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Ford 8.8 rearend- Rosette welds-mild steel to cast housing

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  • Ford 8.8 rearend- Rosette welds-mild steel to cast housing

    I have a ford 8.8 center section with the axle tubes removed. I have drilled out the 3 plug welds per side and removed the tubes to install longer ones. I have heard that the 8.8 is cast steel but people also say it is cast iron.
    My question is what is the correct way to weld the plug welds. Mig or Tig. The new tubes are 1020 DOM tubing. I have nickel 99 rod for the tig but I am not sure if that is necessary. I am more comfortable welding with mig.

  • #2
    I’ve welded several of these. I generally
    Mig weld them. I have had some old nasty metal that just didn’t want to cooperate so I used some 309 and the tig torch to smooth out whatever was causing the porosity.

    I say if you can tig weld something, and it makes sense to do so, then you should. It’s just a better process and you can see the base metals fuse and add filler.


    • #3
      I have not done Ford rears but I have done several Dana front ends for the 4x4 people. Air arced out plug welds, rotated housing and rewelded. I have always used dual shield wire. My best guess would be you have cast steel but only a guess. Were the original tubes pressed in? The Dana tubes were and I always thought every rear/front was. Are the new tubes a press fit? My limited understanding is the plug welds hold the tubes in place but the press fit is the main ingredient here.
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      • #4
        Mig is generally fine. It is a weldable alloy, as it was welded from them OEM.


        • #5
          Nodular Iron is the new technical term..........for most high strength cast Irons used in the industry today and a decade ago......Hi NI arc stick plug welding and perhaps a little pre-heat seems to work....but plenty of opinions out there...


          • #6
            Yes the tubes were pressed in. I ended up cutting the tubes down where they meet the center housing and cut the rest of the tube that was still in the housing in half so I could pull them out. Its an explorer 8.8 so they are 3.25" tubes that will be turned down. The bore where it goes into the housing is around 3.235. I am aiming for around a .005" press fit then welding them up. I'm leaning towards mig welding them. My thinking is I don't really need fusion between the housing and the tube. The weld is more for "pinning" the tube into the housing.


            • #7
              I just cut a Ford 9”down and prepped it for welding for another guy last week. That rear end had been modified and welded on at least two other times. I just did the machine work, he’s doing his own welding, and I know he only has a mig machine and uses solid wire and he’s been doing it for over 20 years. Seems like he told me it came to him out of a dirt track car and he’s putting it in a drag car, so that’s at least moderate abuse.