Would you weld on or bend your stock steering components?

Trollhole

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I've come across a few post where people are giving advice on welding or bending steering components. I thought I would ask the 40 crowd.

Do you think it's safe?

Would you do it?

I personally think it is crazy for anyone to try to modify a stock steering piece by bending or weling on it. Am I alone on this one? Maybe on a trail rig but on the road I think you are just crazy and also indangering others around you.
 

nuclearlemon

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i wouldn't, but would i have a competant welder do it??? yes. my friend's dad, who is an engineer and does this kind of stuff for a living built my double steering arm and stortened my relay rod
 

woody

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I made my own double steering arm a number of years back, stick-welded it myself. Ran it for 4+ years, up to 38.5 tires, even some 70mph time....never an issue. My drag link was sleeved/welded (Scout tie rod mated to FJ40 stock) for many years too.

Toyota arms, knuckles, etc are cast STEEL and relatively weldable versus other cast products....regardless, you better know what you are doing.

My current hydro-assist ram is welded to the top of the cast front center section, no issues.
 
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Um, yeah...

I did that once, and will never do it again. I would recommend that noone does it. Just use application specific manufactured high strength parts if you need to modify anything. It's the safest way.

.02
 
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If you are a competant welder or have someone who is do the mods then you're fine - like Woody said, cast steel is not cast iron, you can weld or bend steering components and have it turn out fine. I welded my drop pitman and ran a sleeved relay rod for a while - no issues.

Many people are running bent stock steering arms for a backyard hi-steer setup - no problems to note.

It isn't really that big of a deal as long as you are sure of your abilities - it's not your life, it's the lives of everyone else around you that you need to be concerned with. If you have to ask, you probbly shouldn't do it.
 
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I run bent stock steering arms with 38.5's and sag power, no problems yet. THey seem pretty strong, I have never seen one break that was done correctly. The heating and cooling process is critical though, (my father owns a metal fab shop... so I had a little help doing itn correctly and "normalizing the steel") I do think at some point when the rig is down, maybe this winter I will send them to get cryod. I think after that they will be pretty bulletproof.

That said, I don't street it much and I don't think that it is the best setup, but again it works.

Also the offroad shop down the street welds steering parts all the time on their own rigs and don't have any problems. He told me the setup on one of his broncos was 8 years old and not a problem, and he is HARD on it with 49" iroks.
 
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woody said:
Toyota arms, knuckles, etc are cast STEEL and relatively weldable versus other cast products....regardless, you better know what you are doing.
Toyota knuckles appear to be cast iron (nodular) based on the grinder test. They give off little balls of orange grinder flakes compared to the nice forked sparks of steel. The grinder also leaves behind smears of graphite on the ground surface from the carbon nodules.

The arms appear to be forged steel. You can see the remnant of the flashing from the forging die and forging would be the process of choice for making steering arms.
 
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I did make a double arm from 2 pass side arms and It worked great up untill the tie rod couldnt handle the stress (see above). I TIG welded it and braced it w/ a piece of 1/2" plate.
STEERING ARM.JPG
 

pbgbottle

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that how i made my double steer arm almost 8yrs ago heres some picks and info i have saved from the internet .

some info and how too's i found on the net .about spring over double steering arms .
here's how to make your own ....

.Quote

To make the double arm, you need two passenger side knuckle arms.
Take one arm and saw off the two cylinderical parts (the part that goes into the knuckle).
This will be the top half of the arm assembly. I used a bandsaw to cut it.
The next step is to clamp the cut arm into a milling machine and mill off
the remainder of the cylinder until flush with the flat surface (this can be done with a hand held grinder).
Now flip over the arm and mill the top side of the arm until flat (see picture) A steady hand and a lot of patience,
and this might be able to be accomplished with a hand held grinder. Next
drill out the four holes to a 1 inch diameter.
This should allow enough room for the socket which is used to tighten the knuckle arm nuts.


