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  #11  
Old 02-07-2019, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by threepiece View Post
I would not consider such a job unless I wanted a configuration that doesn't exist.
eh, a bit f a riddle
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2019, 01:22 PM
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LKeithR LKeithR is offline
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Well, I had a talk with the customer yesterday and we decided that it just wasn't worth doing the job. Turns out it was a front axle, not a rear, which means we would have to deal with steering yokes, not just plain spindles like you would on a rear axle. There's a lot more work involved to get the yokes installed and aligned correctly.

Customer found a used front axle assembly that he could get for about 1200 bucks and I figured very roughly that he'd be looking at about the same amount to re-tube the old housing. Add in the fact that a re-tube would require a complete disassembly and rebuild--I wouldn't tear something like that down and not replace all the bearings and seals--the final cost of the re-tube would be significantly more than just replacing the original assembly.

There is a lot of info online (on Youtube in particular) and watching some of the videos refreshed my memory and confirmed my thinking that re-tubing one of those housing is a completely doable project. However the videos also reinforced my thoughts that there's a lot of work involved if you want things to be right when you're done. It was kind of interesting to see the range of approaches to doing something like this. Some of the guys doing the job were pretty crude backyarders while others had a pretty professional approach to getting things done and ensuring that everything was aligned correctly at the end. I'd say that pretty much everything I looked at was being done because somebody wanted a heavier axle in their vehicle, not because they were repairing damage....
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
Well, I had a talk with the customer yesterday and we decided that it just wasn't worth doing the job. Turns out it was a front axle, not a rear, which means we would have to deal with steering yokes, not just plain spindles like you would on a rear axle. There's a lot more work involved to get the yokes installed and aligned correctly.

Customer found a used front axle assembly that he could get for about 1200 bucks and I figured very roughly that he'd be looking at about the same amount to re-tube the old housing. Add in the fact that a re-tube would require a complete disassembly and rebuild--I wouldn't tear something like that down and not replace all the bearings and seals--the final cost of the re-tube would be significantly more than just replacing the original assembly.

There is a lot of info online (on Youtube in particular) and watching some of the videos refreshed my memory and confirmed my thinking that re-tubing one of those housing is a completely doable project. However the videos also reinforced my thoughts that there's a lot of work involved if you want things to be right when you're done. It was kind of interesting to see the range of approaches to doing something like this. Some of the guys doing the job were pretty crude backyarders while others had a pretty professional approach to getting things done and ensuring that everything was aligned correctly at the end. I'd say that pretty much everything I looked at was being done because somebody wanted a heavier axle in their vehicle, not because they were repairing damage....
If it's not worth the money it's not worth your time!
and a front axle is a bit more challenging but still doable, you do need the right tools to do it right... they do sell jigs for this but with your advanced skills as a machinist, you could prolly make your own...
In this case or the dilemma of yours... If it were a custom build I say the money is good. go for it but just a stock tube replacement it's not worth your time or his time or anyone's time for that matter!
It is much better to send them down the road to a salvage yard to pick up a sued one... but even then they never think of the gear ratio has to match then they are on a quest to find someone to swap the gearset...

I usually won't turn down a diff. shop job or a custom build because it's
ching-ching in da bank... but I do have a few that walk away because of what I charge... because they can get it done under a tree for a little of nothing but always wonder why it blew while out rat rodding around
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  #14  
Old 02-08-2019, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MetalWolf View Post
...and a front axle is a bit more challenging but still doable, you do need the right tools to do it right... they do sell jigs for this but with your advanced skills as a machinist, you could prolly make your own...
On a front axle you've got to get the yokes aligned correctly in two dimensions if you want the axle to be right. About the only way I know to do it correctly is with a fixture and that would be way too expensive to build for a one-off job. If I were 25-30 years younger making a jig might make sense; there might actually be a chance I'd use it again. But at my age the chances that I'll ever re-tube another axle again are pretty slim. You also have to consider that, especially in the automotive/truck field, models can change quickly and a fixture that was good yesterday may be useless next week.

Quote:
...I usually won't turn down a diff. shop job or a custom build because it's ching-ching in da bank... but I do have a few that walk away because of what I charge... because they can get it done under a tree for a little of nothing but always wonder why it blew while out rat rodding around...
Yeah, backyarders are always there to contend with. You just have to keep going and do things right. We lose the odd job because of that but really, in our case, very few. Come July I will have been in business here for 50 years so I've got a lot of contacts to get work from. We do work for the sons of some of our earlier customers and in a couple cases we're actually dealing with grandsons.

This particular customer is a regular of ours; we do quite a bit for them so we know each other well. We don't BS each other so there are few issues between us...
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2019, 09:01 PM
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MetalWolf MetalWolf is offline
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Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
On a front axle you've got to get the yokes aligned correctly in two dimensions if you want the axle to be right. About the only way I know to do it correctly is with a fixture and that would be way too expensive to build for a one-off job. If I were 25-30 years younger making a jig might make sense; there might actually be a chance I'd use it again. But at my age the chances that I'll ever re-tube another axle again are pretty slim. You also have to consider that, especially in the automotive/truck field, models can change quickly and a fixture that was good yesterday may be useless next week.



Yeah, backyarders are always there to contend with. You just have to keep going and do things right. We lose the odd job because of that but really, in our case, very few. Come July I will have been in business here for 50 years so I've got a lot of contacts to get work from. We do work for the sons of some of our earlier customers and in a couple cases we're actually dealing with grandsons.

This particular customer is a regular of ours; we do quite a bit for them so we know each other well. We don't BS each other so there are few issues between us...
Keith, When I found your thread and conversation on differential repair a bit of a topic as I do like building diffs. and so I chimed in on it knowing I'd have "a" Diff. job coming in, an assembly which was an expected customer.

But Had no Idea I would be having a 68 Impala diff., 05 Chevy AWD Diff., and 01 Dodge Diff. and yesterday the front diff. for an 08 F250 4x4, all dropped in the yard in the last three days... the worst part is all having to be pulled from the vehicles which, is! what I don't like doing. I like doing bench work...
So looks like I'm never going to get to take a vacation... just means I'll buy more tools.
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