You will remember I posted late last year about my broken one piece spindle.
It is possibly a reproduction and at least one experienced early t guy thinks they are reproduction. How can I tell for certain?
Also would having a metallurgist test them prove conclusively?
First test is are they cast iron or forged steel? Touch it to a grinder and the CI will make red/orange sparks while the steel will produce white sparks. Mainly the next question is are they in fact Ford script? (DB will suffice as well). There were a million parts makers back then and anyone could cast iron in the back yard.
Ford used chrome vanadium steel on almost all his parts including sheet metal. I just trimmed a rusty edge off a '26 running board and ate up several sawzall blades. CV either cast or forged is a superior material and even if was used by accident, it would contribute largely to the parts longevity.
Ford script was not used on the 1909 - 1911 spindles. Not sure if the Dodge Brothers or Transue Williams cartouche appears on any of them. The ones on the 1909 in my garage don't have any markings visible.
I know Ford promoted the "vanadium steel" thing, but I know for sure that 26-7 spindles have no vanadium in then. They have chrome and molybdenum and closely resemble 4340. I had it tested at a qualified metalurgical lab. I was then considering having some cast from 4340 steel to incorporate a brake mounting flange as well as adding king pin inclination.
IF I was in the need and couldn't find then and especially if I could borrow the part I would go with the lost wax process.
Briefly as follows;
1. Build up the machined surfaces on the original part with body filler.
2. Make a rubber mould
3. Make a wax from the mould and add "gating"
4. "Invest" This is the process of encasing the wax in a cement type material that when heated sufficiently becomes ceramic.
5. Burnout the wax and fuse the ceramic
6. Take to the right foundry you can trust and have it poured with 4340 or what alloy you and the foundry agree on.
7. Break the ceramic, machine your part.
Sand casting of course will work but tougher to get the detail and in my opinion more chance of getting "weavils" in a critical part.
I have used investment cast 4340 connecting rods with good results. The trick is finding a foundry you can trust who is interested in doing the job.
Unknowing what they are can be a gamble.
As ex-trooper says, spark test your old and spark test the new in a hidden area and just a kiss. Same color sparks, same material.
A metallurgist could try a chemical etch, but that's tough on CI v. Steel. For another test, one done in a mass spec it would take about 10g of 'volunteer' and mass spec isn't cheap. I could offer to do the mass spec for you gratis, might take me a bit, so PM me if interested and I'll tell you what to prepare and where to send the 'sample'
There is an elementary test that most overlook no matter how much I preach. Find someone with an HRC (Rc) hardness tester, a quick and almost invisible test. The tensile properties of the hardness numbers achieved (old and new) are directly proportional to tensile strength. Doesn't answer the entire picture but usually good enough when trying to determine apples from oranges.
They're not likely to be cast iron. CI would break before you left the driveway. Maybe cast steel or malleable iron. Can you post some very detailed photos?
Here's the original thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/331039.html?1356851384
Agree with Jerry. Highly unlikely they are cast iron. In the former post you uploaded a photo of one which was welded. Cast iron is near impossible to weld like that. Moreover, I know of no reproduction spindles. Front axles yes, spindles no.
Richard, in the previous thread, Royce wrote: " the last time I saw any they were reproduction castings made by Glen johnson"
Randy Driscoll wrote: "There are a lot of fakes out there. (--) A couple of years ago a guy tried to pass off a pair of one piece spindles on me. After very careful examination I realized they were cast and told the seller I wasn't interested"
Repros are likely cast steel, not cast iron - but still inferior compared to forged originals.
One piece spindles were also used in 1922 for a short time - they can be used on an early car if the spindle arm is straightened. But almost as hard to find as the originals..
I have cleaned all the paint off them so will take some better photos tonight and post them on here.
I've seen Glen Johnson a bunch of times at Chickasha and he had a lot of made up stuff for early cars, one piece driveshafts, pans, and front axles. I've never seen him or any else offer reproduction one piece spindles. If they are out there, I've never seen or heard of any in all my years of collecting.
