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Broken I-beam axle

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hotrodkiwi, May 8, 2012.

  1. Super Bell brought out a Forged Aluminum axle in 2002 - here is a pretty good article about the testing that went into it.

    Boyd also built a few and one was under the aluminum truck they drove from CA to the Nationals in KY and back.

    Don't recall TCI (Ed Moss) ever offering one though :confused:
  2. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    And weren't those pulled off the market? Why?
  3. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Mike, I don't want to argue with you, but I think your time line is little bit off on Super Bell products. Jim Ewing and I believe Vic Leong got Super Bell up and going about '75 or so if my memoery serves correct. I don't believe they had a I beam style axle out until the early eighties ('82 or so?). Please don't take any insult in that, and if I'm incorrect please make note. I do remember an article in ROD ACTION about '78 or so showing the rosette welds as well as the 360 degree welds on the tubes. Might have been damage control?
  4. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Another thing to ponder: Cast and malleable have their own types of strength. If you make a stressed piece out of malleable, you add metal as needed in those areas under high stressed, giving proper distribution of strength.
    A malleable cast streetrod axle is very nearly an exact dimensional and styling copy of a forged Ford axle. Does this mean that they believe malleable has exact same strength and resistance characteristics as forged and heat treated EE steel??? Huh??
    Good OEM suspension parts are indeed made of malleable nowadays, but they are designed as malleable parts, not dimensionally copied from forgings!
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,571


    Thats not what I expected, who would have thought an aluminum axle would be that strong.
  6. LEFTY_
    Joined: Mar 15, 2012
    Posts: 66

    from The 702

    i love how everytime i walk into so-cal and want to buy something that isnt theirs they say "its chinese junk" i pretty irritated i have been spending alot of money thinking i buy american only to find my axle was made in taiwan
  7. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,098

    Deuce Daddy Don

    Definately a CAST IRON cheap assed foreign poorly made product!!!
    All in the name of saving money!!!
    When will we condem these foreign objects?
    American made FORGED STEEL axles are the best insurance, your life depends on it!!
  8. FlynBrian
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 759


    Exactly how I feel! Keep the money here. Why I have bought factory ford axles and put them up for future projects. When I start a build in the future I'll send it out to one of our Hamb guys for the drop.
  9. What kind of spring shackles do you recommend?
  10. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,894


  11. doctorZ
    Joined: Apr 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,243


    Those axles in your pic are So-Cal axles. So-Cal axles are all FORGED.
  12. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    X2 no one should some on here with another broken axle photo unless they know WTF the story is. If not keep your mouth shut (or your fingers off the keyboard).

    Having said that, when I built my current coupe with a dropped axle I gave the Super Bell about ten seconds consideration before going with the Chassis Engineering.
  13. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 2,015

    26 roadster

    I had an old stretch drop on my 30 roadster and bent it till the tire hit the grill break and the shop bent her back
  14. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,535

    Atwater Mike

    OOOPS! Senior moment there, I had my shop when those things occured. (1970 was really 1980!) I opened my shop in '76. So it seems like yesterday!

    My bud Otto was waiting to talk to Jim Ewing when the customer showed up with the tube.
    That had to be 1980, sorry.
    But the aluminum axle was sitting on Ed Moss's counter, (not made by him, nor for sale; it was a prototype) It was a few years before I saw it advertised. Still, I was shocked.
  15. Last edited: May 9, 2012

  16. They knew they were not building trailer queens [​IMG]

    The aftermarket doesn't put that much effort into their own stuff,
    because everyone is hung up on initial price.
  17. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Amazing how a couple photos and MINIMAL information can turn into a panic. Someone needs to hit the "Rumor Control" alert button.
  18. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,052

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Both Jim Ewing and Victor Leon worked for "Bell Super Axle" which was a Gene Scott=PSI Enterprise. Gene made their own axles, Jim and Vic did the machining, this was the early 70's, A Nor-Cal customer had a collision and broke one of their axles originally sold by one of their retailers/dealers.

    This smoked Gene, so he imediately got out of the MFG'd axle business.
    This also resulted in Jim and Vic really not doing the job that they were hired for.

    With Gene's blessing and contacts Jim and Vic started Super Bell Axle Co. on Genoa St, Monrovia CA. Eric Vaughn was in the same complex.
    That would've been about late 74 into early 75, Brian Bauer was their 1st stock clerk-shipper. Yes the early axles were all tubes, with forged ends.

    One was even a 5" drop before Vic took that to Magnum Axle the company that he started when he sold out to Jim Ewing and Dave Enmark. Fred James seems to come in around the same time,but Super Bell did a move to Fresno when the Bell Tech Line came into play, moved back to Monrovia when Dave was the sole owner in the 80's,meanwhile Magnum was a over at T.C.I. Ontario till its move to Oakhurst (This may be where Fred came in actually)?

    The cast I-Beam axle was introduced by S/B and Then Magnum, both of them have been fine, I have really only seen one before this one broken and it too was because of a front collision. I prefer any old type forged axle over a cast axle of any mfg, but I just like forging better.
  19. trksmth
    Joined: Feb 10, 2009
    Posts: 372


  20. titus
    Joined: Dec 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,074


    speaking of broken front end parts, this happened to me today!

    the spring eye departed ways from the main leaf, dunno the manufacturer of the spring but it is an aftermarket one.


    Attached Files:

    -Brent- likes this.
  21. hotrodkiwi
    Joined: Jul 3, 2006
    Posts: 68


    I didn't post this to incite panic, but you guys should know, right?

    What I can tell you so far, with 100% certainty is;

    It was a new axle.
    It was under a pickup that had done less than 300 miles after a full rebuild.
    It broke off at low speed, while pulling in to a car park.
    kiwijeff likes this.
  22. X3! It's remarkable how little it takes sometimes!

  23. You know who made it? Was it made in New Zealand?
  24. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Thanks Mike, I sure didn't want you to think I was trying to call you names or dispute what you were saying.

    Thanks Kevin, I knew Gene Scott was a player in the deal some how, but wasn't sure of the timeline. I have PSI catalog around the house showing the super axle, but it has no date or even copyright info at all. The style is most defintely early seventies though.
    Just as an aside, my roadster pickup has one of Super Bell's original 5" dropped axles under it that I have jumped from project to project the better part of 30 years now... It has found it's permenent home!
  25. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,761


    Technically, ductile iron has mechanical properties that are comparable to the medium carbon 1035 steel which is generally used in forgings such as axles. There are some classes of ductile iron that exceed the strength of steels used for forgings. I'd attribute that failure to a quality control issue rather than a failure resulting from inadequate material selection. For anyone interested in the data, you can learn something here:

  26. You are lucky the spring was over the axle and thus catching the weight.

    I am surpised there isn't more talk of the spring shackles that hold the weight of each corner of the car. They are little 1/4" bolts in double shear between the perch and spring eye.
  27. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    I don't know about yours, but most aftermarket shackles I have used are 3/8 threaded and about 1/2 shaft thickness. But I do agree, some of the stuff coming through the last couple of years has been downright crap.
  28. fast30coupe
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,019

    from Illinois

    They just don't build shit like they used too and it's a damn shame
  29. hotrodkiwi
    Joined: Jul 3, 2006
    Posts: 68


    Giday Tudor. No, it wasn't made here.

    Im not 100% sure who made it yet.
  30. TOTALLY O/T: but was BellTech born out of Superbell?

    That is a wee bit unnerving.... :p


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