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Technical Grinding off TIG weld and welding up my axle bracket with MIG. Any issues ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by waid786, Dec 27, 2020.

  1. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 660

    cfmvw
    Member

    I have made suspension components and TIG welded them together; some pieces I did for an OT car have over 200,000 miles of Maine roads on them. As said previously, TIG gives you ultimate control and fine tuning while welding. Like any other skill, it takes patience and practice to get really good at it. That pass you made isn't bad, just keep trying, you'll be glad you did!
     
  2. waid786
    Joined: Sep 9, 2012
    Posts: 123

    waid786
    Member
    from Indiana

    I spent couple of hours at friends house with acetylene torch and did not make any progress as we ran out of gas. I took my portable band saw and the cut the tube just pass 3/4 of the way. I put some pressure on it an closed the gap and welded it. Ironically, the TIG worked really well. I figured if I use MIG, I would have create a channel with grinder for the weld to flow in to. With TIG, I just turned up the amp up and it flowed like butter! I am pretty anal when it comes to stuff like this and therefore I may take a round stock cut it in half and cap it! I checked it with straight edge and looks fine to me. If it causes issues bearing bearings, I have another Mustang Axle and will not make the same mistake again!

    Waid
    2020-12-28.jpeg
     
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  3. waid786
    Joined: Sep 9, 2012
    Posts: 123

    waid786
    Member
    from Indiana

    I narrowed Explorer 8.8 and put it under my 64 Falcon. I used a straight edge and got it close and welded it up and with over 1,000 miles I have zero issues.
     
  4. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,679

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I’m still learning TIG.
    I bought one mainly for sheet metal.
    just so much easier to metal finish with.
    I’m starting to practice on thicker stuff.
    as far as the rear being straight, the alignment bars are nice but I’ve done the straight edge too.
    Add heat on the opposite side of the weld to draw the ends straight.
    I’ve seen new OEM housings I thought would kill bearings.
    I have wondered what the experts say the tolerances should be.
     
  5. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,387

    Johnboy34
    Member
    from Seattle,Wa

    One way to do it without jigs or locators .......
    1- leave wheels and tire on, and pumpkin in
    2- using spray paint or a tire marker, put a 1 " or so white line all the way around the center of the tire tread.
    3-using an anchor point and a screwdriver, scribe a line around the tire in the paint. hold the screwdriver still and spin the tire.
    4- set the tires in wheels, buckets, cinder blocks ... anything to get the housing off the floor.
    5- rotate the housing all the way around while holding a tape measure in place on the scribed lines.

    If it's bent you will see the measurement change as the housing rotates. Then you can heat and quench the long side to pull it back straight.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  6. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,613

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Okay, you're probably not going to like this but I'm giving you opinions based on 50 years of experience welding just about everything metallic there is to weld. In the first picture, your heat was just about right but your speed is too fast in some areas or too slow in others. The second picture on the right tells me that you weren't moving the cup except forward and if I were guessing, you were adding your filler rod before the puddle was hot enough to accept it so, your weld was cold. I can't get enough detail on your third picture to help you but the fourth picture shows a potential crack in the making. You came up to the corner and stopped, which leaves the potential for a crack to start there. Anytime you reach the end of your weld, take your puddle back into the weld. This leaves the most metal at the place that needs to be the strongest. Look at your post #14 where you covered the TIG up with the MIG. Is that a piece of wire sticking out of the crater at the end of the weld? You stopped the weld right there when you needed to take the puddle back into the weld before you quit. Don't give up on the TIG. Yes, it does take a lot of practice but the key to any manual welding is constant speed, constant motion and practice. Your muscles have to develop a memory for what you're doing.
     
  7. waid786
    Joined: Sep 9, 2012
    Posts: 123

    waid786
    Member
    from Indiana

    Ford 8.8's uses roller bearings on the axle and they may be more tolerant of any misalignment compared to Ford 9 inch bearings.
     
  8. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,679

    anthony myrick
    Member

    Makes sense now
    The aftermarket housings like Currie started using the 8.8 bearing.
     
