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Unread 05-19-2008, 07:14 PM   #1
clemul
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Steering knuckle divot repair

I have divots worn into the slider section of the steering knuckle. I believe that this was caused by loose tolerances permitted during manufacturing of the liner backing plate used on the poor quality brake pad sets that were on my jeep when i bought it. Being on a very limited budget i plan to tack the divots with a welder to build them up and then grind them back to original specification. Has anyone done this before? Any tips or advice?

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Unread 05-19-2008, 07:18 PM   #2
Michael_K
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It has been done before and I have been told to do it many times until I could afford Vanco brake upgrade.
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Unread 05-20-2008, 06:48 AM   #3
clemul
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Should this be brazed or welded? Any specific welding techniques or rod for this steel? Is the steering knuckle cast steel? Thanks..
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Unread 05-20-2008, 07:28 AM   #4
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A very respected (for the most part) frequenter of this forum says they are made of nodular cast iron.
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Unread 05-20-2008, 08:28 AM   #5
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clemul View Post
Should this be brazed or welded? Any specific welding techniques or rod for this steel? Is the steering knuckle cast steel? Thanks..
Wire brush it to get the rust off and hit it with a MIG. Don't over do it because the carbon in the knuckle will get pulled into the weld making it very hard and difficult to grind.
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Unread 05-20-2008, 03:27 PM   #6
HomeSpun
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I've done this on a ZJ both front and rear and on a YJ.
I used a stick welder with a high nickel content rod. Either way, it's important to preheat your knuckle. This serves two purposes, it drives out any moisture prior to welding on it, and more importantly, you want to preheat a larger section than you are welding. If you just hit it with an electrode for a few seconds, then you focus A LOT of heat in a very small section for a very short time. This can lead to stress cracks. Pre-heating allows the surrounding metal to blend better with your filler metal.
controlled cooling would help even more, but when I did mine, I didn't worry so much about the cooling, and all was well.
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Unread 05-20-2008, 06:23 PM   #7
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeSpun View Post
I've done this on a ZJ both front and rear and on a YJ.
I used a stick welder with a high nickel content rod. Either way, it's important to preheat your knuckle. This serves two purposes, it drives out any moisture prior to welding on it, and more importantly, you want to preheat a larger section than you are welding. If you just hit it with an electrode for a few seconds, then you focus A LOT of heat in a very small section for a very short time. This can lead to stress cracks. Pre-heating allows the surrounding metal to blend better with your filler metal.
controlled cooling would help even more, but when I did mine, I didn't worry so much about the cooling, and all was well.
It will not crack, you do not need to pre-heat, and you don't need high nickel rod. Quit reading the internet on how to weld cast ferrous metals.

It's nodular iron and welds with a MIG just dandy for what you are doing. In fact, I weld the spacers for the WJ conversion to the knuckles with no more prep than wire brushing to remove rust. No pre-heat, no special post cooling other than to keep them out of drafts, and I have no stress cracks in the knuckles, none in the welds, none in the spacers and exactly zero failures.

Don't complicate a very simple and easy process.
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Unread 05-21-2008, 08:18 AM   #8
clemul
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Thanks for the feedback, I will attempt this later and post results and/or lessons learned. This forum is second to none and I appreciate those who take the time to share their experience and wisdom.
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Unread 05-21-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
HomeSpun
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It will not crack, you do not need to pre-heat, and you don't need high nickel rod. Quit reading the internet on how to weld cast ferrous metals.

It's nodular iron and welds with a MIG just dandy for what you are doing. In fact, I weld the spacers for the WJ conversion to the knuckles with no more prep than wire brushing to remove rust. No pre-heat, no special post cooling other than to keep them out of drafts, and I have no stress cracks in the knuckles, none in the welds, none in the spacers and exactly zero failures.

Don't complicate a very simple and easy process.
Didn't know I was going to strike a nerve there. I wasn't trying to insult or even correct anyone.
I was simply telling the OP what I have done. Also with no stress cracks, and Zero failures.
Some of us do not have MIG machines, and I don't believe using a nickel rod is a bad thing in this situation. - Nodular Iron or not.
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Unread 05-21-2008, 04:22 PM   #10
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeSpun View Post
Didn't know I was going to strike a nerve there. I wasn't trying to insult or even correct anyone.
I was simply telling the OP what I have done. Also with no stress cracks, and Zero failures.
Some of us do not have MIG machines, and I don't believe using a nickel rod is a bad thing in this situation. - Nodular Iron or not.
My apologies, I didn't consider that anyone doing the welding wouldn't have a MIG or know anyone that does.

Using a nickel rod isn't bad, but even folks with ARC welders seldom have nickel rods laying around. If all I had was a buzz box, I'd go after it with some 6011 and call it good.
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Unread 05-04-2010, 01:00 PM   #11
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Well in my limited experience as a toolmaker(30 years at Ford Motor Co) we... and I mean some very top notch tool & die welders... always and I mean ALWAYS perheated cast iron, nodular or not before welding or brazing and always after also to stress relieve. You can heat it up with a propane torch for god sake....it only has to get to 600-800 degrees. It's just good sound metal working practice to do so. Only time we didn't was when it was an emergency.
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Unread 05-04-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
Benderff
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There is a write-up on here someplace.

Edit.

Did a search and found it right away
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/xj...rooves-924713/
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Unread 05-04-2010, 01:12 PM   #13
limeking
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My thought is how do you avoid getting the divot in the first place?
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Unread 05-04-2010, 02:14 PM   #14
Sweeney
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My thought is; I hate when welding is referred to as "burning".
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Unread 05-04-2010, 02:56 PM   #15
Unlimited04
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Originally Posted by limeking View Post
My thought is how do you avoid getting the divot in the first place?
install Vanco brakes. otherwise, you can't...its a design flaw in the caliper/pad/knuckle assembly itself.
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