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Technical Drilled axle in the wrong place! And more...

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Bullit68, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,808


    Bell has been in the buisness for a long time I don't think those holes were customer drilled I would ask them about your application
  2. Magnum are cast.
  3. Bullit68
    Joined: Sep 16, 2009
    Posts: 91

    from Verona, PA

    These holes were drilled by a builder for sure. There are some signs of a struggle on a few of them. The whole frame was all smoothed and powder coated, wires run through it, etc. Somone wanted a different look!
  4. Bullit68
    Joined: Sep 16, 2009
    Posts: 91

    from Verona, PA

    For all the metallurgists following along, Superbell axles are cast from 65-45-12 Ductile iron. From what I read, it’s strong, but still has good machining abilities. But I don’t know crap about it and can’t participate in any debate. Sounds strong... lol. Feel free to read about it here:
    65-45-12 ductile iron
  5. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,563


    I was on a trip with a guy who was running a Super Bell. He desided the cast in camber was wrong and was going to go to a truck shop and have them "straighten" the axle. I was able to talk him out of it.
  6. The strength of a structural shape is calculated using a property known as moment of inertia. It is basically the height of the part of the shape x the width of the shape to the 3rd power x its distance from the center of mass. The upper and lower flanges on an I-beam provide virtually all of the strengths due to their relative width to the 3rd and distance from center of mass. The center web provides almost not strength relative to the flanges. The web is primarily there to stabilize the upper and lower flanges to do their job. Witness an everyday example of a roof truss in home construction. Thus a drilled axle gives up weight but virtually no strength; best of both worlds, as long as enough of the center web is left to stabilize. IMHO that axle looks OK to me.
    Blues4U and Ned Ludd like this.
  7. The majority of stresses in an axle, are outboard of the springs.
  8. Bud Crane
    Joined: Jan 31, 2011
    Posts: 76

    Bud Crane

    I would make boxing plates for the front and rear of the ends from 1/8" mild steel plate. Tack them in place before welding all around. Smooth the welds for that old time look of the "dropped and filled" axle.
    raven likes this.
  9. there is so much going against that axle, i am glad it is getting changed. the lack of good suspension movement would bother me more than the holes in the axle, that is, if it is a quality axle. junk axle is a junk axle with or without holes. goofy ford half a suspension, with only an inch of travel, short shock absorber and a drilled, unknown axle, subjected to interstate 95 pot holes and road debris through Connecticut would find the weak points.
    glad it is getting fixed.
    Hombre likes this.
  10. WiredSpider
    Joined: Dec 29, 2012
    Posts: 664


    As an old employee of Dave at Superbell,I,ll say this.
    All superbell axles are cast steel.
    The holes were not drilled at Superbell,the holes between the kingpin and perch bosses are a big no no.
    Your axle is no more than an ornament now,I wouldn,t drive it around the block
  11. mrharley51
    Joined: Sep 16, 2007
    Posts: 204


    safety first... 100_8627.JPG 100_3807.jpg replace with a new super bell or magnum..put in your new posies with some adjustable spring perches...line 'er up and have piece of mind that you are safe and sound ....shouldn't be a big deal to put in some axle stops and weld on some new brake line tabs. I have drilled 'em and keep 'em stock...but never got carried away like yours..hang it on the wall
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
    Rex Stallion and Just Gary like this.
  12. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,808


    Thanks for the up date because I have seen pictures of several like the one pictured I thought it was an option. I never been a fan of drilling holes in frames and suspension parts just more places for cracks to start.
  13. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,100


    Yeah you can drill holes in the center of the structural shape, but when you get into the curved dropped section your load is not horizontal the the beam. The axle is scrap metal.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  14. XXL__
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 1,848


    You mean that stuff doesn't come out of the ground in pigs?!

