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Old 08-18-2008, 12:37 AM   #1
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Steel cutting advise please!

I have a redundant countershaft in my car's transfer case which I need to remove. I'd leave it in there but the bearings are starting to make noises.
Basically I need to cut this shaft in half in situ in order to make room to get it out. It won't come out in one piece. Removing the transfer case isn't an option.

What's a good way of cutting through it? Preferably making as few sparks as possible.
I don't have enough room to get an angle grinder on it, at least not all the way through the cut. I'll try a hacksaw but I feel I'd be there a long time.

I hope there's some magical tool designed just for this application that someone knows about
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:59 AM   #2
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Sawzall?
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:03 AM   #3
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Thanks - I'm thinking of hiring a power saw but a bit wary of breaking blades in such a situation.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:06 AM   #4
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Without seeing anything (and pictures probably wouldn't help either) I'd only have to suggest a sawzall as well.

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Old 08-18-2008, 08:21 AM   #5
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Um, I don't really know anything about this at all, so educate me:

Why not use some kind of torch for this?
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:42 AM   #6
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I use a torch quite a bit, and when cutting, small bits of molten metal fly everywhere. It would be hard to clean all of these out of his transfer case.

The only hope for a torch would be if the shaft was small enough that you could heat a section of it it red hot and then just bend it out without ever hitting the torch cutting lever.

I vote for the sawzall too- unless there was a way to pull a snap ring and push a gear out of the way so it is disengaged form the driving gear so the shaft no longer spins.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik View Post
I use a torch quite a bit, and when cutting, small bits of molten metal fly everywhere. It would be hard to clean all of these out of his transfer case.

The only hope for a torch would be if the shaft was small enough that you could heat a section of it it red hot and then just bend it out without ever hitting the torch cutting lever.

I vote for the sawzall too- unless there was a way to pull a snap ring and push a gear out of the way so it is disengaged form the driving gear so the shaft no longer spins.
I was thinking that you would wedge some aluminum flashing (or something like that) behind the shaft to limit the exposure to debris, but maybe I'm assuming there's a lot more room there than there really is.

The only picture I can find of a countershaft in a transfer case is a for a big Mercedes SUV... and It appears that the space is different than I was thinking. Is the problem that the shaft is too short (i.e. there is no room to get a tool in between the gears on the end)?

Maybe you could rent an electro-hydrolic cutter? I don't know where to rent one, but they come in sizes from .5 in bolt cutters up to Jaws of Life type stuff...
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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Good idea- The aluminum flashing might work if there was enough room to get it back behind the shaft
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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umm well, gotta remember that the factory put the piece in afterwards so u can get it out in once piece... do u have a factory service manual or haynes manual?

it would be best to take the whole transfer case out, cant be that hard.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:27 PM   #10
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I agree with the sawzall, torch + sheet metal shield, or "jaws of life" thing.

Another idea: Drill a bunch of holes in it until you can break it with a hammer. Or just drill the holes before using the sawzall.

Another, crazier idea: Liquid nitrogen to supercool it until you can shatter it with a hammer.
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