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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2010, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
You weld cast steel with Ni rod for cast iron? Why? That would result in a fairly weak weld wouldn't it? Steel castings should be welded like, well steel not cast iron. Certainly 400 deg preheat is a good idea and a Nickel bearing rod like an 8018 c1 or c2 can be a good idea but a cast iron rod? 7018 is an excellent choice for welding most steel castings except for those such as hard alloys used in Earth contact equipment which should not be a concern here. For steel spindles and differential housings 7018 is probably the most common choice unless MIG is used and it is a good choice for most steel castings, personally I would probably choose the 8018 c1 but it should not be necessary.

EDIT: After rereading what you wrote I think maybe I misunderstood and you are not talking about what most welders refer to as "Ni" rod (Ni55-Ni99 group of welding rods) are you?
This is sort of a debate that's been going on for i don't know how many years on the internet and hobby and pro builders.

The bottom line is no one knows exactly what chemical composition and process the differentials were actualy made of,all being cast steel but different carbon contents..etc etc
All the axle housings could be a different process,even including the same exact housing from one vehicle to another,i read a few years ago about a manufacturer having problems with their mild steel brackets welded onto the diff. housings cracking after usage because they found out later it had a totaly different carbon content in them from what was SUPPOSED to be from the beginning later on.

As far as the Cronatron rods i use,i get them from a nuclear power plant "Weld tech",he is over ANY welding process in all 3 Southern Nuclear power plants,before any weld is approved it has to go through him first and approved,change or deny it,he's been in the plant in this position for over 35 years,and in the trade for over 43..soon to retire he "says"..lol
He's not only very knowledgable but a good freind of mine,my wife grew up next to his farm.
The reason he explained to me about these rods and even said ANY nickel rod would be best is because the same i just explained,it's all cast STEEL...BUT..no one knows the EXACT composition and nickel rods or similar wont pull much at all while cooling,since cast steel and mild steel react very differently when cooling.
These Cronatron Eagle 1100 rods are what they use to weld mild steel pipe to cast steel valves,which are under severe pressure and heat,so i have no problem beleiving these are good if not best for the diff. housing,but again i'm just lucky to get them when they are supposed to be thrown in the scrap bins after a certain date,they cost a minimum of $3.00 a peice.
I tried doing an internet search on these rods a while back,couldn't find any EXACT rods,maybe these are for sale to big industrial only???

I can post a picture of the rods if you want..i actual have them in a rod oven to keep them dry in a spare "junk room" in the house..lol


Edit: you got me curious again about these rods,i just did a search again and still no exact rods,but i have them in my hand...lol,the only thing i can find on the internet is the CronaCUT eagle 1100..they are designed to gouge and CUT..not the CronaTRON eagle 1100 rods..next week at work if i can catch Ray(the weld tech),i'll ask him why they can't be found on a simple internet search.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2010, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
This is sort of a debate that's been going on for i don't know how many years on the internet and hobby and pro builders.

Well apparently you were talking about cast iron rods but this has never been any debate at all, it just simply is not done!


Sure certain stainless types of rods (Certainium 707 for instance) have been suggested for special types of situations when welding steel castings but that is of no concern here nor are they in any way a "Ni" rod for cast iron. Using a Ni rod, Ni55-Ni99, for steel is an extremely poor choice of rods and certainly about the last thing anyone here would want to use on a spindle or axle housing unless one of the odd cast iron ones should be encountered. It would weld ok and it is indeed used to join cast iron to steel but it is never recommended for steel to steel welding and for a very good reason, it neither matches the mechanical properties nor the chemical properties of steel. On top of that it will produce a rather weak weld compared to a steel rod such as 7018, heck most common Ni rods for cast iron only have about 65000 PSI tensile strength and some as low as 50,000. Of course some specialty Ni rods can go as high as 80,000 PSI but there simply is no reason to use these and steel castings are welded with steel rods. Welding steel castings is little different from rolled steel, while the grain structure is different the chemical makeup is similar and the rod chosen should as closely match the chemical makeup as practical. This is one place where bulldozers and the like are going to be very much related to the thread topic since they use steel castings extensively and these castings are essentially the same material as what these guys here are going to encounter on their cars. Welding these castings is common place, they come from the factory welded, they must be repaired sometimes and they are often replaced by welding and they are NEVER welded with Ni rod! Caterpillar tractor, Marion power shovel, Eculid and a dozen more manufacturers use steel castings of the same material as these spindles and housings and they are very specific about what and how to weld them, most recommend 7018 but some will use one of the 8018 or 9018 variants, not one of them have ever used Ni rod. Add to that the rod manufacturers market this rod for joining cast iron to itself or joining cast iron to steel but never steel to steel. The best a Ni rod would do it is going to produce a weaker weld bead than 7018 due to the chemical and mechanical characteristics of the things.


