Raptor Spindle Gussets

Discussion in 'Ford Raptor Suspension Discussion and Modification' started by Dan06, Oct 18, 2012.

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  1. BigJ

    BigJ FRF Addict

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    I consider the spindles a weak point.

    But for what its worth I have a fair bit of mileage off road with the Raptor and so far my stockers are doing just fine.

    The thing that concerns me about the Alpha 1s is the welding. Sheet metal onto cast steel... IMHO that requires nickle 99 wire, proper preheating and cooling down of the cast, and specialized techniques only those experienced with this exact type of weld can properly apply. Do it wrong or miss a step and you've taken an already acknowledged weak point, and you've made it far, far weaker than what you started with.

    Or to put it another way... I have two very experienced and well educated welders on my staff, and neither feels confident enough to do this job for me. That tells me everything I need to know.

    Your mileage will most certainly vary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
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  2. pirate air

    pirate air will plunder your booty Supporting Member

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    Most often the steering knuckle is one of the weak links in any double wishbone suspension. Vehicles I'd inspect/repair that were hit or damaged in the front end were common for bent knuckles. The area between the hub flange and upper ball joint creates a lot of leverage. I'd suspect whats going to bend a steering knuckle on the raptor the easiest is braking hard, or locking up the tires, over rough terrain, followed by whoops or ruts deep enough to cause the front of the tire to impact rather than roll over. With jumping the majority of your force is carried through the bottom ball joint and lower control arm. At that point the upper section is doing more stabilizing (note the strength/size difference between the upper and lower control arms). But wheels with greater offset, or more offset will increase the force on the upper knuckle when landing or really any time force is applied to the wheel. So it may explain why a stock truck doesn't bend but one that happened to have after market wheels did. Also the (or at least some) after market UCA I believe are harder on the knuckles because they delete the rubber mounting bushings at the frame with a heim joint/solid joint reducing any give from the bushings that would reduce shock on the knuckle during an event.

    I do plan on getting a gusset kit. Probably get new knuckles at the same time since they're not that expensive and just completely replace mine. Really only draw back I see to these is unsprung weight and its really not advised by the manufacture to weld on cast steering components.
     
  3. BlueSVT

    BlueSVT FRF Addict

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    One thing is certain, people will find theirs are already bent when they go to install them... if you take this piece, you'll find it lines up 100% perfect on a brand new truck, but trucks with even a small amount of off road miles will already show signs of being bent!

    I'm having this installed next week... I'll report how far off my stock spindles were before the added gusset.
     
  4. pirate air

    pirate air will plunder your booty Supporting Member

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    Another reason I'm going to go new on the knuckles when I'm ready to do the gussets, it wouldn't surprise me if mine were bent a little. I would agree more are probably bent even if only slightly then owners realize.
     
  5. Donk74

    Donk74 Full Access Member

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    Big J

    While I have no first hand Knowledge of what our Raptor spindles made from I suspect they are cast steel and not cast iron. The welding process your referring to, with the Ni99 wire is for cast iron and your right about welding it. If you used std weld wire on cast iron you'd be lucky to only end up with the same number of pieces after welding as B4 you started. Cast steel on the other hand can be welded with std processes.
     
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  6. BigJ

    BigJ FRF Addict

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    We agree that they're probably cast steel. But it sounds like we maybe disagree on what kind of cast steel; low or hi alloy, or carbon. Anyone know which? As I understand it, how you weld and the filler material you chose is dependent on which type, and especially critical in the case of hi alloy cast steels.

    Or maybe its as simple as just waiting on the instructions to come out. I have to imagine Alpha 1/Outlaw has their i's dotted and t's crossed when it comes to the install procedure for these things.
     
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  7. BlueSVT

    BlueSVT FRF Addict

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    Has anybody asked the question in THEIR thread, about the product yet? May get the best answer that way...
     
  8. treypal

    treypal Lord of the Raptors Supporting Member

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    I asked earlier.
     
  9. Aidan

    Aidan Full Access Member

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    Spark test will tell you the carbon content and give you an idea what alloying is in there. I'd bet they're just mild steel though. In which case you have to worry more about the 4130 you're welding to the mild steel spindle. Either way, I doubt it's really too far beyond the average garage welder, a competent guy should be able to do it just fine.


    For what it's worth, welding cast iron (not steel) isn't impossible either. It's just a matter of picking the filler rod and making sure you cool slow enough. Problem is that without a furnace it's real difficult to get the cooling slow enough.
     
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  10. BigScott

    BigScott Banned

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    Yup
     

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