Axle halfshafts welding generally, experiences?
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    Default Axle halfshafts welding generally, experiences?

    Hello,

    did anyone any experiences with shortening or extending axle halfshafts ?
    Welding / tempering issues? Any failures ?
    Have to shorten halfshaft of a Megane to match for my Alpine, would share experiences.

    Udo

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    What normally is done is the following:

    you use a 1040 sleeve on the shortened halfshaft. That is what you weld.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Molerpa View Post
    What normally is done is the following:

    you use a 1040 sleeve on the shortened halfshaft. That is what you weld.
    And what "Welding Procedure" and "Non Destructive Testing" ?????
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    Balancing ??


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    1040 and the axle is a medium carbon steel. Thus follow normal welding procedures for that material and you'll be fine. I'd probably preheat and post heat.

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    1040 steel may have a carbon equivalent (CE) as high as 0.59! Welding steel with a CE above 0.38 should not be considered normal. If in fact the axles are manufactured from 1040.

    A low hydrogen process should be used to prevent hydrogen embrittlement/cracking and as Peter says a reasonable Pre heat (150C?) and high Post heat (500C? held for probably 1/2 hour) may be required.

    No welding undercut would be acceptable.

    I would crack test the welds and their heat affected zones on completion.

    I would DEFINETLY contact a steel supplier and request their welding recommendations before welding.
    Last edited by BIGRR; 25th October 2012 at 05:47 PM.
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    Default Axle cut and weld !!

    Hi,
    Let's be clear here for the readers. W are talking about a front wheel drive', drive shaft. One that takes the drive torque only. Not an axle from a rear wheel drive that holds the car up and takes the drive. These are a quite different beast and best left to an expert shop.

    I would say that most good advice has been already given above. I would only add that if the shaft is straight to a reasonable degree then balancing is not required for normal use. In the Good Old Days we would weld the sleeve with a stainless steel stick weld. The SS sticks have "additives" to improve the weld zone and they are very easy to weld with too. We always used SS rods in difficult or high strength cases.
    jaahn

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    Default Friction Welding

    Have a sqizz at this

    Last edited by Ren25; 26th October 2012 at 05:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi,
    Let's be clear here for the readers. W are talking about a front wheel drive', drive shaft. One that takes the drive torque only. jaahn
    Hi Guys,

    thanks much for your inputs!

    @Jaahn: "Only" the torque means: let say 200 Nm / 1.gear (say 3,8+ diff-ratio (4,0) means an overall ratio of 15,2 !! 200Nm (= 148 lbf. x 15,2) = a torque of 3040 Nm or 2250 lbf !! A 200 Nm engine is not that torquey, lots of the guys here have charged engines with about 400 or 500 Nms. Means 6000 or 7000 nms on the halfshafts. Take a lever of 1 m and put 600 kg on the end Think over and tell again if these are torque stresses or not...

    I think Biggr is right, tempering afterward to avoid hardening within the area of heat influence has to be considered properly. Probably making an Rockwell hardening test of the weld seam after tempering.The problem is to know the material composition of the axle shafts before, this information would be difficult to source by the car manufacturer Maybe by materila analysis or, if not available, just a spark test, better than none. Another question is how to make the welding line: Just simply around, or cut a sleeve sloped, push it over the cut area to get a elliptical, longer welding line which should be stronger, maybe with some additional holes to weld through it as well. Or cut a spiral slot into the sleeve to weld through....other ideas?

    I think if the axle shafts are properly prepared by turning them to tolerances for a lightly press fit of the sleeve,
    the shaft must not be balanced due to its small diameter what shouldn`t affect any imbalance. Just clean up the welding seam ( non-stressed surface) by turning. Remember that camshafts are not balanced at all in spite of the relativly bad shape with the lobes distributed along the shaft, although they are spinning about twice as fast as the axle shafts. 6000rpm: axle shafts at 5. gear 1:1, diff ratio 3,7= 1620 rpm, camshaft 3000rpm.

