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Welding repairs to steering systems.


Les Henson
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Taken from VOSA 'The MOT Inspection Manual'

Car and Light Commercial Vehicle Testing.

Steering System 2.2

D. Structural repair by welding to a steering linkage component, or signs of excessive heat having been applied.

G. Deliberate modification which significantly reduces the original strength, excessive corrosion, severe distortion a

fracture or an inadequate repair of a load bearing member or it's supporting structure or supporting panelling

within 30cm of a steering component mounting that is within a 'prescribed area'.

Les.

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Steering damper mounts are done by the manufacturer, so are not subject to an MOT fail because of their existence.

I'm afraid any vagueness is down to VOSA, as the above is a direct copy from the testers handbook.

I would imagine that the effect of heat on the metal is the main consideration in this matter.

I asked the MOT tester that if I cut a drag link in half and then welded the two halves back together - he said he would still fail it, regardless if the welding appeared to be good quality or not.

Les.

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Steering damper mounts are done by the manufacturer, so are not subject to an MOT fail because of their existence.

I'm afraid any vagueness is down to VOSA, as the above is a direct copy from the testers handbook.

I would imagine that the effect of heat on the metal is the main consideration in this matter.

I asked the MOT tester that if I cut a drag link in half and then welded the two halves back together - he said he would still fail it, regardless if the welding appeared to be good quality or not.

Les.

Hi then this is a MOT fail? wass one the car when I get it. I do not knowe way them have it is not brokend.

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If the modification has been done outside of the manufacturing process, then I suppose it would be an MOT fail.

Obviously this sort of thing is dependent on the MOT tester letting it go or not.

Les.

Ok then I will look for a new one. Thanks Les

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Hi then this is a MOT fail? wass one the car when I get it. I do not knowe way them have it is not brokend.

That's a common mod to strengthen / straighten steering bars - stick a bit of tube over the top. My uncle's RR went through an MOT like that, in fact his one they welded a piece of angle to it so you could see it was welded and everything. I'd leave it unless the MOT man kicks up a fuss.

I cut a drag link in half and then welded the two halves back together - he said he would still fail it

You need a softpad for the grinder Les, then he wouldn't know. ;)

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That's a common mod to strengthen / straighten steering bars - stick a bit of tube over the top. My uncle's RR went through an MOT like that, in fact his one they welded a piece of angle to it so you could see it was welded and everything. I'd leave it unless the MOT man kicks up a fuss.

You need a softpad for the grinder Les, then he wouldn't know. ;)

Hi I will leave it and see when the time comes for the MOT.

rgards. :D

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Without starting a whole separate argument, if you weld steering stuff together badly with a naff hobby-MIG then it's not going to stay together and quite rightly should not pass an MOT. The same goes for anything though - you could just as easily apply it to using the wrong grade bolts to hold props on, not torqueing wheel nuts properly, etc. etc...

The issue here is that the official VOSA book does not explicitly forbid welded or heated&bent steering components, it leaves it to the tester to decide if it's OK or not. That was the question of the first post, and I think that answers it - you CAN weld steering components and pass an MOT.

Obviously there is a huge health warning to go along with this in as much as you must do it properly, if only for your own safety. No different than doing your own brakes, if you bodge it up you're risking your own neck as much as anything.

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The two items I listed at the start of this thread are reasons for failure. If you have have modified your steering and got away with it - then that's it - you have got away with it. Personally I don't see too much of a problem with welding steering gear, but excessive heat does effect the original strength of the metal, and therefore it's more likely there will be a sudden failure of the component. Sure you can use the wrong bolts to hold the prop on, or the wrong torque on the wheel nuts (or whatever), but if the steering suddenly fails, then I would imagine that you are more likely to crash and be injured/injure others. It would be a sad day indeed if we were to be restricted as our German/Norewgian members are - anything outside of the manufacturers spec is either banned or subjected to rigorous inspection. Forum member Morten only replaced his engine for a slightly more powerful (but still Land Rover) engine, and the process he has to go through in order for it to be approved is a nightmare. Over here we can just bung any old engine in and it almost doesn't matter.

You have to consider the fact:-

There is a pretty-much no MOT standard for welding and modification of a standard vehicle unless it becomes a registration plate issue.

A large majority of MOT testers are ok with a Ford Mondeo, but other than standard Land Rovers are a totally different technology to most of them.

We still (to a large degree) Police ourselves - it would be good if that was to continue, but it won't.

Les.

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So it'd be ok to braze copper pipe in? :) Speaking of which, what happened to 02GF74?

Last confirmed sighting was in the back of an ambulance being taking to hospital for multiple burns and shock after attempting to remove a neighbour's gas pipe (big bore copper) with an angle grinder. Stupid thing to do, should have used a hacksaw.

Prior to that, the uses for copper tubing were taken to another level by using the aforementiond material to convert a battery with bolt type terminals for use on a Land Rover that had leads made up for the cone type terminals.

Look below and be amazed.

DSC00073.jpg

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I served my apprentiship at a company calle United Automoble Services Ltd.

In the welding shop and the blacksmits there was a notice.

"Heat must not be applied to steering parts for any reason whatsover"

NBow while I'm not going to comment on MIG I'll comment on both gas and arc.

Any welding that is done to a component should be "normalised" after welding other wise the heat affected zone could fracture.

Well that's the bit I remember.

As Les has said. Good if you can get away with it. I wouldn't do it.

miuke FOAK

I can cause trouble in an empty house.

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Do you think this applies to the steering column and interconnecting shafts to the steering box as well as those connected between the box and wheels?

If one, for example wanted to increase the distance between the joints on the column (because you have moved the steering box) how bad does the panel think that would be?

Si

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Do you think this applies to the steering column and interconnecting shafts to the steering box as well as those connected between the box and wheels?

If one, for example wanted to increase the distance between the joints on the column (because you have moved the steering box) how bad does the panel think that would be?

Si

Over here it is not permitted to cut and weld steering column shafts to extend or adapt them to different columns/steering boxes. A one piece shaft must be made and splines cut. I get around the issue by machining up a cotton reel of the appropiate length and bolting it between the rubber flex joint and the splined ''T'' coupling.

It is permissable to cut, weld,bend or reshape forged steering arms but they should first be annealed before modification,

X rayed and reheat treated afterwoods.

Bill.

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Interesting point about forged bits, are they the reason for the welding ban on steering stuff as forged can be adversely affected by the process more than mild steel? (I have no clue if that makes sense but thought I'd ask the question)

What I mean is, have they put a blanket ban on welding steering bits because they are often forged/cast and therefore would be a no-no for most people to try to repair?

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Interesting point about forged bits, are they the reason for the welding ban on steering stuff as forged can be adversely affected by the process more than mild steel? (I have no clue if that makes sense but thought I'd ask the question)

What I mean is, have they put a blanket ban on welding steering bits because they are often forged/cast and therefore would be a no-no for most people to try to repair?

Do you know one of the only things I remember from my college day and metalurgy is.

After welding you must normalise the metal again.

So "Heat to the A3 +40 and soak for one hour per inch thickness.

That means to heat to the upper critical limit of the metal. +40 degrees.

The soak bit you should understand. Then let the furnace cool down.

That means that the lines of forged metal retain their formation.

Also remember that a weld will have a "heat affected zone" either side of the fillet of weld. Welds do not fail. The heat affected zone does.

mike FOAK

I can and will cause trouble in an empty house !!!

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