Today I bolted together the axle housings of the 1913 rear axle I am rebuilding. The axle rebuild is almost complete, all that needs to be done is install the radius rods, drive shaft, and grease cups. I installed the inner seal then the sleeve but, when I installed the bearing it stopped solid, flush with the end of the axle tube and would not go in any further. The modern outer seals have a raised lip around the seal on the bearing side that must be able to enter slightly into the axle tube. With the bearing sitting flush with the end of the axle tube the outer seal also wound not fit properly. Thinking the inner seal was preventing the bearing from going in all the way I took the inner seal out then tried the bearing again and this time there was no problem, every thing fit together perfectly. Has anybody else had this problem? This is my fifth axle rebuild using these seals and I have never had this problem before. Since these axles originally did not have any inner seals anyway and the modern outer seals are far better than the original felt outer seals, I am thinking about leaving the inner seals out. I would like ideas about what I can do about this.
I think you'll have trouble without any seal. If nothing else, rear end grease will "dilute" your bearing grease. Besides, I don't think even modern outer seals will prevent leaking without inner seals.
I wonder why this rearend is different from the others you've done?
Anyway, I would at the least "stuff" the old fashioned felt inner seals in to at least slow the diff grease your going to have coming outward.
Rob, if you install the sleeves with out a seal the sleeves stick slightly out of the end of the housing. I think the length of the tube between the end of the tube and the flange that the sleeves bottom out on is not as long as with later housings so you don't have as much room.
I agree with Rob. You don't want that rear end oil to reach the end of the tube (and your brakes). The old time felt doughnut won't stop it. Ditto the coil springs wrapped around the axle shaft. The neoprene inner seals will. And with the inner seal keeping the oil away, the stock felt outer seal should be sufficient to keep the grease in. Faced with a choice between modern inner seal and modern outer seal, I'd go with inner. In fact, that's what I did on mine.
Stephen, as I recall, there is a newer and older style new outer seal (memory?). It seems to me I had the wrong ones for our 13 back when I did them, and there were two styles? You might check the vendor mags to check, Rob
Gees, "check the vendor mags to check". No more drugs tonight..... (Prescription)
And, you must cut down new sleeves a little (1/8 in?)
When I assembled the rear axle of my '12 I had the same problem. I ground off the inboard end of both sleeves about .090" and it has worked fine ever since.
Mark the end you are going to grind and then double and triple check before grinding. The sleeves are right and left. Grinding the wrong end is bad.
Royce is right (I'm going to need a checkup ), if you grind the wrong end, the "dimple" won't fit into the hole when you align the sleeve with the axle housing.
Good luck, Rob
Also be aware that when you're determining which end of the sleeves to grind, that you hold them with the V point down to tell whether it's a left or right side sleeve, then when you install them you turn them the other way around.
Rob, the earlier axle housings are a different diameter where the seal cap goes which is why there are two different types.
Royce, the problem is not with the sleeves, they did stick out a little but, I already ground them shorter. The bearing itself is not going in far enough.
Your axle DID originally have an inner seal. Unless the really early ones did not, I'm sure all other T rearends had inner seals.
I've seen this happen occasionally. Looks like there is just some variation in the depths of the bearing cavities.
A friend of mine had this trouble with his 13. I believe we purchased a narrower seal, (the ones sold today are a double lip seal. A single lip will be narrower), installed it in the aluminum housing and cut away most of the material that protrudes into the bearing space. Works fine.
Jerry, I believe Ford did not start using inner seals until some time in the 20's.
I'll be darned, didn't know that. Thanks.
I just went out into the garage and tried to install a seal in the other end of the axle and it also did not work.
Stephen. It is normal for the sleeve to be flush with the outer side of the axle housing tube. The dimple in the sleeve determines where the sleeve sits, not the inner seal. Your problem is with the outer seal. It should not have a lip as you say that must extend into the tube.
He has no trouble with the sleeve length. It's the bearing itself that will only go in flush with the end of the axle tube. He can't put the modern neoprene seal cap on far enough due to this since the seal cap needs to protrude into the bearing cavity somewhat.
Side note on neoprene inner seals: The thickness of the neoprene around the outer edge where it touches the sleeve has been reduced 50% so it takes less space and does not move the sleeve outward. Mac's Antique Auto copied our seal but copied the early design which had a thicker neoprene lip. It still works but takes more room. The later design has a step in thickness around the outer diameter to alleviate the possibility of a problem. In either case the sleeve should be near flush with the outer side of the axle tube.
