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Quick change axle tubes loose in bells?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tman, May 12, 2013.

  1. OK, I have my QC apart thanks to this thread

    I have my new tubes (nicely done precision ground) and on a whim I dropped one in a clean bell. Slid right home with no interference. Does not surprise me since the old tubes were crude well casing turned down. Is there a known remedy for this or am I after better bells? I think I know my answer:mad:
  2. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,079

    Marty Strode

    You might be able to have your tubes knurled, otherwise you will be looking for some different bells.
  3. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid

    im no expert but i think your after new bells. I guess you could pin punch the tubes, maybe weld and re-machine. I paid i think 750 for a set of new bells with axles tubes, i think.
  4. These are the really nice tubes from Lefthander, who I order a lot from since becoming a dealer. I really hate to mess with them other than cutting them to length.

  5. Newb on a Q change here-go easy! Read the tech post.Read the responses,outcomes,pics..... 1'st Q- how 'easy' did the tube fall in? Like just fell in,or slid in?
    2'nd Q- Looking at the center section,looks like 'bolt holes',or alligning dowels? am I correct on this?,if they are,couldnt a knurl get a tighter fit,then allighned with the holes?
    I totally get the heat/cool deal,and yes,better be dead nuts on for that one. Just trying to learn a lil me.
  6. Old one took a ton of force to pull out, new ones (which are correct) just drop in.
  7. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    Never experienced a "drop in" fit on any QC axle tube I have dealt with. A precision measurement of the i.D. of the bells and a compare with stock (new) dimensions might be in order.

  8. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,953

    gas pumper

    So what happened here is that the back yard guys that pressed in the well casing obviously made the tubes way too much of an interferance fit. That stretched the bells beyond the elastic limit of the Material so now when you removed the tubes, the bell can't come back to it's right size.

    I'd also be afraid of the bell developing a lot of stress from this abuse and maybe even weakaning it.
  9. Gee, I am feeling so much better! Not!!!:)
  10. Following along,and just trying to learn.....I will probably never own a QC unless it was left on my doorstep.-
    So if the housing is a lil stretched from previous tubes,cant a knurl,albight more agressive if needed,be sufficient? I mean creap up on it?
    Or- would a measurement have to be taken,and then tubes made for the application?
    I'm sure this has been dealt with before. Some guys surelly hacked things,but,in this case, what would remedy,if any,this issue?
    If i'm an old dog to learn new tricks,might as well bullet me now.
    Looking forward to solving this issue.
  11. If it's a Franklin/Winters type of Quickchange... there should be an oven involved in an axle tube removal and installation. I had a Halibrand that required heat as well... but I'm not as familiar if there are different procedures other versions.
  12. Patience.....The answers will come. Don't think you have to shit can stuff just yet!:)
  13. Soviet
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 727


    Weld up/bore out the ID on the tube?

    Any way you go, sounds like an expensive/labor intensive ordeal.

    Good luck, watching closely for when I build mine!
  14. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,948


    I'm for welding the tube and turning it to an OD that will allow an interference fit. On brazing or metal spraying or some such.
  15. Measure and see what you have.

    Check to see if the holes are round, and straight.
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  16. raengines
    Joined: Nov 6, 2010
    Posts: 227

    from pa.

    I would think Lefthander might take yours back in this case and machine you some oversize, sure worth asking.
  17. Good idea, I will call them. I can always sell these since shipping them back isn't cheap.
  18. If, as you say, the tube OD is correct, how about boring and (thin) sleeving the bells, much like repairing a cylinder block that can't be replaced. Seems to me that as long as you end up with the correct press fit at the end, no harm no foul?
  19. That's an interesting idea! I have this retired engineer/mad scientist that lives by me. I have needed an excuse to go see his machine shop, this might be a good ice breaker.

    Thanks to everyone that has chimed in. I will keep this updated.
  20. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,948


    It still looks to me that it would be a hell of a lot easier to build up the tube ends with nickle plate or braze or weld and turn them to fit than any other repair.
  21. okay....hate to jump in....because I have the same dementia...?....have the Winters/Franklin with the truck axels....can I just get it cut off and say a Ford end welded on...

    IMAG0002.jpg ?

  22. Yup. As long as you have enough tube left to get the finished width you need.
  23. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,513


    This isn't a common problem but it does happen.

    The problem here is 3" tube is not necessarily 3". And then there is a wide variation as to how the different manufacturers obtained the shrink fit.

    So, let's start with what we have and see what is the best solution:
    Those that said 'measure' are correct. Inspect and accurately measure the I.D. of both bells. Do this in several places like measuring a cylinder bore. If it's all tore up inside you will have to replace the bell or bore it out and sleeve it.

    Now measure the O.D. of the tubes at the inboard ends. There should be approximately .003" interference. That doesn't mean .005" or more and probably no less than .002"

    You might want to measure the O.D. of the tube outboard of the section that goes into the bell. Many manufacturers turn the end to the proper O.D. and then just clean up the rest of the tube. Some do not machine the tube outboard of the fitted portion. If Lefthander tubes have enough material to provide the correct fit for your bells, I would ask them if they will accept your return and remake them for your bells.

    If not, then you can find tube with enough O.D. to accomplish what you want and weld on the housing ends of your choice.

    If you need to sleeve the bell, have your machinist make the sleeves for a slip fit on the tubes, weld them on (all the way around so they don't leak) Then bore the bell for the .003" interference fit.
    Heat the bell to 300 degrees (oven or grill) chill the tube paint it up with anti-seize and slide it in. Don't forget to clock it. Now, drill and tap the bell and tubes together and put in the locking bolts.


    The brazing or metal spraying should work, but I have never tried it.
  24. Checked fit last night, no snap guages to check bore yet. But with the lowtech method of a wrap of masking tape we have a good fit. Anyone know the thickness of masking tap ;)
  25. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,779


    Don't use masking tape. Get some of that aluminum duct sealing tape. It should last longer. :)

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