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Old 06-13-11, 06:59 PM   #1
melicent
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fire damaged long haul trucker

I've been wanting to get a long haul trucker frame and build the bike up myself. A friend has a frame that he's willing to sell me, but it was damaged in a shop fire. I want to make sure before i buy it that the steel won't be weakened by the exposure to fire. Any chemists out there who can help me out?
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Old 06-13-11, 07:12 PM   #2
Carpe Diabolus
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If the fire got anywhere close to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, I'd be worried. If I'm not mistaken that's the temp that chromoly starts to become negatively affected by heat.
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Old 06-13-11, 07:35 PM   #3
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Not a metallurgist and perhaps some others here can have more informed advice, but usually I assume "fire damaged" usually refers to just smoke damage. If I saw any kind of flame/heat damage rather than smoke damage I'd have second thoughts and seek advice from someone who knows. Then again, is it possible to have heat damage and not see the powder coating affected?

If it looks like it's just smoke, I'd assume it would be OK, but again, I'm not a metallurgist....
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Old 06-13-11, 08:30 PM   #4
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At 1000 deg. F, the paint/powdercoat should be non-existent or at a at least severly damaged. A cheap heat gun will melt most finishes, the output doesn't even get close to 1000 deg.

I'm not a metallurgist either, so I'd seek the advice of a one before committing your safety to this frame.
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Old 06-13-11, 08:30 PM   #5
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An LHT frame costs what, $400? $450? It's one of the most affordable new frames on the market.

I don't think it's worth the cost savings. Just get a new frame, with no worries and a good paint job.
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Old 06-14-11, 04:18 AM   #6
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Or go to the framebuilders' forum on BFs and ask there.

Frankly, after the bushfires here in 2009 and what I saw they did to metal of all sorts, I wouldn't contemplate using anything that has been actually subjected to flame. The temper in the metal disappears pretty quick smart. If the brakes and wheels are blobs, or are misshapen, there might be a clue to the heat's intensity.

But as Nigeyy says, if it's just smoke damage, it might be something to play with.
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Old 06-14-11, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
An LHT frame costs what, $400? $450? It's one of the most affordable new frames on the market.

I don't think it's worth the cost savings. Just get a new frame, with no worries and a good paint job.
+1 Trying to save a buck on one of the cheapest frames in the business isn't worth it, IMHO.

If you can't afford a new LHT, consider the Soma Saga. During end-of-season sales I've seen the Saga going for as much as $100 less than the LHT. Or buy Nashbar's $100 aluminum touring frame and $50 touring fork; with 700x35 tires on, it rides like a dream. If you wait for one of their frequent 20% off sales, you can grab the Nashabr frame and fork for $120. I've been super-happy with mine and still wonder why people spend 3-4X more for the LHT...
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Old 06-14-11, 04:22 PM   #8
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1000*-1100* is used to temper CroMO tubing.Normalizing is in the 700*-800* range.

Tempering will subject the complete frame to heat.Depending on the type of CroMo,the dwell time will vary depending on the yield strenght they want.It can vary greatly! This will eliminate the HAZ zone.

Normalizing will subject only the weld to the heat,in order to anneal the weld.This will broaden the HAZ zone,speading the load over a bigger area.

Tempering is done when you give a rats ass,normalizing is done when the part will not be subjected to localized stresses or they want to be cheap.

Is that frame any good? A quick Rockwell test will tell you if the fire has tempered it.Do you know any bike shops with one....NO.If I had it in front of me,I could tell you in 5 min if the fire damaged it.

That's the only way you will know,FOR SURE,if it's ok.If there are melted aluminum parts on it(1200*-1300*),chances are it's toast.If not,chances are it's good.

Would I take a chance on it,if I got it dirt cheap,I would.But I have the ability to test it before I put my butt on the line.

Last edited by Booger1; 06-14-11 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 06-14-11, 05:09 PM   #9
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You buying it back from the insurance company?

[one of my dad's friends who owned a welding shop did that after the write off..
as totaled, It was with a Jeep, not a bicycle]
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