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  1. #1
    Mark's Avatar
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    Question Welding Threaded Inserts

    What's the 'trick' to welding threaded inserts into DOM? The threads on the setup I'm currently doing are getting all jacked up.

    When I did the steering on my CJ7, I got DOM from Spidertrax, along with their inserts for 7/8-18 Chevy tie rod ends. The DOM was 1.5" x 0.25" wall, or 1" id. Doesn't leave a whole lot of meat around the threads, but I didn't have any issues. When I welded them up, I used 3/32" 7018, and installed old TRE's into the inserts while I welded the insert to the tube. No plug welds, just a steady weld all the way around. I did tack the insert in 3 or 4 places, but that's it. Root pass was 3/32" 7018, cap was 1/8" 7018.

    While working on the same setup for a friend (same tube size & insert specs), two of the inserts worked out fine, two of them were useless - we couldn't unthread the brand new TRE's from them! Ruined one brand new TRE, and two inserts.

    What's the trick to not distorting the threads? Did I just get luck the first time?

  2. #2
    my last set I had to tap them after.... they are a pita....

  3. #3
    Leave the TRE in the insert when you weld it, but first coat the threads in high temp anti-seize. And let it completely cool before you try to remove it.
    1997 Jeep Sahara, ORI's, 4:1, 39" Krawlers, Shaved Dana 60 front and 14 bolt, Custom 4-link front/rear, 120" WB
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  4. #4
    Ive always used the PSC bungs and first plug weld em 180* from eachother and then fully weld the circumference. But, yeah have an old TRE in there an let it fully cool before you remove it.
    '94 YJ- 5.3, 4L60E, 241, 60, 14, 107", 42"s
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  5. #5
    Mark's Avatar
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    Damn - finding someone with a 7/8-18 LH tap is about impossible.

    We had TRE's in the inserts when I ran the beads, but we didn't plug weld them or have any anti-seize on them. After the first one galled up, we scrambled to try & pull the second one out as fast as possible after welding it - still no luck. We'd get about 2 or 3 threads, and then it would lock solid. We actually snapped one of the TRE's completely off.

    Is there any difference between MIG'ing it & stick? I possibly have access to MIG if that would help any.

  6. #6
    I just bought the steering kit from Ballistic and I can't get the inserts to thread over the TRE's BEFORE even tacking the DOM to them.
    I going to try to get someone to Tig them once I get the things to thread.

  7. #7
    Mark... had the same issue with the PSC inserts. Talked to them over there when I had to go buy another new one. Besides the plug welds, they specifically said to weld 1/4 of it, spin 180* and weld the opposite 1/4. Let cool and weld the other 2 1/4's. Worked perfect. Tried the "leave an old TRE" trick and it failed miserably. Still have the brand new insert with the TRE stuck in it... it's never coming out.
    Matthew
    '12 Toyota Tundra

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by formatt View Post
    Mark... had the same issue with the PSC inserts. Talked to them over there when I had to go buy another new one. Besides the plug welds, they specifically said to weld 1/4 of it, spin 180* and weld the opposite 1/4. Let cool and weld the other 2 1/4's. Worked perfect. Tried the "leave an old TRE" trick and it failed miserably. Still have the brand new insert with the TRE stuck in it... it's never coming out.

    This works well. Go slow and change sides. Typical way to go if ya dont want to warp it, especially when putting two round items like that inside each other and making them one solid piece. I love the SpiderTrax inserts, seem to be the toughest and easiest to work with.

    I hate currie inserts. I thought I ruined a couple of them. Ordered up a couple more and my Currie JJ's wouldnt thread in them NEW. New joints and new inserts. Currie threw a fit about taking them back and fixing the issue.

  9. #9
    Mark's Avatar
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    Thanks guys - when I welded them up, I ran a constant pass all the way around. Started at one point, welded 360 deg, and stopped.

    I'll try the 90deg trick instead. Maybe with some hi-temp anti-seize.

