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repairs: TWIKE broken canopy tube

during the last few weeks, my TWIKE was making some strange rattling noise from time to time. one of the last weekends i started to search more in-depth and found the culprit very quickly: a canopy tube had broken just around the locking mechanism.

damage - a leftover from our indian adventure?

damage – a leftover from our indian adventure?

a few years ago, TWIKE 560 took part at the WAVE 2011 India. during this trip we at one point hit a pothole nearly as big as the TWIKE and were unable to slow down in time. the result was a broken locking pin and tube.

broken hood mechanism (picture from WAVE2011)

broken hood mechanism (picture from WAVE2011)

this year’s canopy tube failure may well be a result of this massive impact (which TW560 survived, although i don’t really know how and why)

nevertheless, i decided that this needs fixing very quickly, since the tube itself is about one metre long and was slowly being bent outwards due to the constant opening and closing of the canopy on the drivers’ side.

since the material used for the canopy is lightweight aluminium and the existing weld itself was cracked, i asked a few workshops around my hometown if they could help me with my problem. the answer was mostly no and the others all warned me that the result could potentially be less than perfect. as always in such situations, i rang the twike inventors and asked them if they had an idea to offer.

unsurprisingly, they had a few addresses of workshops that in the past had already worked on TWIKEs – one very close to their HQ. always a fun visit, i decided it would be nice to see the guys again whilst having TW560 repaired.

this is where today’s blog entry begins – it’s more like a photo-story of what happened during that day, intended to entertain and show some interesting pictures of people welding … and repairing a TWIKE. 🙂

i pull up to the workshop – a typical metal works workshop – recommended by the guys at dreifels.

welding specialists

welding specialists

TW560 takes place in the operating theatre. 🙂

ready for the operations

ready for the operations

some slight bending later, TW560’s canopy tubes line up again. (in the picture below you can clearly see how bent the tube already was)

lining up of tubing

lining up of tubing

then the interior is protected against potential beads of liquid aluminium falling inside during welding.

protection for the seats

protection for the seats

then the guys proceed to remove the black anodized layer.

preparations

preparations

preparations

preparations

then, after a lengthy configuration of the welding machine (i never suspected that this might be something needing *that* much configuration) for the task at hand, procedures got down to serious business.

precision welding is a high-tech affair

precision welding is a high-tech affair

the process begins

the process begins

various colours during the process

various colours during the process

every half a minute of welding, the weld was checked and residues removed with a wire brush.

checking the result

checking the result

smaller arc

smaller arc

big arc

big arc

just 15 minutes after pulling into the workshop, we’re nearly done.

last touches

last touches

closeup of weld

closeup of weld

still needs some paint

still needs some paint

all done

all done

and with this, another small episode with TW560 closes at 100% success rate!