  9. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,929

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    If you can weld sheet metal you can weld the thick stuff no problem. It's the thin metal that is more difficult because if you put too much heat to it, you just blow a hole through it. Not as much of a concern on thicker material.

    The TIG weld is much hotter than the MIG weld, which on one hand can create more warpage, but as you mentioned is easier to work because the metal hasn't been tempered by the rapid heating and cooling of the MIG process, which leads to a hard, brittle weld that can be prone to cracking. The TIG weld is more malleable.

    Personally, I TIG basically everything unless I have to tack something together. And especially for frame and structural work, the TIG is simply the better, stronger process.
     
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  10. The37Kid and alanp561 like this.
  11. COCONUTS
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 953

    COCONUTS

    Hey this is really good, not to add issues to another's problems could you place the rear end housing on your jig, just to give a better understanding of what you are doing. Thanks
     
  12. stratplus
    Joined: Mar 11, 2018
    Posts: 26

    stratplus

    I wish I could do crappy welds like that! Those are great. I have been arc welding forever. I bought a tig and said nothing to it, I can do that. Like hell I can. I won't tell you how many rods, hours and coupons I have gone through.
     
  13. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,904

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Coconuts " could you place the rear end housing on your jig, just to give a better understanding of what you are doing. "



    Would like to oblige you but all the flat surfaces in the shop are filled with projects. The table in the picture has a 49 Chevy frame welded to it while I'm Z-ing it and adding an unmentionable front suspension. I'll add a few more pictures and maybe that will help.
    In the first picture below, a rear is mounted vertically just to hold it for cutting. I should have gone ahead and oriented it 90 degrees before I did the cutting. That would have put the pumpkin face perpendicular to the work table. If you notice, the ends of the housing are bolted to the end uprights. This way everything is in the correct plane and location before......and after cutting.
    Rear End Jig.jpg
    Just imagine in the picture above that everything is rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise. This was my first use of the jig and I had not thought far enough ahead. I have a power bandsaw now. Anyway, I make a cut most of the way thru and then make the second cut all the way thru......then finish the first cut . I usually don't bother to bolt it down, so by cutting in two stages, it doesn't tend to move around while cutting. I could just use C Clamps to hold the center supports so it wouldn't move.

    In the second picture you can see the bushings I made to put in the dummy centersection. These simply serve as a guide or support for the long round bar that I slide through it. They are a few thousandths bigger than the bar to allow for easy insertion.
    Rear End Jig 7.JPG

    At this point , the ends of the housing are still bolted to the end uprights. One end has been cut off but remains bolted to the end upright. The other end of the housing hasn't been cut off yet and serves as a reference to align the soon to be welded opposite end.

    The long bar is slid in place through the cut off end continues thru the two bushings in the pumpkin and on out the uncut end.

    Now the end that was cut off and still attached to the end upright is slid in place until it contacts the cut off tube. Then I measure the distance from one end upright to the other. I take one measurement in front and one in the rear. If they are the same, I tack it in place.
    Rear End Jig 6.JPG
    If the first end is where I think I want it to be, then I repeat the process for the other end and tack it in place. Then I check one last time and weld it slowly in a couple steps to prevent warping. Hope these pictures and explanation clear it up for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  14. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,904

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    First try to just weld with no filler until you kind of develop a back and forth hand motion and some ability to keep the tungsten out of the puddle. If you have problems, check to see that you have the right gas and tungsten (I use Ceriated). Be sure that your hose connections are good. I had a problem with a welder because I had stepped on the hose and it had pulled slightly out of its seat. Couldn't see it was not seated and it caused air to enter and come out the end along with the gas. Thought I was doing something wrong. If you get good welds with the no filler practice, then start trying to add filler. I knew a guy who bought a metronome to help him build a "rhythm" to his welding...........
    And if you don't have a "clear view" helmet, get one. I suggest the one Lincoln sells, and I'm a Miller kind of guy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
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  15. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,049

    pitman

    Dilligent in detail, thanks. People like Marty, have lived the results at speed. A real bennie for the rest of us. Your attention to detail gave us a chance to hear opinions, most all of them top shelf.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
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  16. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,126

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It might come as a shock to some, but of all of the OEM axle housings that I have narrowed, I have never found one that was straight to begin with. Most were pretty close, some were not. Almost all had high mileage, and showed no signs of adverse wear, or any other issues. I have done both single-float and full-float axles, for 1-tons.

