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View Full Version : Quick and simple method of making back axle U bolts



bob ward
20th Mar 2018, 05:00 AM
Messing around with old cars I like to fit new U bolts just to be sure to be sure, I use the following method of making them.

a) Measure the old U bolts - length, width, bolt diameter, thread type.
b) Convey the information to Carroll Springs (Brisbane Sydney Melbourne) or any other competent truck suspension repairer.
c) Pay Carroll Springs $16 per U bolt.

Job done.

These U bolts are 3 5/8" ID x 1/2" UNF, they come complete with nuts and washers.

372517

nadroj
20th Mar 2018, 08:18 AM
I put a sidecar onto a motor scooter, making a couple of large U bolts as the main attaching fasteners.
I sourced some suitable rod, heated and bent them and plunged them in oil, following suggestions such as were available, and fitted them.
Before I test drove it, I had a cup of tea when I heard two loud "pings" in quick succession. Both of them had snapped.
Glad I was thirsty.

Jordan

jack620
20th Mar 2018, 10:45 AM
I sourced some suitable rod,...
I guess it wasn’t suitable after all. [emoji4]



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Grahame Collins
20th Mar 2018, 11:05 AM
I have witnessed an attempt to make square-cornered U bolts from a continuous rolled thread. The persons concerned did not want to listen to my opinion.

It ended in failure and broke in the corner due to the notch already present via the thread plus it was galled rod.

It was deeply satisfying to tell that particular pair of smart rrsses " told you so"

Grahame

jhovel
20th Mar 2018, 11:09 AM
I put a sidecar onto a motor scooter, making a couple of large U bolts as the main attaching fasteners.
I sourced some suitable rod, heated and bent them and plunged them in oil, following suggestions such as were available, and fitted them.
Before I test drove it, I had a cup of tea when I heard two loud "pings" in quick succession. Both of them had snapped.
Glad I was thirsty.

Jordan

Oops,
but I'm not surprised.... heating them and plunging them in oil - if they were high carbon steel - would make them glass hard and brittle....

chambezio
20th Mar 2018, 01:07 PM
I apologise for the following to be off topic but I had great satisfaction telling a couple of clowns "I told you so". We were building a large shed. We had a post hole attachment on the back of a tractor to give us a pier hole 300 diameter and 1200 deep. As with any post hole digger you drill then clear the auger a number of times until you reach the desired depth. We did the first one and some dirt fell back into the hole. The clowns I was working with told me I would have to dig the surplus dirt out by hand.....I told them there was no need because a bucket of water dropped into the hole followed by the auger to mix things up would do it.....argument ensued.... when I did the water "thing" followed by the auger.....guess what....clean hole!!!
How did I know it would work? When I was an apprentice Carpenter on a big job we were drilling 600mm holes up to 3mts deep and that is how we cleaned them. The 2 clowns were very sheepish afterward.

I suppose the thing is that when we know we are right, it is frustrating when others just won't listen to us

jack620
20th Mar 2018, 01:35 PM
The 2 clowns were very sheepish afterward.

I'd be happy to have those "clowns" digging my post holes. In my experience a lot of blokes wouldn't even bother to dig out the loose soil before pouring the concrete.

nadroj
21st Mar 2018, 02:03 PM
Oops,
but I'm not surprised.... heating them and plunging them in oil - if they were high carbon steel - would make them glass hard and brittle....

These days I'd run it past as many knowledgeable people as possible, before trying something that could be dangerous.
It's the best thing about the internet.

Jordan

onanonanon
21st Mar 2018, 06:43 PM
I used to do a bit of blacksmithing: knives, chisels, hammers, all sorts of things. When I started out I tried quenching in water, the metal simply cracked and was like glass. Oil was a different matter, cooling the metal a little slower and giving a nice level of hardness with which to start running colours.

Centuries ago, some blacksmiths quenched swords by heating them and then plunging them through POWs, some kept POWs expressly for this purpose. They had no idea why it worked, but work it did and the swords were thus imbued with magical properties and considered superior to swords quenched in other mediums. There are stories of blacksmiths selling magical quenching fluids to other less intelligent smithies, claiming their quenching liquid had magical properties. The fluid of course was salt water.

