• Hello there guest and welcome to our forum!
    To gain full access you must Register. Registration is free and it takes only a few moments to complete.
    Already a member? Login here then!

Straightening and welding up an 8.8 axle housing

I'm starting this thread to show you guys how much axle tubes are bent on your run of the mill 8.8. I had a conversation with a fellow last week who asked about getting tubes welded up. When I explained the process said individual seemed surprised and said " I've never had my axles straightened, just welded."

Sure you can weld up the tubes, but the axle has to be straightened before welding to be done right and the rechecked and re-straightened if needed after welding. If this is not done you are creating a situation for bearing failure which can cause a lot of other bad things to happen where you have likely spent a good amount of money.

The bearings will have unnecessary friction placed on them and create more rolling resistance too. Anyway here are some pics showing you a standard 8.8 with alignment bar bolted into it.

This is not an optical illusion. The tube is really that bent. This is the passenger side.





Driver's side is not as bad, but bent in a different direction.



I am going to take this to the pressure washer and clean / degrease it really good. Then I will straighten it and weld the tubes up and recheck it when welding is complete. I will post pics when it is complete.
 
Ok, this morning I went out and threw the rear end into the truck and went to the car wash. I blasted it with degreaser for a while, then soap and finally rinsed it. $5 gave me about 8min 30sec. Plenty of time to get it cleaned out.



Once home I got it on the stand and put the alignment bar back in it and proceeded to straightening the axle tubes. Just for comparison sake I'm posting the original pic and then the pic after the tube was straightened.

Passenger side bent tube



Passenger side tube after straightening (Note: When I brought the axle back it was flipped in the fixture compared to the original pics.)



As you can see the bushing now slides into the tube.





The driver's side just for fun.

Bent tube



Straightened tube



Again the bushing now slides into the tube on the driver's side as well.



Just a shot of the axle with both bushings in place to show it is now straight.



The next step is to prep the tubes for welding. I am waiting on an order of super missile in order to finish it up.
 
Well the tig rod I need to weld the tubes with won't be here until Friday, so I made a couple test pieces at work. The SMW rod that I am waiting for has a high stainless steel content in it, so I ran 308 stainless on my test piece because that's the closest thing to it that is available to me.

The test piece has the same wall thickness tube as an 8.8 axle which is 3/16".



 
Top