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  1. #1
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Cracked lug on a Raleigh Pro

    .
    ...finally got this clean enough to find this crack in the lower head tube lug.

    Cracked lug (Raleigh Pro) 001.jpgCracked lug (Raleigh Pro) 002.jpgCracked lug (Raleigh Pro) 003.jpgCracked lug (Raleigh Pro) 005.jpg



    I'm sure the ideal solution would be to get a frame guy to heat it up and drop some silver braze in there, then repaint the area damaged by the heat. Has anyone ever had a similar crack in what is obviously a high stress area ? Did you fix it or just ride it until it got bigger and more visible ? Am I wrong in assuming there is plenty of brazed lug surface still in contadt with the head tube and the down tube that neither is going anywhere any time soon ?

    I'm asking for practical experience, not so much opinions, which I understand will be all over the map. Thanks in advance.
    Quote Originally Posted by CKey_Cal View Post
    Facts are binary. If they aren't, then they aren't facts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kactus's Avatar
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    The paint crack behind the lug leads me to suspect a frontal impact causing the crack in the lug. I would definitely have a knowledgable frame guy look it over carefully.
    Life... is a state of mind.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 3speedslow's Avatar
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    When I thought one of my frames had a crack, really sure, it was time to clear the paint from that area and make absolute sure.

    It was
    "Waiting for the crash"

  4. #4
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
    The paint crack behind the lug leads me to suspect a frontal impact causing the crack in the lug. I would definitely have a knowledgable frame guy look it over carefully.
    ....no impact. The photograph is misleading. Definitely a scratch.
    Quote Originally Posted by CKey_Cal View Post
    Facts are binary. If they aren't, then they aren't facts.

  5. #5
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    ....no impact. The photograph is misleading. Definitely a scratch.
    ...well, at least no other signs that you would expect from an impact hard enough t o crack that lug. It came with what appear to be the original tubular wheels, fork, components.
    Quote Originally Posted by CKey_Cal View Post
    Facts are binary. If they aren't, then they aren't facts.

  6. #6
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
    ...finally got this clean enough to find this crack in the lower head tube lug.
    So pic #3 is of the frame flipped upside down to show the vertical crack in the headtube lug?

    Back when we had a flat table/fork jig and all of the kit for alignment ( the Fire Marshall made us take all of the brazing equipment out of the building years before ).
    After a nasty race crash, or when in doubt about a new frameset's integrity we'd do a full alignment check and had an excellent welder/brazer in the next block for minor repairs and an eccentric but hi quality frame builder in town for major work.

    Your Pro has a cracked lug (as far as I can tell from a tiny pic), ignoring it is not a great plan IMHO, however a thorough inspection will require a frame builder who can tell you to ignore it and/or what it will take to repair. Might as well get the fork & frame aligned while it's in his/her shop if you are going forward w/ the build project.

    >40 year old race frames led a hard life, can be damaged but are quite robust and repairable but unexpected Quality issues like this and their cost to fix can derail a project due to unexpected cost/time overruns. Always be prepared to shut a Project down that does not meet requirements, lacks quality, blows up the budget and/or stretches the timeline beyond delivery expectations.

    Let us know what happens.

    -Bandera
    Last edited by Bandera; 04-23-15 at 05:09 PM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  7. #7
    Senior Member Wythnail's Avatar
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    as much as you may not want to, i think stripping the paint in the area is a must. if its a crack any repair would have to destroy the paint anyway, and it will let you know what you're dealing with.

    Im no expert, but a frame builder *should be able to repair it if its a small crack

  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I see three options if you want to keep this frame:

    1) On a lesser frame, I would be tempted to put something like a hose clamp around the cracked lug.

    2) Get it brazed and repainted properly.

