I was just moving my 1915 rolling chassis around my garage and I noticed I have an oil leak where the drive shaft housing and the pinion bearing assembly meet. I was wondering how difficult the gasket replacement is. If I loosen the nuts on the radius rods up by the universal joint and then remove the bolts where the leak is will there be enough play to move the drive shaft housing back enough to put in a new gasket if I split the gasket at the top and use some caulking at the split? Thanks, Don
Whether or not to have a gasket, or how many gaskets in that location are part of the adjustment of the ring and pinion clearance. Unless the leak is excessive, I would leave it as is until you overhaul the rear axle sometime in the future. If it is just a few drops, put a drip pan under it when parked and check the oil level from time to time to bring it up to the proper level.
I notice it is a Rolling Chassis. so in that case, you might be going to overhaul the rear axle before you install the body. If you do, check the book on "Rear Axle" and follow the directions. Check for bronze thrust washers and if babbit is found, replace it. Check out pinion bearings and replace if worn. Check the gears and mesh. Then place the required number of gaskets or no gasket as will get you the proper clearance and when you do the final assembly, use a liberal amount of gasket sealer, and also between the two halves of the assembly. Your leaks should then be minimal or non-existant. You will also need to put seals in the axles to stop any leaks there.
I have addressed the areas of leaks here. There are also instructions for the axle roller bearings in the booklet. Follow all the instructions and replace all excessively worn parts. Also an important part to check is the universal joint.
There is no gasket in that area, unless, as Norm says, you are trying to distance the pinion from the ring gear. Whenever I rebuild a rear end, I use sealant to seal everything up during final assembly. I usually use Ultra Black because it doesn't show and seems to do a good job.
A word of caution. If something goes wrong during assembly, eg a thrust plate slips off the pin, you have to clean all the surfaces before trying to close it up again.
If it's motor oil, you may have a bigger problem than just the gasket. The rear transmission seal may be leaking or missing. If it's gear oil, you probably have too much oil in the rear housing.
Isn't there a pin that holds the U-Joint to the drive shaft? If you remove that pin, you might be able to push the rear axle assembly back enough to get a half inch or so. You'll need a way to push the rear end assembly back and keep it there. You'll be working against the rear spring. If you go too far and pull the drive shaft out of the U-Joint, you may be in for some disassembly if the female end drops down.
By the way, a gasket between the drive shaft housing and pinion housing won't affect pinion to ring gear spacing. The thrust is forward. All it will do is move the drive shaft back by the thickness of the gasket. All this will do is move the U-Joint out of the trans by the same amount. If the front drive shaft bushing is tight on clearance, it could be a problem though.
Ops, forget that. Forgot about the pinion race riding on the drive shaft tube. Ignore the last comment.
Clean it with brake parts cleaner and smear some black silicone on it, its a patch that sometimes works.