My Grandfather was a Smithy who came out from England and found work with the WA Fire Brigade, shoeing their wooden wagon wheels and so on, he passed a set of wood chisels on to my old man which I abused as a kid, using them on metal or anything else I wanted to chop up. These chisels were truly amazing. He also passed on a set of wood bodied planes he fashioned and also made the blades for, works of art. I can remember the chisels having large split mushroom tops from all the pounding they received from three generations of our clan. He died before I was born, would have loved to talk to him about metalergy and blacksmithing.

Funnily enough my old man was a talented woodworker/carpenter, hardly ever touched metal, although he certainly seemed to know quite a bit about working with metal, I think perhaps he may have watched his old man at work more than a few times.

I

MetalMan551
22nd Mar 2018, 04:21 AM
I put a sidecar onto a motor scooter, making a couple of large U bolts as the main attaching fasteners.
I sourced some suitable rod, heated and bent them and plunged them in oil, following suggestions such as were available, and fitted them.
Before I test drove it, I had a cup of tea when I heard two loud "pings" in quick succession. Both of them had snapped.
Glad I was thirsty.

Jordan

Ahh you were lucky. For the future you need to watch out to make the hardening depth not too deep. ;-)

Techo1
22nd Mar 2018, 08:58 AM
Ahh you were lucky. For the future you need to watch out to make the hardening depth not too deep. ;-)


How would you do that?

BobL
22nd Mar 2018, 11:29 AM
I used to do a bit of blacksmithing: knives, chisels, hammers, all sorts of things. When I started out I tried quenching in water, the metal simply cracked and was like glass. Oil was a different matter, cooling the metal a little slower and giving a nice level of hardness with which to start running colours.

The best quench material depends on the type of steel being treated.
For example water (or better still salt water) is actually recommended for S1 and W1 steels.
For many steels, air quenching in rapidly circulating or even still air is used.

[For newbies] If all that is done is quench in water (especially to the wrong steel) and nothing else, then it's no wonder the steel cracks.
The final hardness is achieved by a follow up tempering process and should pull the hardness back even from a glass hard piece of steel.
Too slow a quench in oil can result also lead to problems because the steel does not reach its full hardness potential which can mean it will then not temper correctly.
The same thing happens if too little oil is used.
Another reason why water is not usually as good as oil for one steels is that it produces more of an uneven hardening which as well as causing cracks can cause an uneven tempering. Maybe thats what you means by a "nice level of hardness"?

My GF was also a BS and he worked mainly shoeing bullocks and horses in the European alps.
He often worked on site and used horse and cart for transport. During WWII horses were likely to be stolen and eaten so he went everywhere often for miles by bicycle. He carried a portable forge, bellows, tools, steel stock and coke on his bike. During the latter years of the war there was a strict curfew in place between 6pm to 6am and as he often had to set off at 5am he was often stopped and searched as a suspected partisan. Once he had to go 10 miles up into the mountain to a work camp to shoe bullocks and set off at 4am. He was stopped and arrested as he didn't have his ID on him, but they quickly found out who he was and as they we going that way the Germans drove him up to the work camp in a truck so he arrived early. Going back down the mountains with all the gear by bike was pretty hair-raising and sometimes he would come off. I never got to meet him either, as we live thousands of km apart and he died when I was 4. In my 20's I finally got to see his forge and stables which was out the back of my uncle's place. There was nothing left of the tools etc just some coke and nails in amongst the cobble stone floor.

onanonanon
22nd Mar 2018, 05:01 PM
Nice googling, but. it's about the carbon content of the steel in relation to quenching and running colours. Car springs make excellent knives, car axles don't as the carbon content is relatively low by comparison, they do make good hammers though. Aside from oil and salt water, lemons and lemon juice were also a quenching solution.

Way back, carbon was infused into metals by wrapping the metal in hair, bone and basically anything containing carbon. The lot was then wrapped in clay and fired for very, very long periods.

MetalMan551
23rd Mar 2018, 04:12 AM
How would you do that?

just kidding :-

onanonanon
23rd Mar 2018, 11:20 AM
Never heard of hardening carbon steels to depths. Although, these days I suppose it could be possible with the advances in matallurgy and the different methods of heating and tempering from the classic blacksmithing approach. When tempering (running colours) you can temper different areas to different tempers, ie, a knife for example should have a softish handle (blue), where the blade would be hard enough to keep an edge but soft enough to permit sharpening (straw). When I was making them I tempered the blade itself to different colours: the tip and back of blade being a purple/brown colour, handle blue and the cutting edge a light straw. These colours differed slightly depending on the carbon content of the steel being used. I found this ideal as the blade being tempered to different hardnesses parallel to it's length had the benefit of being tough enough to withstand abuse and hard enough to hold an edge.

