welding on a G.M. diff. housing. - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:53 AM
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welding on a G.M. diff. housing.

I am mocking up a triangulated 4 link and it appears that to get the best angle and fit on the upper bars,I will need to fit and weld the inside half of the rear bracket to the top of the center housing. Is this material forged steel which would weld nicely, or is it cast iron like a block or head ?I see that the axle tubes are plug welded to it. What kind of angle"range" is accepable for the upper bars to keep everything alligned? Thanks, Jim.

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Old 12-11-2009, 07:06 AM
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answer please!

This is a question I have been meaning to ask as well!
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:07 AM
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That is cast steel and in as much is very difficult ( specialized) to weld.

Vince
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:19 AM
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You'll be much better off if you can use the existing ears on the housing for your upper arms. You can get ball joint replacements for the bushings that go in the ears to correct alignment problems. You just need to use a yoke on the rear end of your upper arms.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:27 AM
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That is what I was thinking.I hadn't tried to weld on it yet .So how many "degrees" of angle on those upper bars will keep my alignment on a strictly cruising car? I can probably get the inside half of the bracket tight to the edge of the center housing but not have a alot of degrees of angle.Would running the top bars angled from the outside of the housing to the center of the chassis on a cross member installed somewhere in front of the diff. be a workable option? Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:33 AM
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I would add that what you are proposing to weld onto that cast housing is going to be a high stress application and the weld is going to be iffy at best......I would not do it.

Vince
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcarter
That is what I was thinking.I hadn't tried to weld on it yet .So how many "degrees" of angle on those upper bars will keep my alignment on a strictly cruising car? I can probably get the inside half of the bracket tight to the edge of the center housing but not have a alot of degrees of angle.Would running the top bars angled from the outside of the housing to the center of the chassis on a cross member installed somewhere in front of the diff. be a workable option? Thanks.
You could angle the top bars from the outside to the center if you have the room in the center of the car for a mounting point. I have seen a factory application this way but can't remember what it was - mid 70's Ford LTD, T-bird, Cougar, and Ranchero comes to mind, as does early Vega '71-75 before they went to a torque arm. I know early Vega has all the arms mounted to the tubes, I scrapped that set-up when I tubbed mine, I just don't remember the angle in or out on the upper arms. seems like they were close to the cast center on the tube, angled out to the body.

Welding on the cast center is a tough job for even a pro welding specialty house with all the correct equipment and a heat treat oven, almost as bad as cast iron. I hated welding cast when I had to do it on occasion.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:08 PM
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I would use heim joints fastened to the rear diff housing ears.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:36 PM
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Thanks for all of the advise.Should have stated before that this is a 10 bolt S 10 4X4 rear so no ears on the diff housing.I was certain that it wasn't going to be nice to weld, but I thought I would check just incase. I was able to mock everything up today with the tabs for the top bar tight to the housing and welded to the axle tube, angled out to the frame at an angle I feel will be fine. Sorry no pics. Jim
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:13 PM
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You can truss across the top of the center section and use it to hold the angle bars. This will also help with axle flex. It has been used on offroad trucks and works well.

I have seen the brakets welded to the center section but opt for the truss.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:31 AM
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Ford Housings?

How about Ford rear end housings...

Can they be safely welded upon?
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:17 PM
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The sheetmetal stamped housings with the drop out center like the 9" and 8" you can weld on the housing. Cast center type like the 8.8" you shouldn't.

One problem you may run into with the 9" housing is that it is so physically big that the ears you weld on end up so high on the housing that it totally screws up the rear end geometry of the suspension of the car you are trying to put it into. I know this is a problem with the GM Metric 78-87 Monte Carlo, Cutlass, Malibu, Regal and still requires the use of custom arms or adjustable arms or revised mounting points on the frame crossmember. It just depends on what you are trying to swap it into, sometimes that geometry difference can work in your favor if the factory design wasn't optimal (like the 60's Chevelle/Malibu chassis A-body).
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:56 PM
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There are two reasons a weld will fail on cast iron. Contamination and moisture.

To address this you first have to clean the intended areas thoroughly of all rust and oils that may be present. Second, use a torch to heat the area that your going to weld to. You don't have to get it cherry red just around 140 degrees Fahrenheit to assure moisture removal. Then proceed to weld as you would normally do.

I've been using this technique for years on heads, exhaust manifolds and axles with good success.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:05 PM
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Instead of a four bar with angled upper bars, consider parallel bars with a Panhard rod or Watts linkage. That eliminates any welding on cast iron.
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