    Newer stuff is more accurate, but still frequently off. Specifically, I have narrowed a whole mess of Explorer 8.8s, to use two short-side axles, and have yet to find a straight one!

    I always check the condition of a housing before I begin, so I am aware of any issues that need to be corrected in the process. I am welding on anything more than a leaf spring perch, the bar goes in.

    I am not saying to not do the best job possible, just that you can probably not lose sleep over slight misalignment.
     
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  17. stratplus
    Joined: Mar 11, 2018
    Posts: 26

    stratplus

    Thanks EK.
     
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  18. waid786
    Joined: Sep 9, 2012
    Posts: 123

    waid786
    Member
    from Indiana

    I jumped on my lathe and made an aluminum bearing adapter. I also got a 1.75" DOM as well. As you can see, the tube is really bend. I learned my expensive lesson.

    Dragged out my 2nd Mustang axle and all cleaned up. Round 2! I stich weld stiffeners on back side and MIG weld small area at a time.

    2020-12-30 (2).jpeg 2020-12-30.jpeg 2021-01-01.jpeg 2021-01-01.jpg
     
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  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,126

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    DOM tubing is not likely as straight as you think it it is.

    You need a TGP (turned, ground, and polished) solid rod, if accuracy is your goal.
     
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  20. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,679

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I wouldnt trust the tubing unless I placed it in a lathe and checked it
    Rotate it to see if it changes on the ends
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2021
  21. That is how you fix it. You just run a puddle to pull it back into place.

    As for wire welding and axle housing that is how I always do it. Unless I have a stick welder handy.
     
  22. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,509

    6sally6
    Member

    Also remember.....the LAST place you stop, when welding, is the greatest concentration of heat. IF.......you want to pull something DOWN...make sure you stop your welding process on-the-bottom! (or rotate the piece as-soon-as-you stop welding/flip it over)
    6sally6
     
  23. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,791

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Rearend  fixture.jpg Mine is TGP, been in use 40 years.
     
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  24. waid786
    Joined: Sep 9, 2012
    Posts: 123

    waid786
    Member
    from Indiana

    There was almost no runout on the DOM Tubing.
     
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  25. waid786
    Joined: Sep 9, 2012
    Posts: 123

    waid786
    Member
    from Indiana

    I figured I have nothing to lose so I tried to fix the badly warped tube and it worked!

    Got back on my lathe and made another bearing adapter for the axle bearing. I cut the axle tube about 7/8 of the way, bent it little bit and and placed my aluminum bearing adapters along with DOM tubing. I beveled the edges and then I welded 3 larges braces and then MIG welded the tube small area at a time. I took off the braces and finished welding it. I fine tuned the axle tube by grinding the tube close to the casting and welding it back up and quickly cooling it with water. I rotated the DOM tubing and there is no runout that I can feel. The axle bearing adapter I made feel smooth in and out. Perfect Fit!

    1 2021-01-01 (4).jpeg

    2 2021-01-01.jpg 3 2021-01-01 (3).jpeg 4 2021-01-01 (2).jpeg 5 2021-01-01 (1).jpeg 2021-01-01.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2021
  26. jimpopper
    Joined: Feb 3, 2013
    Posts: 115

    jimpopper
    Member

    Your goal should be to get it as close as possible but remember when the car is going down the road, there is minute flexing as the axle loads and unloads. Pretty hard to compensate for every scenario when fabricating one up.
     
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  27. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,904

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    With the bushings inserted in the pumpkin, stick whatever tube you have thru the bushings just like it will be when you add the housing ends. Put a dial indicator on it and rotate it by hand to see how much run out you have. The play in your bushings is going to give you some movement, so try to keep slight downward pressure on it while turning it. I'd say anything less than .050 should be just fine and can probably live with more than that.;)
     

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