Since this is such a critical issue I would strongly recommend anyone considering welding a spindle, or any other steel casting that safety depends on, do a thorough search and go to one of the welding sites such as weld talk and tell those guys you are considering using Ni rod on cast steel and see what you are told! Ni rod is for cast iron and cast steel bears little similarity to cast iron and as such needs to be treated as steel. Bondo hit the nail squarely on the head, if it's a steel spindle weld it up with 7018 rod reverse polarity.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
Edit: you got me curious again about these rods,i just did a search again and still no exact rods,but i have them in my hand...lol,the only thing i can find on the internet is the CronaCUT eagle 1100..they are designed to gouge and CUT..not the CronaTRON eagle 1100 rods..next week at work if i can catch Ray(the weld tech),i'll ask him why they can't be found on a simple internet search.


I don't know anything about those particular rods but if I were to guess, and I am only guessing, I would think they would be similar to the Certanium 707 rod. These are a stainless type rod and most of the specialty companies have something similar, Certainum, Eutectic, etc, marketed as a "wonder rod" type of thing and they are indeed for welding cast steel of all types including even Manganese castings. These things are a specialty rod that can usually be successfully used on castings of unknown composition or when joining dissimilar types of castings but they are for all steels and are by no means meant only for castings, I once even saw a demonstration by a salesman of a coil spring that had been repaired with one of these (the Certainum 707 IIRC), they are not however very good for iron castings since they are basically a stainless rod and not a cast iron "Ni" rod. They offer no real advantage for normal cast steel welding and indeed have the same draw-backs as a stainless rod, they can not be flame cut, machining is difficult and they tend to induce high stress without proper procedure basically they are nothing more than "super" stainless rod and if expense is no object then they can sometimes be used to solve problems encountered with special alloys. On a spindle or axle housing there would be little to no advantage of using something like this and it would have the disadvantage of a difficult repair if it did break. Again the proper way to weld a steel casting is to match the chemical makeup as close as practical and although mechanical properties will be quite a bit different due to the natural grain structure of the casting tensile strength should be matched fairly close. For anything likely to be found on a car or truck E7018 will be an excellent choice for most castings of this type which will usually be of the 90,000 PSI tensile range, 8018 or 9018 can also be used but are usually not necessary and are less forgiving to less than perfect welding conditions. Certainly on machinery parts where high tensile steels and higher Nickel content may be encountered then something like an 8018 c1 or c2 might be used depending on alloy percentage but this is of no practical concern here.


When a steel casting such as a spindle is encountered on a car treat the darn thing as the steel part that it is, in these cases there is little difference in welding except that preheat is usually more critical with these castings. This is for two main reasons, to control hydrogen embrittlement and warpage due to the fact these parts are usually of a fairly complex shape, that's why they were cast in the first place. E7018 (DRY!!!), MIG, TIG or even Oxy/Acetylene sometimes and normal welding procedures are all that is required, just because they are formed to shape by casting does not make them some kind of exotic material and they don't need to be treated as such. They are STEEL treat them like steel!
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:52 AM
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Had to replace brake pads on an 82 Chevy truck and remembered this thread so while in there I grabbed my 4 1/4" grinder and hit the spindle lightly-Steel! After I finished I went around the shop and checked several spindles,

