Thoughts on minor t-case cross-member damage

Discussion in 'General IH Tech' started by Gunfighter97, Nov 23, 2019.


  1. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    I
    Keep
    Finding
    $#!+
    TO FIX!
    I just want to drive my rig!
    But oh well, its good fun either way. Here's my latest bugaboo, no idea if I should even be concerned about a couple of these but I know these x-members crack so I figured I'd get second opinions. I found the first of these wire wheeling but forgot about it untill just now. I'm going to mount up my empty t-case housing to do a write-up of a simple lateral brace others can replicate so I was putting the member back on the painted case. First thing is what I think is a crack near one center mount bolt: [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It doesn't go through all the way so it may be something like a burr from stamping?
    I figure I can run a bead of weld over it, and grind flat in either case just to be safe. The other thing is that the mount bolts at the rear appear to have pulled down extremely hard dimpling the holes as if the case was rocked forward harshly, maybe snagged on something from underneath. I don't see a way to remedy this short of heating to cherry and smithing it flat, and that might not be so great an idea either since the hole would likely both shrink and loose thickness.

    I've come up with two possible causes. Let me know if these sound realistic because Im actually very curious. The following history I've theorized by forensicly following PO's left behind timeline of carnage, bandaids, and broken parts.

    1. I removed a hard lateral brace that was bolted on at the rear, direct metal to both the case and frame with no bushings. At this time the case was canted slightly forward due to slow agonizing death of the 50 year old bushings (wich had conveyor belt added for shim stock). Over time the case slumped down and couldn't in the rear because of the brace thus twisting it forward. I don't find this likely because I have a feeling it would've done the same effect in reverse to the frame rails where the brace was attached.

    2. Hit something from underneath. Evidence of this in a couple gouges on the bottom of the case (deep gouge across the drain plug). There is also evidence of catastrophic rear driveline failure at the case end, both yokes are cracked, the e-brake linkage is mangled and a sad attempt to straighten it was made at some point. Where the front end of the rear shaft was has had all the under body coating knocked loose(and road grime is very thin). Small dents all around the t-case end suspiciously within reach of the rear driveline. I've also been told that the rear seal retainer has been replaced with an aluminum one from an np203 or 205, cant remember wich and unable to confirm if the 202 used these, as i understand they share the same bolt pattern here. Also that yoke nut was torqued to about 2,000,000 ft/lbs and nearly impossible to remove.

    I'm not real sure how concerned I should be about this.

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  2. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    Couple more pics, for some reason they disappeared when I posted.[​IMG][​IMG]

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  3. patrick r

    patrick r Binder Driver

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    Those look like stress cracks. Find the ends of the cracks, drill a 1/8” hole where they stop to keep them from continuing, grind a bevel in the crack and then weld. A good idea to add a brace. These cases are known to swing forward and back.


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  4. Don B

    Don B Binder Driver

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    I would second that. While in there check all the mounts as well.

    Don B.
     
  5. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    I'm planning on removing the brackets that bolt to the frame as well for clean up. All the bushings are getting oem replacements; my brace design will hopefully use 1-2 of the same bushing. The cracks arent a huge deal for me to fix, however I am worried that those dimples wont let the t-case sit right.

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  6. mallen

    mallen Y-Block King

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    That looks really good compared to mine. There were several cracks in it, and the end is actually completely missing and has been replaced by a crudely cut patch that was stick welded in place. I welded up the cracks,and the weld penetration on the patch looks good, so I just use it. But one of these days I'll find a 4x4 and take the crossmember. Yours looks pristine by comparison.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  7. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    Lol i was thinking, "this might not be that bad; i dunno, if it is I'll just fab a new one" XD

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  8. Dana Strong

    Dana Strong Lives in an IH Dealership

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    If by that you mean the area around the holes has been pulled below the plane, what I would do is clean, wirebrush (to white metal) the member, then heat it to about light yellow and cool slowly. This to reduce existing strains. Then set it on a piece of 1/2" plywood over an anvil (or suitable substitute) and with a large sledge, pound it flat with one or a few blows. To cover the whole raised area and to protect the surface from being indented by the head's corners, the high area could also be covered by a small plate of 1/2" thick steel (with beveled lower edges) while pounding on the plate.
    To weld the cracks, yes drill the ends, grind a "V" about 2/3 the metal's depth, and weld. Carefully grind any excess height off, leaving a clean line-free surface.
     
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  9. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    Ah yes good ol' annealing. Back to basics. I have a heat treat oven with all that stuff pre programed but its a tad small.... I have an excuse to buy a bigger hammer though, that's good. Or bad.... I also have a friend with a press big enough to actually bend 1/2 inch plate (it breaks anything bigger) maybe with a bit of pre heat it would flatten it under another plate with flat arbors.

