Need help on how to "Drill out" plug welds in Dana 60 axle housing.... "hole saw"? - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Thank you Joe Rogers

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Rogers View Post
    I didn't work at a Chevy/GMC dealership when these trucks were current but I did take all factory training for the system. So, I have no hands on experience with the “system”. That said I have heard horror stories from other techs attempting to repair faults under warranty. Several buy-backs resulted. The functioning system garners owner raves. Broken quadrasreer axles may be hard to diagnose due to lack of volume that limits tech experience. Be meticulous with wiring routing,connections and grounds in the harness. GM recommends a specific dielectric lube on all terminals to prevent fretting and voltage loss due to added resistance. GM also uses a 5 volt signal source that is easier to degrade with poor contact in the connectors.
    I hope you aren’t mixing and matching the powerplant,transmission,and braking systems. The factory integrates the inputs and sensors from other control modules to allow the quadrasteer to know what to do...all communicated over several communication circuits with various data rates and circuit designs.
    Not easy to find a glitch and failures in some links cause no starts and stalls. Fun stuff. Glad I’m retired.
    Joe
    That's good stuff Joe and much appreciated.
    Objective is to make system think it's still in a Yukon, 100%.(110%!) Zero "performance" tweaks.
    Indeed, NO "swapping in" extraneous , non-native elements . Engine, exhaust/O2 sensors, brakes,trans,100% transplant is the mantra here. I got the whole running/working vehicle so any screw up is on me.
    Anything data stream/sensor impacting engine is investigated and stays.
    You indicate "Glad I'm retired".........Isn't this what were supposed to do in retirement?.......why
    don't I get these memos?..........Oh shit!

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  3. #42
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    If you are familiar with pressing stuff this size apart it takes more force and heat than you would expect. You can only to heat to 400 or you will distort things. You will need 40 tons in addition to that heat. I was warned not to exceed 40 tons because the housing will distort past that.

    If you don't have a way to check your work you can't really be sure of anything. The sleeve it and pull it together with allthread theory will sort of work, but your cuts won't be straight unless you set the entire thing up in a 24" + swing lathe and cut it apart. Even then if you butt the tube ends you won't have a full penetration weld. The axle will probably work fine if it's an 1/8" off, but if you are going to drive it more than just look at it then you will want things closer.

    If I ever do this kind of work again I will build a fixture which bolts to my HBM table and locates the housing off the carrier bearing bores. Way more accurate than the bar through the pucks method.

    This isn't rocket surgery, you just need common sense and some way to quantify your work. If you can't check it you're probably going to make garbage and not know it.

  4. #43
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    Hi Garwood
    Thanks for the 400 degree stuff, will monitor that if I go that way.
    The big question then will be can casting expand enough at 400 degrees to allow rotation?
    No big hydraulic press stuff for me as tubes are not coming out.
    Google up " lifted TR6 " images. That yellow one is mine I made 15 years or so ago, someone took pictures of it at a British bike show recently and posted it.
    Axles are Suzuki Samurai I cut tubes by making deep score with quality Rigid pipe cutter and following grove with porta-band. Cut was remarkably square and any imperfection was absorbed by the kerf gap when tubes were brought back in for weld. That one I aligned along the OD (no inner sleeve). 15 years on and I'm still good.
    That little axle I did on my work bench!
    This dana 60 scares the crap out of me, so inner press fit sleeve alignment I believe is a must.
    This Quadrasteer axle has no "outboard" bearing to indicate off of other than maybe a seal bore, but I'm not going to get that deep into puck stuff as the CV joint can/should/maybe/praytogod take up some misalignment, going to try hard to get a really, really good inner sleeve job done. ( Or grind plug welds, heat and turn)
    Sittin' on a fence at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe28704 View Post
    Hi Garwood
    Thanks for the 400 degree stuff, will monitor that if I go that way.
    The big question then will be can casting expand enough at 400 degrees to allow rotation?
    No big hydraulic press stuff for me as tubes are not coming out.
    Google up " lifted TR6 " images. That yellow one is mine I made 15 years or so ago, someone took pictures of it at a British bike show recently and posted it.
    Axles are Suzuki Samurai I cut tubes by making deep score with quality Rigid pipe cutter and following grove with porta-band. Cut was remarkably square and any imperfection was absorbed by the kerf gap when tubes were brought back in for weld. That one I aligned along the OD (no inner sleeve). 15 years on and I'm still good.
    That little axle I did on my work bench!
    This dana 60 scares the crap out of me, so inner press fit sleeve alignment I believe is a must.
    This Quadrasteer axle has no "outboard" bearing to indicate off of other than maybe a seal bore, but I'm not going to get that deep into puck stuff as the CV joint can/should/maybe/praytogod take up some misalignment, going to try hard to get a really, really good inner sleeve job done. ( Or grind plug welds, heat and turn)
    Sittin' on a fence at the moment.
    I know this is a year and a half old, but what did you end up doing? I’m trying to narrow one of these quadrasteer axles 11” right now.

