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Technical How to turn stub axle (spindle)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Reidy, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. Reidy
    Joined: May 13, 2016
    Posts: 100

    Reidy
    Member

    Hello all

    I would like to machine a stub axle to take some common bearings. It is an International truck stub axle and I will be using Holden wheel bearings.

    I am after a few tips for beginners. If it is one of the things that should only be left to professionals please let me know and a tip of who does it in SE QLD Australia would be handy.

    It would appear that after I set it up between centers on the original holes the most complex part is the inner radius. Does this radius need to be identical, and if so what is the best way of achieving this. I am home taught and have not done accurate radiuses before.

    Please let me know if I have missed something, particularly if it is big and likely to hurt me. You don't know what you don't know.

    Thanks in advance

    Steve
     
    '51 Norm likes this.
  2. It was quite common to turn the stubs for Bedford CF vans to put Holden brakes on them back in the 80's and 90's so it must be done.

    I'm home taught as well and I wouldn't attempt it on the basis if I stuff it up it's a critical failure part and I wouldn't want to be responsible for hurting someone.

    Check you local machine shops.
     
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,510

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If Marty Strode sees the thread in the morning or the next day or so he is probably the one that can give you the correct answer.

    The amount of experience you have may determine how precise you get it done more than anything else.
     
  4. The inner radius would need to match or clear the radius on the bearing. Some bearings have quite a radius, some hardly any, check to verify.
     
    Atwater Mike and Boneyard51 like this.

  5. brading
    Joined: Sep 9, 2019
    Posts: 190

    brading
    Member

    I believe "Mart" on here done a spindle job on here recently so hopefully he will be able to advise.
     
  6. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 4,208

    Budget36
    Member

  7. The first thing I would do is rub a hand file across the spindle in an area that is between the bearing races. If the file cuts, you are good, if not the spindle is hardened.

    I would not be overly concerned with the radiused transition between the small and large diameters, but the radius at the base of the spindle where it meets the knuckle is a high stress point and should be the same as the Holden.
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  8. Reidy
    Joined: May 13, 2016
    Posts: 100

    Reidy
    Member

    Thanks for the replies so far. For those of you that are playing along at home I am putting an International truck from the 70's I beam in the Chev truck in my picture. The I beam is the correct width and the spring pads will line up. The original I beam is very heavy and has very large stub axles.

    I am using a set of hubs that I purchased from an Adelaide company Trigg Bros http://www.triggbrs.com.au/images/catalogue/hubs-disk-rotors/pop-ups/401.jpg

    They are cast in Australia and a six bolt Chev or Toyota style to suit the rear. New hubs, wheel studs and nuts for less than $100 AUD delivered to my door. The good part is buying Australian, well for us Australians anyway.

    I could use Holden bearings and machine the stubs to suit or put Ford bearings and make thin walled spacers. The OD is the same on Ford and Holden bearings in Australia and match the hub. Also 90 % of trailers run Ford or Holden bearings so at a pinch you can almost get them at the local corner store.

    I would like to machine the stub axle as it seems the neater more professional approach but would like the wisdom of those who have gone before to stop me hurting myself or others.

    Steve
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  9. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,622

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Can you please give some dimensions of the bearing and how much materials will be taken off of spindle. As for the radius i would match bearing and dress/grind my tool bit to match.
     
  10. I would make the adapters/spacers to fit standard Ford or Holden bearings. Plenty of rods and other vehicles getting around with spacers, etc.
     
  11. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 472

    KenC
    Member

    Me too!

    Did a set of F100 spindles way back when, to install 12" Chrysler brakes on a '58 with a Hemi.
     
  12. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,889

    Dyce
    Member

    Years ago my dad and I had a machine shop. I turned spindles in the crank grinder. It worked great because the spindles bad center holes and a crank grinder stone has a nice side radius. It would be possible to do it in a lathe but the finish and accuracy you get with a grinder is tough to beat.
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  13. In the past. I turned down F-1 spindles to the same configuration as 1937-1948 Ford spindles. I chucked the spindles on the area between the bearings, and drilled a center hole in the end with steering arm. I made an adapter for the threaded end out of a piece of hex stock. I drilled and tapped the hex stock to the correct thread size, 5/8-18 . I then drilled a center hole in the other end. I put the adapter on the threaded end, and this gave me centers on both ends. I mounted the spindle between centers, and proceeded to machine the spindle. After all these years, I still have the adapter.
     
