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Old 09-15-2007, 08:58 AM
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welding on steering arms?

I found a set of arms that will give me the correct ackerman and are the right length to maintain the steering radius for my rack and pinion conversion. But, i will have to reverse the taper on the tie rod mounting hole. There is not a lot of meat there. I'm thinking of building it up by running weld beads around the outside, before I retaper it. Is this a good idea?

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Old 09-15-2007, 09:05 AM
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I would just taper ream it from the other side about halfway in, then put it together.
Don't weld it, the possibility of weakening that eye by welding is too great.

Having 2 sided tapers is not unheard of, many aftermarket pitman arms come that way, as do some of those aftermarket willys jeep rod ends with the extra hole..



Hope this helps,
Mikey
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:23 AM
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re: welding on steering arms?

Thanks Mike.
The idea of half a taper bothers me, exactly why do you think welding would weaken it?
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy829
Thanks Mike.
The idea of half a taper bothers me, exactly why do you think welding would weaken it?
I have yet to see a half tapered hole open up unless the rod end wasn't tightened properly.

When you say that you are going to be "running weld beads around the outside" that leads me to believe that you are going to hit the arm with a mig welder or stick welder. I have seen that sort of weld fail on several occasions.

I don't like to see that because you can't be sure that you aren't putting more stresses and possibly hairline cracks into that part than you think.

I would sooner fabricate my own arms than modify existing ones by welding.

If you do weld on those arms. have them magnafluxed or X rayed afterward.

Later, mikey
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:57 AM
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welding on steering arms

The half taper will work just fine. That's the beauty of a taper. When you tighten the nut up, the tie rod end will center it's self in the hole. Even with half of he thickness of the material, because of the taper, you still have more than half of the contact area. Confusing isn't it? In short, don't worry, it'll be fine. Building the area up with weld isn't necessary.

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Old 09-15-2007, 10:08 AM
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If you are truly worried about a half taper, get on the lathe and make some tapered inserts for the small side.

One thing that I didn't mention in my previous post is that even if you weld up those arms and don't disrupt the grain or put cracks in it, you still run the chance of putting a stress riser in at the end of your bead, which will then be stressed when you tighten a tapered stud into that arm end.

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Old 09-15-2007, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
I don't like to see that because you can't be sure that you aren't putting more stresses and possibly hairline cracks into that part than you think.

If you do weld on those arms. have them magnafluxed or X rayed afterward.

Later, mikey

Exactly,- While this can be done it should not be attempted except by a professional and by that I mean a REAL professional who has a true understanding of exactly what is involved. Because this is a steering arm it is almost certainly cast steel and I have never seen cast iron used for this but don't bet your life on it, if it did turn out to be cast iron which is highly unlikely then welding is not even an option-period and don't let anyone tell you it can be. This will be a high tensile alloy steel casting and not mild steel so if you just weld it up with a common mild steel MIG wire or stick welder then in addition to possible cracking (cracking for other reasons, not from the mild steel) you will have a soft area where the taper will be. This thing would need to be properly preheated/post heated and the CORRECT welding procedure/filler used, not just setting in on it with a MIG or stick welder. If you decide this is the only option I would strongly recommend finding a competent welder with the RIGHT equipment to do this and make sure he has the credentials to back it up, just because someone says he has been welding for 20-30 years and someone else says he "is the best" does not mean he is qualified to do this. I would strongly recommend not doing it but if you do then as Micky said have it X-rayed because the consequences of failure are too great and it is very possible to have a flaw when finished. You will undoubtedly hear some say that there is nothing to it and maybe they have done it with no problem but that means nothing and the fact they may have gotten away with it will have nothing to do with whether yours succeeds or fails, remember steering is NOT optional!

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Old 09-15-2007, 12:00 PM
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I have to side with the dual taper folks. A lot less chance for messing up than trying to weld and then ream that arm. You also have some other options including drilling the arms out with a straight bore and then substituting heim joints/grade 8 bolts for your tapered rod ends. Many cars on the road with the arms tapered from the top AND the bottom as well as cars running a straight bore with a grade 8 bolt tied to a heim end. My guess is far more cars running those options than cars that have had the taper welded and re-ground.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:41 PM
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I reverse tapered the arms on my 55, I felt quite comfortable that it wouldn't give me any problems going down the road. You need to try it a few times to make sure that the castle nut you are using will go deep enough for the cotter pin hole. It's always alot easier to ream it out a little furthur than to make it too deep the first time.

I converted some wider based castle nuts to the thread pitch I needed that would cover up over the hole and the bottom edge of the nut was on the steering arm itself quite a bit, not just barely covering up the hole..
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:32 AM
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re: welding on steering arms?

Thanks for all the input guys. Looks like I was about to do something dangerous. Went back to the drawing board (the yard) and found a set of arms the right length, right angle for the ackerman, with the taper the right way. Just have to mount them upside down, which was accomplished by grinding off some of the meat between the mounting holes to clear the hump on the back of the spindle. No fear, I only took off about 3/16 of an inch and it is still 5/8 by 3/4 thick.
Chieftain, This was the key to my R&P swap. the new arms are only 6 inches long, compared to the 7" that were on there. So I should not suffer the dreaded turning radius affliction. Couldn't do any mock up, cause IMO everything works backwards from the outer tie rod position. Worked till 3 AM to get those arms in, hope to hang the rack today.
Thanks again guys, for making me do it right.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:13 PM
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welding

A weld is as strong and preferably stronger than the parent metal. However, it is imperitive to know what the parent metal is. Knowing what it is that you are welding means that there is a pre heat and post heat procedure to follow. Stick welding is perfectly acceptable and is arguably the easiest way to weld cleanly. T.I.G. is for exotics and root passes on tubes and pipes ,especially in hard to get at positionsThe entire arm can be made from weld if you have the time to do the procedure. This is how we weld nukes and high pressure vessels and piping. Oh yeah, x-ray it and dye penenetrent is probably a good idea. On the other hand the double taper seems fine too.
Clint
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:43 AM
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Since this was simply a build-up of the existing hole weld strength was never the issue, damage to the arm itself from the welding was the problem. Possible cracking, Induced stress and impurities/occlusions in the weld could have caused the the eye/arm to fail even if almost all of the weld metal was later milled out. Changes in the base metal itself from improper heating/cooling and stress from weld contraction could possibly have caused the arm to fail close to the eye even if the eye itself did not fail where it was welded. All of these problems could have been dealt with but it should have only been undertaken by someone who has a though understanding of the issues involved and has the expertise and equipment to do this right. Most likely with a reasonably done weld no problems would have developed even without going "by the book" but the key words here are "most likely" and in the event of failure the results could be disastrous.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:55 AM
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correctness

You are absolutely right about the danger. I am only stating that it can be done. By no means would I suggest that it can be done by any one and for safety 's sake it should not be attempted without consulting a mettellurical expert under quality control in the yellow pages.
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