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Knuckles- what kind of steel

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bajaviking, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    What kind of steel are the knuckles made of, can you weld something to them?
     
  2. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I 'think' they're forged maleable iron. Muddytazz may be able to tell you.
     
  3. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    Inner C's.... or outter knuckles?

    I've welded on the Inner C's w/ no problems. Done trail repairs on outter knuckles and it seemed a little "crunchy". :crazy: I think the inners may be forged and the outters are cast. :dunno:

    Marv
     
  4. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    I am talking about the knuckle that the steering arm bolts onto.
     
  5. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    they are cast steel then machined where a flat surface is needed. yes you can weld to them they are steel. its not the best idea ever. what are you trying to accomplish? don't go trying to make crossover with some scrap metal and an arc welder. its your steering you need it to be right.
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    The outers are cast I believe. I have welded to them before but only as a trail emergency fix. I used the 3 batterys trail welding system with 6013 welding rods. It worked ok but I would not recommend welding to the knuckles if it is for a functioning part of your steering system.

    Harley
     
  7. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    Before machining flat tops became common a lot of fabricators (randy ellis, shannon cambel, and others) reularly welded a high steer arm on. It wasn't till the big tire craze caught on that failure became a problem. As a shortcut to the hight steer I wouldn't reccomend it. The method to do it properly isn't that easy. You need high nickle rod or a special nickle wire (kinda like flux core on roids). The knuckle needs to be removed and stripped. Then you need to preheat the knuckle and parts to be welded in an oven (a torch will just localize the heat). Next you weld away with a decent gusset going to the lower mount. Put back in the oven and step down the temp over a few hours. This is how it used to be done. It is now considered unsafe to do and then add on big tires and hydro = Bang!

    What little knuckle welding I have done usually comes out porous in the end. (this is both arc and flux). I would not reccomend it.
     
  8. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    If they are Cast STEEL then they should weld just fine. Properly prepped cast steel welds no differently than hot rolled steel or cold rolled steel or any other basic mild steel. You MAY run into brittle wleds due to the large thermal mass of the part, which is curable with pre & post heating.

    If they are Cast IRON then the above most definitely applies.

    As to which they are, I've no idea.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2006
  9. 70jimmy

    70jimmy 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Spend the money and get some knuckles that are machined to bolt the steering arms to. ORD and several other places will do knuckles for you at a reasonable cost. Its not worth the worry or breakage to have your knuckles welded.

    I am the poster child for this post. Thanks again Hoss Baby and Interceptor.

    OCG1.jpg

    OCG3.jpg

    OCG4.jpg
     
  10. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    OK OK I admit it, I was having unpure thoughts about my steering but this is what I was thinking. I want to put hydraulic assist and it seems that the stress on the steering parts is minimal once you get the hydro setup. Also, this is not a daily driver or anything, I only use it on the trail. Anyway, I should probably just pay up and do it right.:rolleyes:
     
  11. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    Hydro removes a lot of the stress from the frame and puts it directly into the knuckles.
     
  12. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    It is commonly thought that "hydro-assist" takes stress off of common steering linkage parts [such as drag links, pitman arms, etc]. But a trail breakage last year gave me a whole different outlook on it.

    Fred [FWP] broke a sector shaft on a trail we were on. Since he had hydro assist - I thought he may be able to drive it off the trail by just using the ram. This idea shows my lack of understanding of the system! :doah: Upon just slightly turning the wheel to the left, the hydro assist ram would slam the 42's to full lock. Then turning back the other way would stroke the cylinder and slam them back the other way. I realized that the only thing keeping some "control" in the system was the steering gearbox. Seems to me, the gearbox and hydro ram are constantly fighting each other until the tires get in a bind and full steering force is needed - and then they finally "team up" w/ each other.

    I am in no way knocking a hydro assist setup!... I'm just saying that you're not getting around large forces applied to steering parts when you do it...!

    Oh... and FWP has recently broke a D60 knuckle. He has since upgraded to Dedenbears [I think...].

    Marv
     
  13. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    The ram-box relationship is closer to 50/50. The box has to have resistance to sent the fluid out to the ram, and the ram needs resistance to allow the box to regulate flow correctly. So yes they do fight slightly but opperate due to path of least resistance with fluids. If you lock the pitman arm to the frame you can use the box as a very crappy proportioning (sp) valve. Not reccomended though.
     
  14. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    there is always someone selling flat top knuckles on E-bay. think of what your time is worth before investing a lot of it (time) in making something that can be bought and bolted on. the older I get the more my time is worth. when I bought my truck I could spend 40 hours sanding and greasing my leaf springs. now I buy new ones with tapered ends and pads in between. even if they were $400 thats $10 an hour.
     

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