Is it best to use the original thrust washers and bearing, or go to a modern bearing? I found a more modern bearing on a driveline I bought, I found original thrust washers and bearing and of course the roller bearing on other drivelines I bought. The suppliers have the original style. I think I found one set of used thrust washers and bearing that looked real good. thanks!!
I like using the original-type parts in the rear end, and the Fun Projects pinion bearing on the rear end of the drive shaft. Original-type bushing on the front of the d/s is fine.
It is only an opinion,but I would not take a chance on an old used or NOS Babbit thrust washer. There is a lot of money tied up in a rebuilt rear end. Then there is your safety and any passengers to consider .
Correct, Uncle Jack! When I said original-type, I meant the bronze ones, not babbit.
The ones sold by current Model T parts suppliers are bronze ones?
Yes, the currently available thrust washers are bronze, for good reason. The old babbitt washers get brittle and break apart with results ranging from inconvenient to disastrous. Like Mike and many others, I'll go with the Fun Projects pinion bearing. For axle bearings, original Hyatts only. I go with the bronze drive shaft bushing too. One other change I prefer is the neoprene inner seals rather than the old leather ones. For everything else in the rear axle, I go original.
One other thing. Don't try to eyeball things. Get the MTFCA axle book and measure. You can't tell by looking whether your bearings are worn .003" or .030".
(Message edited by steve_jelf_parkerfield_ks on December 02, 2014)
Marvin,I have not heard of anyone supplying anything but the Bronze ones.They did repop some ball bearing ones awhile back,but the reviews weren't great.
A good case can be made for replacing the two rear axle shafts if they are marked AAX. The vanadium steel shafts work harden and break very easily. That is why they went to EE steel shafts, properly heat treated. Today's replacement axle shafts are made out of better stuff than AAX steel. Of course if your axle housings are bent, even the new shafts will break.
I just looked at a few axle shafts. I didn't find any AAX or EE on them. Where are they supposed to be marked?
The new thrust washers are brass, according to Lang's.
Lang's, Birdhaven, Bob's, and Smith & Jones call them brass. Snyder's, Chaffn's, and Mac's say bronze. They're bronze. I don't know why some say brass.
I have never seen an original axle shaft marked with anything other than "Ford". As Steve asked, where do you find a material code?
Great information!!! This all helps very much. thanks!!
I recently pulled apart the rear axle in my '13 runabout, and it had two perfect babbit thrust washers, but of course I didn't re-use them. However, everything else is genuine Ford, including the babbit front driveshaft bushing.
It seems like the old original front driveshaft bushings holds up much better over time than the original rear thrust bearings, maybe the front driveshaft bearings were made out of the same good babbitt composition as the bearings in the engine, 86% tin, 7% copper and 7% antimony while the rear end thrust washers were lead babbitt?
Here is a Ford axle with script and 'X' at the end of the script. Usual place, in the keyway. Now if the axle is poor, and keyway wallowed out, then hard to see
And found some with Ford script in very small font size in the 'unfinished' raw black area, new the finished size end.
Script Ford, and X behind, many times on front axles that 'AA" or 'AAX' material mark is only an 'X' too.
I must apologize for making a mistake in my earlier posting on rear axle steel. When I wrote my comment I was several days away from my filing cabinets which contain my collection of documents related to the drawings and changes that occurred over the 20 years of development and production of the Model T. Upon arriving home I looked for the record of changes for T-2818 Rear Axle Shaft. Unfortunately, although I have read the record of changes on the Rear Axle Shaft, I only found copies of the parts drawings of the shafts. My drawings show that by 1927 the material specifications had been up graded to EE steel, but not when the change from AAA or AAX steels were made, and how the axles were marked to distinguish between AAX and EE steel.
AAA and AAX were Chrome Vanadium alloy steels. In 1906-1908 Vanadium steel was the "Super Steel" of its time. EE steel is a manganese carbon steel. I found the reason why Ford Motor Company changed from AAX to EE steel in the Reminiscences of John Wandersee. Wandersee was one of the first employees hired by C. Harold Wills and Henry Ford in late 1902 when they were working on the prototype of the original Model A. When FMC was formed in June of 1903, Wandersee became one of the first employees. Around 1906 he became the first metallurgist for the Ford Motor Company. If you can find the picture of Henry Ford and 7 other FMC employees as they are stamping the numbers into engine #15,000,000, Wandersee is one of them.
So here is what Wandersee had to say about Vanadium steel on page 27 of his Reminiscences.
"All during this period from 1908, when vanadium had been perfected in the heat treat process to be used in the Model T car, we were experimenting constantly on metals. On a lot of parts, like axle shafts, we got much better service and life on the manganese carbon steel properly heat treated than you would get out of a fancy alloy steel. For instance, when we were using chrome vanadium steel for the rear axle of the Model T car, after we had about 10,000,000 cars on the road, you could drive from here downtown any day you wanted to and see two or three rear wheels laying on the payment."
"We had to stop that. We couldn't redesign the Model T car but we had to stop that. We cutout the chrome vanadium. It wasn't so much cutting out the chrome vanadium as it was going to a different heat treat. We devised by proper analysis manganese carbon steel and then heat treated it to give the desired results. We just dried up everything. We dried up our rear axle trouble and our crankshaft trouble. We had a lot of crankshaft breakage. We substituted manganese carbon there too, properly heat treated."
I want to make a couple of comments about Mr. Wandersee's statements. First, we now now that chrome vanadium steel first appeared during the time the Model S Roadster was in production from April to September 1908. Second, the 10,000,000th Model T was built in 1924, but EE steel really doesn't start to appear, as I recall, until after January 1, 1926. There are several other points in Mr. Wandersee's Reminiscences that I think are not entirely accurate, but given that it had been 50 years from the time Wandersee was hired until he gave his Oral Reminiscence, I think we can over look some detail errors. You just have to read carefully and pick them out as they turn up.
On the whole, John Wandersee gives us tremendous insight into the appearance, development, use, and eventual replacement of vanadium steel in the Model T.
One of John Wandersee's statements that has always left me smiling was: "after we had about 10,000,000 cars on the road, you could drive from here downtown any day you wanted to and see two or three rear wheels laying on the payment." In my imagination I can drive from Highland Park to downtown Detroit on Woodward Avenue and see two or three Model T rear wheels lying on or along side the road.
I recently built up a Ruckstell using some of the parts that were in the original 1913 rear end. The axles were perfect, and so I decided to use them. Well, I wasn't able to, because the sliding P-146 clutch gear wouldn't fit over the axle! Those early axles were a larger diameter.