I had a slight wobble in my left rear wheel and upon close examination discovered that the bolts holding the spokes to the hub were loose. It was very easy to get the rear wheel off and the axle nut did not seem very tight. What is the proper way to tighten the axle nut? I have been told that you really crank down on it leaving it very tight and if I am reading the service manual correctly it seems to dictate the tighter the better.
Also, I will soon be cracking the rear open to insure that I have the modern, non babbit thrust washers installed. Am I correct to assume that to do so I must remove the whole rear end from the car which will require me to disconnect the torque tube at the rear of the transmission?
Hi John, Yes , and Steve Jelf had produced a nice video outlining the steps. Also recommend you purchase the "Jelf shelf"...
John - You are correct, you will need to tighten the rear axle nut very tight. The Ford service tool (5-Z-1080) is 18" long so a lot of torque could be applied to the nut.
The easiest way to take the rear axle apart is to remove it from the car, you are correct to remove it from the transmission, disconnect the spring perches and the brake rods.
Always, Always remember to TIGHTEN your rear axle NUT again after you drive it 5 or 10 Miles. I have never seen one yet that did not loosen after you have driven the car. It used to be that we had to check every car on the national tours for safety. Thank goodness we don't have to do that any more due to liability issues. Over and over we would find cars with loose rear axle nuts. Not only are loose nuts dangerous but loose wheels ruin your axle real fast.
If your spoke nuts are getting loose, it is either of two problems. One is the bolts have not been peened to keep the nuts on or two, the hub is not tight against the ends of the spokes. If it is the latter, you must drive in wedges such as popcicle sticks or tongue depressors to keep the hub tight and centered. If it is not tight, the constant shifting of the weight of the car will move the hub back and forth and act wear the spokes thinner which will continue to loosen them.
Thank you all for the quick replies... The spokes seem to be in pretty good shape and when I tightened the bolts the hub is tight against them, both inside and out. It looks like someone was into this axle before and maybe replaced the drum? The bolts were peened but not well so I am hoping that was the problem. I found one nut and bolt to be stripped so I have a set on order.
I thought it was odd that they make a wheel puller to remove the wheels and I was just able to loosen the nut and slide the wheels right off of both sides with no resistance.
John inspect the key way in the axle, make sure that it is not broken or wallowed out.
I use a 15/16" combination wrench, and that has worked very well for me for over 50+ years. I like Daves idea of retightening the nut after the car has been driven, but I've never done that. I still have to use a Ford puller to get the hub off the axle.
I would check the hub, keyway and axle shaft.
Clean, deburr, sand etc. to clean the surfaces.
Retighten the wheel to the shaft and retighten after a few miles.
150 pound man at 16 inches equals about 200 ft-lb.
The taper on the axle and the taper in the hub need to be good and fit together properly. If the hub has been loose at some time, and the taper is worn or wallowed, it will not pull tightly onto the axle no matter how tight you make the nut. All you will do is ruin the threads on the axle. Loose, poorly fitting hubs are the reason for loose, wallowed, and broken keyways too. Good tapers will fit tight with very little effort, just like the Morse Tapered drill bits. The nut is to pull them tight and keep them tight, but cannot tighten or hold a bad taper fit.
Most axles that you will find at swap meets have stretched or pulled threads from over-tightening. It seems that it is common practice at safety inspections to pull the cotter pins and tighten the nut to the next slot whether it needs it or not. I think that if the nut needs to be tightened, the fit is already bad, and if the fit is good and the nut tight, then tightening it even more is just ruining the threads.
For what it's worth (and I'm certainly not an expert), when I redid all the wheels on my '17 a couple of years ago I ordered all new hub bolts and nuts from one of the vendors. Several of the new hub bolts stripped very easily when I tightened them, so I went into the trash and found the best "old" bolts (which I was told were original) and used them with the new nuts (better corners) which seemed to work fine. I don't know if the new ones are made differently, but there was definitely a difference in strength/hardness and someone on the forum probably knows why? The new ones even seemed to peen easier than the old ones.
My 2 cents--Don't throw away the old ones before you finish your project. Good luck.
I really think that I am just going to replace the bad one and reuse the others. I just ordered a set to have some extras just in case. I ordered the ones that they claim are best quality, a little more money but still cheap enough. Wondering about using red locktite on them as well as peening them better. I don't think it would hurt...
Here is how I do it, probably wrong. Torque axle nut to 75# then tighten as needed to put in a cotter pin. Drive around some, recheck torque. Do not use an air gun and avoid over torque. Let the taper and key do their job.
John, I use red locktight and peen the bolt heads ever since my neighbor lost a wheel after a short trip.
His front wheels are still at my place getting a new life, as soon as I have a free day to work on them, they will be like new...Bill, maybe next weekend? Call me!
I agree with Andy Clary's method. Someone else suggested above that a 150 lb man and a 16" wrench could do 200 ft-lbs. True, but way too much for this project.
I'll also add that if you're between cotter pin slots and don't dare go any tighter but also don't feel good about being looser, remove the nut and grind just a few thousandths off the backside and try again. It should let the nut turn a little further and still give the torque you wanted.
I shoot for 90 to 100 and if I can put the cotter pin is by turning it a nudge more I do. If it is too far off at that torque I do as Jerry suggests or swap nuts.