    3) Just ride the bike and keep an eye on the crack, which unfortunately is likely to propagate and widen over time.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  9. #9
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    I'm seeing what Bandera sees in the headtube. But if the crack is behind the headtube what would cause the paint to ripple like that? I think just filling the crack with silver is a band aid. I would post this in the frame builder forum and you'll get some good feedback.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
    I'm seeing what Bandera sees in the headtube. But if the crack is behind the headtube what would cause the paint to ripple like that? I think just filling the crack with silver is a band aid. I would post this in the frame builder forum and you'll get some good feedback.
    Yup, filling it with silver braze does not sound strong enough a repair, especially at a high stress area like that.
    Can't it just be grooved out, welded and then ground down on the outside and reamed on the inside? But maybe you might just have the lug replaced if it's similar amount of work anyway.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
    Yup, filling it with silver braze does not sound strong enough a repair, especially at a high stress area like that.
    Can't it just be grooved out, welded and then ground down on the outside and reamed on the inside? But maybe you might just have the lug replaced if it's similar amount of work anyway.
    Could be a cracked lug, but my guess beyond, its not at the lug weld seam.
    What to do I think really depends on the intended use and frequency of use.
    I doubt this will fail catastrophically, more than likely at some point the lower headset cup will go loose, and the headset will not keep an adjustment.
    "floating a bit of silver in" will most likely not work, silver wants clean and flux to bond, you will have neither.
    Filing a V or U and filling the problem with brass or TIG might work.
    Replacing the lug might work, but when the frame is apart, you may find hidden stresses showing up.

    I would do watchful waiting, wall hanger, or TIG.
    One reason for TIG is I have access to a very skilled welder who knows thin high strength steel.
    She would not be excited about the brass adjacent though.

    As Bandera stated, always be prepared to shut a project down.

  12. #12
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    Could be a cracked lug, but my guess beyond, its not at the lug weld seam.
    That was also my thought.

    Does the crack extend through the head tube as well (can you see it on the inside of the head tube)? If not, it's likely a weld seam on the lug itself, and just a cosmetic problem.

  13. #13
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    .
    ...if a description helps, the lug is definitely cracked, as visible in the third photo. The flip side of the crack in the fourth photo shows the interior surface of the head tube, opposite the crack, which extends to just about where the down tube section of the lug begins (where the lug changes direction, at the angle where the head and down tubes come together. The head tube interior is intact, and not deformed in any way I can see. The headset race sat in there fine on the bottom. Both those photos are of the lower head tube at the down tube junction.

    But thanks. I figure I'll take it over to Steve Rex and see what he says. I'm not emotionally attached to the bike, and can always use the parts on something else, if it becomes wall art.

    Was just wondering if anyone has had the experience before, what might have been the results. I do my own alignments, and have some experience with brazing/welding. Don't think I want to try it on this particular project.
    Quote Originally Posted by CKey_Cal View Post
    Facts are binary. If they aren't, then they aren't facts.

  14. #14
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    I don't think I'd even want to TIG it with having multiple fillers...original brass and then whatever steel filler you use because you'll be melting the brass also and would imagine it would get contaminated. Pull the lug, grind out the cracked section and Tig it and then reinstall but that's a whole lotta work.

    Otherwise maybe drill the end of the crack to hopefully stop it from spreading and just filling it with brass and calling it a day.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ed.'s Avatar
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    I'm in the Alfred E Neuman camp. If it doesn't get worse I'd not fret too much about it. On the other hand, sounds like you have a good resource, so ask him.
    Yes, you can have my sew-ups, but first you'll need to pry my cold, dead fingers from them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
    an eccentric but hi quality frame builder
    Oxymoron?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    Those lugs are pinned so removing them is not that easy.

  18. #18
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
    Those lugs are pinned so removing them is not that easy.
    ...OTOH, if pinned, and with a full contact brazed interface between the lug and the two tubes, it seems like there ought to be plenty of support for the joint. #hopespringseternal
    Quote Originally Posted by CKey_Cal View Post
    Facts are binary. If they aren't, then they aren't facts.

