What is the best thing to do with this spindle? Repair or replace? The previous owner told me that it already broken once and has been re-welded but not sure if to risk it? I am having trouble finding a replacement.
Replace....there are just too many replacements out there to take the risk of using that one. I'll bet there are some members on the line who can sell you one.
A one-piece spindle....HMMMM.
I'll bet there are not many unused ones out there.
I can weld but I would only let a certified welder redo that one.
You almost have to have it on the axle with the tie rod connected to get it right.
The weld metal may not be the same.Impuritys can cause bonding issues.I would be skeered to reweld it myself.
Item #321047269169 on EBay is an 09-10 spindle but I think it might be the wrong side.
That weld looks like poo. I would take the part to a certified aircraft welder and have it re - welded.
I'd really make sure I'd researched all avenues to find a replacement before I'd weld. A good welder that understands metals and heat and weld penetration and rod selection and... might be ok but I wouldn't put my family in the car unless I was sure I had a spindle capable of holding up.
What is your family's health worth? I bet it is a lot more than a good replacement part no mater how much it costs. Driving 100 year old cars is risky at best but think about what could happen at speed if that weld fails. Just my .02 but I would not use that on anything except a static display that is not driven.
Use a later spindle until you can find a replacement. Paul is right on target.
Whoever welded that didn't do it right. A butt weld is a bad idea on that kind of thing. I think if welded properly it could be safe to drive.
I wouldnt use it, the amount of work it would take to repair it would be prohibitive and i still wouldnt trust it as much as a sound one.
replace it with a two piece ( if you can) and seek a replacement.
If i were to repair it, i would completely remove any weld and fully vee groove it all the way around and weld it with 70 series rod, several passes thoroughly cleaning in between. once the weld was completed i would send a sample of steel to an analysis lab to determine the alloy, then anneal and heat treat the entire spindle as that alloy is supposed to be and according to what purpose its going to serve , to retain strength i would retain the weld beads on the outside of the spindle.
Matthew, thank you. That's the kind of processes I felt would be important too. I don't feel it should be taken to the farmer across the road with his little 225 amp lincoln welder. How the metal is prepared, the rod used, understanding heat requirements and knowing how to treat the metal is essential for safety and it still doesn't hold a candle to a sound replacement.
Keep looking Alex. Steering & brakes. On a good day there isn't enough of either on a T any way. There's enough to think about without that accident waiting to happen.
i would have it professionally re-welded
Find a Micro welder in your area and have him look at it to re-weld it, then wrap a tight fitting sleeve around it and weld that in place
Dont throw away that spindle yet. If it would have been done right to begin it would last for a lifetime.
It can be done.
But for your peace of mine I would get another one for sure.
I have a Lincoln 225 amp welder and have welded and repaired various blocks, tension bars, etc. on farm equipment over the years.
I am a retired farmer/rancher and maint. welder at a local college, that has some knowledge (not much) of welding procedures.
It does take a little knowledge and nohow to repair that spindle.
And it can be done with the correct rod, procedure,and using a Lincoln 225 amp welder.
Is that a cast reproduction or a forged original? There are a lot of fakes out there. I find it odd that that spindle arm would break in a fairly low stress area. If the arm broke off, what about the rest of the spindle? If those are fakes, I wouldn't drive on them. 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 in owning them.
Good point, Randy. How would you recognize cast from forged?
People replace whole engines, but keep the original to go with the car. I would hang that one on the wall and use a two-piecer.
That said, I was brand new to Ts when I got the Speedster in 1997. It was a year later when I removed the lowering blocks, that I found the spindle arms had been lengthened by welding sections in them. They've been in the garage ever since.
The fact that it broke at a point that had a lower maximum bending load, I would be concerned that there may be some inherent defect in the original part. If it is welded I would look in to having it ultrasonic or x-ray tested. Not only could they test the weld, they could also see any defects in the original parent material.
If it is welded and not x-rayed, then crack testing on the whole part and structural testing would be an absolute requirement for me.
