Going through my rear axle and drive shaft and was wondering what the opinion is concerning the modern replacement adjustable drive shaft bearing/spool? My original spool bearing appears to be in good shape, but my drive shaft inner sleeve is badly cracked at the keyway and the pinion gear is also chipped pretty bad. When I took the drive shaft castle nut and cotter pin off, the gear simply slid off without any effort. Probably not supposed to be that easy!
No, it's not. I've used the Fun Projects bearing on two cars now, and I have no intention of ever going back to the old setup.
I'll second Steve's opinion. The Fun Projects pinion bearing set-up is a far better way to go. Besides the babbitt thrust bearings, I think the other major liability in the Model T's axle is the pinion bearing. Seems like most of them are far more worn out, or broken and completely unserviceable than the other Hyatts. The Fun Projects pinion bearing does a superb job of eliminating that one liability and has an excellent ease of installation as well. I would never use any other.
And a third thumbs up for the Fun Projects pinion bearing setup. My only qualifier is that the non-adjustable version is just fine if all else in the rear axle is standard. I called and asked John about the relative merits of the two versions and he said the standard was fine unless the buyer really thinks they need the adjustable version for some reason. I've installed several of the non adjustable versions and they fit and work great.
I see there are two types - an adjustable one with several shims and a non-adjustable one. I'm guessing for the extra 15 dollars the adjustable one is the way to go?
Call or email John Regan, number and email at http://www.funprojects.com/contact.aspx and discuss what you need. I bet he'll recommend the non-adjustable version (some shims are used but no X/Y adjusters). Oh, be prepared to chat for a bit - conversations aren't necessarily brief.
The non-adjustable seems to be the popular choice.
I generally recommend the non-adjustable version to folks that have not done a T rear end before. The reason is that if the housing(s) are bent or sprung you are better off finding that at the rebuild than later. It might be possible to shim out something that is not right and I personally feel that it is better to find that problem right away than later. Experienced T rear end builders are the ones who asked for the adjustable version and since it was not difficult to accommodate them I made the adjustable version. The non-adjustable version is very simple and more accurate than the stock setup was even without any adjustment. Its really up to what the rebuilder wants. If you buy the adjustable version and you find that the single fattest shim is the perfect fit then that is the same dimension as the non adjustable version.
I'm a fan of John and most of his parts, however I also like to do things the way Ford did if I can. I have enough NOS parts to last me forever, both early and late, and see no reason to change.
I installed John's modern replacement pinion bearing on my 1914 after the original disintegrated on a tour. It's easy to install thanks to his clear directions but when I did have a question and called John, he was very, very helpful and patient with me, who has very little mechanical understanding or ability.