🔧 BUILD Broke EF turbo LS SC400 Build

General Information

I may have never posted on here before, but for some reason I am inspired to post my build up here. I am going to copy and paste from another site to get us all up to speed. I will try and clean up anything that was specific to the thread I am pulling from. Now that I am getting started on the main fab work I will update this thread in real time.

For anyone who doesn't want to read it all here is the short version. I bought the car on a whim in June of 2016. It is a 1993 SC400 that was from this area, and was meticulously maintained at the dealer. I was going to stay with the original 1UZ so you will see I started installing a procharger on it. I ended up selling off the stock motor, trans, ecu and harness to a local guy and got an iron gen 3 5.3 motor. I am doing a Precision LS-7675 turbo with a truck manifold based kit (more or less). It will be backed up by a TH400, and for now will use a stock ECU with HP Tuners.

Alright, time for the massive dump of info.


A couple years ago I picked up a 1993 SC400. I wasn't really looking for a car, but a late night search found this one, and I have always liked them. I decided to go down and give it a look in person, and it was even cleaner than it looked in the pics so I bought it. Here are a couple pics of when I first got it.

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I wont bore you with all of the middle shit, just hit you with the highlights.

I removed a couple tons of wiring that used to be an alarm system.
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I had the gauge cluster fixed/updated with white LED's.
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Fixed up the wiring that was kind of hacked up from the alarm. Changed the steering wheel, etc. etc.
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I then updated the climate control, and put in a nice head unit.
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Just a bunch of little changes and fixing up small things here and there. The car was extremely well maintained and really did not NEED much. My plan was always to make it fast of course, and do drag week with it. The factory 1UZ motor is a very good starting point and can make some really solid HP. The stock trans can be built to live as well. Packaging was kind of a nightmare as you can see, but other than that it was a good option.

I ended up stumbling upon a great deal on a procharger kit that was actually on an SC400 locally. It was a P1SC that came with some shitty piping, a way too small intercooler, but a Tial blow off valve that actually had the right spring it it! I started installing that setup.
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You can see one of the things that was constantly in the back of my mind for making this a drag week car. Look how complicated that engine looks! If I had a problem on the road not only would parts be an issue, but just the time to do simple repairs is a nightmare. For example the starter is under the intake manifold in the valley.

So when a local kid hurt the motor in his SC I offered mine up to get him back on the road since that is his only car. We struck a deal and I ripped that shit out the next day.
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It happened to work out that a 5.3 LS came up for sale for the same money I just sold my old motor for, so I jumped on it.
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Its update time! Nothing really exciting, but I have been slowly chipping away at things.

First up was wiring. I am planning on using the stock ECU for a little bit with HP Tuners, so I had some wiring work to do.

Harness as I got it with the motor
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Stripped of all of the brittle loom and crappy electrical tape.
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Unfortunately I ended up having to move it around after I had stripped off all of the crap, and it got pretty tangled.
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So I decided to just fully depin everything since I only need a few things from that mess.
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Here is the pile of junk I didn't need from that harness. There is actually a bit more, but that is 99.99% of it.
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And here is everything all apart, ready to be cleaned, routed, extended, and loomed.
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Next up I got some mounts for the LS from Dan Perlenfein. He even made me a custom trans mount for the TH400. These are very nice pieces, and I got them really quickly.
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Got them set in the car, fit like a glove! (BTW they are not bolted down in any of these pics, just have the nut on the other side a few turns)
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Next up I pulled the oil pan off my motor so I could drop it in and see what I am working with.
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Bit of wishful thinking seeing of the truck intake would clear the hood. It wont.
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So keep in mind that the mounts are not 100% bolted down yet. I need to get my trans from my buddy so I can get that in place before locking everything in place (just to take it all back out again). Once I have put the trans in then I can check a few things, and it can all come back out. Engine bay is going to get cleaned up, and the motor will get some TLC as well. I am still planning on trying to get it running and driving this year, but we will see if it happens. I am not one to let things be "good enough" so I may end up spending a bunch of money and time on the motor even though it will remain a stock bottom end.

