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Repairing 1486 axle crack


acem
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I found this Crack on the front axle casting of my 1486 today. Of course the bolts are loose. I should have caught that.

What's the chances of repairing this?

Welding, brazing, duck tape or what?

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The other side was welded when I bought it 5? Years ago? Maybe longer. I kept a close eye on the welded side but not the other?

I can replace it if I have too.

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We use some type of a gold coloured rod when we have to weld cast. Grind it out down to good metal. Get it decently warm with a torch and stitch weld it back together. While the short burst of weld are still hot, beat the snot out of the weld causing it to expand some so when it cools, it doesn't shrink up too much and pull itself loose. 

 

Lawyer note, I'm no welder, or metal guru, but that process has held very well on the cast items we have welded.

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47 minutes ago, MinnesotaFarmall said:

We use some type of a gold coloured rod when we have to weld cast. Grind it out down to good metal. Get it decently warm with a torch and stitch weld it back together. While the short burst of weld are still hot, beat the snot out of the weld causing it to expand some so when it cools, it doesn't shrink up too much and pull itself loose. 

 

Lawyer note, I'm no welder, or metal guru, but that process has held very well on the cast items we have welded.

This is cast steel, nickel rod is for cast iron.

Should be able to V'ee it out and weld it. Hardest part is V'ee and welding without sticking to the inner axle tube

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Plenty of people will jump on board and say welding cast is not possible, won't be strong. They "might" know more than I, but, I have welded plenty of cast, "most" have held, even an axle like yours on a 14, it's a farmer fix, meaning, if it holds, you are into it for little of nothing, if it doesn't, try again, or bite the bullet and buy new cast parts. My theory, no harm, no foul for trying 

Mark 

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3 hours ago, bitty said:

This is cast steel, nickel rod is for cast iron.

Should be able to V'ee it out and weld it. Hardest part is V'ee and welding without sticking to the inner axle tube

Pull the inner tube first so you could touch up any burn through with a grinding stone. Properly v’ed out welded with 7018 will be as strong and durable as new

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So weld and go but if the bolts are tightened down what are the chances that crack will go anywhere? If you don’t have time to weld it right now how about a heavy clamp a couple inches in from the bolts, then add it to your to do list!

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That axle tube is forged steel (cast steel) and welds very similar to plain steel. Preheating is good for it but it's not necessary. I've welded a few of these over the years

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My thoughts are

.Remove the tube

.Clean area 

.drill and vee Crack

.preheat area

.weld together with cast nickle rod

.peen weld while slowly cooling 

Clean it all up. Install tube in second hole instead of third. Tighten axle clamp bolts using lock nuts.

It seems most of the problems are caused by the axle clamp bolts loosening off.

@Finney @bitty 

 

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2 minutes ago, acem said:

My thoughts are

.Remove the tube

.Clean area 

.drill and vee Crack Vee out about 1" past the end of the crack

.preheat area 200* be fine 

.weld together with cast nickle rod 7018 rod, 3/32 for the root about 90 amps and 1/8" at 115amps for fill and cap

.peen weld while slowly cooling Remove slag with needle scaler will take care of peening

Clean it all up. Install tube in second hole instead of third. Tighten axle clamp bolts using lock nuts.

It seems most of the problems are caused by the axle clamp bolts loosening off.

@Finney @bitty 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Finney said:

 

I was sure nickel rod wasn't needed in this application but not sure if it was a detriment besides the cost of the rods 

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Spark test it to determine cast steel vs cast iron. If you need to learn spark testing touch the edge of a cutoff wheel to known cast iron and see the sparks color and star burst pattern, then same on piece of steel. It is an apparent difference. I agree with bittty , it is likely cast steel and will weld well with mild steel rod or wire.

Fyi nickel rod for cast iron comes in machinable and non-machinable brass color nickel rod is the machinable type and silver/nickel  color is non-machiable

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37 minutes ago, acem said:

Thanks for all the great information!

I don't mind paying for rods if they are better. I won't need many.

Thx-Ace 

Said nickel rods were over a buck a piece 15 years ago. Probably 3+ now my guess 

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1 hour ago, acem said:

Thanks for all the great information!

I don't mind paying for rods if they are better. I won't need many.