I always had great trouble making a decent looking blood channel so just cut a slot in the blade on a couple. The channel/groove serves no purpose other than aesthetics. And of course it sounds good, particularly as applied to fighting or Bowie knives. It was thought it made it easier to remove the knife from a body but modern science has proved this a nonsense.

Leaf springs and coil springs from cars were ideal materials for knives, chisels and so on. Leaf springs being the best as they required the least amount of hammering. If not hammered correctly the curve of the spring would return after the blade was quenched. Similarly if one side of the blank was hammered more than the other, that would also result in the blade curling.

At one time I banged out a few Bowie type knives with 12" blades with brass pommels and guards and aluminium handles, extremely popular with some. Thinking back, I probably should have sold them rather than give them away. Over the years I've pretty well lost everything I made. Biggest problem was rust!

I'd love to do a little blacksmithing again, but the smoke from the coke when not being fanned would probably annoy the neighbours.

BobL
23rd Mar 2018, 01:42 PM
Nice googling, but. it's about the carbon content of the steel in relation to quenching and running colours. Car springs make excellent knives, car axles don't as the carbon content is relatively low by comparison, they do make good hammers though. Aside from oil and salt water, lemons and lemon juice were also a quenching solution.

No googling, The info comes from a set of 50 year old metal working books that an old techie gave me at work about 10 years ago, and the documents and notes from a blacksmith course I attended 5 years ago.

Whether a steel is oil, air or water quenched doesn't have much to do with carbon content.
WI and O1 are water and oil quenching steels respectively, and have very similar carbon contents.
A2 (similar Carbon content to both W1 and O1) and is preferably air quenched.
M2 has the narrowest range of Carbon content that is inside the ranges for W1, O1 and A2, and can be brine, oil or air quenched.

Hardening to depth (case hardening) has been done since Roman times.
The method you refer to above about wrapping metal in hair and bone to infuse C into metal only works for a shallow depth is an example. Teh Carbon from the padding materials does not penetrate far thick pieces of steel no matter how long you leave it.

Since medieval times serious blacksmiths developed special case hardening powders and these are widely available - you might like to try google to see how widely available they are?
One of the members on these forums has been selling this stuff and was giving away small samples at one of the scraping class meets in 2014?

onanonanon
23rd Mar 2018, 02:38 PM
No googling, The info comes from a set of 50 year old metal working books that an old techie gave me at work about 10 years ago, and the documents and notes from a blacksmith course I attended 5 years ago.

Whether a steel is oil, air or water quenched doesn't have much to do with carbon content.
WI and O1 are water and oil quenching steels respectively, and have very similar carbon contents.
A2 (similar Carbon content to both W1 and O1) and is preferably air quenched.
M2 has the narrowest range of Carbon content that is inside the ranges for W1, O1 and A2, and can be brine, oil or air quenched.

Whether a metal is quenched in oil, water, lemon juice, blood or salt water, the carbon content dictates how how hard or brittle the metal will be after quenching. The quenching medium is best selected by how much carbon is in the metal. Some metals can be quenched in water without any ill effects and can then be tempered. Other metals, obviously with higher carbon content, will shatter.

Hardening to depth (case hardening) has been done since Roman times.
The method you refer to above about wrapping metal in hair and bone to infuse C into metal only works for a shallow depth is an example. Teh Carbon from the padding materials does not penetrate far thick pieces of steel no matter how long you leave it.

I never said it penetrated the full thickness. Still, carbon will penetrate further into metal if left for days in a furnace that a piece left for 5 minutes = common sense. Testing of medieval weapons does indeed reveal to what the depth carbon penetrates. Many tools from medieval times, if sharpened or ground enough will eventually reach the depth to which carbon has penetrated. They had a term for that in the medieval ages. I'm sure googling will bring it up. Many medieval tools that have been found were discards as the continual sharpening and grinding took their toll and the tool past the carbon infusion layer. Many medieval tools were made in a similar fashion to samurai swords, ie, a softer steel formed the core and a high carbon steel was welded to the exterior. this had basically the same effect as carbon infusion in a furnace as eventually constant sharpening and grinding would wear away the carbon steel coat revealing the softer inner cor. This was a popular method simply because good carbon steel was not plentiful, difficult and time consuming to make and had the same end result.

