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Front axle cock-up


Les Henson
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After altering a 110 front axle to fit a superior leafer :), I've noticed I've gone and done it wrong :(

The wheels/tyres are going be at a ridiculous angle and steering is going to be somewhat interesting.

Pictures speak a thousand words as they say.

Axle on the bench in the same position as it would be on the vehicle and centre line identified by the gap in the masking tape/string line through the swivel pin holes. This picture is with the swivel ball placed in the 'vertical position' - the bolt holes for it being about 10mm away.

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String line showing vertical position of the swivel pin holes.

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If I bolt the swivel ball on in the position it's supposed to be - the pin holes are at much too steep angle.

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A few things -

I take it that the swivel pin holes should be vertical on a standard axle?

Cutting the leaf spring bracket off is a no-no, they are welded on to stay on, so other options?

Cut through the axle tube, rotate the ball to the correct position and weld it together again?

Weld the swivel ball to the axle tube (would this be dodgy for the IVA) ?

Fill the swivel ball threads with weld and then drill/tap new holes?

I'm not too sure about the last - it seems overly complicated to me, and I'm not sure I could do the job properly.

If I just bolted it together - how badly would the handling be affected/tyre wear?

Thanks.

Les.

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Guest noggy

you say cutting of the leaf bracket off is a big no no, but seriously... that seems a hell of a lot easier than drilling and tapping new holes.

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Many many years ago, this was a deliberate modification that DirtyDiesel and Myself carried out to my series 1.

We fitted a rangie axle with deliberate angle to give a "bite in" when trialling - we used to compete against Suzuki's and the like, where sadly turning circle could win a trial.

Although it was road registered it probably did a maximum of 20 miles on the road, and to be honest, the steering was far from ok really, it wandered all over the place and there was absolutely no self centre, at any speed.

The axle was given the modified angle by mounting the spring seats deliberatly, although on the rear axle we did cut and shut the axle tube and it never failed, with a good few years of abuse in my ownership, I see it now and again and its still going strong (we modified the series 3 rear casing to accept S3 Salisbury shafts into a rover case). That was done by cutting off the flanges just before the rover joint.

Why dont you re-align the swivels to the position you want, tack into place, then mark and drill and tap new holes in the existing flange (or the closest to ideal you can get perhaps utilising existing bolt holes). Then when new holes are drill and tapped, weld up up the old holes and flush smooth, nobody would notice.

As a matter of course now, I always drill and tap the bolt holes m12 to avoid the swivels parting under abuse(a comp safari mod of old that seems to work).

I take it that the swivel pin holes should be vertical on a standard axle?

IIRC somthing like 6° was standard

Cutting the leaf spring bracket off is a no-no, they are welded on to stay on, so other options?

Drilling and tapping existing flanges is possible, then weld flush the spare holes

Cut through the axle tube, rotate the ball to the correct position and weld it together again?

Was done succesfully on my Series 1

Weld the swivel ball to the axle tube (would this be dodgy for the IVA) ?

Cant Answer but I would go with the bolt option regardless

Fill the swivel ball threads with weld and then drill/tap new holes?

I cannot remember why we opted for the flanges, probably for replacement swivel ease

I'm not too sure about the last - it seems overly complicated to me, and I'm not sure I could do the job properly.

All the steels are just mild, perhaps the odd hard spot from some work hardening but nothing special.

If I just bolted it together - how badly would the handling be affected/tyre wear?

As above, at that angle getting towards awfull in my experience

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Les, I'd say get the flange on the swivel ball itself re drilled. No need for tapping, just plain holes. Just like castor correction swivels.

Any machine shop could do that for not a lot of money and easier to handle than a whole axle case.

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Another vote for re drilling the swivels............ its the easiest solution...................or wedges under the spring seats...............

G

Ps, before taking that route see about the trackrod fouling the springs etc etc etc, been there................

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Hello Les,I hope I read your photos correctly - The swivel pin should not be vertical,but the bottom tilted backward at 3 degrees to give a castor effect.If you extend the line through the swivel pin to the ground,it should meet the ground behind the point where a vertical line through the centre of the hub meets the ground.

It looks to me like you have turned it the wrong way to line up the holes,giving negative castor (if that is a term) and shocking steering.

If you turned it one hole back the opposite way,you would have more than standard castor,but nothing terrible.

I may have just mis-understood the photos.

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I wish I could just turn it back one hole, Jericho, but the bolt pattern is individual, so it's not that easy :( It seems that the favourite is to redrill the swivel ball flange or the axle end flange. I would prefer to cut the axle tube and position it in the right position - is there a problem with doing this? The cut could be welded both inside and out to give it maximum strength I would have thought? Is there something wrong with cutting the axle?

Les.

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jericho: the top swivel pin should be closer to the rear of the vehicle than the lower one, which is called positive castor. You've just described it the other way round.

as shown here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_angle

You want at least 3 degrees upto a maximum of around 6, to give sensible self centering and nice steering feel, while keeping things stable.