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  10. Dana Strong

    Dana Strong Lives in an IH Dealership

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    It doesn't hurt to use more fancy equipment if you have it, but shouldn't be needed and should be less work here using less; also, that isn't a full anneal.
    What temperature does your furnace go to? My small Lindberg is rated at 1200*C.
     
  11. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    Mine does about 4500*f iirc. Cavity about the size of a 5 gallon bucket.
    Edit: I built mine, I forget the manufacturers of the main components. Its basically a modified 220v ac ceramics kiln with a computer and weird thermometer.

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  12. mallen

    mallen Y-Block King

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    Just heat it with a torch till its nice and hot, then bury it in sand. No need for anything expensive. Your really overthinking it.

    Take two pieces of ,say, 5/8 metal plate. Drill holes spaced the same as the crossmembers. Sandwich the cross member and bolt it together. Crank down on those bolts and the dimpled portions should flatten, but mostly spring back when you remove the bolts. (So don't do that) Now heat it cherry red with a torch and let it cool.When it's cool, remove the plates. It should be flat now.

    Next, drill the ends of the cracks (don't skip this, it's vital) , v them out and weld them up with your favorite wedding technology. FCAW, MIG, TIG, SMAW, or Oxy-Acetylene will all do a fine job. (If your not sure you can do it right, practice on scrap until you can). Let it cool naturally. (Don't dunk it in water to hurry it up or anything.)

    Reinstall and you should be good to go.

    Obviously, before you do that, make sure it's supposed to be flat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  13. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    This is basic stuff. I joke so much about overkill I think its subconsciously starting to bleed over into my tech posts without being an obvious joke :D
    I like the plate sandwich idea though. That could work, its going to have to be heated during clamping, my fore arms aren't massive enough to squish a warped 3/8 plate with a set of ratchets. Unless its a lot softer than i think. I don't think its supposed to be shaped this way, its both uneven and the bushing deterioration didn't jive with how that weight would sit on them as a result. Eg: po's conveyor belt shims trying to counteract this effect. Welding in this case isn't an unfamiliar technique, I used the same method to repair a cracked 30-30 marlin lever (followed by several cycles in a heat treat oven and a full action refit). Completely different tech category, but filling in a crack in flat stock is nothing new for these purposes. Also in this case a lot less likely to cause problems or severe injury if i screw up XD

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  14. stroker3

    stroker3 Lives in an IH Dealership

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    To each his own but at some point it might be just as practical to see if there's a used one out there somewhere and start out fresh. I know it can be fixed but like you say, it looks messed up a bit too. Someone probably had some fun in the truck. Those old IH's have some pretty good torque and it's easy to put them into situations or doing things with them that shouldn't be done. Pretty sure they're the same in most of the fullsize 4x4 models from 1/2 1100 /110 to the one ton 1300/130's . I think it was already mentioned but it would be a good idea to look closely at both engine/bellhousing mounts as well. They are known to loosen, get egged out at the bolt holes and/ or crack when the truck has been run hard.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  15. mallen

    mallen Y-Block King

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    You heat after clamping. Use an impact wrench or a breaker bar with a big pipe.
     
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  16. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    Engine and trans mounts will be rebuilt/replaced, engine needs pre-oil from sitting too long, but I'll run a lot of flush, then the engines coming out for rear freeze plugs, trans/clutch overhaul. And general cleaning with a few gaskets/main seal thrown in for good measure.

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  17. mallen

    mallen Y-Block King

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    That's an excellent point . Before getting into trying to fix it, it's probably a good idea to try and find a good replacement and see how much it will cost. There's a lot to do and you can easily get bogged down trying to save every nickle and dime.


     
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  18. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    Heres where im at. [​IMG]
    I've converted the back end into shelving for part storage, and bought a truck cozy. Bogged down is seemingly this trucks natural state XD. But on a serious note, I'm going to be welding up another brace anyways, and im tapped out on parts already, it wont be a big deal to fix this thing.

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  19. Gunfighter97

    Gunfighter97 Binder Driver

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    Another idea I've had to prevent this from happening again, is to layer another plate over this one at the bolt holes to beef it up. I can use the same plate from clamping. Thanks for the ideas btw guys, I appreciate it. My brains kinda fried this close to black friday with this many things dismantled.

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  20. patrick r

    patrick r Binder Driver

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    I’m not sure I would do that. If you were to hit the case on a rock or stump would you rather the bracket bend or the frame? (Have you inspected the frame where it attaches?) Bracing the case has been done many times and keeps the case from rocking back and forth. It would also add some reinforcement.


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