77 Granada (to be used on a 66 Mustang) -Steel

88 Ranger 4X4 truck-Steel

92 Ranger truck-Steel

2002 Dodge truck-Steel

77 Dodge 4X4-Steel


Obviously cast steel is by far the most common and would seem that Iron spindles are quite rare. The Nissan I mentioned earlier and the Explorer were cast iron but it was the rear spindle (independent suspension) of the Explorer and now I am wondering about the front. I have no idea what the ones' that came into the shop were from except that most, probably all, were from pick-up trucks with lift kits. First chance I get I will check to find out if the front on that Explorer is indeed cast iron as I assumed, maybe it is not. I know this was not what the OP was asking but since this subject comes up occasionally I though it might be of interest.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Obviously cast steel is by far the most common and would seem that Iron spindles are quite rare. The Nissan I mentioned earlier and the Explorer were cast iron but it was the rear spindle (independent suspension) of the Explorer and now I am wondering about the front. I have no idea what the ones' that came into the shop were from except that most, probably all, were from pick-up trucks with lift kits. First chance I get I will check to find out if the front on that Explorer is indeed cast iron as I assumed, maybe it is not. I know this was not what the OP was asking but since this subject comes up occasionally I though it might be of interest.
Ayuh,... Glad you posted that,...
I've been scratchin' my head, trying to think of where a cast Iron axle might be used...
My experinces run from a few cars, some little trucks, boat trailers, on up to tractor-trailers,+ Huge equipment...
And I've welded a ***** load of 'em,.. They've all taken 7018 without problems....

Not Doubtin',... Just sayin'.......
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:51 AM
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I can certainly understand having doubts about this and had I not actually seen some made of Malleable iron I probably would be skeptical too. It's no coincidence that I ran into these things in the weld shop because that's why there were there in the first place, the owners were puzzled as to why they could not bend them without breaking and/or wanted them welded back together. I am certain of the Nissan and the rear spindle on the Explorer but now I am not so sure of the front but as soon as I find out I will post it here. This has become an interesting subject and a bit of a puzzle, although I have run into these things I am finding they are not as common as I at first thought. Even though I have thought all along that the spindle that is the subject here is steel (that is the reason I mentioned it first) considering possible consequences I felt it would not be a good idea to just assume that it is especially since it is so easy to check it.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
I've welded several axle tubes to differential housings for drag strip machines and mostly 4x4's
This brings up a similar situation that I have. I'd like to adapt a later axle to my 62 F-85. The rear suspension is a triangulated four link, but it is different from the usual A-body suspension. The springs sit on the lower control arms, like a Fox-body Mustang. The upper control arms attach to a pair of tabs on the center section - the bushing is in the arm and there are two tabs on each side of the center section that the arm fits into, not the usual single tab with the bushing on the axle.

It turns out that a 2WD S-10 axle is just about the right width and has the 5 x 4.75" bolt pattern that I want (stock is 4 x 4.5"). Of course, the S-10 is leaf spring and doesn't have mounting points on the center section for the upper control arms. Is it possible to weld tabs directly to the center section for the upper arms? This would let me preserve the stock angles on the arms. My alternative is to move the tabs to the axle tubes, but this changes the angle of the upper arms when viewed from the top. I would use rod ends (instead of bushings) to accommodate the angle change, but I'm concerned that as the upper arms move apart at the axle, the lateral location of the axle will be less well controlled.

And finally, is the S-10 center section cast iron or cast steel?
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:18 PM
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Joe most likely that is cast steel but you really should check to make sure, if you welded it and it turns out to be cast iron you would have a real mess! Checking it is very easy and will take only seconds all you need to do is hit it lightly with a grinder and look at the sparks, steel will leave very long brightly lit sparks with few side shoots while cast iron will have dull short sparks that will have lots of side bursts. Just hit the grinder to a known piece of steel first and compare the appearance of the sparks to the sparks from the housing, if they look the same then it is steel but if they are a lot different then it is iron. There will be a huge difference between the iron sparks and the ones from the steel and it is very unlikely you would make a mistake, if you have to wonder if they are different enough for it to be iron then it is not!