Anyway I am really happy with the fitment, and how much space I have! This seems to be more room than I remember in an F-body (on the sides) even with a tubular K-Member. Should be able to get a big single in there no problem with a 4" down pipe to run out back. I am really glad I went LS!



Well time for a small update on the thread that nobody follows :) I got the trans, and a converter from my buddy a while back. Turns out the trans was shot, and needs a rebuild. That pretty much killed my plans for just getting it running this year. The good news is that I will be able to use it as a core to verify the trans mount, and hold everything in place so I can do all the fab work and wiring. I need to get un-lazy and move the car over in the garage so I can get the trans in one of these days. Its been hot as balls, and until I got my turbo there hasn't been much of a reason to bother getting it done. That excuse is out the window now though, since this came in last week

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Its nothing special, just a Precision LS 7675, which is a cast wheel journal bearing 76mm. It should be able to max out the 5.3 though, so it will do for now. This weekend (it was hot as balls) I went out to the garage for a bit to try and get some idea where I was going to place the turbo so I can start getting an idea for a materials list. First up I got the radiator sitting in place (close enough)
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These were the most obvious positions (turbo would need to be clocked differently for most) that I snapped some pics of not in any particular order.

Inside forward facing 45
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TA style
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Inside forward facing
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Outside forward facing
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That is really about all I got right now. I guess I also got the LS6 intake since my last update. That is still sitting on the truck steam ports which is why it isn't flat. I also got a set of non-EGR truck manifolds to use as the base of the turbo kit.

So right now I need to get everything mounted temporarily. That includes the trans, front accessories, exhaust manifolds, intake manifold, etc. Then I can lock down the turbo placement 100% and order material to start work. I also need to delete the ABS so I can mount the ECU over there and get started on the wiring. Well that's all for now, thanks for following along the journey of me seeing how dirty I can get my car.



Time for a small update, just because why not :)

I needed to get the trans in so I could check the fitment of the mount, as well as get everything locked into position for fabricating. Doing a trans by yourself is no fun, worse when you don't have a lift, and worse yet when you have to do some modifications for it to even fit. I ended up grabbing a trans jack from Harbor Freight to make my life a million times easier.
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The only downside to it is that it is quite a bit taller than having the trans on my regular jack, but other than that it was SO MUCH BETTER. I could slowly move it into position and make small changes to angle and overall position with ease. Not to mention how nice it is to have the trans stable as you are moving around to get a good look at everything. It turns out it only needed a little massaging to get it bolted into place. Again, that is without a shield on it (or a bell) but I was glad I didn't have to spend hours hammering overhead.

Ignore the mess, the garage is in process of getting a lot of work as well.

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Next up I wanted to see what I was working with on the exhaust manifolds.
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Driver side is actually hitting the frame, but that is fine since I always planned on v-banding them anyway.
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Plenty of space on the passenger side
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Next up was trying to get an idea of what to do for accessories. There are about a million options out there these days. I started by trying to place the stock truck pieces just to get some idea.
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Clearly those weren't going to work, but it was worth a shot. I have since figured out what I am going to do, but I will post more about that when I get all the parts. After that I reassembled the main fuse box under the hood. I need to patch where I cut for the procharger bracket, but the car is going to be outside for a bit while we finish the garage so I wanted to close off the fuses and wiring.
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That was about it. Got the car back on the ground and pushed back out of the way for now.
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Not really a crazy update, but progress none the less. While we are finishing the garage I will get the rest of the parts needed for the accessory drive setup. Once that is all in place I can start on fab work (FINALLY!), so hopefully the garage wont take too long. That's all I got for now, thanks for following along!



Nothing exciting, but parts have been coming in lately. I had to figure out and order up all of the front accessory drive components. Luckily there are a LOT of options for that kind of stuff these days. I ended up with a set of ICT billet brackets that will use a mix of F-body and Truck pieces.

