Advice on making transmission shafts - Page 2
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    They make their shafts of 300M.
    The trouble with 300M is that it doesn't get that hard. It's just 4340, anyhow. So you're looking at 42-ish. If you've got any sort of abrasive wear going on, something that will case harden will work better. I have had some unfortunate experiences with splines that should have been fine in that range but were not

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    The trouble with 300M is that it doesn't get that hard. It's just 4340, anyhow. So you're looking at 42-ish. If you've got any sort of abrasive wear going on, something that will case harden will work better. I have had some unfortunate experiences with splines that should have been fine in that range but were not
    Ran Metalore input shafts for 20 years on AP triple disc clutches, 3 hubs on the input shaft spline with no real wear issues at all

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Ran Metalore input shafts for 20 years on AP triple disc clutches, 3 hubs on the input shaft spline with no real wear issues at all
    There are other applications in the world besides Indy Cars. Yes, agreed, axles I made for the UOP Shadow Can-Am cars and a BT-44 (among others) were 300M. But it isn't ideal for everything. The drive shafts for the Coast Guard that went in the pumps they drop onto sinking ships were originally 4340 - and they broke. The new ones I made did not, and they were not 300M.

    What you are doing with it makes a difference.

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    And is is possible to have nitrided maraging steel without affecting the age harding of the maraging steel:

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/1...0/6/062013/pdf

    This combines both processes:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...141?via%3Dihub


    Heat Treatment of VascoMax 350 CVM

    • Anneal by holding at 1475° to 1525°F (802° to 829°C) for one hour for each inch of thickness, air cool
    • Age after solution anneal by holding at 900° to 950°F (482° to 510°C) between 3 and 6 hours, then air cool
    • Nitriding can be achieved by heating between 800°and 850°F (427° and 454°C) for at least 20 hours

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post

    My experience with speed shops are...they don't want to make anything custom for anyone other than themselves. In other words, they might know who to farm this out to, but they won't undertake that on behalf of a third party.
    It's probably because their tired of hearing, "whadda ya mean it's $xxx ea for 5 shafts, I can buy similar shafts from Napa for a fraction of what you want to charge me"

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    Thanks again everyone, lots of good suggestions.

    I hear you on the speed shops getting tired of lowballers...but that doesn't mean that (especially today) there isn't the flipside where they want to send their kids to college on your dime. The TV show mentality where the customer gladly pays $15,000 to get their hood repainted or $25,000 for a set of wheels. I'm kinda getting tired of getting quoted prices that translate to a shop rate of $500/hour....

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    Thanks again everyone, lots of good suggestions.

    I hear you on the speed shops getting tired of lowballers...but that doesn't mean that (especially today) there isn't the flipside where they want to send their kids to college on your dime. The TV show mentality where the customer gladly pays $15,000 to get their hood repainted or $25,000 for a set of wheels. I'm kinda getting tired of getting quoted prices that translate to a shop rate of $500/hour....
    Presumeably your dividing the price you've been given by the number of hours you assume it should take and arrived at $500/hr. I suspect the hours you assume it should take are too low, and you haven't maybe accounted for all the logistics required in getting the parts made which takes time.

    If the vendor is sending the part out for heat treat/grinding/gear cutting, then you need to factor that in, cost of material etc, after all is said and done, I seriously dought their making $500/hr.

    If it was me I would get the material, do the turning, then send out for gear cutting/heat treat, grinding (or whatever order is required) That would control your costs, but on the other hand your going to discover what it takes to work with multiple vendors, moving the parts around etc.

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    That's what I'm hoping to do, but even at that I have to find people who can/will do the parts I can't.

    Let me give you an example of what I mean...the local sandblaster does mega-big pressure vessels. Tanks that are 80 feet long and 12 feet diameter. They have a big blaster, and 2 or 3 guys who do nothing but blast all day. They also like to do side jobs....the owner pockets the cash and it's easy money given his overhead is covered. That worked fine until he got sick and let his sons run the place. They adopted the new-age mentality of pricing not based on their 'outlay plus a nice profit' but rather 'what's it worth to the buyer'. So now you take a pair of old brake drums and a steel bellhousing to get blasted and they tell you $150.

