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Welding drive flanges and half shafts


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Hi folks.

I remember reading a while back about a common mod in Africa of welding the drive flange to the half shaft (only welded on the outside, as welding inside too caused failures) to strengthen the combined unit, preventing spline wear, oil leaks and so on. I'm mainly interested because it'll allow me to remove the plastic cones and fit the centre caps on my alloys...

Has anyone done it or had experience of the mod? Apart from making sure its scrupulously clean and tack welding the parts while fitted to ensure they're fitted true, what other considerations would you raise for doing this on a Salisbury axle?

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Hi folks.

I remember reading a while back about a common mod in Africa of welding the drive flange to the half shaft (only welded on the outside, as welding inside too caused failures) to strengthen the combined unit, preventing spline wear, oil leaks and so on. I'm mainly interested because it'll allow me to remove the plastic cones and fit the centre caps on my alloys...

Has anyone done it or had experience of the mod? Apart from making sure its scrupulously clean and tack welding the parts while fitted to ensure they're fitted true, what other considerations would you raise for doing this on a Salisbury axle?

As JimAttrill has done it across several vehicles, and posted a picture, and not condemned it, I'd have thought that was enough endorsement - it would be for me.

See http://forums.lr4x4.com/index.php?showtopic=37652&view=findpost&p=363498&hl=%2Bjimattrill+%2Bshaft&fromsearch=1

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Isn't the purpose of the drive flange to be "sacrificial", so the splines in the diff don't take all the wear? I have heard this from various sources, and it could well be a load of sh*te, since the Disco rear halves have an integral flange.

That is all.

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Isn't the purpose of the drive flange to be "sacrificial", so the splines in the diff don't take all the wear? I have heard this from various sources, and it could well be a load of sh*te, since the Disco rear halves have an integral flange.

That is all.

If the spline to flange area is allowed to go unlubricated for too long both parts will wear considerably. Some axles allow the axle oil to splash lube these, others have seals on the half shafts that prevent this.

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Hi folks.

I remember reading a while back about a common mod in Africa of welding the drive flange to the half shaft (only welded on the outside, as welding inside too caused failures) to strengthen the combined unit, preventing spline wear, oil leaks and so on. I'm mainly interested because it'll allow me to remove the plastic cones and fit the centre caps on my alloys...

Has anyone done it or had experience of the mod? Apart from making sure its scrupulously clean and tack welding the parts while fitted to ensure they're fitted true, what other considerations would you raise for doing this on a Salisbury axle?

I did it to mine several years ago, and they have been fine, with no poblems. I removed the circlips cleaned the flange and shaft splines with brake cleaner and with the wheel off the ground, turned the wheel backwards to get the

the shaft/flange spline in contact as if 'underload', and tack welded the shaft/flange. I then turned the wheel and tacked 180 opposite the first. I put another few tacks on, then welded all the way around whilst slowly rotating the wheel. I then removed the shaft and flange, and put a few decent tack welds on the inside. (I didn't weld all the way round on the inside in case it would create a stress line which could result in a snapped shaft.)

When you weld the flange/shaft, you must clamp the earth clamp securely to the flange and not to just the hub and specifically not to the axle case or the chassis. If you do, there is a danger of the electric current arcing across the wheel bearings or diff bearings which will cause them to fail shortly after!

Obviously, if you don't get things 'straight' it may cause other problems, so do this at your own risk.

Regards, Diff.

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If I had to do it I'd be tempted to braze rather than weld the parts together. it's common in auto-tesin cars the lock up the diff and you can't weld them successfully so they get brazed up instead. Dones propely you get a full surface contact so no need to worry about having the shaft under load as you weld it up.

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If the splines are in good condition I bet you could JB Weld them and see reasonable life and no heat-issues since heating is going to soften them by removing the temper anyway.

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If you only want to remove the dust cap wouldn't it be easier to just put some sealer over the end of the splines? I'd suggest "Tiger seal" or similar rather than silicone.

I had considered that, but I'm concerned that even the smallest amount of spline movement would soon cause the seal to fail due to the repetitive nature of that movement. That's why I think they need welding - no relative movement, but most of the motive force would still go through the splines if engaged in the way described by Diff.