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jericho: the top swivel pin should be closer to the rear of the vehicle than the lower one, which is called positive castor. You've just described it the other way round.

as shown here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_angle

You want at least 3 degrees upto a maximum of around 6, to give sensible self centering and nice steering feel, while keeping things stable.

OOPS :ph34r:

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Les,

Cutting the axle tube will introduce a host of alignment issues that will require precise jigging to ensure the flange of the axle is perpendicular to the half shaft.

If you are confident you can achieve that and have confidence in your welding ( :lol::P ) then there is nothing "wrong" with doing it. After all the flange itself is welded on in the first place!

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This might be completely silly, but can you swap the balls side to side? Then rotate the other way to something more sensible...

Since the balls are not handed (at least I hope not having just bougt one) swapping side to side will have no effect. The bolt patterns must be set both sides so as to produce the correct castor with the standard axle mounting/setup.

With regard to the exact correct angle, just done a trawl around my books and the web and I can find no official source, but from first principles I would agree that the angle should be set so that a line through the pivot should strike the ground ahead of the tyre contact patch centre.

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Hi Les,

I would just bite the bullet and cut off the misaligned brackets, You know in your heart that this is the Best answer I am sure ;)

anyone with a plasma could do it for you in minutes! That way all parts are interchangeable in future etc and easily repaired in the field!

It is a **** and we have all done it, but we have all also kicked ourselves for not doing the repair the sensible way instead of the "easy" way.

Good luck.

Lara.

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Hi Les,

I am a bit confused, if you have not altered the swivel flange in any way then the only reason must be the sping mountings/bump stops that are in the wrong place?

If this is the case then surely the diff angle is wrong or did you fit the sping mountings/bump stops to get the diff angle correect and not notice the change in the pin angle?

The answer to the questions above will dictate what your correct course of action is to fix the problem.

As to which part to re-drill if needed, this depends upon how long you expect the axle to last? If it will only last one set of swivels then drill the swivels, otherwise re-drill the axle so that you can fit new swivels in the future.

Hope that you resolve this easily and successfully.

Having investigated the axle ends a bit, I was told that LR use some really complicated sounding bit of kit to friction weld the ends onto the axle tube.

Its a shame that they did not go the way that other (US) manufactures did which is to slide the axle end over the tube then weld.

This way it is easy to change an end to alter the angle or narraow the axle.

Marc.

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I guess I made the mistake of not remembering the axle was upside down on the bench when I set the spring seat angle, so the diff nose was set the opposite way to how it should be. I could cut the spring seats off and make new ones, but making them was very difficult and they are welded inside and out as much as possible. It would take a long days work to remove them and make new ones, which is why I thought cuttung the axle tube and re-setting it would be easier (I could do that in a couple of hours I think). Drilling the swivel balls would be ok, until I need to replace them, that is and then I'll have to do it again. It seems that cutting the axle tube is the easiest, and will not affect any future repair work (unless I'm missing something).

Les.

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Morning Les,

if you cut the axle flanges off and reposition will the diff be correct when mounted ? i.e. horizontal or slightly nose up?

I agree with Lara on this , cut the brackets off and put em where you now know they need to be , std parts and everything in the right place ;) .

Cutting the flanges off and re-welding is going to take just as long and any small error will give you lots of problems in use , if you have gas cutting gear I'm sure you could blow the axle to spring mounts off and re-use. You would really need some sort of jig to do it well enough to make it worthwhile , the alignment criteria for road use and long term mechanical reliability is pretty tight imho .

If you have no gas/plasma cutting gear there must be a fab. shop near to you that would do it for you . All very frustrating but we have all done similar .....or worse :rolleyes:

Don't forget why you are building it matey B)

cheers

Steveb

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Les, why not get another axle tube, and junk that?? it sounds simpler since you made sure you welded the mounts right, i know you have to remove all the coiler stuff again, but it might be easier in the long run.

G

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I would be thinking about parts interchangability in the long run. For that reason, I would cut and reposition the flanges on the ends of the axle tubes.

The axle casing is already a one off, but when complete it should not need any further work/replacing.

By rotating the flanges to suit the swivels, at least then you can replace the swivel balls with OE units in the future, as required.

Drilling the swivel ball flanges means you'll have to repeat the operation if they ever need replacing.

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Ok, well I decided to cut the flanges off - it seemed the easiest thing to do for me. Using stone-age technology - I invented the 'flange gripper' :)

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This piece of hi-tech engineering would ensure the face of the flange is in the same position as it was before I hacked it off :) Excessively complicated marks, which in reality just mean that the two x's have to be in line with each other.

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Too late to change my mind now :(

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After a brief converstaion with HFH concerning heavy engineering, 45-deg angle for 50% of the tube wall thickness and a 1mm gap between the two, and clamped in place with the 'flange gripper' .

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8 spot welds to keep it all nice and sqaure, then remove the 'flange gripper'

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MIG on Max power :)

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Huge, fat, slow weld and a coupel of burns later -

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Ground flat, then a 4mm x 25mm band to encircle the weld.

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That'll teach me to do it right the first time :(

Les :)

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