A bigger concern would be where the tabs are to be welded in relation to the bearings, etc, inside the housing so you need to take the possibility of warpage into consideration. If this thing is indeed a steel casting then I see no reason that what you want to do would not work, a MIG welder or E7018 rod should work just fine for what you are doing. Just be careful about warping bearing fits, etc.




Just a note about Malleable iron castings, what we have been talking about here is simply about welding and in no way means Malleable iron castings are some kind of cheap inferior part and if anyone finds a cast iron spindle or housing it does not mean it is weak. Normally cast iron is thought of as being weak and brittle but with the exception of issues from welding Malleable iron castings are very strong and stiff components that are anything but brittle! As long as they are not heated or welded on Malleable iron is certainly up to any task the factories choose to use it for and it should not be confused with the Grey iron types of casting we normally think of, this stuff is a whole different animal!

Last edited by oldred; 01-25-2010 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
A bigger concern would be where the tabs are to be welded in relation to the bearings, etc, inside the housing so you need to take the possibility of warpage into consideration. If this thing is indeed a steel casting then I see no reason that what you want to do would not work, a MIG welder or E7018 rod should work just fine for what you are doing. Just be careful about warping bearing fits, etc.
Great! Thanks for the info. I am equally concerned about distortions at the bearing locations. I plan to strip the housing and reinstall the carrier caps prior to welding. I'll attempt to stay clear of the bearing locations. The tabs will need to be up near the top on the front side, so I don't think I'll have a problem with the pinion bearings. I'll have to re-look at the carrier bearing locations.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:11 PM
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welding rods

The two rods listed we use in the machine shop with good results.
You can get Eutec 680 in TIG wire also.

EutecTrode XHD-2230

Applications
Low-heat-input manual electrode for repairing high-strength cast iron and for dissimilar joining of cast iron with steels. Applications include machine frames, pump bodies, gearboxes, differential housings compressors, propellers, planing machines, bearings, lathes, pulleys, dies, levers, generators, turbine housings.

Technical data
Tensile strength Rm: 440-520 N/mm 2
Hardness (as deposited): 180-230 HV30

Features and benefits
Maximum resistance to cracking
Excellent blend of tensile strength and ductility
High deposition rate
Insensitive to overheating
Very good weldability in AC and DC

EutecTrode Xuper 680 S

Applications
Highly alloyed special manual electrode for joining a broad range of difficult-to-weld metals including special-, austenitic-manganese-, air-hardening and high-carbon steels, and for dissimilar joining. Applications include joining of cutting blades, forming-, forging and stamping tools, laminating rollers, gears, vibrating screen sieves, hydraulic systems and earthmoving equipment.

Technical data
Tensile strength Rm: 770-850 N/mm 2
Yield strength Rp 0.2: >640 N/mm 2
Hardness (as deposited): 240-280 HV30

