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89 C1500 Corporate 10 bolt, weld or braze?

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Sharky

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#1
just discovered a leaking axle tube, appears rust has penetrated the left axle tube under the u-bolt plate.

the tube is solid where the plate makes contact but concave between the contact points.

replacing the whole axle is not an option right now, and the axles, bearings, eaton brute, ring and pinion are all fresh within the last 2 years.

should i weld the leak shut or braze it? what is the benefit or disadvantage to either?

i'm also considering a plate/patch over the whole area once the leak is repaired. thoughts?

ugh, just what i needed to get involved with right now
 

JimDawson

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#2
I think I would braze it up. I actually bent an axle tube by welding on it. After that it kept taking out wheel bearings. I had a heck of a time straightening it out again, wound up making a measuring fixture and then welding beads on the opposite side until I got it in alignment again.
 

Rbeckett

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#3
Inspect it to make sure it is otherwise mechanically sound and do a patch after you braze up the offending hole. Try to sweat the patch onto it in such a way that it has as much contact surface as possible to prevent further leaks. But make sure that it is sound and not rotten in more places than you can see. A scratch awl or similar probe works pretty good for finding hidden rust and weak spots.

Bob
 

SWARFEATER

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#4
that's some mighty thick tubing for rust just to poke a hole through. any how, brazing will put far more heat and warpage into it than just zapping a quick bead of weld. clean it very well, hit it with a sand blast if you can, locate the hole and grind or drill a small spot into it. zap a quick hot bead into it, making sure oil is not leaking out as you do it. 2 or 3 seconds of weld wont change dimensions much at all.
 

Sharky

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#5
Heres a pic, I think the leak is under the u-bolt bracket on the bottom. There were rusty depressions in the hollow area under the bracket when I did the new springs a few months ago. Wasn't leaking then....

0893ba02eaede7f20e5bd8c24cbc0f88.jpg
 

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12bolts

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#7
Oh Boy,
That looks like some serious electrolysis action!
What about in a few other similar areas where that could occur? They look okay?

Cheers Phil
 

Sharky

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#8
I just did springs this spring and when I saw the damage then I was nervous, but the rest was really solid so I figured i'd wing it. A little scary on this repair as I was in it, blew through a couple times, but its solid now.

Not looking foward to ever doing it again, but saving close to a grand makes me happy!

...On to the next project...
 

arcflash

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#10
Wow! I was going to say that tube is thick having cut and narrowing one myself. Its amazing how rust can dissolve that thick of tubing.
 

tpic402

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#11
worked for a fleet that had alot of c3500 Chevrolets the lower bracket that holds the axle tube against the springs usually let go first, the design of the saddle gathers road salt and dirt and never dries out. as someone else stated a very good situation for electrolosis
 

Sharky

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#12
The other "Mod" that wasn't mentioned is the drain holes in the saddle. The original were about 1/8" and were plugged solid with rust, mud, sand and who knows what else.... Opened them up to 5/16" Plenty of metal, but now everything drains out, sand, dirt, small rocks. Hopefully that reduces the wet buildup for the long term. As of now, the repair seems to be clean and solid, no regrets on fixing vs replacing.
 

The Liberal Arts Garage

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#13
Inspect it to make sure it is otherwise mechanically sound and do a patch after you braze up the offending hole. Try to sweat the patch onto it in such a way that it has as much contact surface as possible to prevent further leaks. But make sure that it is sound and not rotten in more places than you can see. A scratch awl or similar probe works pretty good for finding hidden rust and weak spots.

Bob
Braze a patch; clean very well, make a patchout of # 14 / 1/8 soft steel make a little
bit "C" shaped . It should overhang 3" or so,held with sturdy hose clamps . Tack
six places, then do the upper edges, followed by the ends.......BLJHB.
 
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