Guys, you're a gold mine as always. Thanks.

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I had considered that, but I'm concerned that even the smallest amount of spline movement would soon cause the seal to fail due to the repetitive nature of that movement. That's why I think they need welding - no relative movement, but most of the motive force would still go through the splines if engaged in the way described by Diff.

Guys, you're a gold mine as always. Thanks.

Just throwing ideas around here, as it's Monday and the radio is remembering Italia '90.

To slow wear on the flanges would Rocol ASP (Overdrive grease) slow down the wear?

And to remove the rubber caps for alloys, would a "seal" attached to the alloy do the trick? Held in contact by the wheel itself? Say, for example, an old rubber cap (cut down as appropriate) held in place by hot glue, or similar semi-structural glue, with a bead of RTV against the hub (greased to prevent "stick"). Remove the wheel after the RTV has set and remove the grease. Volia, seal on a wheel!

Ok, not clever if you are swapping wheels daily, but for the normal user, fine. Oh you'd have to do the spare, just in case.

G.

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I wouldn't recomend it..

However a good NAMIBAIN mod is to remove the halfshaft. Push the drive flange up tpo the circlip and mark it.

Take the flange off and Mig some of the splines. File the splines so that the flange is tight to the circlip.

Yep I've got the left rear to do. Dust caps didn't last half a Kilometer.

Nick.

Got back Sunday night from Joberg. I suggest that KLM look at the seats and spacing used on the Intercape bus. Much nicer and much more comfortable.

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Just throwing ideas around here, as it's Monday and the radio is remembering Italia '90.

To slow wear on the flanges would Rocol ASP (Overdrive grease) slow down the wear?

And to remove the rubber caps for alloys, would a "seal" attached to the alloy do the trick? Held in contact by the wheel itself? Say, for example, an old rubber cap (cut down as appropriate) held in place by hot glue, or similar semi-structural glue, with a bead of RTV against the hub (greased to prevent "stick"). Remove the wheel after the RTV has set and remove the grease. Volia, seal on a wheel!

Ok, not clever if you are swapping wheels daily, but for the normal user, fine. Oh you'd have to do the spare, just in case.

G.

That's a pretty good idea, but with the shaft unsecured, it could slide in and out. That would not only allow the shaft to goo in too far and foul the diff innards but would also allow the shaft to slide out and punch out the alloys' centre caps, separating them from their seal on the flange. I suppose using PU adhesive on the flange lip and the end of the shaft to attach both to the alloy cap would prevent that sliding movement, but it would make changing the wheels a real problem - PU adhesive is pretty permanent stuff.
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I wouldn't recomend it..

However a good NAMIBAIN mod is to remove the halfshaft. Push the drive flange up tpo the circlip and mark it.

Take the flange off and Mig some of the splines. File the splines so that the flange is tight to the circlip.

Yep I've got the left rear to do. Dust caps didn't last half a Kilometer.

Nick.

Got back Sunday night from Joberg. I suggest that KLM look at the seats and spacing used on the Intercape bus. Much nicer and much more comfortable.

I think I follow you - they weld the inboard ends of the splines so that the flange is a light fit once the circlip is fitted, preventing the shaft from sliding in and out at all. That would be useful on 300Tdi and later models with the smaller dust cap that is more easily dislodged by shaft slide, but what I'm trying to do is find a way of reducing the hub protrusion through the wheel for cosmetic reasons - the splines are all fine on my axle, but I want to be able to remove the plastic dust cap and have the shaft end flush with the flange lips so that the alloy wheels' centre caps can be fitted.

Aside from a cramped flight back, how was the rest of your trip? We must catch up again at one of the shows this year - if nothing else so that you can teach my kids how to may more pipe-cleaner animals!

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Re-reading this thread, I think I'll remove the circlips, press the shafts in so that they are slightly recessed (about 5mm - the shafts will go in 10mm recessed before they start hitting the diff innards), tack weld in three places, then remove for TIG puddle welding around the entire circumference. That should be absolutely solid.

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