Jerry, That is a problem with the outer seal design. Whoever designed it didn't do their homework.
Let's see if my sketch helps:
I just installed an identical seal cap in a 26 rear end with no trouble because the bearing sat inside the tube end somewhat.
But yes, I agree it's a poor design that does not allow for earlier axles with inner seals installed. It's the addition of the inner seal that makes the cap interfere.
A narrower seal would allow for the removal of the inner protrusion.
By the way Stephen, sorry for hijacking your thread :>)
Jerry, your sketch describes the problem perfectly. Thanks for posting it. Although I would much rather use the modern inner seals I am going to install 3 inner felts in each housing.
Thanks everybody for you help,
Do you have the early outer seal? (See the pic from Lang's I posted above).
The seal Jerry installed, for a 26, will not work on a 17 or earlier.
So the problem is the 1918-1927 modern seal protruding in against the bearing. I assume the 1909-1917 version doesn't do that. But if the neoprene inner seal keeps the oil away, isn't the stock felt outer seal sufficient to contain the grease? That's what I used on my 1923 touring and so far it's fine, but I also haven't driven it hundreds of miles. I'd be interested to know what long term experience others have had with the stock outer seals and neoprene inner seals.
I think the modern seal just does a better job. Eventually I have grease start to "drip" onto my brakes and wheel with just the felt. Invariably some rear end grease mixes in with the axle grease, or the axle grease becomes more liquid in the summer, and leaks begin.
On our Model N I just routinely take the outer felt off, wash it out with gas, and re grease the bearings because otherwise the axles begin "seeping" down the drums and wheels.
On Ts the combination of the modern inner seal and new outer seals really seem to put a stop to this.
First of all that outer seal does not have to extend into the bearing. It only has to be pressed on until the seal itself is flush against the end of the bearing and sleeve. Second, If you have a good inner seal you don't need a neoprene outer seal. In fact the original felt is better. The inner seal is designed as a boot type seal that will flex and move with the axle if it goes off center. Lip type seals like the one used inn the outer seal will not do this. If the axle goes off center due to wear of the axle , bearing or sleeve, or all three the axle pushes on the upward side of the seal and leaves a void on the bottom side. That is why we did not use a lip type seal for the inner seal. The inner seal keeps the differential oil from diluting the bearing grease. Therefore, the original felt seal can then retain the grease and not leak. Simple as ABC. I have explained this before but no one listens.
there are 'way more lurkers than posters, and I'm sure that many who are not commenting, have listened, so don't sell yourself short.
And BTW, thanks for a great product (one of many).
Rob, yes I have the correct seals.
Steve, the three sets of 18-27 modern outer seals I have installed also had the lip just like earlier seals. I think the problem is with the depth from the end of the tube and where the rivets are.
Glen, this axle is completely rebuilt so there is no play in the axle shafts so, the lip seals should work fine.
Glen, I also haven't posted on this thread, but am listenning to your advise, which is great, as usual. thanks for helping us out.
Thank you for the explanation. Is there any chance a turned down version of the inner seal could be easily made? Models NRS have a bit smaller ID (no sleeve) and ther isn't a good way to keep diff grease out of the bearing area (I keep pushing in felt washers, must about have the left axle tube full by now).
I've tried to reduce the washer diameter, but then the adhesive I use to glue the neoprene back on doesn't hold.
Also, would it work better to make the same inner seal material into an outer cap, so the seal could withstand more "play"?.
i listen Mr Chaffin.
This is, I think, the second recent post on this problem involving the inner neoprene seals. So what's different: The seals or the sleeves?
I used the current neoprene seals that Glen mentioned on my '23 touring with no problem at all.
Rob, The seals can easily be turned down to a smaller diameter. There is plenty of material. Stephen, Yes, the lip type seals work great when everything is new, but when the axles , sleeves and bearing wear they allow the axle to wander off center due to clearance. That is when you start to have problems because the lip type seal will not follow the axle very far before you have a gap on the other side. Thank you all for listening. We try to help.
So what causes this? Metal washer was still glued in place, Rubber part was rotating on the shaft.
There is a seal that has been around for years that works, and is cheap. It's the heavy felt inner seal that you cram down into the axle tube. Langs sells them. They are particularly nice for early rear ends. They are a bitch to get down into the tube, but with patience you can do it, especially if you have a clean spare axle to shove down in there.
Larry,I have used those in the past,but found you must preopen the center hole ,or you're not going to get them in. Once started,I use a piece of tail pipe to pound them on down. On the 13-14 rear ends I have I will try to use the neoprene seals,even if I have to modify them.