    I know their guys will take no more than 5 minutes per part, and $50 or even $75 would be pure gravy. I'd be fine with that. But 4 x $150 = $600/hr is a shop rate I'm not gonna swallow. So I tell him 'no thanks' and go do it myself. I've wasted my time and he's out a free steak dinner for him and his date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph406 View Post
    Presumeably your dividing the price you've been given by the number of hours you assume it should take and arrived at $500/hr. I suspect the hours you assume it should take are too low, and you haven't maybe accounted for all the logistics required in getting the parts made which takes time.

    If the vendor is sending the part out for heat treat/grinding/gear cutting, then you need to factor that in, cost of material etc, after all is said and done, I seriously dought their making $500/hr.

    If it was me I would get the material, do the turning, then send out for gear cutting/heat treat, grinding (or whatever order is required) That would control your costs, but on the other hand your going to discover what it takes to work with multiple vendors, moving the parts around etc.
    That. Right there. < pointing up > It's also one of the reasons we originally started out doing all of it, here. We make a fair amount of shafts just like those and we do the turning, the gear cutting, the heat treating, & the grinding. What you need to remember ( and machinists are fairly bad at this when shopping around ) is to not only account for the time of each operation, but also the set up time for each machine, and all the other concerns that an operating shop has to cover, as well.

    Having said that, I don't expect that it should be too difficult to find anyone to make those. There's three of us in this thread alone that can do it well enough. Any competent gear shop should be able to.

    As an aside, despite the attractiveness of it on the surface I might be an outlier in that I normally discourage the thought of the individual person cutting blanks and sending them in to have the gear teeth installed. The reason is that there are many times that other operations need to be accommodated for and most times the person doing the rough turning does not have the background or knowledge to do so.

    Example - We just tried to help someone that needed a shaft they made by doing the cylindrical grinding for them. They turned it just fine. They even had it heat treated somewhere else and that went well enough. It's RC65, everywhere.

    It's also 0.040" PER SIDE oversize.

    They thought they were helping when we instructed them to leave 0.010" grind stock...

    Of course, the flip side to that is someone that actually listens and pays attention. We recently cut some blanks for a forum member's Mazak. Despite my reservations, I allowed him to make the blanks AND the fixturing, in effort for him to save money. I knew it would go poorly.

    I was wrong. His blanks were good, and his fixture exactly what I instructed him. It went perfectly.

    You pays your money, or you takes your chances...

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    I first need to make a good (or at least coherent) drawing then I plan to start asking around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    It's also 0.040" PER SIDE oversize.
    If it was cased, you just went right through it

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    Default aftermarket shafting

    Interesting thread regarding a subject we have a bit of experience and now avoid. Few automotive enthusiasts and hack machinists are familiar with transmission shaft design and manufacture. When approached, we explain the intensive labor to correctly reverse engineer and create CAD drawings suitable for manufacture. Also detail the overhead of maintaining a full, gear metrology lab and extensive tool inventory.

    My background includes several years as a field service engineer for Fellows gear shaper and Lees Bradner gear hobbing. Had worked in most every transmission plant in N. America including Hydramatic, Livonia T&C and Kokomo. If there was a gear or spline I haven't cut, likely performed inspection on our metrology instruments. Have unique experience on the non standard nature of automotive involute profiles. Later developed a productline and helped launch distribution of aftermarket transmission service parts for a very successful corporation.

    With my own firm have no interest in automotive nor do most gear manufacturers. In past have spent countless hours rolling splines for base circle diameter. Running Microdex charts to define base pitch. Then, backing into diametral pitch, pressure angle and circular tooth thickness. Often finding a pure mongrel design. After such investment and initial market success our unique parts would be forwarded to Asia and copied. Never was spline geometry or material correct. Yet, being a whore's market end users will always buy by price.

    Hence we only service professional, commercial accounts willing to pay for our experience. Such accounts include agriculture, timber harvesting, marine propulsion and fracking. The margins are huge with customers delighted in product of greater strength, accuracy and often less expensive than OEM. Point being, if shopping for transmission shafts understand these are complex parts beyond the scope of most machinists, and I didn't even address materials, thermal processing, straighening and journal sizing.