    Udo

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    would it be possible to cut and re spline to suit the cv on the inner end ,if so make sure the new spline is tempered .The axles i had done for my Bedford van high diff conversion were not done ,the spline was cut below the hard face ,they lasted no time just twisted off ,a re spline would work for shorter ,theres got to be peaple out there who are well versed in this prossedure ,Gibbs trucking West Burleigh on the gold coast comes to mind,but thats not much good to you.PUGS

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    Default Welding !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinelover View Post
    Hi Guys,
    thanks much for your inputs!
    @Jaahn: "Only" the torque means: let say 200 Nm / 1.gear (say 3,8+ diff-ratio (4,0) means an overall ratio of 15,2 !! 200Nm (= 148 lbf. x 15,2) = a torque of 3040 Nm or 2250 lbf !! A 200 Nm engine is not that torquey, lots of the guys here have charged engines with about 400 or 500 Nms. Means 6000 or 7000 nms on the halfshafts. Take a lever of 1 m and put 600 kg on the end Think over and tell again if these are torque stresses or not...
    I think Biggr is right, tempering afterward to avoid hardening within the area of heat influence has to be considered properly. Probably making an Rockwell hardening test of the weld seam after tempering.The problem is to know the material composition of the axle shafts before, this information would be difficult to source by the car manufacturer Maybe by materila analysis or, if not available, just a spark test, better than none. Another question is how to make the welding line: Just simply around, or cut a sleeve sloped, push it over the cut area to get a elliptical, longer welding line which should be stronger, maybe with some additional holes to weld through it as well. Or cut a spiral slot into the sleeve to weld through....other ideas?
    I think if the axle shafts are properly prepared by turning them to tolerances for a lightly press fit of the sleeve,
    the shaft must not be balanced due to its small diameter what shouldn`t affect any imbalance. Just clean up the welding seam ( non-stressed surface) by turning. Remember that camshafts are not balanced at all in spite of the relativly bad shape with the lobes distributed along the shaft, although they are spinning about twice as fast as the axle shafts. 6000rpm: axle shafts at 5. gear 1:1, diff ratio 3,7= 1620 rpm, camshaft 3000rpm.
    Udo
    Hi Udo,
    I do not wish to present myself as an expert in this area so I will just stick to some general ideas.

    The torque is high as you say and there are shock loads too, eg dropping the clutch etc . However my point is that rear soild axles also have this torque AND in addition the rotating bending load of supporting the wheel. This imposes an additional bending fatigue load which can be fatal for welded shafts.

    It would be fair to say that the mid part of the half shaft is probably bigger in diameter than the splined ends which go into the hub or the inner CV. It woud not be usual to use a high cost steel here, as the stress level is lower.

    As far as the weld goes, it would be normal to use a weld design which gives a strength factor of 100%. Any text book would show how to achieve this. Extra holes, eliptical cuts etc are not normal practice and not usefull, I think. Just one simple properly prepared full depth weld with no undercut is considered normal. The heat treatment is also covered in text books.

    As far as ballance is concerned, you have summed it up well. The speed is low. My point about the SS rods is a general one gleened from a lot of years in repairs and maintainance. If the weld is tricky or between different materials or high strength steels, then a SS rod does an quality job. Normal welding practice still applys. Never had to regret using them.
    jaahn

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi Udo,
    I do not wish to present myself as an expert in this area so I will just stick to some general ideas.

    The torque is high as you say and there are shock loads too, eg dropping the clutch etc . However my point is that rear soild axles also have this torque AND in addition the rotating bending load of supporting the wheel. This imposes an additional bending fatigue load which can be fatal for welded shafts.
    Hi Jaahn, I only considered halfshafts ( so called in germany: Halbwellen) for indipendent suspensions, not for live axles, no matter if front or wheel driven.But anyway, I don`t think that basically the shortening of halfshafts of solid axles won`t work. If you cut them in the middle and push a sleeve with some press fit over, I think bending forces implicated by the car weight could be managed very easy. They are depending of the wheel-to -bearing distance whats usually very short. There might not be a big bending force on the shafts.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Extra holes, eliptical cuts etc are not normal practice and not usefull, I think. Just one simple properly prepared full depth weld with no undercut is considered normal. The heat treatment is also covered in text books.
    Extra holes, eliptical cuts are not normal practice, I agree , but a longer welding seam makes more strength and - more important - the theoretical cracking area which runs around the welding contour is extended by a factor of maybe 2 or 3. Imagine to cut a usual round-welded shaft through the weld seam,then imagine to cut it when welded eliptical. The resulting area can be extended depending of the angle by 2, maybe 4 times bigger. The critical scope of welding heat influences is spreaded over a much bigger area. Of course, no stock shaft would ever be welded this way due to the costs and to the widly protected knowledge and FEM analysis what is usually applied in car development. But in our applications, going this way might be an additional amount of safety to avoid high load cracking of halfshafts. Unfourtunatly, we are usually not able to check the metallurgy of our parts, critical welding issues has to be compensated by clever procedures

    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    If the weld is tricky or between different materials or high strength steels, then a SS rod does an quality job. jaahn
    Jaahn, I respect you and your experiences , I thick it`s an interesting discussion. Would be perfect if anyone could tell about try and error attemps which he have done by himself.


