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  • Strong Shaft Material??

    Been searching for a suitable material 1.250 diameter with 1/2 inch hole through (like dom) wondered if 4140 material is best to use for a snowmobile shaft? Has splined end and must be torsionally strong , Wondered what you would suggest for material? Would A-2 be a suitable material? Its for a Drag Sled. Thanx Guys

  • #2
    You wanted strong so start with one of these:
    AISI 4340
    300M / S155 (vacuum melted 4340 variant)
    36nicrmo16 (NOT same as 36crnimo xx)

    Gun-drill if there is no suitable seamless tubing available (nobody said it needs to be cheap)

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    • #3
      Also, how long?
      Does it need to be hollow the whole length or is that just for a sliding part in one end?

      I wonder how strong it really needs to be. The driveshaft on my pickup truck is just a hollow welded tube with heavy plugs weld into each end for the tough bits.

      Maybe a local driveshaft shop could help make some suggestions.
      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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      • #4
        Well..I called around our Local Steel Suppliers, No one carries M300 which would of been suitable . 4340 pre hardened is available which I considered but,,perhaps S7 would be superior, I am awaiting availability of that material, I have to drill about 18 inches into the Material, I was going through but theirs a thread required on opposite end of shaft, I WAS going to press and weld a plug that was threaded into the end but..perhaps not welding it would be better for strength, has splines on other end. It would be a Interesting Project for my Small Garage Shop.

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        • #5
          Sorry bob its 27 and a 1/2 inches Overall Length!

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          • #6
            I'm having a hard time envisioning why this hole needs to be 18" deep, seems like it would be quite a challenge. 4130 choromoly is available in 1.25" OD x 0.5" ID and is pretty strong with great weld ability if you need to do an insert. Distortion becomes an issue with welding a shaft, you'd likely need to finish machine afterward depending on the RPM of the shaft.

            Regardless, check out McMaster for both their great selection of material in 3' lengths and their pretty decent steel comparison chart, S7 is a poor choice from the looks of it. 4340, ETD-150, and 1144 all look great in the event that 4130 tube is not good enough (BTW McMaster doesn't have that tube but onlinemetals and speedymetals do).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by madman View Post
              Sorry bob its 27 and a 1/2 inches Overall Length!
              Old .50 cal M2 barrel

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MattiJ View Post
                Old .50 cal M2 barrel
                Problem is they are about $250 for a usedone and over $1000 for new.
                That's from memory. I haven't bought one in 10 years. They may cost more now.
                Bill
                I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JCByrd24 View Post
                  S7 is a poor choice from the looks of it.
                  why's that? not saying you're wrong I've not worked with S7, just curious as to your reasons. A guick search suggests its super strong, air hardening and easy to machine before heat treating and is used in lots shears etc so presumably isn't overly brittle
                  .

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                    why's that? not saying you're wrong I've not worked with S7, just curious as to your reasons. A guick search suggests its super strong, air hardening and easy to machine before heat treating and is used in lots shears etc so presumably isn't overly brittle
                    I'm not an expert by any means, but my comment was simply based on the fact that there are cheaper materials that are stronger (based on McMasters offerings and numbers). I just don't associate tools steels with 27" long shafts in my mind either. Aside from McMaster, it's somewhat difficult to even find strength data for this material, because it's hardness properties for tooling are more important. It does appear that with the appropriate heat treatment it could work as well as something like 4340 or ETD-150, but the heat treatment of a 27" long shaft that you're trying to hit specific balance of strength and toughness is not the same as a home heat treat job of a little chunk of tooling.
                    Last edited by JCByrd24; 05-09-2018, 02:21 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Might be a good repurpose of a torsion bar from the front suspension of a car or pickup.
                      _____________________________________________

                      I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.

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                      • #12
                        17-4 PH stainless. Machine it to finished dimensions, then pay to have it heat treated to condition H900. Good enough for long prop shafts in inboard boats.
                        http://www.pacificmarine.net/enginee...ller-shaft.htm
                        It's all mind over matter.
                        If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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                        • #13
                          Which shaft is it? Any way you could do a redesign and bolt from both ends rather than through?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JCByrd24 View Post
                            I'm not an expert by any means, but my comment was simply based on the fact that there are cheaper materials that are stronger (based on McMasters offerings and numbers). I just don't associate tools steels with 27" long shafts in my mind either. Aside from McMaster, it's somewhat difficult to even find strength data for this material, because it's hardness properties for tooling are more important. It does appear that with the appropriate heat treatment it could work as well as something like 4340 or ETD-150, but the heat treatment of a 27" long shaft that you're trying to hit specific balance of strength and toughness is not the same as a home heat treat job of a little chunk of tooling.
                            ETD 150 is not recommended for welding due to sulfur content. Otherwise it would be a great choice.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by madman View Post
                              Been searching for a suitable material 1.250 diameter with 1/2 inch hole through (like dom) wondered if 4140 material is best to use for a snowmobile shaft?
                              Those specs sound a lot like a chromoly barrel blank. You might check with Green Mountain Barrels, they sell blanks in various calibers, I know up to .45 caliber, and probably.50 as well, and the blanks are often 28" long. Expect to spend $100-$150 on a barrel blank, but they might be willing to sell you one that's just drilled and not rifled for less money.

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