Since medieval times serious blacksmiths developed special case hardening powders and these are widely available - you might like to try google to see how widely available they are?
One of the members on these forums has been selling this stuff and was giving away small samples at one of the scraping class meets in 2014?

Case hardening? Who the devil is talking about case hardening, certainly not me. Case hardening would have worked real well on swords wouldn't it? Case hardening is not hardening to depth, totally different processes. Case hardening is as its name suggests adding a layer of hard material. Carbon infusion is also as it suggests, carbon is infused into the metal.

I google all the time, but mostly I know what I know not from reading books or googling but from actual experience. W1, W2, etc,means beans to me.

Some useless info: Old samurai swords were made by wrapping carbon steel around a softer steel this is what gave the swords their fine edges and toughness. I have read that today's swordsmiths have difficulty in replicating these swords.

More useless info: Damascus steel was made by heating very low carbon steel, sprinkling it with very small pieces of high carbon steel, folding and beating over and over. This is what gives Damascus steel it's pattern or what looks like grain. It was said that a Damascus steel sword could be bent in a circle so tip touched pommel and when released would spring back to it's original shape - straight. Whoever was able to bend a sword like that would certainly put Arny to shame! Damascus steel knives are available on ebay should anyone wish to try them.

I'm sure someone will feel the need to add corrections with dates, percentages, etc. Just more useless information, but entertaining nevertheless!

BobL
23rd Mar 2018, 09:04 PM
. . . W1, W2, etc,means beans to me.
You could always try googling it?

Ropetangler
23rd Mar 2018, 09:33 PM
Case hardening? Who the devil is talking about case hardening, certainly not me. Case hardening would have worked real well on swords wouldn't it? Case hardening is not hardening to depth, totally different processes. Case hardening is as its name suggests adding a layer of hard material. Carbon infusion is also as it suggests, carbon is infused into the metal.

I'm with BobL on this one Onanonanon, you may not have mentioned the term "case hardening", but you have certainly mentioned the process. Case hardening refers to a process not where an extra layer of hard material is added, but a thin outer layer has carbon infused into it making it a higher carbon steel, and so capable of being hardened by quenching into some quenching medium, be it water, brine, oil, air or any other suitable quenching medium. The process you spoke of using hair and bone fragments wrapped around the workpiece and heated in the relative absence of oxygen, followed by quenching, is one process which will case harden suitable steels, but I have no knowledge of it being suitable or otherwise for the manufacture of sword blades. I would think that if there was a suitable steel for case hardening, which was tough, like a spring steel for instance, it could work, but there may be difficulties obtaining a suitably tough springy steel which could still be case hardened, I simply don't know.

BobL
23rd Mar 2018, 10:22 PM
Cheers RT.

Modern case hardening is indeed usually just a very shallow process but look up the Wikipedia entry for "Case hardening", under the "historical section of case hardening" it states;


The traditional method of applying the carbon to the surface of the iron involved packing the iron in a mixture of ground bone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone) and charcoal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charcoal) or a combination of leather (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leather), hooves (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoof), salt (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt) and urine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine), all inside a well-sealed box. This carburizing package is then heated to a high temperature but still under the melting point of the iron and left at that temperature for a length of time. The longer the package is held at the high temperature, the deeper the carbon will diffuse into the surface. Different depths of hardening are desirable for different purposes: sharp tools need deep hardening to allow grinding and resharpening without exposing the soft core, while machine parts like gears might need only shallow hardening for increased wear resistance.

Modern case hardening is indeed mainly a shallow process used in fewer situations than in the past because deep hardening takes too long and because many more specific alloys are available to meet similar needs rather than trying to meet those needs with traditional l time consuming deep hardening methods.

There were many other methods to obtain the optimum spatially desirable hardness and other properties for swords .
Look up Wikipedia for "Differential heat treatment"

bob ward
24th Mar 2018, 12:52 PM
........................
One of the members on these forums has been selling this stuff and was giving away small samples at one of the scraping class meets in 2014?

Gratuitous self promotion here, thanks to BobL for providing a segue. Cherry Red case hardening powder is still available and also the PBC anti-scaling compound. I usually have it going around on eBay but its a little cheaper if you contact me directly as I'm not up for eBay and PayPal fees.