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While I am at it, I got all new everything else too since most of it required f-body pieces anyway.

New tensioner
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New power steering pump pulley
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I have a new water pump, but no pic of it. The new power steering pump will be here early next week as well. I haven't ordered an alternator yet, but I will later when I get a crank pulley.

Next up is some of the fabrication pieces for the turbo kit. I have only ordered the parts and pieces for the hot side so far.

All stainless steel T4 flange, four 2.5" 90's for the crossover, and a 4" 90 for the start of the down pipe
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The stainless steel adapter from the weird 3-5/8" outlet of the turbo to 4" tubing.
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I am still waiting on the 2.5" stainless v-band assemblies and the stainless O2 bung. I will also run another section of stainless on the downpipe, then a bellows, then adapt to aluminum for the rest of the exhaust. I probably wont start on that until after I do the cold side piping, which I will hopefully be able to start directly after the hot side fabrication is done. My garage is currently being finished, so I wont be able to start work for a couple weeks still, but its great to see parts coming in! That's all I got for now, thanks for following along.


Here are the 2.5" stainless steel v-band assemblies and the stainless steel O2 bung.
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They are very nice with indexed flanges built in
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Quick release clamps, another nice touch!
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GM reman power steering pump came the other day as well
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I was a bit surprised to see that the pump did not come with the pulley bolt, or the reservoir cap. Not a big deal, just slightly annoying. That is all I have for now. The garage is taking longer than expected, but I have also been working on the wife's car anyway. Sometime next week I will probably stock up on welding supplies so I can be ready to go. I should have enough to get started, but I know I will need some soon.




On to a bit of news, my garage is 90% done!! Paint went on last night, so now I can trim it this weekend and move everything back. Here are a couple quick pics.

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For reference, here is a pic of the garage when we did our inspection (before we bought the house)
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It had a single light bulb, and the opener was plugged into an outlet next to the switch with an extension cord duct taped to the drywall.

Here is a shot after we had added the sub panel, lights, and pulled down the drywall. I then insulated everything, and put up new 5/8" drywall.
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I know not car related, but it has been a massive project that has delayed the car so I figured I would throw it in there now that I can see light at the end of that tunnel. Next update will be all car!



Well nothing too exciting to report still. I have been busy as hell finishing the garage, and getting our house ready for a party this weekend. I did however order up a bunch more material and pieces. I should have everything to build the intercooler piping except the intercooler (which is on backorder). I have all of the material to build my exhaust, but will probably need a couple v-bands so I can section it. Anyway, here are a couple pics.

Half stainless, half aluminum 4" V-band. I have two stainless steel 90's to come out of the turbo and get me to about the firewall, then it will be aluminum from there to the bumper. The other three pieces are 3" aluminum clamshell clamps for the intercooler piping.
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Detail of the 4" v-band
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And one of the clamshell clamps pulled apart.
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I also got two boxes of piping as well. Those have a single stainless steel 4" 90, ten 3" aluminum 90's, six 4" aluminum 90's, two 4" aluminum 45's, two 2' long aluminum straight sections, a 3" silicone coupler, and a 3" to 3.5" silicone adapter with T-Bolt clamps. I am really hoping to start fabrication next weekend now that I should be done with all of these other projects. My pile of parts/material is starting to take up too much space!




Finally time for a bit of an update! After busting our asses on Friday night, the garage is now 99% done. All that really means for non OCD people is that I have more than 2 outlets (a LOT more) and don't need to drag extension cords all over! Let me back up a second, I needed to get the steering rack out of the car since it was wore out and I got a replacement for it. I also wanted to take the motor out to make taking the rack out easier, and so I could do some things with it on the stand. Thursday night I got under the car and pulled the trans.

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Pretty easy to do with nothing really connected at all. Friday the car and the bike went outside while my buddy and I did the massive amount of electrical work in the garage. Saturday got mostly eaten up cleaning the garage from the previous nights thrashing. In the evening I got the car pulled back into the garage and was able to get back to work on it.

