My 15 touring is running well and I am enjoying taking longer trips this summer. The problem is that to my knowledge it still has the original thrust washers in the differential and it makes me uneasy. I've got about 800 miles on Liz since her "awakening" and no rear end problems or noises.
I am going to replace the thrust washers, I have all the parts needed but I would rather wait for the fall before doing the job. (Working at a dirty greasy job in the Florida heat during the summer is no fun!)
So, keeping in mind I've never had a T differential apart, here's the question:
Can you make any assumptions about the condition of the thrust washers by checking the axle endplay ?
If there is a ton of end play, the thrust washers are gone. If there is not a ton of end play, the thrust washers are about to go.
It is impossible to know what condition the rear axle is in until you take it apart. Also, you should expect to find a lot more wrong with it than needing new thrust washers. It would be best to take it apart and rebuild it now rather than waiting.
Agreed. Every one I take apart is shot. You will be lucky to stay under $500 in parts.
My Jan 16 touring car had bronze thrust washers from the factory. If it hasn't been rebuilt, yours might too. These do not crumble like the Babbitt type.
Bud -- As the others said, the rear end is usually in worse condition than you expect. But sometimes you get lucky and it's not too expensive to rebuild it. The thing is, if you're not SURE the rear end has been rebuilt with brass thrust washers, it is not safe to drive the car, thereby putting yourself and others at risk. Checking for axle end play will show yo how much wear the thrust washers have, but it won't tell you whether they are babbit or brass. Even if you have very little end play in the axles, if the babbit washers are in there, they are very old and very brittle. They can come apart in an instant, without any warning. If you have good brakes on the rear wheels, they should still stop the car. In that case, you may be able to drive the car and postpone the job until Fall. If you're relying on the transmission brake, it's not safe to drive the car until you replace the washers.
Rebuilding the rear end in a T isn't that big a deal, so you should be back on the road in a few days. And you should be accustomed to the Florida heat by now anyway. It's preferable to an air-conditioned hospital room.
Get 'er done son!
This rear end came with a T that had 'rebuilt engine and rear end'
Cracked the pumpkin and see the state of the old lube, and some lumps fell out.
Lumps were the old Babbitt thrust washers
Sure this axle was 'rebuilt', some long time ago I think, but who ever used the "made in West Germany" solid roller bearing must have reused the old Ford washer...bad choice.
I had driven my '19 for over a year before I decided to check out the rear end on the advice of folks here on the forum. At that time the rear end was very quiet and I had assumed everything was ok. The first thing I found was the rear end oil was a nice gray/silver from the ground up thrust washers. Secondly I found that due to the shifting of the spyder gear assembly and rear axles back and forth on turns the sides of one of the brake shoes had ground long divits into the sides of a wheel hub quite deep. I was lucky as there were NO thrust washers left in the differential. The largest piece I found was about the size of a penny. They are better checked sooner than later.
I'll add to all the good advice above with my rear axle page, which shows what happens to your brakes when the thrust washers go.
OK - OK ... y'all have convinced me. Its off to the shop for a little 100% humidity, 90 degree, greasy, dirty fun ! ;o)
Bud... ya'll need one of them LOOZIANA air conditioners! ws
You are doing the right thing!!
There was no end play in the rear of my 1919 T.
But after reading numerous posts about thrust washer problems I pulled it apart and found the following.
As you can see -At any given time I was only a few seconds from disaster.
I can now sleep better at night!
I read a post that described how to do it without removing the whole rear end from the car and tried it.
Although it worked out OK it would have been easier to remove it.
Hey Bud, generally speaking, you don't want to just rebuild the rear-end you want to include the driveshaft in your rebuild.
While you have it apart anyway, now is a great time to check your U-joint, front drive-shaft bushing, as well as the drive-shaft itself and the drive-shaft bearing.
I can't recommend enough the Fun Projects bearing kit - makes life VERY easy. I've just rebuilt two myself. I personally recommend Kerosene or Biodiesel for cleaning all of the parts and nastiness. I bought a big plastic bin for a few bucks from Walmart and used it to hold everything while I was cleaning, I just threw it away at the dump when I got done. Also, just from experience, a toilet bowl scrubber (the oversize pipe-cleaner version) works GREAT for scrubbing out the tubes and pumpkin.
Last but not least! When removing the small studs from the spider carrier and case halves, best method is to get a drill that matches some good machine screws you have - drill the hole in the stud, there'll be a small pocket behind it so you'll feel the drillbit go clean through the stud. Then screw your screw in and use a claw hammer to pull the whole thing out like a nail. Make sure the hole is clean and use some red loctite to secure the new ones.