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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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steering knuckle metal

Does anyone know what material the steering knuckles are? Cast Iron/steel, forged??? Has anyone tried welding them, or know if that is possible???


03 Dodge SHO QCLB Dually w/ Banks intercooler 4" side draft intake. Carli/Thuren Argon filled Shocks, radius arms, SRW 4 link Conversion, 17"methods, 42" Squishy's, / 25.263 mpg legit. Disabled Marine wartime veteran.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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I did a spark test and it looks like steel. Tons of sparkly orange sparks, so I'm assuming they're at least a decent cast steel?

03 Dodge SHO QCLB Dually w/ Banks intercooler 4" side draft intake. Carli/Thuren Argon filled Shocks, radius arms, SRW 4 link Conversion, 17"methods, 42" Squishy's, / 25.263 mpg legit. Disabled Marine wartime veteran.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:19 AM
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Cast iron if I recall correctly, I looked up when I was removing my stubborn unit bearings to know how high I could heat to (400*F was what I settled on)

2006 RAM 3500 DRW 6 speed 4WD QCLB: unit bearing delete, metric delete, all tow no go.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grogg View Post
Cast iron if I recall correctly, I looked up when I was removing my stubborn unit bearings to know how high I could heat to (400*F was what I settled on)
I hope you're wrong on that, not because I want to be right, but I don't want to weld cast iron. I'm just assuming they're steel because of the spark test I did, and because of the age without any sign of rust.

I want to weld some pl8 steel gussets for strength, and to change the geometry for more leverage, and a true cross over steering.

03 Dodge SHO QCLB Dually w/ Banks intercooler 4" side draft intake. Carli/Thuren Argon filled Shocks, radius arms, SRW 4 link Conversion, 17"methods, 42" Squishy's, / 25.263 mpg legit. Disabled Marine wartime veteran.

Last edited by Gator1; 03-20-2019 at 01:04 PM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 02:10 PM
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I'm happy to be wrong if it helps your case any

The spark test is where you buzz it with a grinder then see the colour of the spark right? I'm colour blind, that never worked for me. If the steering knuckles are steel, its very low carbon steel.

Probably not a job for brazing with bronze wire... what about high nickel rod/wire lots of pre/post heat? I almost feel like the center section of the diff is the same material as the steering knuckles...

2006 RAM 3500 DRW 6 speed 4WD QCLB: unit bearing delete, metric delete, all tow no go.
1991 W350 SRW auto 4WD RCLB: Fleetjunk delete, Garmon trans, NASTRUCK
Just say no to metric Daimler-Fiat
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grogg View Post
I'm happy to be wrong if it helps your case any

The spark test is where you buzz it with a grinder then see the colour of the spark right? I'm colour blind, that never worked for me. If the steering knuckles are steel, its very low carbon steel.

Probably not a job for brazing with bronze wire... what about high nickel rod/wire lots of pre/post heat? I almost feel like the center section of the diff is the same material as the steering knuckles...
Yes, on the spark test, but true cast iron won't throw much sparks at all, but steel makes a bunch, like the sparklers you had as a kid on 4th of July. I did some welding on the knuckles when I added an axle truss, and gussets to the upper C and spring perch, and they welded real nice with just a 70s2 mild steel rod, it made me think they were a forged piece.

Another way to tell is to strike an arc on the metal enough to make a puddle (no rod) Then when it cools do a file test. If the file leaves a mark it's steel, if it doesn't, It hardened and is Iron. I guess why it's harder to weld Cast Iron it gets hard and brittle in the process. i should say, not hard to weld, but hard to keep from cracking after!

03 Dodge SHO QCLB Dually w/ Banks intercooler 4" side draft intake. Carli/Thuren Argon filled Shocks, radius arms, SRW 4 link Conversion, 17"methods, 42" Squishy's, / 25.263 mpg legit. Disabled Marine wartime veteran.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 01:43 AM
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Cast iron is too brittle and would break under load.

99 2500, Quad cab, 4x4 47RE, BD pressure lock on it, small BD 90/140 chip on the VP 44 connection plug, 17" 3rd gen wheels. 3.55 diffs. Ruenell front bumper and warn winch, Rancho adj shocks. 663k miles.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfish95971 View Post
Cast iron is too brittle and would break under load.
That's true, didn't think about that. I'm getting ready to weld some 3/8 in steel plate to the drag link ears to make them stronger, and longer then make a true cross over steering out of it. I'm gonna use all Chromolly tubing and double pinch bolt threaded tube fittings on everything.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 11:34 AM
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Maybe gray cast but ductile cast survives in front axle applications all day long....

2006 RAM 3500 DRW 6 speed 4WD QCLB: unit bearing delete, metric delete, all tow no go.
1991 W350 SRW auto 4WD RCLB: Fleetjunk delete, Garmon trans, NASTRUCK
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, well, I'm going with steel for several reasons. 1. Tons of sparks in grinder test. 2. They're 15 years old with no rust. 3. I did some welding on them already for a truss and Upper "C" balljoint bracing, and they welded really nice. But, just in case I'm going to first make the new brackets for cross over steering a bolt on item first, and strong enough to handle that application without welding. Then I'll weld it all up to make the knuckle stronger and double redundant so, if it cracks it won't be a life or death situation.

03 Dodge SHO QCLB Dually w/ Banks intercooler 4" side draft intake. Carli/Thuren Argon filled Shocks, radius arms, SRW 4 link Conversion, 17"methods, 42" Squishy's, / 25.263 mpg legit. Disabled Marine wartime veteran.

Last edited by Gator1; 03-24-2019 at 12:12 PM.
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