  15. David Atkins
    Joined: Dec 31, 2009
    Posts: 140

    David Atkins

  16. joee
    Joined: Oct 9, 2009
    Posts: 472


    look at bridge trusses holes . if holes were no problem they would be in bridge trusses. it would save weight, save money and cut the wind forces down....
    bobss396 likes this.
  17. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 775


    I would worry more about the pitman arm than the axle. You can fish plate the axle but can't stop some thing hitting the pitman arm and crashing. Get that pitman arm up where it is protected from beeing hit by debris on the road. JMHO
  18. JimmyD3234
    Joined: Dec 3, 2015
    Posts: 532

    from PA

    WOW that was a Big NO NO
  19. Mo rust
    Joined: Mar 11, 2012
    Posts: 526

    Mo rust

    I'd replace the axle with a 5 inch drop and bend the pitman arm up out of the way.
  20. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,952


    Not to start a war here but why would anyone buy a new axle? There are SO many axles out there. The lead times can be long having one dropped so I get that might be an issue for some builders? I dunno its not expensive to have one dropped compared to everything else that goes with building a car and not that difficult to do yourself if your mechanically inclined (I've done it pics in my albums).
    Maybe you can't get a deep enough drop starting with a factory axle?
    Whatever good luck with the truck.
  21. Bullit68
    Joined: Sep 16, 2009
    Posts: 91

    from Verona, PA

    Look, you won’t get a war with me. I just want to be able to switch out everything I already have to a new axle. Replacing one with as close to what I have should simplify all. New front spring should be here mid week, I’ll replace and see what ride height I get.
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  22. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,072


    Take it off and cut it up. Or cut 90% of the way through in 3 or 4 places and hang it on the wall. Just make sure that it never ends up under someone's car.

    It's not just the vehicle weight, hanging down on that bend. When you brake hard, the wheels are stopping and the car is wanting to keep going. That puts a bending moment into that area trying to bend the ends back.

    Added to that is a torsional twisting action under braking. The caliper is clamping on to the disc which wants to keep turning. The Wishbone holds the middle part nice and still and the brakes try and twist the axle ends off.

    Most of the car's braking is done by the front wheels. Oh yeah, it has upgraded brakes, that will make sure all the loading is at the max.

    So imagine the scenario, you round a bend and have to do an unexpected panic stop. You don't have enough time to avoid that enormous pothole and you hit it while braking heavily.

    That is the sort of situation that would tell you whether that setup is safe or not. You have increased weight on the front due to weight transfer during braking, Full bending, full twisting all at once. then it all gets magnified with the additional shock loading from the pothole.

    Once you get your new axle under there, setting up the spindle stops and clearancing the brake hoses should be straightforward enough. You might look at "clocking" caliper brackets around a little to just get the hoses above the axle.

    Bandit Billy likes this.
  23. neilswheels
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 735

    from England

    I noticed recently that Rodders Journal were giving away a drilled Superbell as part of their xmas big give away. Curious, given all the stuff said about drilling cast axles, I contacted Pete and Jakes, the suppliers, who told me not only that there's no problem drilling them, but they also told me exactly what to do. Given the legal state for claiming on stuff like this should there be an incident, I would have thought that they wouldn't be supplying drilled axles if they weren't safe. Side bar, they're not drilled between the perch and king pin. A few suppliers that offer this axle drilled.. rod&Category=Axle- Front
  24. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,302

    Gary Addcox

    Hey, Squirrel, correct me if I am barking up a hollow tree. I trust your opinion since you have been doing this stuff a long time. I like to drill 1" to 1 1/8" holes between the perches. I feel this gives an aftermarket axle such as my forged piece from Chassis Engineering a bit of flex to complement the flex built into hairpins. Together, the "split wishbone effect" is achieved without having too much rigidity. TELL ME I'M RIGHT ! ! ! LOL. Thanks for your experience.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  25. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,302

    Gary Addcox

    Please replace that P.O.S. with a forged unit from Magnum or Chassis Engineering. Those are heavy pieces that everyone drills and everyone owns. Your safety is the first order of business when building a ride. Good luck. P.S. I was just informed that Magnum axles are not forged. I apologize for the bad info.
  26. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,302

    Gary Addcox

    Oh, crap. I thought the Magnum was forged. I just offered some bullshit info to that fellow with that P.O.S. axle.
  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,813


    Every metal part has some flex, since metal is elastic. How much it will flex, depends on the design, and the load.

    As I said above, the flange is what resists bending flex, while the web is what resists shear flex. To understand what that means, you need to understand something about the stress in a metal part, when it is subject to loading. And the type of support, and the type of load, determines what type of stress is on the part, in what areas.

    Here is an example of how one would analyze the stress in an axle:

    axle load.jpg
    neilswheels likes this.
  28. 30dodge
    Joined: Jan 3, 2007
    Posts: 425


    Start designing a small trailer for your drilled axle, a 1/4 ton load should be OK.

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