  19. #19
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    Did CKey _mean to say.... 01000110 01100001 01100011 01110100 01110011 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00101110 00100000 01101001 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01111001 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 01101110 00100111 01110100 00101100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01111001 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01100110 01100001 01100011 01110100 01110011 00101110
    Regards, Ben
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  20. #20
    verktyg verktyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Does the crack extend through the head tube as well (can you see it on the inside of the head tube)? If not, it's likely a weld seam on the lug itself, and just a cosmetic problem.
    John,

    It appears that the crack goes all the way through the head tube:

    CrackedLugRaleigh ProCropped.jpg

    A lot of lugs from that era were poorly welded when they were manufactured. The welds were sometimes overheated and ended up hard and brittle. They cracked in the welded area.

    CinelliOldLugWeld.jpg

    If the crack didn't go into the head tube, removing some of the paint and carefully placing a small spot of TIG weld at the top of the crack would probably fix the problem. A good TIG welder can do it without heating the brass material. White paint is easy to touch up.

    verktyg

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  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
    John,

    It appears that the crack goes all the way through the head tube:

    CrackedLugRaleigh ProCropped.jpg

    A lot of lugs from that era were poorly welded when they were manufactured. The welds were sometimes overheated and ended up hard and brittle. They cracked in the welded area.

    CinelliOldLugWeld.jpg

    If the crack didn't go into the head tube, removing some of the paint and carefully placing a small spot of TIG weld at the top of the crack would probably fix the problem. A good TIG welder can do it without heating the brass material. White paint is easy to touch up.

    verktyg

    Chas.


    this is your best option
    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss My bikes the most."

  22. #22
    verktyg verktyg's Avatar
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    I was cleaning up a frame before I build it up. I noticed what looked like a scratch in the paint on the right dropout. I checked out with with a 15x loupe and scraped some of the paint away. I found a crack so I took it to a local frame builder.

    As he was grinding a notch in the crack the dropout broke all the way through. He TIG welded both sides of the break. It's probably stronger now than when it was forged.

    BertinC79SSC-1982-RightDropoutCrackCloseup.jpg

    IMG_1819.jpg

    BertinC79SSC-1982-CrackedDropoutCropped1.jpg

    BertinC79SSC-1982-RightDropoutCrackWeld1.jpg

    From 5 feet, no one will ever notice...

    BertinC79SSC-1982-RightRearFinished2.jpg


    verktyg

    Chas.
    Last edited by verktyg; 04-24-15 at 03:36 PM.
    Things aren't always what the seem... Don't believe everything you think!

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  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Now this is a crack.


  24. #24
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gugie View Post
    Oxymoron?
    A difficult personality who did fine work, guff and all.....

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  25. #25
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    A wire brush, a couple of photos, and a visit to the frame builder..

    .
    ...and I am more or less convinced this is a cracked lug. Mr Rex, whom I found in his front parking lot tinkering with what might be Sacramento's only running Ducati 160



    was kind enough to give me a moment to survey my lug and frame, and pretty much agrees that the lug is cracked, the head tube is intact, it might have been this way for a while now, nothing is going to asplode anytime soon because of all the lug and frame tubing contact in the rest of the joint. He would, if asked to perform a repair, probably grind and fillet.

    But he seemed comfortable with my assembling and riding it as is, which is what I will probably do once I touch up some of the rough spots on the paint with some artful gloss white rattle can feathering. I took some more photos, but it is difficult to capture in a photo the nature of the crack, which stops abruptly when it reaches the head tube, as you might expect.

    More cracked lug photos 001.jpgMore cracked lug photos 002.jpgMore cracked lug photos 003.jpg

    Possibly caused by embrittlement at the weld seam by heat, or a void in the brazing fill, or a combination of the two. Onward and upward.
    Quote Originally Posted by CKey_Cal View Post
    Facts are binary. If they aren't, then they aren't facts.

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