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Salisbury axle technical questions


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Hello! I'm currently musing about a few things, which may lead on to some other stuff (apologies for the villain-like vagueness):

Are the diff housings cast steel or iron? Anybody tried welding them?

Is it possible to remove the axle tubes without destroying them? How are they secured?

Many thanks

Ian

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I think that they may be cast iron, though i'm far from certain. I have, however, had some success welding them, after some trial and error with the welding process. I think the diff housing is drilled and then the axle tubes are plug welded in to it, so potentially you could drill the plug welds out, but it would be difficult to do without going straight through the tube as well.

your villain-like vagueness has got me all curious now!

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Thank you all, that gives me something to go on. I'll see what I can hunt down from dirtydiesel too

Do you mind if I ask what your welding process was in the end, mat2494? Interesting choice if they are cast iron and welded! Drilling plug welds out seems entirely possible - a few holes in the tube can easily be fixed once extracted. I think I saw a pic of a diff without the tubes on your ratio swap blog entry, Snagger? Were they just cut for ease of handling the donor?

So, inspired by the 6 wheeler thread Deltech started a week ago, I got thinking about it. Purely an intellectual exercise at this point, but most of my better projects start off with a "what if?" well before I pick up any tools.

Anyway, I was researching what's gone before, and stumbled across a fascinating thread on the subject with a lot of input from Bill Van Snorkle and others. Lots of conversions with another axle bolted in and either a special transfer box, double pinion (truly horrible) or simply 6x4. Most on Rover axles, rather than Salisbury, and very few that use a swing/load equaliser beam, which is what I'm exploring. I was running through the connotations of custom transfer box, split drive on middle axle, that sort of thing too - so whether the housings can be effectively modified and/or the left/ right tubes swapped becomes relevant.

I know 6x6 has been done before, and the resulting vehicle can be of debatable utility, but it's fun to think about :)

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I don't know about the salisbury housing but according to all I've read on the american sites the american copy the dana 60 has a cast iron head the plug welds are used not as a weld but more like a welded on key to lock into the cast housing.... based on this I didn't weld my brace I bridged it over the diff head casting if you want to swop left to right just cut the short side at the hub flange and the long side at the same distance weld the short side flange to what was the long side and use a muff tube machined to a press fit to sit inside the axle for the long side..... my old early SIII salisbury appears to have cast legs..... there appears to be a seam down the outside of the tube and the internal dia got larger as you got closer to the diff head there is also no decernable weld between the hub flange and the axle tube.... because of this I made the muff tube overlap 3 x the dia and did two sets of plug welds each side as well as a full penetration v weld on the tube.... the tube welded nicely with no odd deposits floating in the weld puddle and no cooling cracking on the welds so I was happy with welding it

Dont' know if the later model stuff is also a cast tube but I'd still be inclined to do the same just for good form lol

I know this is a bit against the rover theme of the site but what about rockwell axles for this...... they have a vertical diff with a right angle drive that puts the drive shaft up above the axle housing

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Thank you all, that gives me something to go on. I'll see what I can hunt down from dirtydiesel too

Do you mind if I ask what your welding process was in the end, mat2494? Interesting choice if they are cast iron and welded! Drilling plug welds out seems entirely possible - a few holes in the tube can easily be fixed once extracted. I think I saw a pic of a diff without the tubes on your ratio swap blog entry, Snagger? Were they just cut for ease of handling the donor?

I'm afraid so - the tubes were just cut away with a grinder as they were damaged and useless, but I wanted to keep the diff as it was in good condition.

I't quite possible the plug welds are just holding in a locating dowel that passes through the drilled hole in the casing and into a matching hole in the tube, but that is just speculation.

I know somebody replaced the tubes on a bent axle, I think he was in South Africa. If it wasn't on this forum, it'd have been on ExpeditionPortal.com . AN alternative tould be internal sleeving in the existing tubes - they have plenty of internal space without getting close to the half shafts.

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Do you mind if I ask what your welding process was in the end,

You can certainly ask, unfortunately I didn't write the formula for success down, but the key to it was pre-heating of the surrounding area to prevent the welds cracking as they cooled, obviously the larger the workpiece the harder this gets. I will have a look later and see if I can find which rods i used (on my test pieces I found the arc welder to be a little more forgiving than the Mig)

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I know this is a bit against the rover theme of the site but what about rockwell axles for this...... they have a vertical diff with a right angle drive that puts the drive shaft up above the axle housing

Waaay to easy! :D On a more serious note, they are quite heavy and large, so perhaps not really suited for a Landy like 6x6. That being said though, we are spoiled here in Northerne Europe, because the Rockwells we get a hold of from Norway all has lockers ;) The yanks haven't even got that themselves :ph34r:

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Hello, and apologies for a very tardy reply. A heavy dose of flu this week has made it hard to write anything coherent..

Again, thank you all for the info. Ive got a ropey old casing I don't mind chopping about, so I'll post my findings as I start taking it apart. It'll be interesting, even if only to justify my curiosity for how they're put together. Maybe it'll help someone else in the future. A tubular insert would seem to be a good option if you were going to modify them, though, and very strong.

I came across the Perentie in my research, and I understand they're being withdrawn from service. I haven't managed to hunt down too many photos of the suspension and drive line arrangements yet, though. I have to admit to being tempted, but not as tempted as I am to get my hands dirty and see what I can engineer myself....

I'll look up the Rockwell's, they do sound interesting. Agreed that a vertical diff could be good, but does depend on weight, track and fixings. Can't have too many research avenues to explore, even if it isn't Land Rover ;)

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Thanks! Some interesting comments from Bill about the plug welds being really hard on the LR axles.... Those merc axles DD has there seem to be very similar construction.

That would make sense.... if the housing is cast iron (very high carbon) the plug weld will pull carbon from cast iron and mix it into the weld and due to the heat and rapid cooling due to the large heat sink from the axle tube and housing... so in an uncontrolled way you have high carbon steel welds that are hardened

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Perhaps a starret hole saw larger than the plug weld and with the centre drill removed might work, you could cut the whole hard lump out then. Probably be a bugger to start without the drill bit and would have to be done on a pillar drill with the axle firmly clamped down.

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That's a good call. I'm wondering now if I've got enough space around my pillar drill to get an axle in! A magnetic base drill would be handy here... I do have a plasma cutter, but that tends to be more than a little messy starting blind.

I do like a challenge :)

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Probably not too useful for this application but I came across these Chinese hole saws when I needed to drill some bigger holes in a motorbike engine. I have never seen them in NZ before, they give a surprisingly nice cut and better hole size than a cheap jobber drill. The only problem is they only have a shallow recess in them so for what I was doing I had to start with a small size and work my way up so I was only cutting the width of the teeth, that said though I just put the last size cutter on the mandrel backwards, the the new cutter so it acted as a guide. Back on topic though, it sounds like even once the plug welds are out it is no easy job pressing the tubes out anyway

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20151017_141843_zpsrres1uuy.jpg

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