired properly. The gussets caused new cracks to develop where they were welded to the pipe. Bite the bullet & get a new frame.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:16 AM   #5
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Default RE: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Mbb is pretty right on the mark, most t-top failures are due to structural design flaws. A well designed top with poor welds will outlast a poorly designed top with perfect welds. I've been building towers for over thirteen years and can spot a tower that will fail pretty easily. If you simply weld the cracks, even with gussets, most likely you will have the same failure at some point in the near future. If you can get an oveall shot of the top I can tell you where you need bracing to get rid of the flexing that is causing the problem. Usually its the cantalever force of the back of the top causing a port to starboard flex, some type of cross bracing might be needed but I'd need to see a picture of the whole top, thanks, Tom R.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:33 AM   #6
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Default RE: T-Top Seperated , welding question

you can't reweld that. you most likely will have to have that entire section removed and replaced. Man that looks bad. Contact the original welding company and see if they will help you out.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:32 PM   #7
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Default RE: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Heres a shot of the overall top. Notice the supports, two on the front horizontal and only one on each of the rear vertical posts.

My top highway speed was 65, kept it a 60 most the time



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Old 08-22-2007, 06:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question


I really don't know why you couldn't re weld it. I would look into some local marine welding/fabrication shops and go weigh out there input or solutions.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Now that I see a picture.....The Pipe is not the traditional round tubing.I have seen a "D" shaped pipe being used on some Tops in recent years.Maybe its not holding up as well,Too many corners??[for lack of a better term].Maybe some of the Guys that Build them can chime in on this.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:56 PM   #10
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Default RE: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Bring it back to your Scout dealer and have him take a look at it. He'll be able to direct you as to whether it should be welded again or not and even direct you to who in your area should do it.


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Old 08-22-2007, 07:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Listen to mbb. He is right on.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Scout is a First Class manufacturer, boat was out of warranty but repaired anyway in good faith!!!!!
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

I build boat tops for a living, I also repair them(other manufacturers) and I wish I had a nickel for every top that I have repaired that uses that three sided pipe,I wish you the best with it, you can weld it and add some extra support,any experienced top builder can tell where the support is needed, good luck, and know that you are not alone.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

Why not call Steve Potts owner of Scout boats and ask what's up?
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

cool looking tubing is actually no better than angel with a decorative radius cover .with that aft faceing sweep all integrity is lost for sake of beauty .the added stress of trailering only magnifies the flaws... but it looks cool standing still. add gussets grind out stress cracks and re weld .ugly and will return in places with stress transfer.poor design not engineered.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

All good info. here , go with it and good luck.

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Old 08-31-2007, 10:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: T-Top Seperated , welding question

round = good
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:11 PM   #18
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Default RE: T-Top Seperated , welding question

The shot of the whole top shows the problem, no cross bracing. You need to add bars that will eliminate the lateral flexing. I won't let a top go out of my shop without some sort of cross bracing, usually the front legs and the higher you place the brace the more flex you take out. Its also important to make sure that the load on the brace is an axial load, in other words place the bracing as close to the center of the console as possible. Lots of folks complain that the cross brace takes away some of the center field of vision but when I tell them there's no warranty without it the problem is solved. Hope this helps, T.R.
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