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  14. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,441

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    I assume you only have two spindles and no room for error. That being said, I would take some extra steps to insure you get to the correct size slowly. First I would deal with getting a tool that can cut the radius to the proper size. Should be able to take a set of radius guages and find the correct radius. The thing here is that you need to insure that the bearing you are installing has the same radius needs as the one you are removing. You might have to change the radius. Its not good to use a smaller radius.
    As for getting the spindle to the right diameter, I also assume your available measuring tools are limited or basic. No intrimiks to check the bearings bore. Maybe a snap gage and some OD mics.
    I would get a piece of raw stock and turn it down close to fitting the bearing and with a step of maybe .005 larger than what fits the bearing. Then polish the shaft till you get a slip fit into the bearing and polish the step area till its maybe .002 larger than the diameter that slips in place. Then use this part as your "master" gage. When you start getting close to the size you need on your spindle, stop cutting and start polishing till it mics the same size as the master.
    This will allow you to creep up on the size you need by comparing readings with the master.
    Its awfully easy to cut a .001 too much and have a loose fit. When you don't have lots of parts to work with, its better to exercise additional caution and polish to size rather than trust that your cut will be correct. ;)
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  15. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 398

    1ton
    Member

    You really need a set of radius guages. Measure the radius on your bearing then make the radius on your shaft the next size smaller. You do not want the radii to interfere at all. There must be clearance. If there are any tooling marks in the radius on the shaft you should polish those out.
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  16. I'm also self-taught and while I'm comfortable doing spacers and such, I still generate a fair amount of scrap...

    I'd turn this over to a pro. The original was no doubt done with a tool-post grinder (or something similar), unless you have one you'll struggle to get an accurate finish. I quickly learned it isn't as easy as a pro makes it look...
     
  17. Reidy
    Joined: May 13, 2016
    Posts: 100

    Reidy
    Member

    The spindle diameters are 1.312" for the inner and .812" for the outer. The Holden bearings require a spindle of 1.250" and .750". Therefor .062 to be removed for the outer and inner.

    The Ford bearings are 1.375" and .875". The spacer for the inner would have a wall thickness of .0325 and the outer of .0625"

    The tool post grinder option sounds like a good one.

    Thank you to 57 Heap, I tried a file and compared to a piece of 4140 the spindle is much harder. It was worth me asking the question just for that piece of advice.

    As it stands it will either be a job for a pro or a spacer and Ford bearings. My Chev cab is made by Holden in Australia. If I introduce the Ford bearings and let them get used to each other it may minimize the Ford-Holden fights.:)

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  18. Your welcome.

    Something else you might want to hold on to.

    Instead of a thin and difficult to make spacer, turn down the shaft and fab a spacer that has thicker walls. If you can get some dry ice, then create an interference fit, freeze the shaft and slide on the spacer. It will not come off. Once that is done, turn the spacer, on the shaft, to the correct diameter.
     
  19. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,441

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Personally I don't like thin spacers for support. Ok for taking up slack, not OK for supporting things. Thats my personal view. You are working on a somewhat hardened surface. The spacer/bushing will not be hardened especially if its a thin wall. Getting a radius "perfect" is not necessary, it just need to be close and as large as the mating part allows. Many years ago we had to hand grind some tools to get the correct radius. We had large machines that cast a shadow on a screen and we could see exactly what size the radius was. These days you buy readymade tooling with the radius you want. You just have to use a radius gage to know what you want. A drill bit shank can also tell you what size a radius is. The tool you use to cut the shaft has to be harder than the shaft, so hopefully you have tool holders that use the replaceable inserts. This is actually a pretty simple job. If you follow the instructions I posted above, I think you will find that you can get precise sizing. Then you know how to get it on future projects. Or you can not try and always wonder how its done.
    In a real machine shop, they have not only "cylindrical" grinding machines to do precise .0002 tolerances, but have reference gages for setting the machine up and maintaining dimensions. Virtually no one has this type of stuff at home. Even with a tool post grinder you will struggle to be precise. A grinding wheel not only is more accure than a tool trying to cut a "chip" at a pressure point, it also produces a finer finish. Thats why I'm telling you to make a "gage" from some raw stock and use it to get close to the size you need. Then use emery paper to replicate using a grinding wheel to produce the final size and smooth finish. If you don't try, you never learn.........;)
     
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  20. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,330

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Good info. Also no one has mentioned chatter of the radius tool. With a harden spindle and a huge cutting surface of a radius tool , chatter can become a problem. Sometimes to get a large radius I use a smaller cutting tool and “ hand” radius it. In any case the radius needs to be smooth and as even as possible. Being a backyard machinist I sometimes use backyard methods. A wooden dowel and emery cloth can be your friend.






