Since I already had the front axle torn completely
down it would be foolish to not do the Marfield Tack Mod. If you don't know
what this is then go to the
IH8Mud site and check out the Axle/Drive Train section or go here
for the actual article. Basically what this does is allow you to leave out the
#$$%@ inner axle clip when reassembling the Birfield to inner axle. This will
make repairing a broken Birfield in the field much easier! * Note: My first
attempt at this was incorrect. I put the tack too far out and the spindle would
NOT go all the way on! When I took it apart I had put the tack 1 1/4" not
1 1/2" Grrrrrrr.
Ready To Weld
Top Tack Welds
File It Down
Fig. 1 shows the axle
cleaned and clamped ready to weld.
Fig. 2 and Fig.
5. I used an old spider gear to precisely place the tack weld. I used
4 tacks, two top and two bottom spaced several splines apart.
Fig. 3 You MUST grind
down the welds to the height of the axle splines or you will tear the axle
seal when installing it. This is actually very easy. Use a hand file
ONLY! Start filing it down. As you get to the height of the splines
you will notice something cool, the axle has been hardened! The file will
sort of skate over the hardened splines providing you with an excellent way
to tell you have filed down far enough. A file WILL eventually start
eating into the splines so don't get carried away!
Fig 4 shows full engagement
of axle to spider gear which is what you want. It also shows the tell tale
signs of the axle hardening process. See the concentric 'rings' of discoloration
on the end of the axle?
Fig. 5 just shows the
axle to spider gear engagement from the rear.
Don't place large tacks on the axle! First you don't want to
heat the axle to the point that you undo the heat treating and second, you sure
have better things to do with your time than file them down!