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Country Discussion Topics
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Shortening an axle
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DeadCarp    Posted 03-20-2003 at 05:53:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Anybody ever shorten a truck axle? I'm thinking about making a yard tractor, but want one that will maybe plow some snow & drag whole trees around, so the store bought ones are kinda puny, yet don't need a real tractor. (Besides I like welding better than buying parts :)



Spence    Posted 03-20-2003 at 18:07:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
This summer I'm going to use 2, 2X4 Comanche pickup front ends for my tandem. They're pipe centers and pretty sure they'll handle 3500 lbs each. The springs will have to be changed to shorter ones. For pipes I was eyeing some old telescoping house jacks. With the inside post inserted in the outer it looks pretty strong but I'll know this summer when I get to start work.

I was also thinking of making a hay wagon. The steering knuckles on the Comanche seem massive enough to handle the load.


rhudson    Posted 03-20-2003 at 15:04:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
mount axle flange in chuck of lath, center rest in the splined end center drill. start turning down a smaller diameter in the area you wish to cut the axle (usually toward the splined end where it is thickest). turn down the area about 5/8 to 3/4 inch long to a diameter of 3/8 or 1/2 plus a .001 or two. (more on this later). the left hand shoulder of the cut should be tapered to allow a good weld penetration. part or cut axle in two at right hand side of reduced diameter cut. take splined end and shorten. drill and ream a hole in the shortened end to accept a press fit of the reduced diameter that you left on the flange side. press fit the two prepaired axle halves together. remount in lath. use a dial indicator to true axle if necessary. helps if you have a mig welder at this point. quickly weld three tacks at 120 degrees to each other in prepaired vee. recheck with indicator. now using proper rod,weld vee up while rotating axle to distribute stresses. don't get base metal too hot and don't quence and for gosh sake don't weld it in your lath. clear as mud. wish i know how to post sketches.


opps, axle houseing    Posted 03-20-2003 at 15:12:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
forgot about the houseing. you will need a large lath and steady rest. chuck one bearing flange, study rest the other side. cut off tube with lath tool. true end and bore a slight increased id. now chuck cut flange end and shorten leaving an extra 1/4" or so. turn down this extra length to press fit into prepared end. press fit and weld.


bandersnatch    Posted 03-20-2003 at 11:54:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Years back, a fellow gave my uncle a Ford Courier pick up that had been rolled over. He pulled the bed off, and mounted a home made "A" frame made of I beams. The frame would go up with a hydraulic cylinder to pick and haul logs. He did something like flip the rearend over and three speeds in reverse and one forward. He put dual wheels on the rear. He also hooked some hydraulic gyzmo to the a frame welded to the front which served like a pto. He had it so he sat sideways to drive and used a lever for the clutch. Whole thing was R. Goldberged, but it worked for twenty years.


markct    Posted 03-20-2003 at 09:32:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
i just took apart an industrial forklift, the type with the hard rubber tires, and i noticed that the front end is like a car rear end but narrower,except on the end they have a drive gear where the axle ends and that drove on the inside of the cast iron rim of the forklift wheel. it seems that if you could weld some sorta hub onto the gear that sticks out from the axle tube you could put the wheel right there and have a narrow rear end. junk forklifts arnt too hard to find realy, in fact if your close enough to connecticut you could have the axle outa this one even, i gota cut up the rest of it to scrap it soon, even the tranny might work for you too


Ludwig    Posted 03-20-2003 at 07:17:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Get yer, or build yer, a little crawler.
When I get real serious about playing around on the farm thats what I'll have. Nothing better for dragging logs than a crawler. Well, okay a skidder, but I'm not going to spend the big bucks for one of those!


Willy-NThis is what you need!    Posted 03-20-2003 at 06:37:49       [Reply]  [No Email]

This was taken befor I restored it. It is a Panzer Lawn Tractor real tuff little tractor with a shortend Plymouth Rear end in it. Do something like this. Mark H.


Willy-N Another View of it    Posted 03-20-2003 at 06:42:17       [Reply]  [No Email]

This was taken after I finished it. Had a 3 speed with reverse belt system and a 9 hp engine. You might save a lot of money just buying a old one and fixing it up. They are bullet proof. I sold this one for 500.00 restored but bought it for 125.00 the way it was in the other picture. Mark H.


Bill Shope    Posted 04-09-2004 at 04:03:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My father had a similar tractor. Used a B&S engine with a Ford trans and shortened Ford rear end. Pulled a gang of reel mowers. Sort of a scaled down version of those used on the golf courses.


Yankee    Posted 03-20-2003 at 17:32:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
That looks like an old Pennsylvania Tractor.When I was growing up a neighbor of mine had one.Little work horse.


Willy-N    Posted 03-20-2003 at 18:35:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Same thing a neat old Lawn tractor this one was a 1952 Model.Mark H.


JoeK    Posted 03-20-2003 at 06:07:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Normally I believe a section is taken out of the differential tubes,midway out,then rewelded saving any damage/work with backing plates,seals etc.Then a like section is removed from the axles themselves.Major problem is keeping everything straight and true.There are shops for dragsters,antique cars etc that do this professionally but its pricey.


Hal/WA    Posted 03-20-2003 at 10:56:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
The housing is easy to shorten, just carefully cut out a section and weld it back solid, being careful to keep things aligned. The axles are more of a problem. While it is possible to cut a section out of the middle and weld the two parts back together (prefferably truing things up in a lathe), the best way to shorten an axle is to cut it the proper length and have the end resplined and machined as necessary.

But for a garden tractor, that will never have significant horsepower or torque, I think I would just cut and weld the best I could. If you keep things straight, It probably will work just fine. Good luck.


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