Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    83

    Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    I am looking to weld the axle tubes on a Ford 8.8 to the center pumpkin. The axle is being used on a Jeep I am building for semi-serious offroading. Anyhow, the center diff is cast steel, tubes are steel.

    I am looking at putting 3 beads around each tube so that 1/2 of the circumference is welded (I figure that is enough and a complete bead is not necessary).

    Anything special needed to weld to the cast steel?
    Can it be done with my PM215, mild steel wire, and 75/25?
    I have read on an offroading forum that low-nickel stick is the way to go, but isn't that for welding to cast iron?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Building a Jeep from the ground up as a graduation present for my kid. Build thread can be read at http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=259306

    Mike

  2. #2
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    Feb 2007
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    Ventura, CA
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    216

    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    Not too sure what process will work, but are you sure you want to use an 8.8? The aftermarket options are very limited, you may want to switch to a 9" for parts availabilitys.

  3. #3
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    B.C. Canada
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    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    The choice of nickel based rod is to reduce chances of cracking. I suggest that you at least preheat the casting to 200 F before welding. That will minimize the chance of cracking. The crack if it happens will appear in the heat affected zone next to your weld bead.
    You are not welding cast iron however you are welding some sort of low alloy steel.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    You will have no problem welding the housing with standard ER70S wire in a MIG. Clean the area really well and since your welding it, you might as well just weld it 360*.

    Just stitch welding it may still allow the tubes to leak oil after some trail use. Since the tubes are only held in by the factory "weld buttons" it still may move and cause a problem down the road since the tube isn't fully sealed to the center section.

    I'd recommend welding the tubes in 4 quadrants. Stagger the welds and let the housing cool between each pass.

    - Paul

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Jul 2006
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    83

    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    Quote Originally Posted by maxyedor
    Not too sure what process will work, but are you sure you want to use an 8.8? The aftermarket options are very limited, you may want to switch to a 9" for parts availabilitys.
    Actually an 8.8 is a very popular swap for Jeeps, with several advantages. Disc brakes, stronger than a D44, 31 spline shafts, same bolt pattern as D30. There is also plenty of aftermarket parts, including ARB lockers (just had one installed), and a kit by superior which upgrades to Chro-Moly shafts and gets rids of c-clip shafts (still saving benjamins to do this).
    Building a Jeep from the ground up as a graduation present for my kid. Build thread can be read at http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=259306

    Mike

  7. #7
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    Jul 2006
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    83

    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    Quote Originally Posted by ZTFab
    You will have no problem welding the housing with standard ER70S wire in a MIG. Clean the area really well and since your welding it, you might as well just weld it 360*.

    Just stitch welding it may still allow the tubes to leak oil after some trail use. Since the tubes are only held in by the factory "weld buttons" it still may move and cause a problem down the road since the tube isn't fully sealed to the center section.

    I'd recommend welding the tubes in 4 quadrants. Stagger the welds and let the housing cool between each pass.

    - Paul
    Thanks Paul. I take it you have done a few of these? I have actually read those articles, just haven't seen too much on the actual welding process.

    Mike
    Building a Jeep from the ground up as a graduation present for my kid. Build thread can be read at http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=259306

    Mike

  8. #8
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    Nov 2005
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    utcia michigan
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    1,278

    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    what ZT said and grind your stop and starts before tieing in the next weld

    Chuck
    ASME Pressure Vessel welder

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    94

    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    Ive never welded up a rear myself but Ive watched my friend do it at his chassis shop and he uses a jig that he made to ensure that the tubes dont warp when he welds them up, its also a good idea to add some braces to them as well,
    8.8's can be very strong I have one in my car that has gone on 8 second passes in the 1/4 mile but they do have to be welded and braced up

  10. #10
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    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    A 9-inch chunk fits right in the 8.8 housing. I've had a few CJ's myself. The 9-inch swap and some 1-piece axles are a must.
    Miller Econotig
    Cutmaster 38