Do you have any idea what caused it to break in the first place? Just driving down the road it is under little load. If it hit a large chuck hole or bumped into a solid wall I could see much more load. Then the fact that it broke in the first place rather then bending may be a red flag.
Best as I can tell they are both original but is there a way to easily distinguish? From memory it hit a kerb to break the weld but I do not know what first broke it. Do these ever show up at US swap meets? Shameless plug I know but would really like to find a good replacement as a first preference from the comments above. I am not a welder so would never try myself.
I've seen very few one piece original spindles for sale at swap meets Alex. In fact the last time I saw any they were reproduction castings made by Glen johnson. Those are probably OK for static display but they would scare me for driving around the block safely.
I would not hesitate to have the part professionally rewelded by a certified aircraft welder if it was mine. This would of course involve completely grinding away all traces of the original weld and then V ' ing out the area on all sides to accept a proper bead. After welding the part would need to be heat treated to keep the part from breaking again next to the weld.
Alex, i would really question why the spindle broke in the first place. I would lean toward think you have a later cast reproduction. I would only use an original. If you throw enough money out there, you will come up with one.
Alex, a couple of replies suggest you should use a later two piece spindle until you find a correct one. That would involve fitting a later front axle to accommodate the two piece spindle.
I once located an early axle which had been used under a jinker. The back of the spindle was welded to the axle to maintain the straight ahead line. Both spindle arms were cut off. A lecturer in metalwork at the local Adult education campus resurrected the spindles by welding replacement arms to the spindles. He told me it had to be done using original parent material as the welding medium, and spent time drawing welding wire from an original Ford spindle arm. The car has been on the road for years now, but of course there can be no guarantees.
For your interest.
Allan from down under.
I think it might be difficult to get a certified welder to weld anything related to the steering on a motor vehicle as the liability risk is too high, if you can get a qualified welder to do it, chances are he will believe it is stronger than the original, but how will you know that the welder is really that good, and not just doing what he thinks he can do.
I'm sorry John, I should have said a logger with a Forney. I wasn't necessarily knocking farmers or Lincoln welders but I know a lot of guys that have welders that weld their equipment with birdshit welds that I wouldn't trust for nothing. For 20 years of having been a machinist, working close with a metallurgist and doing a quite a little bit of failure analysis and magnetic particle inspection (magnaflux) on professionally produced welds causes me to believe I wouldn't let most farmers or loggers or truck drivers or machinists or a hell of a lot of other professionals that work hard with their hands and have to weld things in order to get by, weld that spindle. I watched my Dad flip his tractor over on himself and came very close to being crushed because he thought he could weld. But with the right welder, the right rod, the right treatment after the welding, a person could weld it with a 225 amp Lincoln arc welder. But he damn well better be qualified to do the job. And he damn well better know how to test that weld. Because I wouldn't put my family in a car with the weld that's on that spindle now and it's pretty representative of a lot of amateur produced welds. I figure one piece spindles are hard to find if they were used on some of the older T's but that's not an excuse to put your family in a car with a spindle like that.
Ralph, The first clue that led me to believe that I was looking at a fake was the centering of the bored holes was off a little. The real give away was a little hard to understand at first. I noticed a spiral line between the bearing mounting positions that my originals do not have. After staring at the peculiar pattern for a while, I realised what it was. I grabbed a roll of 3/4" masking tape and wrapped the spindle in a spiral fashion. The pattern the tape made was identical to the pattern in the steel. Cast iron poured in a mold shrinks 1/8" per foot and I think steel would shrink about the same. Somebody wrapped masking tape on a pair of original spindles and used them for patterns. A couple of wraps where the bearings go made up for the shrinkage. If the person that wrapped the tape would have only wrapped the bearing mounts and not in between, I may not have been 100% certain they were cast.
Great sleuthing, Hawkeye.
i know people that cut and weld those on track cars but for a road car i would say the aircraft welders other people suggested would be a good choice.
NO MIKE WRONG AGAIN. its the kid across the street who builds trailers with his harborfreight 110v fluxcore wire welder.... hahahah!