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Hole in frame - Dangerous?

Old 07-06-10, 03:02 AM
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Hole in frame - Dangerous?

Hi,

One of the holes in the seat stay near the dropout had rusted so i cleaned it up and it was a bit jagged but looked alright. Then when i sandblasted the frame the edges of the hole bent inward making thehole bigger.



I was planing on using an sticker or something to hide it but I wanted to make sure what you guys thought about the safety first. Has the steel frame been compromised?
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Old 07-06-10, 08:15 AM
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The "growing" hole suggest the internal rust damage is quite extensive. I'd be leary about trusting this frame.
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Old 07-06-10, 09:05 AM
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I've checked the inside of the frame (BB, headtube and so on) and no sign of rust, I have tapped on it also to see if I could hear anything but nada.

Is it possible the rust is extensive but not visible on other areas of the frame?
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Old 07-06-10, 09:34 AM
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If it was mine,I would stab it with an ice pick all around the dropout and force the issue.Better to find out now then later.

Last edited by Booger1; 07-06-10 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 07-06-10, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Kavorka
I've checked the inside of the frame (BB, headtube and so on) and no sign of rust, I have tapped on it also to see if I could hear anything but nada.

Is it possible the rust is extensive but not visible on other areas of the frame?
Seems kind of obvious that the stay has significant internal rust, otherwise, it would not have collapsed in that area. I wouldn't ride it myself. Have you treated the frame for rust yet?
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Old 07-06-10, 10:25 AM
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Rust holes are larger than they appear. If you've ever noticed a rust "spot" on a car, the hole may be as large as a tip of a pencil but the area surrounding is devastated and lessens as you move away from the rust hole.
Pick at it aggressively and remove anything soft. If it stays as pictured, you may have a chance.
With a hole that large, I would guess there are only three sides holding the seat stay in place. (front, rear, and outside)
Sorry you put some work into that frame, but I would not ride it.
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Old 07-06-10, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Booger1
If it was mine,I would stab it with an ice pick all around the dropout and force the issue.Better to find out now then later.
This would be a suitable test. I'd concentrate on the area about two inches above to all the way down to the tube to dropout joint since on a seat stay like this that is where the worst damage would be. And don't baby the icepick pressure. Push as hard as you can without making more than a slight pin mark in the metal. If it dimples in with that much pressure than rust has seriously thinned the walls to where I would not trust the frame any longer.

With luck the damage will be only just around the hole. But if you can push enough metal inwards around the hole to increase the vent hole size to much more than 3/16 then I'd still be worried. And check the other side similarly as well as the bottom of the chain stays with the same method.
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Old 07-07-10, 07:48 AM
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Drill it out into a nice round hole. If the edges show rust, you have a bigger problem. No rust? Now you have lessened the stress riser. Paint it and ride it. This is one of the lowest stressed areas on a frame. I think it could be repaired by a framebuilder if you really want to keep it. Steel frames are seldom the "throw-away" items that carbon and AL have become.

And IF it breaks that isn't the kind of failure that's going to vault you onto the pavement. Just keep an eye on it and you'll be fine.
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Old 07-07-10, 09:50 PM
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This looks like a void in the brazing material filling the end of the stay. When the dropouts are brazed into the stays, the builder pulls down additional brass on the drive side so that when the inner face is ground down to provide cog clearance the stay end is still filled. I suspect that insufficient material was pulled down the stay so that a small hole was left open to the lumen of the stay. When you blasted the end, some more material was removed leaving the more jagged hole you see now. Provided the is sufficient material elsewhere the hole is merely a cosmetic problem. Next time you repaint the frame fill the hole with lead solder or something and file it flush with the rest of the treatment.
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