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Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Axle Shortening


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  #1  
Old 08-06-2018, 09:47:05 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Axle Shortening

A friend is building a street resto mod car, 56 Ford body on a newer Town car chassis. Rear end was too wide. He cut 4" out of the housing, asked if I could cut the axles. My plan was to machine them down to .250", cut the 2" out, leave a stub on one side, drill a hole in the other, socket them together, true and weld. It was hard to get a good cut once the axle got small, too flexible. I put them in the crank grinder and ground them to .250, grinding a bevel as I went down, cut and drilled, back in the lathe for truing and welding. Then I finished them in the grinder.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:48:43 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: axle shortening

Last of the photos.
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:34:30 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: axle shortening

That was pretty slick. Did you have to heat treat the axle after welding?
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:34:16 AM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: axle shortening

No heat treating, budget job, just take a chance.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:57:03 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: Axle Shortening

Judging by what I have read on this site in the past, if certain members did something it was a sure thing it was done right. Near the top of that list is J. B Castagnos.

That said and true, I can think of several concerns here, lack of heat treatment and the potential for warping being two main ones. But the welding is superb so minimal concern for voids or contaminant inclusion and it seems this will be a hobby car not a daily driver. Also good thinking, making the cut on the inboard side, where loads are minimized. I'd bet that the axles will be just fine.

An odd aside, back when I was employed and developing the first traction control systems I was the acknowledged expert on breaking drive axles. I could break just about everything and often did.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:14:28 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Axle Shortening

Thanks S100. A friend had axles shortened for his race car back in the 60's, Henry's Axles did the work. They were cut and welded near the spline, he raced them for years after with no problem. Being done professionally they were probably heat treated if necessary. As for warpage, the axles were welded in the lathe, run out was checked and corrected as they were tacked, once welded run out was less than .005" on both. I have to add that I'm a satisfied welder, when doing jobs like this I get a certified welder. In this case it was my friend Guy, he's nearing 80, been retired for over 25 years but still going around the country doing specialty welds for a company that specializes in crack repairs.

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Old 08-08-2018, 12:16:42 AM
LCJudge LCJudge is offline
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Default Re: Axle Shortening

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.B. Castagnos View Post
I have to add that I'm a satisfied welder, when doing jobs like this I get a certified welder. In this case it was my friend Guy, he's nearing 80, been retired for over 25 years but still going around the country doing specialty welds for a company that specializes in crack repairs.
I'm exactly like you JB. I can do OK welding flat iron and things that don't require a "special" weld. My dad was certified and worked part of his life as a welder on ships. When he was alive any time I needed something special done I handed it to him. Luckily I have a neighbor who is a fantastic welder. He is the guy who travels all over the US (and Canada and Mexico) welding crankshafts and frames on huge punch presses and similar equipment. He can take care of anything I have that has to be just right.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:51:31 PM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: Axle Shortening

Old Family Friend Norm Kaiser, And My Dad Larry Lestikow, could Both Weld ANYTHING.
And They Could Both Weld Just About Anything TO Anything.

Me..... Not So Much.
I can weld plain old Steel in most of it's shapes and sizes with a Torch and/or Arc Welder, or my small wire-feed welder, but That's About It.
Never Tried welding any Iron or Aluminum yet myself.

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Old 08-08-2018, 04:01:55 PM
Langes Machine Shop Langes Machine Shop is offline
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Default Re: Axle Shortening

When welding something like that you don't want a dead spot in the middle of the shaft, makes a weak spot. You want to weld it all the way threw, much stronger weld.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:41:09 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Axle Shortening

The new race car axles are rifle drilled.
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