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    Well since he hasn't been on this forum in almost 2 years I wouldn't expect an answer.

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    I have done this on a regular basis. It is easier and less work to turn down or even grind the welds on the steering knuckles. They have less of a press fit than the pumpkin.

    Aligning the steering knuckles is not as difficult as you may think, I say this because you want to drill out the pumpkin plug welds. Some plug welds are different sizes, I had up three different size plug welds on one axle.

    You will have to cut or grind off the spring perches, but usually this needs to be done as any upgrades usually require a slightly different set up. You will be further along if you plan this now.

    Annular cutters don't work as you are not cutting the entire plug weld and you should not go all the way through the axle tube. A big carbide end mill works best. And once you do remove the weld, there is always a tiny amount of material that makes life difficult to remove the tubes or spin them. The tubes are round, the end mill is square so you have to go a bit deeper in the tube to ensure all the weld is removed. This is added frustration of the tight press fit of the Dana 60 axle. Dana 44's are not as bad, get into 3/4 and 1 ton axles and they can be difficult.

    The knuckle is the easiest to spin with heat and a hammer or use a very long bar (preferred) through the ball joint holes with the axle strapped down.

    I have had customers bring in their axles after trying the backyard method. The axle is usually chewed up and needs more work than if they just brought it in.

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    Default Still sittinng on the fence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chambersj View Post
    I know this is a year and a half old, but what did you end up doing? I’m trying to narrow one of these quadrasteer axles 11” right now.
    Hi Chambers,
    What a coincidence to receive your question.
    I just received a "spare" (or sacrificial) Quadrasteer Dana 60 yesterday.( nice, low miles)
    I chose the path of fear, indecision, aversion,and non-involement.
    In my appliction I was able to achieve ( on paper) acceptable drivetrain angle geometry by employing a custom made DUAL double cardan driveshaft. At the moment no axle housing surgery is in the works. I got the spare if one must go under the knife. This vehicles completion date to test drive is realistically two years out. Just grafted the factory steering column with the necessary rotary encoder. ( by the way you can buy the encoder separately and stab it on any driveshaft if you study how to set them up)
    My second non surgical option is to just rotate the diff the few degrees necessary to point it towards the transfer case output and make a driveshaft with just one double cardan joint in it. Yes this will impact the factory caster angle so it will limit my use of the quadrasteer to low speeds for maneuvering , and I will avoid highway use. I can live with that compromise.
    The axle without the actuator and on a small wooden pallet weighed 540 lbs ! This is way out of my basement shop leauge, but if it must go under the knife i'll have to interview some shops around the area and step up to the task, I won't undertake the task alone as I did easily with the suzuki samurai axle, that much i've learned from this forum.
    This forum has been EXTREMELY helpful to me in fleshing out the options.

    But right now i'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay.........

    P.S.
    How do you intend to shorten the axle shafting if your housing narrowing is succesful?

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe28704 View Post
    Hi Chambers,
    What a coincidence to receive your question.
    I just received a "spare" (or sacrificial) Quadrasteer Dana 60 yesterday.( nice, low miles)
    I chose the path of fear, indecision, aversion,and non-involement.
    In my appliction I was able to achieve ( on paper) acceptable drivetrain angle geometry by employing a custom made DUAL double cardan driveshaft. At the moment no axle housing surgery is in the works. I got the spare if one must go under the knife. This vehicles completion date to test drive is realistically two years out. Just grafted the factory steering column with the necessary rotary encoder. ( by the way you can buy the encoder separately and stab it on any driveshaft if you study how to set them up)
    My second non surgical option is to just rotate the diff the few degrees necessary to point it towards the transfer case output and make a driveshaft with just one double cardan joint in it. Yes this will impact the factory caster angle so it will limit my use of the quadrasteer to low speeds for maneuvering , and I will avoid highway use. I can live with that compromise.
    The axle without the actuator and on a small wooden pallet weighed 540 lbs ! This is way out of my basement shop leauge, but if it must go under the knife i'll have to interview some shops around the area and step up to the task, I won't undertake the task alone as I did easily with the suzuki samurai axle, that much i've learned from this forum.
    This forum has been EXTREMELY helpful to me in fleshing out the options.

