Well, I found a high speed bronze gear on ebay (31 tooth) in the hopes of rebuilding my broken rear end. I matched it up to the old one and it looks identical to the broken one.
I assembled everything in the rear end like it was (it's also a Ruckstell) and slid the two housings together.
For some reason, the housings won't tighten together (about a 1/4 inch gap) and you can't turn the worm with the drive shaft at that point. I pulled it apart and checked everything and it looks ok (spacer for ruckstell side washer lined up with set screws, etc.). I set the worm on the bronze gear and it seems like it won't set properly (rocks side to side and is too tight in the grooves).
Any idea what I'm doing wrong?
Are the inner seals (the ones that keep the oil in the rear end, not the two grease seals out by the wheel bearing) installed correctly? If in wrong or not fully seated maybe they're hanging things up. I don't have a Ruckstell in mine, but I seem to recall there may be only one of these when using the two speed rear end.
I think (hard to remember) you should also try assembling the rear end without the worm gear in place. Install it after the clam shells are bolted together. Just that much less to worry about.
I'll give it a try. It's just frustrating when it looks like it should go easy. If I feed the worm in last, does it normally spin in easily from the front?
Sounds like the bronze gear you have is from an AA truck...
The AA bronze gear is exactly the same as a TT gear, except that it is .200” wider and doesn’t fit in the TT housings.
I don't think that you will be able to run the worm in after assembly. Regarding the "new" bronze gear, are you sure it is for a TT? I'm not well versed on the early AA gears but I believe that they are slightly different. This could be your problem.
Do you know where the AA gear is wider? Could it be machined down to the same width as the TT gear, without major problems?
I ask just in case I wind up in the same position as I rebuild my TT rear axle.
I do know for fact that the worm can be put in after the housings are bolted together. I changed out a worm recently on one of my trucks.
The gear I got came with an accessory plate for a high / low rear end, but it's marked Hall Scott on the side. Is there a chance that this is actually an AA worm and not a TT? It has 31 teeth and seems to match up, but I haven't measured it up yet. It bolted up perfectly to the Ruckstell housing.
Hall Scott company produced Ruckstell axles. It does sound like an AA gear, which as noted above is wider than a TT. I do not know if an AA gear could work with a TT housing but suspect it does not The topic has likely been discussed before and could be searched.
If it’s an AA gear, I believe you can machine .100” off the left and right side, bolt it in a TT rear end, and use it.