    Matthew - did you end up welding the inserts 'empty' then?

  10. #10
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    What I had to do is after welding them wrap the with a piece of inslation to let them cool slower to prevent warpage and had an old heim in the bung.
    Last edited by btow19; December 19th, 2008 at 09:33 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlueCJ7 View Post
    I'll try the 90deg trick instead. Maybe with some hi-temp anti-seize.

    Matthew - did you end up welding the inserts 'empty' then?
    That's exactly what I did... First time around... 360*. Same thing happened to me. Able to spin it 2-3 turns then nothing.

    Talked to Paul at PSC and got the info, left it empty (per Paul) and welded it up 90* at a time. I think I waited a half hour or so before coming back to it. There wasn't a hint of heat left in the insert when I started welding it up again.

    Mark, if you're unsure about welding it, bring it on down.. I'll knock it out for ya real quick.

  12. #12
    vb's Avatar
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    every time ive watched the spidertrax boys do their thing, the insert is always empty. they have a jig to rotate the dom on and they move the dom pretty quickly. 360 and its all over.

  13. #13
    How far do into the Insert should I tread the TRE to measure for the Drag link.

  14. #14
    Clint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpn911 View Post
    How far do into the Insert should I tread the TRE to measure for the Drag link.
    I go a to where I can adjust the steering in or out about the width of the jam nut.

  15. #15
    When we built my control arms, we beveled the edges of the tube, to get a deeper weld. Didn't leave the TREs in the weld ins and had not problems with that part. We did use a torch to preheat everything though, as we were using a 110 Lincoln.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlueCJ7 View Post
    Is there any difference between MIG'ing it & stick? I possibly have access to MIG if that would help any.
    I've got the joints stuck before, just like you described, and everytime it was with an arc welder. But it's never happened with a MIG. I think the MIG works better because it heats the whole area up less. I'm thinking that the less heat you put into the threads and joint, the better off you are.
    TJx2

  17. #17
    Mark's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    Thanks for all the info everyone. I think we're going to give this another shot tomorrow, will let you know how it goes.

  18. #18
    I personally would tig weld them, but stick is ok too. I would'nt weld it too hot though. Then when they cool run a tap down it (I've got a 7/8 R and L you can borrow if you need it).
    Good work is not cheap,
    Cheap work is not good.
    1964 scout 80 halfcab. dana 44's, spools, 4.88 gears, spring over, high steer, 196 four cylinder, wide ratio t19, dana 18 transfer case and 34x9.50 tsl's!

  19. #19
    I finished mine today, Plug welded the insert 180* and Mig 1/4 around and let cool completely before continuing. All TRE threaded into insert with a little
    effort.

  20. #20
    Mark's Avatar
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    What size hole did you use for your plug weld? With 0.25" wall tube, and only 0.06" material at that point in the insert, I'm afraid of blowing through the insert wall if I plug weld it...

  21. #21
    I used a 1/4" drill bit. The insert is only 3/4" long where the DOM slips on and I didn't want to get to close to the end of the tube or the insert.
    I'm still not sure if it is necessary but took the advise of the others on the forum.

  22. #22
    Wally's Avatar
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    When i welded in all of my inserts, i welded 1/4 of it, rotated 180* welded another 1/4, rotated 90* etc...all of mine threaded in with no issue. I was using a 210 hobart with .035 wire and 75/25 gas set up if that helps

  23. #23

    Exclamation Help!!