I'd be willing to bet money yours are genuine. It'll be interesting to see your photos, though. I'll compare them with a set I have
laying around somewhere and let you know if they are different or what. I'll try to provide some photos for you.
Here goes... I hope these are ok images. Originals are much better but compressed these to post them. I have a good set of 1922 one piece spindles but don't want to modify them as they are getting a rare enough find. Think I need to work through with these a bit further. Appreciate the input so far.
Those spindles look like drop forgings to me. See the parting line on the axles? I don't see evidence of the arm being welded to the body of the spindle either.
Here's a known original to compare:
Was this an attempt to make a "right" from "left" or vis-versa?
I am with Royce on this. They sure look like forgings. If they are repo's then they sure got the detail right (and in places where you wonder why they would bother).
So here is a "WAG"; It is a original and it broke! Ford was not perfect and forging is not perfect. Also who knows what abuse it was subject to in it's life. We have all seen pictures of the early "roads".
If it was mine I would take it to a good materials testing outfit. A foundry that does iron/steel castings probably has one or can point you in the right direction. I assume there will be one in New Zealand. Determine as best you can what the original material is.
It would be great if you could talk to whoever welded it and learn what rod they used. The weld actually looks pretty good. I don't see any undercut at the edges and no evidence of any slag inclusions. It was arc welded and looks like the guy had some skill (not your average backyard amateur with a buzz box). Sure some guy with a TIG could do a prettier job but no guarantee it would be any stronger.
Once you know if it was good material then next I would probably get the weld X rayed (actually I would get the whole steering arm X rayed). They can do it all on the same piece of film at the same time and if they shoot it from the top they should get a pretty good picture. If it broke once you want to be sure there are not more weavils in the arm that you can't see.
With enough information you can now make a informed decision. If all of the above checks out and you decide to use it then a little bit of careful grinding (you don't want to remove parent metal and you don't want to create any "notches" at the weld to parent interface) could be done to make it a little prettier and less obvious.
As I said above "If it was mine". It''s not, and it is your call.
Thanks Les, Royce, Richard
One list picture...is this dimpling/slight cratering normal? (In the corner between the arm and shaft)
Thanks I just want to be 100% sure.... I've seen too many pics of damaged cars due to bad axles/wheels etc
looks like a welded joint to me from what i can see
need to have it x-rayed. those craters will all be weak points
Looking at that picture I think we are seeing a repro arm welded to a later original spindle. Not good.
I agree with Royce. That's a weld on a faked one piece spindle. Dangerous junk.
I assume this is the "other" spindle (without the obvious weld).
It sure would be nice to know the history of it. I will agree with the others that it looks like it has been welded. You probably can't get a good X-ray of that joint being in the corner like that. Ultrasonic could give some good indications of the integrity of the joint, welded or not.
You must know someone who could do some hardness tests (Rockwell or similar). If it has been welded you will get different hardnesses in the parent metal (away from the weld), heat effect zone (right beside the weld), and the weld metal. If the hardnesses are all close to the same then it may not be welded.
Those kind of surface "defects" are not all defining by themselves, just cause for more investigation.
One thing to consider is that there are "pits" on the other side from the spindle arm where no one would have any reason to weld
It would be very difficult to fabricate a one piece spindle from a later style. You'd have a heck of a time recreating the right shape. Notice the hole for the spindle arm in the later style is recessed into the spindle body. Also notice the earlier spindle body is thicker.
Here is a one piece spindle on my 22 touring cut off.
Shouldn't the spindle arm curve up, to clear the low wishbone, instead of down, as shown? If so, it would suggest that the threads on your spindle ends would be incorrect. (Should be L.H. thread on R.H. side & R.H. thread on L.H. side.)
Alexs' spindles may be originals where some one has cut the arm off to make a trailer, then some one else welded arms back on. I have seen several sets of one piece spindles mutilated to be made into trailer spindles. Langs just sold a set.
After looking at Alexs' last picture, it looks like bubbley welds on both sides of the spindle shaft. That could be a home made body with the shaft and arm welded on.
I think it may be an original body with a different spindle shaft welded on. Maybe an attempt to salvage an early spindle that was damaged. Just my $.02. Dave