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Old 11-05-2004, 09:02 AM
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welding brackets on housing

In the past I lived in or near a big city and whenever I needed narrowing or heavy welding on the rear axle housing I just sent the rear end out to a shop and paid the going rate. My current project is purposely "mini-buck" and I need to weld suspension hardware on the axle (basically 4-link/ 4-bar, possible panhard, and shock mounts. Not only do I want to keep the cost to a minimum, there are no local shops up here in the northwoods that do this sort of work...so none have the proper jigs etc. That means even more expense and time with a couple very long trips to the nearest shop that can do it. So I'm looking for ANY alternative to the pro shop thing.

I'd be welding with either a 225 buzz box or a Miller 175 mig and my intension is to mock everything up in the car and weld it right in place (no jig, rear axle fully assembled).

The big question is, can it be done without warping the housing. My search of the archives has given advice on both sides...from "always have a professional do it" to the "just be careful and you should be able to weld it yourself".

The other option is to design the suspension components around the existing brackets and available bolts already on the housing. This would include the leaf spring pads on the top of the axle, shock mounts near the bottom of the axle, and the existing bolt pattern on the center section (Ford 9").

I could fashion a 4-bar setup for this and keep the arms parallel (viewed from the side). However, the bars would not be parrallel when viewed from the top (the upper bar would point from the frame mounting point outward toward the leaf perch and the lower bar would be straight back from the frame mounting point to the existing shock mount bracket.) For the panhard bar I would make a bracket which would bolt to the existing bolt pattern on the top of the center section.

Another potential option is to exaggerate the way the bars are already pointing and create a triangulated 4-bar. The upper bar would stay the same - mounting to the frame and to a bracket welded to the leaf spring pad (about 7" outboard of the frame rail). The lower bar(s) would become the "side to side" positioning and would run from the inside of the framerail to a brackets made to bolt onto center section and extending downward so the bars would attach at or below the bottom edge of the center section. I haven't seen any systems triangulated in this way...so there might be a very good reason for not doing it.

Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Better yet...any first hand experience. (And Yes, I've read and studied "Chassis and Suspension Handbook" and SoCal's "Hot Rod Chassis".)

Dewey

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Old 11-05-2004, 09:32 AM
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Hey Dewey

Glad you got your bandsw deal sorted out..

Any way use the mig and I would look at going with a traditional 4 bar and panhard deal setup..lot less engineering to make it work..

As far as welding on an axle housing just take it easy and not get too much heat into it at one time..Nothing rocket science about it..I do think it would be a good idea to change the oil in that axle after welding tho..

You could use the stock locations for the lower bar and then run the upper bars inside a bit in some convenient location..might save some work..

Here is a link for an outfit up your way that has a bunch of brakets and chassis pieces for cheap..

www.aa-mfg.com

These guys do the parts for the guys building IMCA cars and have lots of little parts you may need and from the price list I have do not seem to bend the budget too bad..

Good luck..
BTW getting frosty here..how is it there??
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Old 11-05-2004, 09:44 AM
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We weld on ford 9"s all the time. Seems we are alway's breaking something. We use a lincoln 175. When you weld them, don't let the tubes support the weight of the center section till the welds cool. Be sure to support the entire thing with four jack stands or whatever. If they are under tension then warping can and will occur. Do you trust your welding skills?
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:11 AM
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This is a VERY rough mock up of the triangulation idea...mounting a bracket to the center section bolts for the bottom bar and to the leaf spring perch for the top bar. If it's not clear, the 2x3 wood pieces represent the bars. And you can see the resulting opposing angles. I would use bushing rod ends rather than heims. Also note that I am contending with an offset center section - which will complicate any triangulation (not to mention engine/trans mounts).

I'm sort of liking the idea of welding on the existing perch instead of the housing itself. With my limited welding skills I would tend to put some extra "heat" into it to insure penetration. So I figure it's a bit safer to do it on the existing mounts than the tube itself. Also, do you see any problem (stress etc.) mounting brackets to the center section bolts?

Oh, and since this is lowbuck rat, I do intend to attach the bars with duct tape exactly as shown (but I WILL use a better brand for the final construction).



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Old 11-06-2004, 04:36 AM
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are you happy with your dog leg section with no gusset??
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Old 11-06-2004, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cboy
Also, do you see any problem (stress etc.) mounting brackets to the center section bolts?
The more bolts you can attach to, the less stress created for each bolt.
If you were to fabricate a 1/4 inch plate to mount to at least three studs on the carrier for each side you would have a starting point.

If you were to fab a plate to attach to ALL of the carrier studs, you would be as strong as having a set of mounting points welded to the housing.
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Old 11-06-2004, 06:46 AM
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I know it is low-buck, but I would use strapping tape. It is stronger and, being narrower, it should cause less bind. LOL
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Simo
are you happy with your dog leg section with no gusset??
Simo,

Not quite sure what you are referring to as the "dog leg section". However, if you mean the kicked up (Z'd) frame it actually DOES have gussets. They are done the old school way - they are welded inside the tube rather than the outside. Basically you cut a gusset with two tabs on on it which mimic the angle of the kickup. You weld one end of the tab inside the tubing before assembly and the other end you secure after assembly by welding to the tab through a series of holes you pre-drill through the frame tubing. If you are interested in how this was done let me know and I can post some pics.

Dewey

Quote:
Originally posted by adtkart
I know it is low-buck, but I would use strapping tape. It is stronger and, being narrower, it should cause less bind. LOL
I think I found a good source for that:

billybobsracingtape.com
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Old 11-06-2004, 08:48 AM
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What the heck, figured I'd just go ahead and post these pics of the gussets for the z'd frame in case another reader might be interested.

The first shot shows "tab A" of the gussets being welded inside the frame tubing (tab A matches tab B which you can see sticking out). Had to use stick welder with a new (long) stick to reach far enough up into the tube to weld these.



Second shot shows the assembled pieces with the pre drilledholes which are used to weld thru to "tab B" of the gusset. These "hole welds" were done with my mig.

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Old 11-06-2004, 09:19 AM
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Thanks cboy,,

Yepp thats what i was asking in a round about way,,and great pics

Simo,,
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:06 AM
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From the looks

Cboy,
From the looks of your craftsmanship I woudl say go ahead and weld those brackets on your axle any way you choose..I think you have the skill to build it the way you want it..
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Old 11-06-2004, 02:17 PM
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Cool

Normally in OE applications the lower bars are under the diff and near level with the ground.


The inner bars are on top of the diff
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Old 11-06-2004, 04:41 PM
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Crosley,

Do you know if there is a reason (or reasons) for doing it that way?
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:08 PM
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Been Watching

I have though tabout a 4 bar on the car I am doing and I think I wll just go with a torque bar pivoted from the rear crossmember and bolted soild to the rear housing..Much easier to build and these work fine..

Ran that sort of suspension on Chev monza and Buick Skyhawk and it worked fine..requires a panhard rod but other that that real simple deal..

Certainly woudl save me a bunch o fheadache a well as some expense..
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