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Thread: Welding mild steel to cast

  1. #1
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    Question Welding mild steel to cast

    I,m sure this is not the first time someone has asked this.I what too shave more off the bottom of my dana 60 axle.First,has anyone done this with good luck?

  2. #2
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    I believe you may have inadvertently posted this in the wrong section but we can try to help anyway. Actually it would help a great deal if you would explain what you are doing in a little more detail. If you are talking about welding to the cast center section then you need to check to see if it is cast iron or cast steel (a lot of them are steel castings). If it is steel then you would simply weld it just like welding steel plate.

  3. #3
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    Are you sure it is a casting, or is it a forging?

    It is possible to weld to a casting, but it requires pre-heating and proper filler rod. If not properly prepped and welded you are guranteed to have weld failure, and possible your casting will crack.

  4. #4
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    If that thing is cast iron I would not recommend welding it at all, a steel casting will weld just fine so a bit of testing here would be in order. Simple enough with a grinder and rather than try to describe the difference between the sparks from steel vs iron I would suggest grinding on a known iron casting and then a piece of steel, the steel does not have to be a cast or forged and even an old bolt will do. There will be a profound difference in the sparks between the two kinds of metal so there is next to no chance of making a mistake. Cast iron is usually weldable but a high strength casting such as an axle center housing would almost certainly be a malleable iron casting and would be weakened by welding and would become prone to cracking however a steel casting can be welded without damage.

  5. #5
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    There is a WELDING section here.
    This is a very common mod on D-60's. There's a ton of info out there by guys who've done them.
    Check out some of the 4X4 sites.
    Mixed reviews about the welding...seems some are cast iron...others are cast steel. Lotta guys just mig the 3/8" plate to the bottom (on the cast steel ones).
    Bad Dog here has prolly done this mod.
    Last edited by torker; 12-23-2008 at 08:21 PM.
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the replys.Dave

  7. #7
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    FWIW, joining steel to cast iron is done sometimes and can usually be done as easily as joining two pieces of cast iron, maybe even easier since you would only have one part prone to cracking. To do this both parts should be treated as if they were cast iron and preheated to about 400 deg, just too hot to touch with your bare hand. Then weld as if both pieces were cast iron using a Nickle rod for iron castings such as the Ni55 or Ni99, the Ni55 would be the best choice because of it's higher iron content but the Ni99 would be machinable in case that would be necessary.


    Edit- I meant to say the Ni99 is machinable but inadvertently said Ni55, which is not!
    Last edited by radkins; 12-24-2008 at 03:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by radkins
    If that thing is cast iron I would not recommend welding it at all, a steel casting will weld just fine so a bit of testing here would be in order. Simple enough with a grinder and rather than try to describe the difference between the sparks from steel vs iron I would suggest grinding on a known iron casting and then a piece of steel, the steel does not have to be a cast or forged and even an old bolt will do. There will be a profound difference in the sparks between the two kinds of metal so there is next to no chance of making a mistake. Cast iron is usually weldable but a high strength casting such as an axle center housing would almost certainly be a malleable iron casting and would be weakened by welding and would become prone to cracking however a steel casting can be welded without damage.
    Read & learn, welding Cast Iron with MIG or MMA is a standard procedure, consider where you aquired the information that this is inadvisable or impossible & then question & research everything you have gleaned from the same source, they were entirely wrong,
    Regards,
    Nick

  9. #9
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    Nick, not exactly sure what you mean? I never meant to infer that cast iron should not be welded at all just that in the case of this axle housing if it is an iron casting that it just would not be a good idea, certainly not impossible just not a good idea. Malleable iron castings, which this would most likely be, are almost always considered non-weldable even though they will appear to weld just fine. The problem is that although Malleable iron will weld fairly easily with the the proper filler it will be converted into a much weaker form of Grey iron in the heat affected area and it is nearly impossible to retain any semblance of it's original strength because of this. There are no practical methods to prevent this from happening and ordinary methods of controlling the cooling rate will have little effect on this phenomenon so generally a Malleable casting is considered to be a poor choice for welding unless the original strength properties are no longer a concern.
    Last edited by radkins; 01-06-2009 at 03:18 PM.

  10. #10
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    But when welding an axle the aim is only ever to strengthen and add rigidity, as was done with MK3 Jag axles for use in grass track Vauxhall Magnums & Firenzas etc.
    It's all about whether the weld will do the job required of it.
    With back axle reinforcement, examination of what is required and experience of what works shows that this does work.
    Welding cast manifolds with Nickel wire with stick or MIG also works, if you have industrial experience of what works & what fails under certain circumstances that's useful, stating things don't work from a theoretical point of view when the practical experience of others disproves this is less than productive,
    Regards,
    Nick

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