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camdenthrasher

Larger strut tube welding

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For those who have converted their front strut housings to larger 46mm ID tubes themselves, or have the stage 3 coilovers from IE (or Ground Control for that matter), how is the welding of the tube to the spindle/knuckle/upright accomplished, particularly in the tight pocket on the back side of the knuckle? I'm not a welder (I'll have someone competent do the job) but I imagine it would be very difficult or impossible to have a bead fully around the base of the tube. Is this area skipped and that's why the IE race coilovers have additional bracing from the tube to the knuckle to make up for it? I think the GC coilovers have some extra reinforcement as well but their pictures aren't as clear.

 

 

 

IMG_7594.jpg

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if you use a tig welder you'll have to use a small cup for the Ar shielding gas and you may not have enough clearance.  you'll have the same access problems with a Mig gun.  Go old school and use Oxy-Acetilene gas torch with mild steel filler metal and flux.  you need to prep the pieces better than what is shown. square the edge flat and add a small bevel to both pieces that will be filled with weld metal.  getting the two pieces aligned prior to tack welding is critical.  it needs to be perfectly straight AFTER welding if you hope to get a strut insert inside.  i'd want to fashion a jig to hold it straight during welding.  weld in intervals to mitigate thermal expansion issues. a stiffener piece or two on the outside welded in place may provide a bit more strength.  it is, after all, your front wheels you want to hold onto.

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On 12/16/2017 at 3:49 PM, camdenthrasher said:

Is this area skipped and that's why the IE race coilovers have additional bracing from the tube to the knuckle to make up for it?

Yes that area is skipped thus the additional reinforcements. Not only is it slightly difficult to weld back there it is even harder trying to get it down to clean bare metal for a proper weld. We use MIG but could also be TIG. That knuckle you have though looks pretty ideally set up though.

Edited by Ireland Engineering
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A TIG torch with a gas lens collet will allow you to hang the tungsten pretty far beyond the cup.

If you use a cup with a tapered tip, you may be able to reach back in there.

It is a little hard to judge from your photo though.

The additional reinforcements make good sense.

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