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Cutting and Welding a Forged Steel Front Axle, Permitted or Not?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 2Loose, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Fitty Toomuch
    Joined: Jun 29, 2010
    Posts: 212

    Fitty Toomuch
    Member
    from WVa

    Next he`ll be picken on your frame splices.
    I imagine guys have been welding axles for a long time.
    Has any of you oldtimers seen failures?
    I`ve wondered about welding forged steering arms too.
    anyone have long term sucess storys welding arms?
     
  2. five-duece-chevy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2006
    Posts: 213

    five-duece-chevy
    Member
    from PA

    I read the thread you linked to, and I think you put some good thought into the job. I only find a couple faults with how you did it though. Being a welder/fabricator myself for the last 20 years, working on all manners of jobs from ANSI IV pressure vessels, to AWS d1.1 structural, if that axle was indeed made from high carbon forged steel, it should have been preheated (300-400 deg F), welded (your weld prep was good) slow cooled, then heat treated. Using many small tack welds only provides more opportunity for incomplete penetration, and if the part is preheated, carbon draw won't be as much of an issue, because of the lower amperage required to produce the same size weld. Heat treating the final part will also eliminate stressed areas and redistribute the carbon content to reduce possible brittle spots that may have had carbon drawn to them from the heat of the weld. I've seen even ground welds outperform the parent metal on high carbon steel in tensile strength tests when I taught the advanced arc welding class at the local CC. But proper procedures are key to getting those results. It's a thick, expensive book, but you might be able to find a copy of the AWS D1.1 code at your local library to see what the procedures are for any given structural job. It's a great book to pull your hair out to (because navigating it is so time consuming), but as an engineer, I'm guessing you are already familiar to that experience, lol.
     
  3. 2Loose
    Joined: Nov 9, 2005
    Posts: 404

    2Loose
    Member

    You are quite right! The two local welders I talked to, one being the manager of our local welding outlet and also the welding tech instructor at our local community college, told me exactly the same thing. Also told me I would have been better off using 7018, but I was never clear on whether they were referring to stick, which I am familiar with in that rod, or if 7018 was available in a wire feed configuration. An oven was also suggested as the proper way to preheat and post heat treat the welded axle. I feel my axle is ok for the street, I drive pretty relaxed on the street, after all I am 70 now, but down at the track, ok, I'll put in the new axle and then I can 'givemhell' on my launch!!!!

    The axle has been shipped, so maybe by the next race on April 21 (we only race once a month, small population base here....) I can try it out for the first time at the track. In the meantime I've been driving it every day and getting some time on the motor, and finding where the lil' bugs are....
    Had to change the fuel pump yesterday, the Mallory went south, so there's a Holley Blue in there now!
    Willy
     
  4. five-duece-chevy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2006
    Posts: 213

    five-duece-chevy
    Member
    from PA

    Yes, 7018 is reffering to the stick welding rod. 70,000 PSI tensile strength. I agree with your assessment that it should be ok for mild use, considering the center of the axle is the least stressed portion of the axle, but it's great that you got a replacement anyway. Have at it at the track!
     
  5. whiskerz
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 148

    whiskerz
    Member
    from Ga.

    I would leave the old axle alone . If they are going to find a problem with your car get a rule book.
     
  6. 2Loose
    Joined: Nov 9, 2005
    Posts: 404

    2Loose
    Member

    Yup, I just ordered a 2012 rule book, $10 plus shipping from the NHRA! I have an older one, have read it from cover to cover, and can't find anything in there about prohibiting welded axles.

    As this car will probably be pulling wheelies and coming down hard though, I just decided to opt for the uncut axle to be completely safe. Can you imagine how poorly I'd look if I can down hard from a big wheelie and the axle collapsed? Naaaw, that would "justify" their complaint and make me REALLY look bad! It's a small community here, pretty tight knit, and I have a good rep right now with the other racers, want to keep it that way. The new axle is cheap insurance.....

    I went down to the track last Sat. and was watching the races, and saw the officials (the same ones who got on my case) get into the faces of a couple of other guys who didn't deserve it. Who knows where this will lead!
    Willy
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  7. Kona Cruisers
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,074

    Kona Cruisers
    Member

    You guys arnt getting what we are talking about with "Local" politics trust me ...

