Well, like it or not summer is coming to an end and before we know it some of us will be putting our T's to bed for a long winters slumber. The only thing that i have not gone through since i bought the car is the rear end. I know from the documentation and a photo journal of the restoration is that the car was completely restored in the winter of 86/87. That's a long time in my book, and with a slightly wobbly left axle i think its time to tear it down and make sure its safe and reliable. Here's my question in a nutshell, what are the best upgrades you can make to the rear end while i have it apart? Has anyone used the modern pinion bearing replacement from Fun Projects, and what are your thoughts on this and other upgrades i can make while i have it torn down.
Modern improvements that really are: Fun Projects pinion bearing, bronze thrust washers, neoprene inner seals. Other than those three things, I stay original. Needle thrust washers look to me like an unnecessary complication with the potential for trouble. Those bronze washers will outlast all of us.
The Fun Projects pinion bearing setup is really slick.
Quick and very easy to install.
I used the non-adjustable one.
John Regan is a real asset to our hobby.
I should have mentioned that the hardened axle bearing sleeves now available are an improvement over what was available years ago. I don't know which ones you'll find in there.
Bronze thrust washers are a good change. Otherwise I stay with the original stuff...it all seems to work and for a long time. There is lots of life left in the original pinion bearing if it is still usable...otherwise find a good used one.
I agree with Steve. I just rebuilt the rear end in my '14 (the drive shaft bearing sleeve disintegrated.) Being a relatively recent purchase and not knowing the condition of the rear end, I decided just to rebuild it. I did everything Steve mentioned including new drive shaft and axles.
I'm with Steve on this one too. And by the way, Fun projects offers adjustable and non-adjustable versions of the pinion bearing setup. The non-adjustable one fits perfectly and is a few bucks less.
Did someone mention axles?
I seldom run across an axle in an old rear end which is good enough to use. Lang's has new ones which are the correct length and are very nice, quite a bit less money than the ones which are 1/16" longer than stock.
I did my rear end last winter, and I finally wound up doing everything. Once you are in there it is the time to do it right.
I put in a Ruckstell, added floating hubs and did a set of Texas T disk hydraulic brakes.
The Ruckstell was actually put together by Stan Howe using one of Chaffin's Ruckstells.
Here is a picture:
These were taken at a car show, and occasionally spectators would get in the way of the camera (Oh Darn!):
An even better rear end....!
I disagree with Steve. The axle bearing sleeves should not be hard! The ones to buy are 100% made just like Ford made them, and are available from Langs. Even though John makes a good set up for the driveshaft, I'm putting mine together today with all Ford parts. They worked good then, and they still work good! I'm even using a NOS front driveshaft bushing.
You guys got no sense of humor...
The front driveshaft bushing in that rear end above is the best of all!
Bradley's new sleeves are not hard and they are not made to Fords spec. Fords hardness spec was C20-26. Bradley's are C18. I talked to him about it but he declined to make them harder. Have not heard of any problems with them yet but time will tell.
I really like the Fun Projects pinion setup. Have installed several now. They fit and work as intended. Any rear axles I do in the future will get one. Also a fan of the full float hubs. Brass thrust washers are a must. Good axles too and I look for good used first. Outer bearing surface of the axle is not critical when using the floating hubs but the inner bearing surface, key ways and threads need to be checked for cracks or damage.