    Bones
     
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  21. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,441

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    A radius can also be dressed with a round rat tail file working slowly while rotating the part. Then wrap the file with emory paper and finish it. Its more about being "in the neighborhood" and not having gouges than absolute precision on the radius.
    Now if it was a fillet radius on a crankshaft journal, none of the above applies. In that case you want a grinder making the radius and very smooth transition. Some of the guys using Corvair engines in homebuilt airplanes have found that GM did a lousy job on the fillets and some of them broke because of it. The amount of precision required varies with different jobs, so a person has to learn how to adapt to whats available VS what is necessary. Any of you ever watch the shows about Cuba and its Hot Rod community......they adapt anything to anything.
     
  22. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,330

    Boneyard51
    Member

    We might want to inform folks why there are radiuses, and why they need to be smooth.
    With sharp corners it focalizes the stress point in one small spot. Also lines or grooves in the radius has a similar effect. That’s why they need to be uniform and smooth.








    Bones
     
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  23. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 4,208

    Budget36
    Member

    One issue with turning down something like a spindle in order to run a thicker spacer, is weakening the spindle. I wonder if buying a spindle needed and remove the other one and weld the proper one in might be a better alternative?
    A proper jig and proper welding would ensure things are done correctly. The thought just came to me (dangerous when I think) as this morning I pulled an old trailer axle up that my dad had made in the 60’s from spindles from a late 50’s Dodge PU

    another thing, I don’t think you want a press fit for the ID, should be slipfit on a spindle, right?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  24. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,330

    Boneyard51
    Member

    One other solution is to take your hub diameter, where the race sets and the spindle diameter and check at a bearing house to see if there is a set that will solve your problem. Any race will fit several bearings and any bearing can have several races!


    We had spindle trouble on large tractors, carting big bales of hay. I had a machine shop build me a 1/4 inch larger spindle and use a different bearing in the same hub race. Substancly increasing the strength of the front axle.





    Bones
     
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  25. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,222

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, Reidy;
    Unless I've missed something in your posts concerning sizes, I'm guessing you've tried this, but have you looked into mix-n-matching bearing cones-n-races? It'd take a good bearing parts house & a bit of time w/their catalogs or computer database, but I've done it in the past for some now-forgotten combo. I used National Bushing(industrial supply type of place), don't know iffen they're still around. Since you have the inner n outer dimensions already, & I'd guess the old IH bearings, + the spindle, they should be able to find a match. Sometimes there is a nice fit already made, other times you have to buy 2 sets of bearings to get the proper outer race & inner cone. Worth a try, & probably cheaper than machining. Maybe not convenient on the road, but you could always buy a spare set, & of course, keep the mfgr part#s + cross-over #s.
    FWIW.
    Marcus...
     
  26. Reidy
    Joined: May 13, 2016
    Posts: 100

    Reidy
    Member

    Thanks for all the information. I have tried the mix and match option. The International IH stub axle size is not common and bearing choices are limited. Also as they are not common the bearing price is a lot dearer. Even if it costs a bit more to go Ford or Holden I should have no issues in the future. The other option was to machine the hub to take the IH bearings but the hub does not have enough wall thickness to achieve that.

    Steve
     
  27. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,222

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Yah, IH did things abit different. Too bad on the lack of industrial crossover. I do understand about remachine-ing for somethiing easier. FWIW, there are a few IH-only places in the US, prices aren't too horrible. Shipping would slay you though... ;( .
    Marcus...
     
  28. Shipping from the US has gone nuts in the past couple of years. A package the size of a front wheel bearing they'd want something like $40, via USPS. Which is crazy enough. :confused:

    UPS? Yet another planet, they'd probably want $400.:eek:
     

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