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Welding Cast Iron

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Well-known member
Feb 7, 2000
Dean - welding cast always breaks ??? I beg to differ there. Some cast is crap to begin with but weldable cast is no problem when done right. I know of impliments still being used that I welded 30 years ago PLUS a cast planitary gear in a tractor rear end that I MIG welded (wrong weld) but it's going for 11 years now.

Lonny - What Jim said is pretty close. I don't always preheat unless it's a big piece. But the secret is the cool down. To fast and it'll crack. I've welded parts and put them in my secret cool down stuff and let them sit over night sometimes. I torch welded an exhaust manifold and 4 hours later it was still to warm to hold. Slow cool is the way to do it. I use nickel rods and sometimes just the old reliable 7018. My 30 year ago weld was a 7018 on a turning plow. Used every year in rocky clay and still turning sod

My father used to weld cast parts on the old farm equipment useing nickel rods, but that was cast to cast.
What I am wanting to do is weld steel to cast.
OR in other words, weld the spindles in place so they no longer turn.
I was thinking along the lines of heating up the cast part hot enough to melt braiseing rod and let it flow from the top to bottom , but I don't know if the spindle will get hot enough to hold the brass doing this.
Lonny - You could sweat it together with brazing but not like you described. For one thing the brazing will follow the heat pretty much like soldering copper pipe but not that easy flowing. Getting the cast red wont get the spindle red which is what it takes for brazing. Red to just under the point of melting, as it would be for acetylene welding. I'd just take a 7018 and weld a ring around the spindle where it sticks out the top of the axle. Pre-heat the cast good with a torch or a charcol fire if you don't have a torch. Get it good and hot but it doesn't have to be red, weld it then BURY it in DRY sand and walk away.
I don't use sand now but that's the way I started 34 - 35 years ago.

Thanks for the advice.
I will have to get me some sand or will have to waite for the pit to thaw. I do have a oxy/acel torch, so heating the cast part will be easy enough.
Lonnie lime works to hold the heat in after welding even better than sand.
Ken I like the heat treat oven the best for heating and cool down.
If you have a big enough oven! I've not seen an oven big enough for some of the dozer parts I've welded in the past. The bad thing about using the dehydrated lime is it's hard to get it all back off 'cause it kinda burns it's self into the skin. Wire brushing doesn't get it all, some stuff I've had to hit with the sand blaster to clean it off.
Thin parts like exhaust manifolds I use a cast rod and acetelyene instead of arc. Nobody around here welds that way so they have to order my rods for me ;) That's the only way you can get some of these rusted/burnt out old manifolds welded they're getting so thin and exhaust manifold metal is sorry stuff to begin with.

Here's the way one came in from another "welder". Brazed , arced and holes left ... where's the JB ??

I didn't do great on it but here's my joint.

Preheater ;)

Sorry gas weld.

Then there's ones like this on an MF 50 Backhoe. It was burnt so thin I talked him into ordering a new one.


Kraig / Art - On welding the cosmetics of the axle I wouldn't since it's not a show piece. For that small of area and where it is (on edge) I think you'd do more harm than good. Sometime in the future it'll probably break but I think it'd break sooner if welded.

Of course the bottom flange of the axle is the main strength of the axle ...

If I had to weld it I would preheat the axle up and use accetylene cast iron rods and torch weld it. (NO not brazing!) Then cool it buried in a pile of dehydrated lime, which would take about 6-8 hours to cool if done right.
If that was my set of axles, and I wasn't going to fill the v-grooves, I'd be taking a die grinder to them and relieve the stress risers( probably just round out the Vs into a shallow U.. What cha' think ??

I took a look at both the 129 and the 149 this afternoon - neither one has been grooved - they've both led a sheltered life, I guess ....
Kendell - Art mentioned that he might relieve them if he didn't weld it ;) It may help prevent any stress points. MIG welding it wouldn't be bad since it wouldn't leave as bad of an undercut or try to burn off the narrow flange like arc welding would ... BUT! the last time I heard MIG wire for CI was over $900 a spool.
$900 a spool?? What is it, a 2341.2134 mile-long spool of gold-encapsulated-unobtainium?!??!

That leaves only one solution........

On second thought, maybe I could just grind the "good" side of the axle to match the bad side, then neither will break because they'll have an equal amount of "flex"...
I'm thinking most of the risk isn't from vertical load, but from a horizontal one, such as running a tire into a tree...maybe a front, wrap-around bumper for Art ????
That looks like Art's wide frame axle....... I don't own any wide frame axles anymore.

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