I welded my tubes in small stages. An inch or 2 at a time, never letting it get hot. took a 1/2 hour or so but no worries. Did it with full, less lube(no cover on it)diff.
Used a stick welder, 240 volt, and nickel rods. (had to rent the welder as my 120v wire welder was not able to do it right)
Any issues with the welds cracking? I used .045 solid MIG wire (ER70s?) on the last 8.8 I built, but I have been thinking about using nickel with my DC stick machine on my next build. I never had issues with the .045 welds, but I ended up selling the Jeep so I have no idea what the long term results have been welding on the pumpkin.
Before I got my welder my friend helped me weld mine up. He used a a 120 amp Miller I believe, I know it was small. He did 3 separate welds on the tube/housing on each side and everything turned out great. I've beat on my 8.8 pretty good and everything looks fine a year later.
After spending half a day searching and reading there are many opinions on how to correctly weld the tube to housing joint. Tubes are steel and housing is cast steel. Here are some recommendations.
- MIG w/standard wire
- MIG with some special wire
- preheat it before welding
- no need to preheat
- 7018 stick weld it
- high nickle stick weld it
- JB weld it ( just kidding)
Some say use a fixture to prevent warping. Some say they have never used a fixture and never had a problem. I have to weld spring perches and shock mounts on anyway and if it gets warped I'll take it somewhere and get it straightened.
Some say take the thing apart before you weld anything to prevent heat or scale from damaging the bearings.
As long as the housing isnt glowing bright red just go for it bro ! I even left my junkyard brake pads and spraypainted rotors on mine. Made it bolt up, made the brakes work and drove it. If it aint broke dont fix it
I used 7018 rod, tacked the perches then welded a little on each and moved around to keep the heat down. probably didn't need to but better safe than sorry. one thing in your post, pretty sure that IF you do manage to warp it you can't straighten it.
Do everything with a positive attitude, it won't always work but you'll piss enough people off to make it worthwhile.
the voices aren't real but they sure have good ideas.