    It wont matter how much info you put in front of them, it wont matter, just some "mainland Hoale" isnt going to get anywhere, with any amount if info. If they dont like it it isnt worth arguing with them. It'll just make them look over the car for more "infractions" if you rub them the wrong way.

    You live up country , Makawao?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  8. 2Loose
    Joined: Nov 9, 2005
    Posts: 404

    2Loose
    Member

    Yup, Makawao, 40 years now......
     
  9. Kona Cruisers
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,074

    Kona Cruisers
    Member

    With 40 years you'd figure they wouldnt be giving you a hard time?
     
  10. 2Loose
    Joined: Nov 9, 2005
    Posts: 404

    2Loose
    Member

    It's just a couple of guys, but unfortunately it's the main couple of guys running our club and track. They've been there a long time 'cause nobody else wants to do it, and they do put in an amazing amount of effort and hard work into the track, I do respect that. They got us fresh pavement and a fresh concrete wet box last year, and they are putting up a large race results sign up on towers for each lane this year, the track looks better than it ever has! But they just don't take kindly to any ideas or suggestions that might even slightly look like a criticism. That makes it hard to work with them! It's sad really, as we have lost a lot of members at our track who just won't put up with it. Me, and my buddies, we hang in, no matter what, as we really do love to race! But sometimes we catch heat, and this year I guess it was my turn in the barrel.....
     
  11. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,351

    revkev6
    Member
    from ma

    I've been in your shoes man! I ran minisprints and midgets at a 1/4 mile dirt track. they opened up the 1200cc class to a limited cube 130 VW midget engine. the motorcycle powered minisprints were lighter and usually handled better than the slightly higher powered VW cars. there were 4 of us that ran the VW motors. I did it for two years and sold off my car to tour an asphalt midget. I ran out of money and came back to dirt the next year. I bought my old motor back and another very good handling chassis that my father/crew chief used to wrench on. put the combo together and it was a ROCKET. I was the only one running the VW motor at that time and could go from 10th to first by the first turn. between that new chassis and how much I learned touring it all came to life. the entire class went whining to the owners claiming I was cheating, running a big illegal motor. etc. had the race director yelling at me that I was cheating after one race and I told him if he was so concerned I'd tear the motor down right there so everyone could see it was legal. He shut right up about that and said "I don't care if it's legal, don't come back with that car"

    sometimes you just can't fight em:rolleyes:
     
  12. Kona Cruisers
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,074

    Kona Cruisers
    Member

    Betta to catch heat den catch cracks yah?

    Well if it helps I can get you some "certification" help, I can get my dad to sign off on it if would help. He owns Honokohau Machine in Kona. Just an idea.
     
  13. 2Loose
    Joined: Nov 9, 2005
    Posts: 404

    2Loose
    Member

    Many Thanks man,
    yup, that would probably help, but I goin swap da axel n play dummy, jus go down n say 'what....????, I bin fix em....!!!'
    (heh, heh, heh....)
    Willy
    (Yeah, I may be a Sacramento Valley Haole, but I bin one Maui plantation kine guy for 40 years now.....)

    It'll blow over, always does, just takes time.....
    And keep'n my big mouth shut!!!
     
  14. Bjohnson129
    Joined: Jan 17, 2015
    Posts: 3

    Bjohnson129

    Is drilling into the axle taking away from the integrity of the axle in a large way? The reason I ask is because I accidentally sent nostalgia Sid a 1960 axle instead of a 1964 axle so when I got the nicely stretched axle back it didn't have the shock mounts on it. I didn't notice till I already had the 60 axle installed on my 64. I was wondering about the integrity because the only thing I can do now is drill holes into the 60 axle to mount the lower shock tabs. I could also weld it but I don't know if that's a good idea. Thanks for the help.


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  15. Hop2it
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 90

    Hop2it
    Member

    I have seen plenty of AA/fuel dragsters that have the king pin bosses welded to the axle going over 300 mph in the 1/4 .I can't picture it being a problem
    Doug
     
  16. Bjohnson129
    Joined: Jan 17, 2015
    Posts: 3

    Bjohnson129

    Yes but are those axles forged? Probably not


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