    As an addendum, the aftermarket is plagued with parts that do not interchange. Trying to defend your design to an end user that has no comprehension of actual vs. effective spline size is useless.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sample24-1-.jpg   sample31-1-.jpg  

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    I'm glad for you...but to my ears your company is a 'dime a dozen'. What that means is you've justified why you should be able to charge a bunch of money for doing a good job. It's a very common business approach, one usually headed by accountants and HR people.

    A company (or individual) who can do a good job WITHOUT charging a bunch of money - they're the ones who are truly in control of their operations. They're the bad-asses. All the metrology, CAD, and other systems are what are called 'the cost of being in business.' I don't wanna hear about it. I remember taking (1) tire to get dismounted from (1) rim and the guy told me they wanted $18 because "they got a new $4,000 tire machine to pay for.' I told him for sure he had a problem on his hands, but meanwhile I was OK with him using his old machine that was sitting there and charging me $8. He didn't like that.

    McDonald's has a million dollars invested in an outlet - but they'll sell me a hamburger for $1. They don't tell me about the massive infrastructure that goes into making the french fries and why I should belly up to paying $435 for them.

    The part I want made is very, very common part that was produced in the millions over a 25 year span. I'll bet there are ten sitting within a 5 mile radius of anyone in a populated region of the USA. There should be very little mystery behind the splines for anyone who has been in the business. A company that is good at making shafts should be able to look at this shaft and realize their skills and tools allow them to make one without a lot of fuss. A company that has lots of fat and incompetence may still be able to make one - as long as they can find a market that will pay for their inefficiencies.

    The mere fact that your 'margins are huge' tells me I wouldn't want you working for me anyway. Just like I don't want to hire the roofer who shows up in a $125K lifted 4x4.

    There are plenty of companies making similar (not the same exact) shafts with great success and selling them for under $500...so I know it's not a $5,000 part. In fact, the aftermarket shafts are produced expressly to be better than OEM parts...so there's no doubt they know what they're doing.

    What I guess I'm saying is I need a machinist, not a businessman, to make this part.

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    I would be interested in hearing what you think you should be paying for your five or less shafts, as it pertains to this discussion and your previous statements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 fingers View Post
    ..... Trying to defend your design to an end user that has no comprehension of actual vs. effective spline size is useless.
    Making and controlling auto drive-train splines just sucks.
    So many ways for it to come out wrong even when it seems right.
    Adjust to get gauge #4 in and now #3 is out, tweak again and now #1 is out, go back to where you think you started and 2 won't fit .........get it running good and then you hit new a heat batch of stock.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post

    The part I want made is very, very common part that was produced in the millions over a 25 year span. I'll bet there are ten sitting within a 5 mile radius of anyone in a populated region of the USA.
    These guys ought to have it if it is such a common part:
    Used Auto Parts Houston | Salvage yards | LKQ Pick Your Part
    Last edited by Rob F.; 09-08-2019 at 01:12 AM. Reason: spelling

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    I can't tell from flat text if you are just ignorant of the facts and details, or if you are purposely being obtuse so you can attempt to make a point.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    I'm glad for you...but to my ears your company is a 'dime a dozen'. What that means is you've justified why you should be able to charge a bunch of money for doing a good job. It's a very common business approach, one usually headed by accountants and HR people.
    You'd be doing yourself a favor to disabuse yourself of that idea, or viewpoint. Maybe do a little investigation into exactly whom you are speaking to, who they are, and what they do. ( both personally and professionally ) The Gear & Spline manufacturing world is amazingly small. ( not in size ) One does not achieve or maintain such an excellent reputation by being the person or business that you assert.


    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    A company (or individual) who can do a good job WITHOUT charging a bunch of money - they're the ones who are truly in control of their operations. They're the bad-asses. All the metrology, CAD, and other systems are what are called 'the cost of being in business.' I don't wanna hear about it.
    Whether you want to hear about it or not, the "bad-asses" are such regardless of what anyone thinks about their fees. They're bad-asses because they've done the work, know the material better than others, have the skills to back it up, and have put it all on the line by choosing to do so for themselves and their own benefit. Not someone else's.