Features and benefits
Outstanding tensile strength
Superb crack-resistance
High deposition rate
Unrivalled deposit characteristics; easily machinable
Rapid slag removal, excellent bead appearance
Ease of welding in all positions
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:50 AM
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Joe, a number of GM cars use the 4 link.
the second gen Monte Carlo, third gen G-bodies like the Monte Carlo or Regal, 80s RWD cadillac fleetwood, 80s Caprice, 80s El Cameno and others. if you need something a little stronger than the 7.5 inch, i believe all the 5.7 RWD Impalas during the 90s had the 8.5 as did the turbo Regals, Olds Hurst and 442 made during the 80s.
the bushings are in the tabs on the diff, but the upper arms from one of the cars above may work for you.
the the 90s Impala rear end is about 2 inches wider than the G-bodies.
i don't know if the Caddy read end is the same width as the Impala or not, but i tend to think its a little wider.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soul_Hunter
Joe, a number of GM cars use the 4 link.
the second gen Monte Carlo, third gen G-bodies like the Monte Carlo or Regal, 80s RWD cadillac fleetwood, 80s Caprice, 80s El Cameno and others. if you need something a little stronger than the 7.5 inch, i believe all the 5.7 RWD Impalas during the 90s had the 8.5 as did the turbo Regals, Olds Hurst and 442 made during the 80s.
the bushings are in the tabs on the diff, but the upper arms from one of the cars above may work for you.
the the 90s Impala rear end is about 2 inches wider than the G-bodies.
i don't know if the Caddy read end is the same width as the Impala or not, but i tend to think its a little wider.
Thanks, I'm well versed in the A/B/G body suspensions, as I own nearly two dozen of those cars. That's why I wrote this above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
This brings up a similar situation that I have. I'd like to adapt a later axle to my 62 F-85. The rear suspension is a triangulated four link, but it is different from the usual A-body suspension. The springs sit on the lower control arms, like a Fox-body Mustang. The upper control arms attach to a pair of tabs on the center section - the bushing is in the arm and there are two tabs on each side of the center section that the arm fits into, not the usual single tab with the bushing on the axle.
The 61-63 Y-body compacts use a different four link geometry from the 64-up cars. I have not yet compared the two axles side-by-side, but it appears that the upper control arm attach points are closer to the axle centerline on the early axle. In addition, the upper control arms are considerably longer than on any of the later cars. Finally, the track width of 56" is narrower than on any of the A/B/G axles. The S-10 axle is only 54.5" wide, so I can use deep dish wheels and I don't need to narrow the housing and buy aftermarket axles. I would need to weld on new lower brackets in any case, so the route you suggested is considerably more work than simply using the S-10 axle, cutting off the leaf spring pads, and welding on new upper and lower brackets in the right places. The car only has the aluminum 215 V8, so an S-10 7.5" will be more than strong enough. It's a cruiser, not a drag racer.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:21 AM
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i read what you posted, but it didn't click.
when i haven't slept, i probably shouldn't post at 4 in the mourning, LOL
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Soul_Hunter
i read what you posted, but it didn't click.
when i haven't slept, i probably shouldn't post at 4 in the mourning, LOL
Yeah, I've done the same thing many times, usually by responding to a post while I should be paying attention in a meeting at work.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Well apparently you were talking about cast iron rods but this has never been any debate at all, it just simply is not done!


Sure certain stainless types of rods (Certainium 707 for instance) have been suggested for special types of situations when welding steel castings but that is of no concern here nor are they in any way a "Ni" rod for cast iron. Using a Ni rod, Ni55-Ni99, for steel is an extremely poor choice of rods and certainly about the last thing anyone here would want to use on a spindle or axle housing unless one of the odd cast iron ones should be encountered. It would weld ok and it is indeed used to join cast iron to steel but it is never recommended for steel to steel welding and for a very good reason, it neither matches the mechanical properties nor the chemical properties of steel. On top of that it will produce a rather weak weld compared to a steel rod such as 7018, heck most common Ni rods for cast iron only have about 65000 PSI tensile strength and some as low as 50,000. Of course some specialty Ni rods can go as high as 80,000 PSI but there simply is no reason to use these and steel castings are welded with steel rods. Welding steel castings is little different from rolled steel, while the grain structure is different the chemical makeup is similar and the rod chosen should as closely match the chemical makeup as practical. This is one place where bulldozers and the like are going to be very much related to the thread topic since they use steel castings extensively and these castings are essentially the same material as what these guys here are going to encounter on their cars. Welding these castings is common place, they come from the factory welded, they must be repaired sometimes and they are often replaced by welding and they are NEVER welded with Ni rod! Caterpillar tractor, Marion power shovel, Eculid and a dozen more manufacturers use steel castings of the same material as these spindles and housings and they are very specific about what and how to weld them, most recommend 7018 but some will use one of the 8018 or 9018 variants, not one of them have ever used Ni rod. Add to that the rod manufacturers market this rod for joining cast iron to itself or joining cast iron to steel but never steel to steel. The best a Ni rod would do it is going to produce a weaker weld bead than 7018 due to the chemical and mechanical characteristics of the things.


