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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone on here made their own ballast out of lead? If you have, could you pass on any ideas or experience doing it. I'm in process of doing this. I'm famillar with the health hazzards, I'll be using a resperator and doing it outside.
 

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first off make sure that you have no water in the mix, pot or cooker. i have heard of guys that had that happen and the lead blew back in their face. some kind of a bad chemical reaction. my father in law is a chemical engineer and he was telling me some bad stories about it.
 

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Kelly's Nightmare
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Water + Superheated anything causes it to go crazy. Same as tossing an icecube into a deep fryer
 

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I melt wheel weights. I use a Turkey cooker burner with a propane tank. Went to the dollar type store and bought a SS cooking pot and 4 inch strainer. I made a handle shaped like a V and attached it to the pot top edges. I also made strap around the outside of the pot at the bottom to attach a pull bar to tip the pot so the lead comes out under control. I put the weights in the pot with the fire on high. The smell it terrible so do this outside. An old SBC metal valve cover makes a decent mold and will weigh about 50 lbs. full of lead. Drilling a hole in lead is almost impossible so install a couple stands in the mold that will be the holes. As the lead melts everything else in the pot will rinse to the surface so using a strainer skim all that junk off the lead until all you have is liquid lead. Put the mold on a flat stable level place. Use gloves and a face shield and two rods to pick up the pot by the top handle and the side lug then tip it with the bar on the side. This pot will be very heavy so play with that while it is cold so you have an idea of how it will feel. BE CAREFUL but once you do it there isn't much too it. You can also use any type bread or cupcake type molds to make your weights. Look around in the dollar store. RM
 

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Officially the WORST job ever when working for Don Ness was making lead ballast weight tanks! HAHA.
Turkey cooker as mentioned, and keep everything clean(water is a HUGE no no). Melt lead into liquid and then slowly poor it into your tank. Let it harden, and then cap the other end off.
Have fun!
 

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When we ran NASCAR the rule was the lead had to be in a steel case. We capped a 2X3 steel tube, added sleeves for the bolt holes and filled that with lead. I did the same thing when I was leading up the Nova to run a index class. I have about 400 lbs of lead now in steel tubes and various shapes. Last unmentioned thing is the lead melting goes better if you leave a little lead liquid in the pot and never drop new material into the liquid lead, it will splash and hurt you. Place the new material in the liquid. Just use some sense and be respectful of the task. RM
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info guys, yea the water makes sense putting 500 deg material would cause the water to go to steam instantly. I like the idea of the 2x3 box and making mount holes and filling it.
 

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Worked in a aluim smelting plant. Casted molten aluim into ingots
a teaspoon of water was equal to a 1/2 stick of TNT if trapped
under the molten aluim. (so they told us)
I do know it would blow it water got trapped under it.
Just be VERY Careful
 

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T/S 368E
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.

I would also just use the shot as mentioned above. If you don't need much, I have some of the lead pucks for plumbing use.
Drill for bolt & you're done.

.
 

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I recall working for a friend that owns a iron foundry and going to visit another foundry to sample their work ( he was closing the plant down ) Anyways we were looking around the furnaces as the shop foreman i meen dufus was warming some scrap rotors to add to the mix to get a touch more iron out of that melt as one slipped off the top of the electic coil furnace into the crucible.

Let me tell you you have never seen 3 men move that fast in your life as 500 lbs ( yes i know its small furnace ) of molten iron decided to jump up 15 feet in the air and scatter.

I still have the pair of boots from that day with a huge melt mark down the side of the toe
 

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I recall working for a friend that owns a iron foundry and going to visit another foundry to sample their work ( he was closing the plant down ) Anyways we were looking around the furnaces as the shop foreman i meen dufus was warming some scrap rotors to add to the mix to get a touch more iron out of that melt as one slipped off the top of the electic coil furnace into the crucible.

Let me tell you you have never seen 3 men move that fast in your life as 500 lbs ( yes i know its small furnace ) of molten iron decided to jump up 15 feet in the air and scatter.

I still have the pair of boots from that day with a huge melt mark down the side of the toe
nasty shit i remember a furnace at a trade school the was blown apart from some liquid being spilled into the molten mix
 

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7.86 @ 8800DA 3365lb 275s
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i actually have a furnace i made for smelting aluminum it will melt about 8 pounds of aluminum in twenty min. melts lead real fast i get my lead like Real McCoy from wheel weights the local peerless store will give then to me as they have to pay to have them hauled off hell they even help load...lol

Justin
 

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I have melted aluminium and used it to fill in the heat riser passages in iron heads when we didn'y have all these wonderful heads like we do today and we had to do whatever to find HP. Lead is much more stable than aluminium or iron. I've unknowingly poured lead into molds with condensation in them and all it does is leave pot marks on the sides. Lead has never popped on me like other materials can. Plumbers used it to seal drain pipes for years. RM
 

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If you look at speedway motors or JR motorsports, the circle track guys use weight clamps that just clamp around a roll bar, makes it easy and many spots to mount the weight at
 

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I only did it once a few years ago, melted them on a turkey frier in a cast iron pot and used a muffin mold to make pucks, like McCoy said. No big deal really, but do it outside and use a paint respirator if you have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I actually thought about using a steel valve cover, welding two 1/2 inch dia. steel tubes in it and coating the inside with wax (parafin) and melting the lead in the steel cover, let it cool and pop it out. I hope it works, if it comes out nice I'll take pics, if not then I'll let yall know, I hope to get two 50# weights, to bolt over the rear end. I do like the muffin pan idea too.
 

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I actually thought about using a steel valve cover, welding two 1/2 inch dia. steel tubes in it and coating the inside with wax (parafin) and melting the lead in the steel cover, let it cool and pop it out. I hope it works, if it comes out nice I'll take pics, if not then I'll let yall know, I hope to get two 50# weights, to bolt over the rear end. I do like the muffin pan idea too.
Pretty cool idea.You shouldn't need the wax though.The lead will shrink as it cools.The only thing you may want to do is use barstock or thick wall tube and put a degree or two of draft angle on them.Lead weighs about .5 lbs. per cubic inch.The bars I make are 2x3x20 and weigh around 50#'s solid.
 

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As I said earlier we have used steel valve covers for a long time. You don't need anything as a release agent, the lead slightly shrinks as it cools. Use the old VC with the chevrolet logo and it will come out with the logo. 50 lbs is heavy for lots of folks drag racing so different sizes are convenient. RM
 
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