Now take the second knuckle arm and mill (possible grind)
the top surface to match the other arm (see picture above).
With both arms all machined, clamp the top sides of the two arms together,
aligning them by the four holes (not critical, align by eyeball).
Now weld the arms together by welding all the way around the two mating surfaces.
Next cut a triangle out of at least ¼" plate (I use ½" plate) to fit between the two arms.
Weld the triangular brace into place.
394774_55_full.jpg
394774_56_full.jpg
394774_57_full.jpg
 
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Like I stated in the other thread (which probably prompted this one...) I have done a BUNCH of welding on various Cruise steering components. None of the parts I have made are weaker than the original and most are stronger. No reason to consider this a shortcut or a safety hazard or a negative thing at all. IF you know what you are doing. But that qualifier could and should be applied to every modification done on a rig.


Mark...
 

Trollhole

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Mark W said:
Like I stated in the other thread (which probably prompted this one...) I have done a BUNCH of welding on various Cruise steering components. None of the parts I have made are weaker than the original and most are stronger. No reason to consider this a shortcut or a safety hazard or a negative thing at all. IF you know what you are doing. But that qualifier could and should be applied to every modification done on a rig.


Mark...

Good point.

I learned something new today. It is possible and it can be safe.

In the right hands.
 

PabloCruise

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Welding and bending are two seperate things in my mind.

Do I trust a certified welder to modify my steering? Yes. I'll be putting PS on my 40 withina month.

I do not plan to bend anything on my steering system in the proccess...
 
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woody said:
According to Bobby Long, the knuckle is cast steel...
Sure enough he says that mini truck knuckles are steel. Cruiser knuckles sure act like cast iron by the grinder test and they tap like cast iron. Bobby also says that "If you can cut it with an OA torch it is steel", but you can cut cast iron with a torch too. It is just a little harder and leaves behind more slag. What is the possibility that mini and cruiser knuckles are made of different materials?
 
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PabloCruise said:
Welding and bending are two seperate things in my mind.

Do I trust a certified welder to modify my steering? Yes. I'll be putting PS on my 40 withina month.

I do not plan to bend anything on my steering system in the proccess...

I agree that bending is a very different animal than welding. There is just as much that you can do wrong. Maybe more. I'll bend knuckle arms "a little bit" but not much. The qualifier that you need to know what you're doing applies just as much or maybe more to heating and bending than it does to cutting and welding.


Mark...
 
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Pin_Head said:
Sure enough he says that mini truck knuckles are steel. Cruiser knuckles sure act like cast iron by the grinder test and they tap like cast iron. Bobby also says that "If you can cut it with an OA torch it is steel", but you can cut cast iron with a torch too. It is just a little harder and leaves behind more slag. What is the possibility that mini and cruiser knuckles are made of different materials?

I'd be surprised if they are not the saem material. One seat of the pants way to tell for sure. Take an arc to it. ;)

I *think* that the Cruiser knuckles are cast steel, but I have never had reason to weld on one that I remember. I'll try it in the next couple of days and let ya know.


Mark...
 

woody

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Mark W said:
I'd be surprised if they are not the saem material. One seat of the pants way to tell for sure. Take an arc to it. ;)

I *think* that the Cruiser knuckles are cast steel, but I have never had reason to weld on one that I remember. I'll try it in the next couple of days and let ya know.


Mark...

I have an existing/installed knuckle with a busted off steering stop dealio....took out the other one to match :D (need to weld that back someday....tho my hydro ram is my limit now...probably better anyways)

also have a busted-up knuckle from RU05 that is on my experiment list....wanna pull the disc ears off it and weld them on another spare, making it universal side to side...

keep us posted Mark :D
 
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I've got a scheme to try fitting a pair of calipers to each knuckle for more stopping power with 40 inch boggers on the winding roads to the trailhead. That'll require welding to the knuckle. Just haven't tried it yet.


Mark...
 

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