    Yes ma'am, that IS a screwdriver in my pocket!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Troutdale, OR
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    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe H
    A 9-inch chunk fits right in the 8.8 housing. I've had a few CJ's myself. The 9-inch swap and some 1-piece axles are a must.
    youve got the idea with the 9" swap. MUCH stronger. I'd have a hard time chocking down that the 8.8 is equal to or stronger than a D44. Both are half tons, and the 8.8 is notorious for having issues (hence so many mods being available). Its still no axle to turn your nose up at depending on the application.
    I guess I ought to add along with everyone else that Ive had numerous Jeeps, LC's, and even had a Unimog and 5ton. Used to work for 6 States Distributors too if that makes any big whoop.
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  12. #12
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    Jul 2006
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    83

    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyLittleSecret
    youve got the idea with the 9" swap. MUCH stronger. I'd have a hard time chocking down that the 8.8 is equal to or stronger than a D44. Both are half tons, and the 8.8 is notorious for having issues (hence so many mods being available). Its still no axle to turn your nose up at depending on the application.
    I guess I ought to add along with everyone else that Ive had numerous Jeeps, LC's, and even had a Unimog and 5ton. Used to work for 6 States Distributors too if that makes any big whoop.
    Well,

    Here are some numbers from the January edition of Fourwheeler magazine:

    January edition of Fourwheeler, page 60.

    COT: Continuous output torque rating
    MOT: Maximum output torque rating

    Dana 35 rear axle COT: 0870 MOT: 3480
    Dana 44 rear axle COT: 1100 MOT: 4460

    Ford 8.8 31spline COT: 1360 MOT: 5100

    Dana 60 semifloat COT: 1500 MOT: 5500
    ************************************************** ****


    Warn Axle Test
    Axle................Dana 35......Dana 44.......Ford 8.8
    Weight............155............167.............1 74
    RingGearDia......7.56...........8.5..............8 .8
    Pinion Dia.........1.4(26sp)....1.37(30sp)....1.62(30sp)
    Axle Dia...........1.16(27sp)..1.30(30sp)....1.32(31sp)
    Tube Dia..........2.5"............2.75"...........3.25"
    Disks...............no.............Rubicons....... all 95+
    Break Strength..4161 ftlb....5982 ftlb.......6200+ ftlb**

    **The machine Warn used to test axle breakage maxed out at 6200; at which
    the 8.8 had yet to break. Estimates of 8.8 breakage were in the 6400 range.


    Keep in mind that the test numbers on the bottom were performed by Warn so I would imagine they are reliable numbers. Definitely stronger than a D44, and very close to the 60 in COT/MOT numbers. You may not believe the 8.8 is stronger than the 44, but the numbers show it is SIGNIFICANTLY stronger.

    Definitely more than enough for the inline 6 and the 33's it will be turning.

    Mike
    Last edited by Wannabe; 03-02-2007 at 07:18 PM.
    Building a Jeep from the ground up as a graduation present for my kid. Build thread can be read at http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=259306

    Mike

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Troutdale, OR
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    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    Mike,
    Thanks for that beta, and yeah it looks like a good candidate. I'd trust Warn (since I used to work there as well). I really wasnt trying to pick on you at all if it came off that way. Ive worked on lots of rigs running D44's on 40"+ tyres, and so few break it seems (or at least I'd exp[ect more)! Ive got a 35 spline HD D44 in my 65' J300, and have never had any probs (and I should with well over 500bhp).
    Like I said though, the 8.8 is not a bad axle at all, and for 33's it will DEFINITELY be capable. Wish I could be there to help wrench!
    Where you located?
    Last edited by DirtyLittleSecret; 03-02-2007 at 07:38 PM.
    ThermalArc 185
    MillerMatic 180 w/ Autoset
    Victor Cutskill Oxy/Acetylene
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 38
    and spite!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    83

    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    Located in Ledyard, CT (near the biggest casino in the world - Foxwoods). I was born in Medford, grandfather was a commercial dory boat salmon fisherman in Pacific City, and I grew up just south of Seattle.

    Definitely familiar with your part of the world.

    Also, I didn't think you were coming off harshly in your post.

    Mike
    Building a Jeep from the ground up as a graduation present for my kid. Build thread can be read at http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=259306

    Mike

  15. #15

    Re: Ford 8.8 Axle Tube Welding

    I did a 8.8 install in my TJ about 15 months ago. It has 4.56 gears and front/rear ARB's. Is a great swap for a Jeep:





    New Brackets installed:



    In the Jeep with the new Crane cover:



    Mike

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