    Mark, I hope you don't mind me tagging on to your post since I'm kind of in the same boat with my HD steering system and wanted to ask for help from these same people.
    Here goes, I have a NEW 1 1/4" DOM tie-rod with .250 wall thickness and threaded ends (Not bungs), but the driver side threads are under sized (I think a threading tool problem) and the T/R is to long (will need to be shortened by 2-3"). So I'm also having a hell of a time finding someone with a 7/8"-18 RH tap or a person that will do the internal threads on a lathe. Second problem is that I have a HD Omix drag-link (1 1/4" with .250 wall DOM) that says it's 1 ton, but uses some metric equivalent to a 7/8-18, I need someone with a lathe to turn it out from 7/8 threaded to 1" smooth so that I can have a 7/8 -18 LH bung (to match my new Ford 1 ton TRE) welded in it. Because the bung I'm using isn't open ended, they say that they are less prone to heat distorting, but only offer you 1 5/8" of threads.
    I do not trust my little 110 flux wire feed or my skills to do it, so I'm looking a machinist and a welder.
    To keep from totally hijacking Marks post, if you want to PM are call me would be GREAT!
    Thanks in advance, Randy 720-747-8854



    .
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  24. #24
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    buy new bungs. Way cheaper than the machining hoops you are trying to jump through.

    Mig or Tig them on. I have stick welded some with no problems, but prefer Mig. A plug on the thin wall of the body does virtually nothing for strength. Most bungs are not much thicker than tin foil where you would be plug welding and your weld is only as strong as the base metal, the thin bung wall. The risk of boogering up the threads is not worth the tiny improvement of the plug. Spend time beveling and cleaning the edge of the tube and weld it. Don't use the "thermonuclear" setting on the welder or use water to cool them down.

    Not sure where the idea of plugging bungs became so popular, but structurally is does almost nothing for the joint.
    Proudly un-offended.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Guy View Post
    Mark, I hope you don't mind me tagging on to your post since I'm kind of in the same boat with my HD steering system and wanted to ask for help from these same people.
    Here goes, I have a NEW 1 1/4" DOM tie-rod with .250 wall thickness and threaded ends (Not bungs), but the driver side threads are under sized (I think a threading tool problem) and the T/R is to long (will need to be shortened by 2-3"). So I'm also having a hell of a time finding someone with a 7/8"-18 RH tap or a person that will do the internal threads on a lathe. Second problem is that I have a HD Omix drag-link (1 1/4" with .250 wall DOM) that says it's 1 ton, but uses some metric equivalent to a 7/8-18, I need someone with a lathe to turn it out from 7/8 threaded to 1" smooth so that I can have a 7/8 -18 LH bung (to match my new Ford 1 ton TRE) welded in it. Because the bung I'm using isn't open ended, they say that they are less prone to heat distorting, but only offer you 1 5/8" of threads.
    I do not trust my little 110 flux wire feed or my skills to do it, so I'm looking a machinist and a welder.
    To keep from totally hijacking Marks post, if you want to PM are call me would be GREAT!
    Thanks in advance, Randy 720-747-8854



    .
    The thing to do is get 11/4 od with a 5/16 wall, that way you don't have to do any machining, just run your tap in and presto no welding or machining

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlueCJ7 View Post
    Damn - finding someone with a 7/8-18 LH tap is about impossible.
    If all of the suggested methods fail and you must tap it out and cant find the proper tap you can try this. It works for other things as well.

    You are going to make a tap out of your old TRE
    Take the original TRE, use a die grinder with a very narrow de-burring tool or a very thin cut-off wheel in an angle grinder. Cut slots in the TRE so that they are parallel to the length of the TRE. Shoot for 1/16" or less in your slots and make 4 of them. With some cutting oil run the TRE back into it as you would a regular tap. Works for me....
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
    John F. Kennedy

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sound_Man View Post
    If all of the suggested methods fail and you must tap it out and cant find the proper tap you can try this. It works for other things as well.

    You are going to make a tap out of your old TRE
    Take the original TRE, use a die grinder with a very narrow de-burring tool or a very thin cut-off wheel in an angle grinder. Cut slots in the TRE so that they are parallel to the length of the TRE. Shoot for 1/16" or less in your slots and make 4 of them. With some cutting oil run the TRE back into it as you would a regular tap. Works for me....
    I'll be damned - that's a pretty good idea, never would have thought of that. Do you have to temper the tie-rod end at all to get it harder than the insert? I'd still be a little afraid of wiping the threads off the TRE...

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