    ( Lest some passer-by feels like acting the fool: No, I don't consider myself in that category )

    They're bad-asses for having done all that, CAN charge whatever the heck they want. And it gets paid because they're the bad-asses. The ones that get it done, and get it done correctly. Over. And over. And over, again.


    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    There should be very little mystery behind the splines for anyone who has been in the business. A company that is good at making shafts should be able to look at this shaft and realize their skills and tools allow them to make one without a lot of fuss.
    I literally laughed out loud upon reading that. You are at once seeking to farm this stuff out for lack of ability and knowledge, and in the same breath proclaiming how simple it is.

    Tidbit for you - Most Gear Shaper Cutters are considered "made to order". ( I.E., "custom" ) Not only is someone going to have to reverse engineer and deduce WHAT those Splines are, ( BOTH of them ) but they are going to have to order the custom cutters, if shaping. Have you even PRICED a custom Shaper Cutter? Have you even learned how long the wait is for one?

    Rolling Dies? Go ahead... I'll wait...


    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    There are plenty of companies making similar (not the same exact) shafts with great success and selling them for under $500...so I know it's not a $5,000 part. In fact, the aftermarket shafts are produced expressly to be better than OEM parts...so there's no doubt they know what they're doing.

    No. They are indeed not $5,000.00 each parts. I admit to having some very minor curiosity to know what makes them better than OEM parts and just how you have arrived at that conclusion. Are you reading marketing blurbs? Are you simply taking their word for it? I have some doubt that you've gauged them yourself, given your previous statements and lack of ability to make them.

    Further, I am willing to wager that they are not making them five at a time, either.

    Think this through logically for one second -

    You've the material purchase.
    You've Saw cutting.
    You've Turning.
    You've Involute installations.
    You've Heat Treating.
    You've Cylindrical Grinding.
    Add in one time set ups for each of those machine and operations.
    And thorough inspections for each.

    Don't forget about buying the Tooling...

    Just exactly how much time do you think each one of your twice splined, hardened and ground shafts are going to take?

    Now let's multiply that by average shop rates...


    I'll ask again - What do you think you should pay for your small quantity?


    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    What I guess I'm saying is I need a machinist, not a businessman, to make this part.
    Some unsolicited advice, worth exactly as much as you've paid for it - It reads/sounds more like you seek an employee willing to work off the books without the knowledge or involvement of the owner, and simply want them as cheap as possible. You might wish to temper your delivery when you do finally find someone to take these on. There are some very good reasons that Gear & Spline making is a niche of the field. And really good shops are quickly becoming far and few in between. ( according to a great deal of our own customers and others I speak with frequently ) Those that provide that level of service are more and more busy every day. Most of them don't have the time, nor inclination to appease someone for 5 or less parts, made one time and no more.

    I sincerely wish you luck with your search. As the old adage goes... You get what you pay for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 fingers View Post
    When approached, we explain the intensive labor to correctly reverse engineer and create CAD drawings suitable for manufacture.
    We know. Six hours to draw a circle in your CAD program, never heard of tangential hobbing. Before you could even get started, Dan from Oakland made the parts at a reasonable cost and the guy was overjoyed.

    You can carry this "I'm so special" thing too far, ya know ? Gear cutting is not that big a deal.

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    Default perpetual troll

    RE: Gear cutting is not that big a deal.

    Please look me up at the AGMA trade show next month. I'm eager to have you introduce me to all the industry professionals that solicit your services. Deal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    What I guess I'm saying is I need a machinist, not a businessman, to make this part.
    By all means, go find one. You seem to be coming up short in that department eh? Any
    machinist who would have made your part for your price seems to be out of business. That is
    to say, machinists typically make poor businessmen. Those that price themselves below the
    point of running the operation go away.

    And leave you with the plaintive cry of 'why won't anyone work at my price level.' French
    fries, eh? Not quite the same thing.

    Good cheap fast. Pick two.


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