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I let the snow melt off and dry up a bit before getting to work pulling the motor. Not terribly hard (again, nothing to disconnect or move), but kind of a pain in the ass since I have to come at it from the side.
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So one of the first things I wanted to try, was see about fitting AC. I don't think I would run it this year, but if I could build with it in mind it would make things easy down the road. I grabbed a bracket and a junk compressor from a buddy so I could mock it up. He also had this manifold laying around, so I took that as well.
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It is clearly a tight fit, but I think I could make it work. It pretty much kills running a 4" downpipe on the passenger side though, so I grabbed a piece of tubing to see what it looked like on the driver side.
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Again, very tight but I should be able to make that work if I need to. I still haven't decided if I am going to mess with it or not, but its good to know about options. Next up was getting the front accessory drive all installed.

All laid out on the bench (minus the water pump since I forgot where I put it!)
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Unfortunately I have the wrong tensioner, and I clearly still need parts (balancer, thermostat housing, alternator, etc.) but I can move forward with fabrication for now. Once that was done I pulled out the old rack.
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Then I got the new poly bushing installed in the new rack
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Then got it put in for now.
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I am going to change the "EVO component", intermediate shaft, and outer tierods but its in the car so I can fabricate around it for now and keep it out of my way.

Then I got busy organizing all of my material so I could clear the space under my bench.

Pile of tubing!
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Ahhhh thats better
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At that point I was going to call it a night, but I decided to dive in and try and get something done. So I busted out the big boy grinder
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Then I hacked off the end of the driver side manifold
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Unfortunately, that was where I had to end it. Its been so long since I have welded, the batteries in the hood were dead! I am going to stop and get some on my way home today, and I am also waiting on some welding supplies. It was great to FINALLY be working on the car again! Like I said I am still unsure on the whole AC deal, but I think for now I am going to cut up that manifold and see whats up. I will also be putting the motor back in the car as soon as I get my new steering parts (that is a whole story on its own). Thats all I have for now, thanks as always for following along!




WHEW, that was a lot of info! I ended up having to pull the post from a site I had already done this same thing on. So I again apologize if it doesn't make a ton of sense since it was a catch up on a catch up. Going forward this will get updated in real time though. I have some tools and supplies coming this Friday, so hopefully I can get a good jump on some of the fab work. I guess we will see how it goes. Look for an update later in the weekend, or Monday. Hope you guys enjoy the build, I look forward to hearing from you guys.


Thanks,
Sean

Boostie

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You should have said hi! I was there by myself, so I just stayed parked in the back. Post up whatever you have :D I only saw one pic from Allan so far.
It was chaotic with trying to get runs in and help with a friend with his car. I was referring to Alan so I'm sure you have seen what he uploaded. Next time I see ya I will make sure to say hi! I was telling my friends how I have followed your build on here lol
 
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Broke EF

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It was chaotic with trying to get runs in and help with a friend with his car. I was referring to Alan so I'm sure you have seen what he uploaded. Next time I see ya I will make sure to say hi! I was telling my friends how I have followed your build on here lol
Yeah, I know how it goes. I am sure I will see you out and about. I am always suprised people actually follow the build LOL

So I just started looking over the data, and I can say there is plenty to improve on :D For example I left on 0.2 PSI of boost. I also short shifted 1-2 by about 500 RPM or so. The good news is the fuel pump seems to still be keeping up. Not sure how much it has left, but pressure is staying stable.
 
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Boostie

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Yeah, I know how it goes. I am sure I will see you out and about. I am always suprised people actually follow the build LOL

So I just started looking over the data, and I can say there is plenty to improve on :D For example I left on 0.2 PSI of boost. I also short shifted 1-2 by about 500 RPM or so. The good news is the fuel pump seems to still be keeping up. Not sure how much it has left, but pressure is staying stable.

