I'm beginning to clean up the parts of my rear axle to inspect the remains. The brake backing plates of each side are different. I suspect that one must be an original and the other a replacement. Here they are;
Interestingly, the top plate had all the rivets broken off and was loose.
I started to clean the inner and outer bearings and sleeves. The sleeves are toast, the inner ones are better than the outer ones, but there are signs that the outer sleeves were spinning in the axle case. On one you can see a long crack. I'll have to replace these sleeves for sure.
The bearings are another matter. How do you check them for wear? Is there a measurement or some method of checking them?
The brake ears were different because the upper fixed ones wore off. Ford went to the replacable ones which are available from suppliers. On bearings,I mic them and you like to have them as close to 0.500 as possible. Generally 0.495 -.498 is as good as it gets.
Is this what you are talking about?
I suspect that you should measure each roller and on each end. What about the cage? The inner bearing cages are tight and can not be twisted, whereas the outer bearing cages are very loose and can twist quite a bit.
Measure several rollers,as they should be close. Cages should be tight.
Can the loose ones be tightened? Or do they need to be replaced?
You can peen the pins of the cages to make them tight again. Just use a ball-peen hammer.
Make sure you get the new hardened sleeves, they will last a lot longer then the standard ones
Yesterday, I picked up two 1926 axle housings from a local sand blaster. They both have the same style backing plate and it is different than each of those plates. The driver's side plate needs replacement. I hope I can find a nice original plate.
Yes, I read about the sleeves somewhere on the forum. Looks like Lang's and other vendors only offer the one better quality kind. Looking through the catalogs, I see that the backing plate with the riveted ears is a replacement.
Regarding the loose bearing cages, could I spot weld the cage and then smmoth over the end to avoid any damage?
You have to mic all the rollers at both ends to insure none of the individual rollers are substantially smaller than the rest, and that the rollers are not tapered. I consider a maximum of .003" undersize with .002" or less taper acceptable to re-use. Peening down the pins on the cages is generally accepted among hobbyists as okay, but you may find the cage is loose if you check it at a later date.
I advocate regular maintainance and inspection of the rear brakes, bearings, etc. Most people don't bother unless there is a noise, or a grease leak. Those outer rear bearings should be serviced just like front wheel bearings. They should be removed, cleaned, inspected, re-greased, and re-installed every season if you drive alot. If you have the proper tools, it only takes about an hour and a half to do both sides.
Adam, good to hear from you. Since I've owned this car I have greased the outer bearings, but had no idea of what bad shape they were in. The inner bearings are in rather good shape. I may have to get a couple replacements for my two outer bearings, but are considering the options. What do you think about welding rather than pending?
I have seen both styles of backing plates on the large drum axles. IMO they are both original but one is a "running change" during production. I don't know which came first. I have done many 26-7 rear axles, none had any "replacement" parts on them as it was obvious they had never been apart. Both styles of backing plates were found. Your milage may vary.
Well, now that I took a photo to compare with the first two photos, my plate does look like the first photo, except there are small covers welded on the back of the tabs that hold the brake shoes and the hole for the brake actuator is much smaller. I suspect that these are both after-market plates. The second photo appears to have pop rivets holding the tabs in place. My 1927 brake plates looked like this one.
Well...... After cleaning up the inner and outer bearings, I mic'ed every roller on each end of the bearing. The inner bearings with the tight cages are all between 0.002" and 0.003" undersize, which according to the above is OK. The question about the loose cages, either peening or welding is moot. All the rollers of the outer bearing are between 0.010" and 0.015" undersize. I suspect that running in oil is much better than hoping the owner will grease the outer bearings. It is easy to see that when the cage is loose the rollers will twist and can become bunched up and seize. No wonder the sleeves spun.
I'll have to replace the outer bearings. I see that the forum advises against the repo bearings. In fact even Lang's puts a disclaimer on the repo's. I'm not going with the newer bearings and will have to start looking for some good used bearings. Are the inner and outer bearings exchangable? If not how do I tell the difference?
Yes. they are interchangeable.
The Chickasha swap meet is only 3 months away!
