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damaged front dana 60 housing

1125 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  robinr
i should be rolling right now, so i'll make this quick!

this is regarding the truck in my sig., which i've had about a year, and have had parked about 6 months.

passenger side-lower ball joint "slop" went too long; and improper ball joint was installed to begin with(top ball joint used in bottom ball joint location).

improper fit allowed the ball joint nut to rub against the flat surface of the inner c, that it was supposed to fit snug and flat against.

that in turn "wobled out" the flat surface of the inner C. or to say it another way: there is now a convex shaped chamfer below the ball joint nut.

it is bad enough that the balljoint nut can not tighten the ball joint stud.

as for all the other parts and rebuilding the thing, no problem.

my problem is what to do about the damaged housing>...

i've been looking all over the web:

1. i see that replacing the "inner C" requires a lot of shop equipment + welding. too much cost compared to a used or new housing. also this truck will see big highway miles with trailer again, i need absolute confidence in my steer axle! (i'm a trucker). for those reasons, not going this route.

2. used bare housings are consistently around $700. plus freight /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif i may go this rout if i have too.

3. new housing at the local dealer about $1650 with tax. if available... do you guys think it will be available??? dealer parts guy wants me to bring in tag # before he'll tell me if he can actually get it!

(note: I thought there was only 1 bare houing p/n for all 93-97 applications and the variations were in build up...)

4. the price of the axle housing on is only $1150. i wrote those guys an email this wk/nd, waiting on a response regarding shiping and availability..., i might go this route...
i checked these guys out because there a sight sponsor and they're low priced. how's there customer service?

5. lastly i was told by anther trucker that an insert can be done. kinda like cuting valve seats and installing valve seat inserts i guess. i was told at one machine shop that they can't put an insert in it because of the taper.

6. what do you guys think about welding repair of the chamfer then grinding flat? my concearn here would be with maching rod material(forged steel for christ sake??), penetration, heat warpage, weakening of the forging, and compitencey of the welder. again, i need absolute confidence in my steer axle.

i need to know if any of you have expierence with this, and/or what you think, did , etc..

one way or the other i'll keep yall posted.

thanks much,
Robin R
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My advice:
#1 Don't take the truck back to whoever installed the wrong joint.
#2 Have a good all around machine shop weld up the mounting surface and machine it back to spec. To minimize mess & hassles, I'd reccomend TIG(heli-arc) welding. The taper shouldn't be too much of a problem for a good machine shop. Either they'll put the spindle in a lathe or grinder to make the taper, or they'll use a special ground reamer. The flat surface is the easy part, the hard (read: expensive) part is the taper.
I guess depending on the depth of the concavity, you might not need to even worry about the taper as long as the concavity was filled up and flattened, and the ball joint shaft still seated properly (assuming the correct ball joint).

If you go the welding route, I think TIG would yield the best results. It offers very good controllability, low spatter, and more overall heating of the part than a regular arc welder. Penetration can be (for this purpose) as good as a regular arc welder, if not better. As far as heat warpage goes, having the welder heat up that area to a few hundred degrees before welding might not hurt. This also reduces the heat stress in the weld area. As long as the forging is a fairly standard alloy, rod type shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck however you do it.

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