Since this is such a critical issue I would strongly recommend anyone considering welding a spindle, or any other steel casting that safety depends on, do a thorough search and go to one of the welding sites such as weld talk and tell those guys you are considering using Ni rod on cast steel and see what you are told! Ni rod is for cast iron and cast steel bears little similarity to cast iron and as such needs to be treated as steel. Bondo hit the nail squarely on the head, if it's a steel spindle weld it up with 7018 rod reverse polarity.
Haven't been here for quite a while,sorry for never replying untill now oldred..

High nickle rods are used quite often for welding dissimiler metals.

ALOT of people use a high nickel rod (which is common rods for cast iron) for welding differentials for the fact no one really knows the exact carbon content,chemical compostion..etc etc thats in the Cast steel center housing.

They all react different to heats,cooling rates and add mixture in the weldmant itself.
Some have great success with just blasting a 70 series wire or rod in the housing or welding the axle tubing to the center housing with just that,no preheat or post heat,but...others have failures,and even within minutes of the weld cooling on its own,they heard the ole familiar "crack" noise and looked.sure enough a crack on the housing side.

The axle tube is just a mild steel,the center housing is most likely a CAST steel,when welded,they both react very different no matter what the chemical composition and carbon content.
So even though they are both STEEL,they are still quite different when it comes to how it was made and what type of chemical composition they really are

So,a high nickel filler does very little pulling in the weld,it just does not shrink much at all when cooling,this leaves a HECK of alot less stress in the weldmant itself,and pre-heating and post-heating is another great insurance the weld will hold up because it helps in the releiving stress mostly in the thick housing where it is more important than the thinner mild steel tubing.
Thats why a high nickel filler is used for cast,as you said why use a different metal filler for anything?..High Nickel rods are used for Cast IRON

I've personaly seen high nickel rods used for welding axle tubes to the center housings on 8.8 fords,dana 44's,dana 60's,GM 14 bolts..etc for EXTREME 4x4 and never had a failure,i don't really think any other auto sport out there abuses axles as much as they do.
But i have seen a few failures just running a 70 series on the same application,and those were not only in 4x4 applications,but also dirt track racing here in Ga at the Screven County dirt track.

There is also a high silicone wire made by ESAB used for welding axle housing or any cast steel,i personaly don't have any expereince with it,but have read a few articles about the great success a guy uses this filler to modify differentails for extreme buggys,sand racers,rock climbers,, on the front spindles to the axle tubes..rear diff. to the axle tubes...etc etc.

And i have personaly welded 8.8" ford rears for a few fox body's i've owned for the drag strip with high nickel rods and they are still going strong in someone else vehicles after i gave up the expensive weekend hobby years ago..lol

Thta's why i said about it being a long time debate,some say "just weld'r up with 7018 and be done with it!' and others say to be more specific in what type of filler and procedure needs to be done to be 100% sure,i would hate to wrap all that money up in an axle and it SNAP and lose all that money in the gears,axles,lockers,,etc etc

Just my 2 cents worth on it....

And just to clarify things..i know some people may think i am acting like a know more than oldred..not the case at ALL! oldred is VERY book knowledgable in metalurgy and welding.
This type of discussion and dissagreamants commonly happen with weldors on all the jobs i work quite often,but we are not fighting,spittin in each other's faces,,etc...its tech talk and learning from each other.I have ALWAYS respected and listened to the more expereinced,thats the BEST way to learn any trade.
There is never a "master weldor"..too much to learn in this industry/trade to actualy take it all in one person's mind,its the research,find procedures and experimentation to advance in the technology,i've seen things in the welding industry i thought i would never see when i started in 1978,but that wouldn't of happened without some people going against the grain,so to speak.

Just thought i'd clear that up since it's been a few seemingly heated topics in here at times..lol..not on my side at all...

Last edited by SuthnCustoms; 09-10-2010 at 03:32 PM.
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