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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2001, 03:39 PM
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Broken differential case

When I was changing the oil pump on my 87 S-15 4X4 Jimmy I discovered that the rear mount for the front differential case was cracked in half. I cant get a junk yard to give me a decent price on one are here. They all want over $250. I am wonder if there is any way I can weld it up. Can I mig or heli arc weld it? If not does someone have an extra diffential case for a decent price?

Thanks
John

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-01-2001, 01:50 PM
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Re: Broken differential case

Yes it can be welded. I used to weld for a living and aluminum can be welded with good results if done properly. The key is to get it as clean as possible ( usually this means a chemical cleaner ) and to bevel the two sides into a "V". Personally I have never welded any aluminum with a MIG. I know it requires special shielding gas and special wire. I have welded aluminum with Heli-Arc though. It works well. The differential is cast aluminum but that shouldnt make any difference. You might even get by without disasembling the case if you dont weld too much at one time and get it real hot. Probably the best idea would be to take out everything before welding but if you go slow and dont get it hot it would be ok. I would check and see if I could find someone who has the right equipment and knows what they are doing. I dont know what it will cost you at a welding shop, but if you can find someone who has the stuff in their garage I am sure it wont be too expensive. I would think $25 should cover no more work than that or at least I wouldnt feel right charging more than that. I hope this helps.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-01-2001, 02:07 PM
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Re: Broken differential case

I have the special wire, rollers, and shielding gas for welding aluminum with my mig. I can also heli arc it myself. I was just wondering if it would be ok to do. I think I'm going to weld it myself. I'll take everything out of the case before I weld it. That way I can see if I need new bearings or if anything else is worn out. Thanks a lot for the welding advice. I feel a lot better about welding it now.

John

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-01-2001, 04:14 PM
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Re: Broken differential case

I wouldnt be afraid to weld it up. Actually if you take out the inside parts first you really have nothing to loose by trying. Sounds like you got a good set up there with your welding. I need to get the conversion kit for my mig so I can weld aluminum and stainless. I just havent had the need for it yet but I am sure one day it will come in handy. I hope it works out well for you.

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