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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for the pros and cons on welding the air actuator for the center axle disconnect on a 1999 Vitara front differential.
I have free wheel hubs,

I would like to permanently engage the front differential and use the freewheel hubs to disconnect the front driveline when not in use.

The three methods I have found so far are zip ties, disassemble, remove air bladder and install a spacer (although I think that manufacturer of the spacer is now out of business) and welding the sliding collar in the closed position.
I have access to a welder, and was all set to pull the trigger on the MIG and figured I had best simply investigate the pro's/ cons of welding.
It appears as though the outer casing is cast iron of some flavor.....

For those that have welded the the collar, how has it held up? I have found one youtube where a fellow broke his weld but it was unclear whether he welded only one of the four spots or all four locations for the sliding collar.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Looking for the pros and cons on welding the air actuator for the center axle disconnect on a 1999 Vitara front differential.
I have free wheel hubs,

I would like to permanently engage the front differential and use the freewheel hubs to disconnect the front driveline when not in use.

The three methods I have found so far are zip ties, disassemble, remove air bladder and install a spacer (although I think that manufacturer of the spacer is now out of business) and welding the sliding collar in the closed position.
I have access to a welder, and was all set to pull the trigger on the MIG and figured I had best simply investigate the pro's/ cons of welding.
It appears as though the outer casing is cast iron of some flavor.....

For those that have welded the the collar, how has it held up? I have found one youtube where a fellow broke his weld but it was unclear whether he welded only one of the four spots or all four locations for the sliding collar.
At the end of the day I made four shims to keep the front differential engaged.
Down side is the disassembly that is required.
I used 1/8" angle iron (flat bar) to make the shims....









 

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Interesting way to do it - I was in a discussion with another guy a week or so back - he had welded all four tabs, said it lasted about a month.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had considered doing the welding. I was told by the welder the assembly would need to come apart fully to do the job somewhat correctly.

While I was in there I got to looking and noticed the gap between the case and the ring was pretty much right at 1/8"
A bit of work with a file and I was able to make the shims. They are fully held captive and won't slide in to the gears.
The case provides a little compressive force on the shims as well. Enough to not have the ring move by hand but be knocked back and forth by light taps with a hammer and punch.

I did consider having the case blow apart with the pressure, but I expect other parts of the driveline would blow apart before the case will.
At least this way I haven't introduced heat (welding) into the equation.

Some have successfully welded without pulling things apart. I expect that hasmore to do with the capabilities of the welding machine and the preparation of the differential....
 
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