    Last questions: What are SSrods?

    Udo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinelover View Post
    no matter if front or wheel driven.

    Udo
    Sorry, I meant "rear driven" of course

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    I know of a Lotus 7 type car that has shortened Subaru drive shafts joined to shortened Toyota drive shafts by a shrink fit thick walled sleeve and MIG welded, the modification was approved by a NSW engineering signatory prior to registration.

    Cheers
    Graham Lewis

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    Last questions: What are SSrods?
    Udo

    Hi Udo,
    SSrods are short hand for stainless steel stick welding rods. Used in the old fashioned manual welding machines.

    I note that in the shed, I have two sets of half shafts that are not solid, Renault and Citroen types. They both have a tubular hollow shaft which is welded at each end to a solid piece. Perhaps by friction welding, hard to see without dismantling them as the welds are under the boots with one. They just use a simple single weld which would have a high strength factor of ? 95-100% of the tube. That is what you must try to achieve.
    Jaahn

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    They just use a simple single weld which would have a high strength factor of ? 95-100% of the tube. That is what you must try to achieve.
    Jaahn
    Hi Jaahn, I understand you absolutly. But in a serial production, a welding connection is not just done and everything runs ok. There are attempts and again dozen attempts which are verifying the strength of a welding, along with the knowledge of some material specialists supported by production specialists and it takes maybe half a year or longer to release such parts after the first prototypes.
    Thats not a assumption, I`m involved in engine developments where the procedures are comparable, no matter if drivetrain or engines.
    You may not believe that you take your welding unit, broil around your axle shaft and your strength, ductility,fatigue restistance is comparable with the serial procedure? NEVER !! A welding seam is always a connection which has to be considered as critical when boundary conditions won`t be constant or run out of control. Just one tiny inclusion of an oxid or a cavity can cause a fatigue fracture of your axle shaft (or other welded parts of course).
    This is the reason why i`ve proposed to go a more extensive way to compensate the risk of a crack as stated. Short stated: If you are able to make a welding with the same quality as a serial production, you are ok, just weld one time around. But i claim that you don`t know the axle tubing materials, the heat influences, the welding material to be used, you don`t know the times to cool down and none of this can be controled by one of us in the desired quality. Apart from that, Ive seen already broken axle shafts of a P*****e, they were broken right through the friction welding....serial production part.
    Other question: If you think you can get a welding strength of 100%, would you cut your rods and weld them together as recommended :-):-)
    We should drink one or twelve beers to discuss further....Its a pity that I have to move 5000 miles.......

    Udo

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    Udo, you're right. One can never reverse engineer all that. which is why the only option left is suck and see. I think you're on the right path. I contemplated myself shortening driveshafts like that and reached the same sort of conclusions. Do the best you can and hope for the best possible.

    Good luck.
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    Excuse a noobie on these Frenchie cars if this is not applicable to them or in Germany.
    But having done strange things with subarus in the past, before I even considered shortening a shaft I'd call a CV joint/Driveshaft reconditioner and ask if they can create a shaft with the specs you want.
    I've had shafts made up from four different models to get a shorter length, at not much more than a standard shaft cost.
    Cheers,
    Darren

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    Quote Originally Posted by daza View Post
    Excuse a noobie on these Frenchie cars if this is not applicable to them or in Germany.
    But having done strange things with subarus in the past, before I even considered shortening a shaft I'd call a CV joint/Driveshaft reconditioner and ask if they can create a shaft with the specs you want.
    I've had shafts made up from four different models to get a shorter length, at not much more than a standard shaft cost.
    Cheers,
    Darren
    hi Darren, in Germany there a some specialists which are reconditioning propshafts (to avoid confusions: The shaft from gearbox to diff). I dont know a company which makes new custom axle halfshafts for reasonable costs. The problem with the splining is that no one can define the toothing if you have no drawing from the manufacturer. The teeth are curved on a length of about 2 mms. ( considered radial profile) ,impossible to measure this geometry, we tried this in the past with the support of a mesuring device and some gear measurement specialists. It should be done by the company(s) which are making the serial production. These are big companies which are not interested at all in such stuff of privat guys. Thats the situation in Germany at least.
    Of course, complete new custom shafts can be made for racing by some specialists, lightweight,strong, but beyond of my purse...

    Udo

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