Thx-Ace 

Not necessarily “better”. They are more expensive and will work just fine but are unnecessary and in this case the repair will not be any stronger. It’s more about matching the welding filler material to the broken base material. Follow what Bitty and Finney said 

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2 hours ago, bitty said:

Said nickel rods were over a buck a piece 15 years ago. Probably 3+ now my guess 

I would only need a few rods. Sounds cheap compared to replacing the center axle housing.

I was thinking about the 50/50 nickle iron rods. But if 7018 is better...

I just want the best odds of it working.

I'll have my stepson helping. He's a metal fabricator but he rarely works with cast. Mostly stainless steel.

Thx-Ace 

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I ain't no welder but give me a grinder and some 7018 rods and I'll have it fixed up till it breaks again! Lol

Alot of good advice here, sounds like it should be no issue. Our hydro 100 has the axle tube welded up and the loader lives on it. It's never been an issue. We bought it like that so who knows how many years it's been like that. Weld 'er up and put it back to work! Good luck!

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3 hours ago, acem said:

I would only need a few rods. Sounds cheap compared to replacing the center axle housing.

I was thinking about the 50/50 nickle iron rods. But if 7018 is better...

I just want the best odds of it working.

I'll have my stepson helping. He's a metal fabricator but he rarely works with cast. Mostly stainless steel.

Thx-Ace 

7018 12018 are two I have that I would use much sooner than nickel for that

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..Ace....there is absolutely no need  to reach for nickel   rods for that  repair....that is simple repair job....Prepare it correctly and just use low hydrogen 7018  rods...

..the only difficult factor..if welding in place...apart from the  ''overhead''  welding requirement, is that you will shrink that   housing...  and make the inner tube adjustment even more difficult than   it was prior to welding.....

 

...this was told to me recently....

"What is the difference between a   "Farmer " and a "Welder " ??

"The "Welder" knows he can't farm ..."

I have worked on countless farms over the years  as a Contractor....and here anyway, the cockie's welder  is usually some ancient   single phase AC  powered relic....totally inadequate for bigger repair jobs....and for the variety of low hydrogen rods   available now...maybe its not so applicable but 'yesterdays ' low hydrogen ' were difficult to use with  AC welders   ....

Learning to weld at the Caterpillar  Franchise  , all those years ago was, in hindsight, an inspired decision.....The variety of new fabrication and field repair jobs were endless....all with low hydrogen  welding rods and always wth  DC welders....

Mike

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10 hours ago, midnightman said:

At least in this case the knee shouldn’t rusted in place.  That’s been covered on here before!

As I recall more than one stuck knee was resolved by slicing the axle tube and welding it back together!

I'm with the others, weld it and forget it. 6011 if you just want to get on with it. 7018 if you're feeling frisky and want to clean the crack out and weld it that way. 

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Mike, you should have been a poet.

I've got a good ol Lincoln 225 AC welder and 7018AC rods at the shop.

I have a great old hobart gas powered AC/DC welder that needs the fan fixed too. 

Thx-Ace 

 

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6 hours ago, mike newman said:

..Ace....there is absolutely no need  to reach for nickel   rods for that  repair....that is simple repair job....Prepare it correctly and just use low hydrogen 7018  rods...

..the only difficult factor..if welding in place...apart from the  ''overhead''  welding requirement, is that you will shrink that   housing...  and make the inner tube adjustment even more difficult than   it was prior to welding.....

 

...this was told to me recently....

"What is the difference between a   "Farmer " and a "Welder " ??

"The "Welder" knows he can't farm ..."

I have worked on countless farms over the years  as a Contractor....and here anyway, the cockie's welder  is usually some ancient   single phase AC  powered relic....totally inadequate for bigger repair jobs....and for the variety of low hydrogen rods   available now...maybe its not so applicable but 'yesterdays ' low hydrogen ' were difficult to use with  AC welders   ....

Learning to weld at the Caterpillar  Franchise  , all those years ago was, in hindsight, an inspired decision.....The variety of new fabrication and field repair jobs were endless....all with low hydrogen  welding rods and always wth  DC welders....

Mike

Mike, you should come visit some of the many “landowners” near me. There is someone from every career imaginable here. They all have one thing in common. They all know more about farming than I could ever hope to know. They know what we should be doing, what we should be raising, what we should be feeding, what we need to quit spraying, their knowledge is nearly limitless. You would be dazzled. Probably one or two might volunteer some welding or machinery operating advice too, rather you’re interested or not. 

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