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Old 04-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Suggestions for welding ladder bar to Ford 9"

95 YJ, stretched to 106", three link coil front XJ leaf rear. Looking for suggestions for an issue I'm having. XJ springs SOA rear sitting on top of a Ford 9". Built up a simple ladder bar, mounts on the axle tubes connected towards the front with standard bushings/shackles like most people do. Nothing earth shattering in the design of it. Problem I'm having is that the thickness of the tubes is so thin that it's wanting to rip the welds and crack the metal. Turn the welder up and it wants to burn through... too cold and lousy penetration and the weld doesn't hold.

Curious what people are doing back there. Have searched but am not finding anyone with the same problem I'm running into running a ladder bar on the 9" and the vast majority don't seem to be running a truss. It's getting to the point I'm patch welding after every run.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm building a 9 inch for my TJ now, and after welding on the truss, I can see where you would be having trouble. Could you do a semi sleeve on the outside of the housing? Maybe a piece of pipe cut in half length-wise to spread the load over more surface area...
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There was a guy in our old club that had this same issue with a 9" on I think 40" tires. He ripped a piece of the housing and opened a big hole there. He solved it by welding on a big patch like BJA814 suggests. The larger patch spreads out the load on a larger weld area, so you are less prone to cracking.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I thought of doing the same, however I've got one of the ladder bar mounts on the actual tube and interweb gurus say the closer to center the better, so the other bracket is more towards the center where it's starting to flare out. Thus just some regular 3" ID tube would have to be flared if it stayed this way. I may just end of doing what the two of you suggested and cut the current brackets off and start over if the housing isn't toast after that's done. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It doesn't have to be tube. I would take a piece of 1/8 or 3/16 plate, cut a piece that would fit and beat it with a hammer on an anvil until it fit the housing. It doesn't have to be really thick, just bigger than your brackets so there is more weld.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I used to make four link brackets for 9"ers that would go a full 360* around the tube. Never knew of one to fail.
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