Join Date: Oct 1999
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Re: axle housing fab advice needed
Ok, the reason noone has a done a write up is that the cost of setting up a 1 or 2 time deal is not worth it. What is your time worth?
But if you are really bored this is what you need to do.
First locate a heavy I beam just a little longer then the ZUK axle housing. Then take a tracker rear, gut it, and cut it about 6 inches down the tube where it starts to flatten out from the center diff on both sides.
You will then need to find a big pipe expander, like at a muffler shop and open up the holes just big enough to slide the ZUK tubes into. Drill a couple holes into the expanded section to do plug welds.
You will need to then cut the ZUK housing right where the housing starts to turn up to the diff. Then remove the paint on the ends of the tubes so you can get some clean welds. DO NOT GRIND.
Insert the ZUK tubes into the expanded Tracker housing.
Now for the hard part. You will need to setup your I-beam with ends that you can bolt the ZUK tubes to, high enough to allow the tracker center section to clear the IBEAM. At this point you can then rotate the center section to whatever degree you want. Leave the ZUK tubes at 0degrees this way it makes it easier to weld on new spring pads.
Once you have everything as you like it start to tac weld around the tubes. Make sure not to use too much weld in one area at a time because the tubes will start to twist and move around due to heat. Take your time to do all the wells.
It is very important to make sure everything is lined up perfectly and that you have the tubes bolted in tightly to prevent the tubes from warping/twisting. Leave the whole setup in the jig till it is completely cool. If you mess this part up you may never get your axle shafts into the diff, or you will wear out your bearings really quickly, or break rear shafts alot.
Now weld on your new spring pads parallel to the old ones, add on the brake mounts, and other tabs from the old ZUK housing.