Snapped double shear

DANKFAB

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Ok heres the pics of the snapped steering arm and the spindle. As you can see it was a clean break. just welds coming loose. had there been something to brace the top and/or bottom, It may have been just fine. NO BINDING has occurred, I don't know how bad I stressed that before in another topic, but I cycled this thing a good 200 times!! At least! I will just repair it with gussets and hope it doesn't ever happen again! I will never single shear anything, EVER, thats for sure.
 

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DANKFAB

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Pic2 of the spindle
 

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DANKFAB

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Pic of the passenger side crack on top
 

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DANKFAB

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And the under side crack of the steering arm
 

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FABRICATOR

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That second picture looks to be showing an extremely poor weld.
 

DANKFAB

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1/4" steel plate and a stock S10 spindle for caliper mounts. He used a Millermatic 220, I think the spindles are cast, so thats why it didn't penetrate as well. PLus there were not gussets.
 

FABRICATOR

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This topic has been discussed here before. Many 2WD spindles up to 1/2 ton, and nearly all aftermarket lift spindles, are made of cast iron. A majority of 4WD spindles are forged or cast steel. Some 2WD trucks use 4WD spindles. One should make sure of what they have before attempting modifications. No welding should be done on cast iron spindles. Design of the component and/or modification is also important. Even with proper material matching and welding, it is easy to strengthen one section of a spindle while weakening another by creating stress risers.
 

1992f150

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That is basically what I was suspecting, looking at how the weld broke clean off the spindle; there doesn't appear to be any weld left attached to it. To properly weld cast iron you have to do a very careful pre and post heat of the part, or it breaks. You are lucky the spindle did not crack in half.
At my old job we had to weld these ornamental cast iron caps ontop of 2x2" mild steel posts, and alot of the time you could knock the caps off with a broom stick after the welds cooled down...
A simple test can be done with a grinding wheel to determine if a part is cast iron. Grind alittle bit of it off, and if its cast it will barely make any sparks, and they will be small and dull red colored, verus mild steel which throws off more sparks that are bright orange.
 

DANKFAB

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So basically if I welded it back on it would be worthless even if I gusseted it top and bottom? Only a small part of the spindle was kept to allow for the brake mounts and spindle nut. the gusset I would put in there will run the length of the spindle, triangulating the steering arms upper and lower shear. Would this be enough to keep it from breaking, or should I ditch this spindle?
 

1992f150

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as I understand it, cast iron doesn't really flex, it just snaps. When you weld it, you are heating certain parts of the piece up more than others, and the heat is making a section of it grow in size, making stress, etc... That is why it just cracks if you try and lay a weld on it, the weld itself can be ok but the metal immediately surrounding the weld will crack.
When shops weld cast iron they slowly heat the entire part up to a certain degree (lets say 800f for example) then do all their welding, then stick it in an oven and slowly over several hours lower the temp back to normal. The heat is kept pretty even over the part so nothing is pushing or pulling against the metal. I am not sure if you can mig weld cast iron, most people stick weld or gas weld it, using a special filler rod. As you can see its a big pain in the ass to do, and a lot of welding shops don't even want to deal with it because of the time involved.
 

ntsqd

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I've welded quite a few iron cyl heads and several iron blocks. It is slow, painstaking work. We use Rockmount 'Jupiter' rod. Runs about $100/pound. You use only barely enough heat (I TIG it) to melt the rod into the base metal, and you can only go a max of 1 inch b4 things get too hot. Then you have to peen it as it cools. Even at that until it cools completely you don't know for sure if you got the weld puddle too hot. Just don't go there unless there are no other options.

Simple way to determine if your spindles are easily weldable or not; look at the spindle pin. Is it part of the rest of the spindle or is it a separate part ? If it is part of the whole piece then the odds are pretty good that it is steel. If it has a wide parting line it is a forging. If it has a narrow, nearly knife edge parting line it is a casting.

IF the pin is a separate piece pressed into the upright portion of the spindle then you have an iron casting with a steel pin pressed into it. This production method is getting more and more common as they are more economical to produce that way. Such parts are basically unmodifiable.
You can buy just a spindle pin from AFCO, or you could press yours out. Either way you need to start from just the pin and properly design and build your spindles. THe other option is to find an existing spindle that is modifiable and close to what you need it to do. Places like AFCO may have what you are looking for.
 

Donahoe

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Thats an easy fix.... Here are some things to think about. You can weld to cast... for years Class 8 trucks have run cast spindals. Pre and post heat the upright and use a high nickle rod or even a stainless rod. You will need to tig weld the part. get a nice long gusset on that part that runs all the way up to the upper ball joint. you need as much area on that weld as possible. Weld it--- run it---- dont drink and drive--- and always wear a condom...
 

DANKFAB

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I will Tig weld it back together if i keep these ones, but I am not sure about how to pre and post heat it. Where would I do that, an oven? Would it be more time consuming than if I just had a fab shop jig up my spindles and rebuild new forged ones? I planned on running a gusset from top to bottom to whole length of the spindle, but like fish mentioned it would it crack soon thereafter? I still have doubts about re welding this cast spindle.
 

JasonHutter

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This one here.
fgspin2pd.jpg

Handles this kind-of abuse.
fg-jmp1202-4s.jpg


The only problems we have come across is cracking the actual spindle right up against the shoulder where it goes to the steering knuckle. We are looking into some stronger stuff, but continue to run this set-up for now.

Jason

fg-jmp1202-2s.jpg
 

DANKFAB

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The guy who built em is gonna come over and take a looksee. And appartantly fix em and build me new ones. He claimed these are forged stock S10 spindles. I just called Chevy and they said all GM spindles any year, make model....are cast. So now I got my answer. Do I let him build new ones? Or get something forged with a good disc brake setup and strong spindle nut and build my own jig and new spindles? Dilemma here...
 

CRAIG_HALL

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These are raglands spindles, forged? They look like a stock car products part.
10312002aa.jpg
 
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