    But right now i'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay.........

    P.S.
    How do you intend to shorten the axle shafting if your housing narrowing is succesful?
    Luckily the axle shafts don’t choke down any and the shop they’re at van respline them. I have the axle at a shop that only does stuff like this. He’s wanting to cut the tubes because he said I wouldn’t want to pay what it would cost to have the knuckle end taken off then put back on.

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    Default Sounds like you have a plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Chambersj View Post
    Luckily the axle shafts donÂ’t choke down any and the shop theyÂ’re at van respline them. I have the axle at a shop that only does stuff like this. HeÂ’s wanting to cut the tubes because he said I wouldnÂ’t want to pay what it would cost to have the knuckle end taken off then put back on.
    Yes,I recall now the ends of the splines being straight, good for you on that one.
    Sounds like your machinist has a the experience to guide you thru the cutting approach.
    Other than being a cow to deal with it sounds like a pretty straight forward method.
    I hope you can do it all without removing the pinion.

    P.S. how do you plan to use the encoder/steering position sensor at the end of the steering column?
    Best wishes.

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    you could also air arc gouge it out the plug weld that is, uses a carbon rod attached to the welder and a compressed air supply.

    difficulty will be in getting the tubes to turn, they may be pressed in.

    look up the process if you haven't seen it, may not need to go all the way through so you don't end up with at through hole.

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    Default Thanks Street

    Quote Originally Posted by Street View Post
    you could also air arc gouge it out the plug weld that is, uses a carbon rod attached to the welder and a compressed air supply.

    difficulty will be in getting the tubes to turn, they may be pressed in.

    look up the process if you haven't seen it, may not need to go all the way through so you don't end up with at through hole.
    I never heard of that Air Arc Gouge process , thank you for the info. I'm eager to read up on it.

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    Air Arc is not the right process for an axle, especially for someone who has never heard of it.

  15. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chambersj View Post
    Luckily the axle shafts don’t choke down any and the shop they’re at van respline them. I have the axle at a shop that only does stuff like this. He’s wanting to cut the tubes because he said I wouldn’t want to pay what it would cost to have the knuckle end taken off then put back on.
    I don't understand the length cut down and respline.
    Axels in my world are only induction hardened for the spline area and perhaps into the bearing locating. This line is a big process control thing on where it ends or "fades".
    If you shorten you are into the "soft" area which is there to allow flex and twist so that that they do not fracture.
    Is the new cut spline hardened after the made short?

    Even when making stuff you made last week adjusting this and getting a good cut from the met-lab would be a problem with power and travel levels in the induction hardener.
    I so hated spline length changes. Tweak this, move that, put in new coils......and the worse, wait for the fatigue lab results.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I don't understand the length cut down and respline.
    Axels in my world are only induction hardened for the spline area and perhaps into the bearing locating. This line is a big process control thing on where it ends or "fades".
    If you shorten you are into the "soft" area which is there to allow flex and twist so that that they do not fracture.
    Is the new cut spline hardened after the made short?

    Even when making stuff you made last week adjusting this and getting a good cut from the met-lab would be a problem with power and travel levels in the induction hardener.
    I so hated spline length changes. Tweak this, move that, put in new coils......and the worse, wait for the fatigue lab results.
    Bob
    The guys that "make" aftermarket axleshafts like Moser, dutchmans, etc just turn and cut blanks or re-machine your old ones. I have "made" axleshafts for a big name co that wanted to offer a made in USA line. The splines were soft.

    The splines are soft, but they still hold up to racing stuff fine. Maybe not 300,000 road miles though.

    Kieth, the guy that started Dutchmans 50 years ago told me he has milled splines in many tens of thousands of axle shafts and never had a problem if he got the fit right. His splines were always straight sided too.

    I'm sure you're aware that aftermarket automotive stuff isn't always an improvement, but it works. Probably looks prettier and has some cool stickers in the box.

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    This axle will be going under a 2003 rcsb that I’ve added all of the qs wiring to. I have a spare axle that I’m on my way to now. I’m going to attempt to blow the plug welds out and knock the knuckles off. The spare axle housing is already junk. The carrier exploded, damaging the housing. If this method works I will just have the shop I took the good one to cut down the axles and respline them.


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