What are you shifting at? I feel like I’ve been shifting way low on mine
 

Broke EF

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Welp, I went to the track last weekend and had a terribe time. Mainly because I was there ALL DAY and only got in two runs. I can go into the details of that shit show if anyone cares, but Ill skip it for now. The other sucky part was that the car went really slow. My first pass I actually left on a couple lbs of boost, but the car was still dog shit slow. The logs showed I was down on boost a good amount. I gave the car a quick once over since I didnt really have much with me anyway, and then decided to try another pass with the car cooled down. I didn't expect it to fix itself or anything, but I wanted to verify it was down on boost, and work on my launch more. Little did I know I would be in the lanes for over 4 hours (first car in line too) before I got that second run. It ended up blowing the tires off right at the hit. The MPH was better, but it was still slow as fuck. I just left after that, and didnt look at the logs till I got home. Boost was down about the same, everything else looked fine.

Well the car sat all week, just too busy with work. Yesterday some friend came out, so I took them out in the car since neither had seen it even running yet. It sounded weird to me, and looked like it was smoking which it never has. When I got on it it was slow as fuck. Quick glance at the screen showed it was even further down on boost than when I was at the track. When we got back to the house, I got out and spotted the problem right away...

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Moved the Supra off the lift and got the SC up in the air for a better look

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I think I found the problem :ROFLMAO: Now I need to decide how I want to go about fixing it (so this doesnt happen again) and if I want to try and get it fixed (temporary, or otherwise) to get the car out one last time this year.
 
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Broke EF

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Let me guess, you went to Byron?
Yeah, which I personally like better than GLD for a handful of reasons. What started the long as fuck wait was someone oiling down the entire track with gear lube. Not the tracks fault, and also terrible to clean up. After that though I should have run pretty quckly and when I didnt that was when I started to get annoyed. When they ran the lane next to me twice I was fucking pissed.
 

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Yeah, which I personally like better than GLD for a handful of reasons. What started the long as fuck wait was someone oiling down the entire track with gear lube. Not the tracks fault, and also terrible to clean up. After that though I should have run pretty quckly and when I didnt that was when I started to get annoyed. When they ran the lane next to me twice I was fucking pissed.
Sounds like a typically run day at Byron to me, sadly.
 

Broke EF

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Out if curiosity is the WG tube and the exhaust pipe made from the same material? Sucks to see a weld fail in that way but at least it should be a simple fix.
Yeah, they are both stainless. I am not 100% sure the grade of each, but I think they are both 304. What can I say, sucks to suck :D I know I have a lot of room to improve in my welding for sure. I really should spend the money on a better welder, which wont make me any better but also wont hurt.

I need to figure out how I want to fix this. I like that new Motion cast stainless deal, but its for a 60 or 66mm gate, and mine is only a 45. I can of course adapt it down, but I wouldnt want to. Changing to a larger gate is a lot of cost, and probably not needed since its been controling just fine.
 
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Yeah, they are both stainless. I am not 100% sure the grade of each, but I think they are both 304. What can I say, sucks to suck :D I know I have a lot of room to improve in my welding for sure. I really should spend the money on a better welder, which wont make me any better but also wont hurt.

I need to figure out how I want to fix this. I like that new Motion cast stainless deal, but its for a 60 or 66mm gate, and mine is only a 45. I can of course adapt it down, but I wouldnt want to. Changing to a larger gate is a lot of cost, and probably not needed since its been controling just fine.
add a rib? move it in closer for less leverage? double up the pipe there? Put a thicker pipe like a weld el in?

Rando thougts
 

Broke EF

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Let me guess, you went to Byron?
add a rib? move it in closer for less leverage? double up the pipe there? Put a thicker pipe like a weld el in?

Rando thougts

Yeah I have had those same thoughs :)

If you did not back Purge it then it's very likely that it oxidized a good bit on the back side contributing to weakness in the heat affected zone. You can do a small little 45 degree gusset to spread the bending loads out but it might not help much unless you fill the pipe with Argon before you weld it

I back purged it.