Re: Welding on a diff housing?
[ QUOTE ]
The center section - is it cast or forged?
Weldable? Or is that asking for trouble?
If I can't do it right, I won't even try.
Thanks in advance.
[/ QUOTE ]
If your buddies' dealer repair options are non-existent, what have you got to lose?
If the center is cast iron and it has to be liquid tight, your chances are a coin toss. Cast iron can be welded, but to say it's tricky is an understatement at least. There are generally two schools of thought in the real world when it comes to welding cast. Heat or no heat. There are actually reasons to use one method over the other.
Usually it is preferred to heat the entire piece to be welded on, and heat to a max of about 1200-F, using some sort of Ni-rod.
Use short welds, peen each one, don't get in a hurry, and don't overheat the part. 1400-F is the magic number. Above that and funny things start to happen. When you are finished it's best to wrap the part in some sort of insulating blanket to slow the cooling process as much as possible.
No Heat Method:
Sometimes a piece is too large, or just too inconvient to try to heat the entire thing to 1200-F. In this case try to get your part to about 100-F, just to make sure it isn't "cold" and go at it again with the Ni-rod. This method it is VERY important to peen each bead, not get in a hurry, and not get the piece hot. At all. And don't switch methods mid repair. Use one or the other but not both. Again, when you are done it's not a bad idea to cover it with an insulating blanket untill it has come back to ambient temperature.
The caveat to this is there are a bazillion different forms of cast iron, and I don't really know which type/s axle manufacturers use. Some are more weldable than others and sometimes, no matter if you do everything under laboratory conditions, cast iron is still going to crack on you.
But, like I said at the beginning, what have you got to lose at this point?