Mike,if you leave now,you'll be on time with that high gear truck.(G)
Tinkerin' Ted Aschman advised that the inner bearing had less load and less shock and were almost always still useable.
Ted said they should be removed from all old rearends, along with the sleeve, when found, as they could be reused.
Hello all--over the years I have made a point of it to accumulate extra rear ends,hoping that even if they were worn out otherwise the inner bearings and sleeves may be practically unworn.Even if the rear axles have no driveshafts and have been under a trailer or wagon chances are the inner bearings and sleeves are are still good. As long they have had at least some lubrication and the weather has been kept out. The inners wear very slowly.And there is nothing better than good originals at least as far as rear axle bearings and sleeves go.Same goes for driveshaft roller bearings,too.IMO.
That is where I got the idea from.Tinkerin' Tips.A wealth of knowledge!
The new sleeves are not harder than the originals as many people believe. In fact they are produced using the original Ford specifications, Breinell 221-258 or C20-C26. That's pretty soft. Contrary to common belief, The older reproductions were produced to the same specifications. The reason the older reproductions appeared to wear faster than the originals is that they saw many more miles in a shorter period of time. We use to buy the older reproductions which are no longer available and have them hardened to C40-C45. This produced a sleeve that lasted much longer. We sold several thousand of these with no complaints. We have been looking into making the sleeve ourselves and having them hardened as described above. THe project is on the back burner right now due to other projects but we hope to revive it soon.
All four sleeves in the rearend that I just took apart are blued spring steel, like large old clock springs and they are different than any I have ever seen. They were a little difficult to remove and all appear to be wear free too.
Never been to the Chickasha swap might be a nice get away from the cold (-10) this morning. If I would come across a few old sleeves, how would you know if they are good? First, I would suspect that you would look for the obvious wear, pitting or cracks, but is there a measuement on the sleeve thickness?
As Glen mentioned, the new sleeves from Langs are the ones to buy. They aren't hardened, just tough. Spend your money on those, it's worth it.
If the repro bearings won't hold up on the outer axle can one move his inner bearings to the outer and run repro in the inner position if he can't find good originals? Or are they so bad a copy that they just won't work at all?
A tear down and inspection is one thing I need to do to my 14 SOON!!! You guys are scaring me with stories of failed bushings.
I wouldn't put the new repro bearings anywhere, except maybe the dumpster. I don't know why, with all our modern manufacturing technology, someone doesn't produce an identical bearing ("spring" wound rollers). I know some pretty savvy folks read this forum, maybe they could lend some light on this subject--and, yes, I know they'd be more expensive but some of us can get over our CHEAP! nature and spend $$$ instead of ¢¢¢. (and if you know how to make the ¢ sign on the computer, trust me, you're CHEAP!)
Card carrying member, CHEAP! club.
Are those bearing actually wound? and not just grooved? I maybe cheap and I do know how to make the ¢ sign, but I'll listen to who I think knows his beans and will spend the $$$ when it seems prudent. I'd buy an original type bearing if they were available. Discussing these things not only makes ¢, sometimes a guy actually learns something. Thanks to everyone that has put in their 2¢.
YES,Mike,the Hyatt bearing rollers are actually wound.Just for fun,buy a repro and compare them to the originals...Having said all of this the new stuff is probably OK for a car that does not get driven.But----A friend bought a very nicely restored '27 Touring.Very few miles since done.The 'professionally'rebuilt rear end did not make it through the first summer.One outer roller bearing disintegrated,ruining the axle shaft.The DS roller bearing was also SHOT.If I had better computer skills,I would upload some Murray Fahnestock articles about them.Maybe someone else will.Here is a fun fact----GM bought Hyatt in the teens.I'll bet that bugged Henry.Like DuPont paint on the '26-'27s.That must have irked him,too.I started writing this post quite some time ago but got interrupted by a flapping storm window.Minus 4 here.Wind blowing.
First of all, the inner bearings and sleeves are the same as the outer bearings and sleeves, so it makes no sense to move inner sleeves and bearings to the outer position. What is different is that the outer bearings see the full load of the car while the inner bearings just keep the differential assembly centered with virtually no load. Many members cuss the new axle roller bearings because they do not have oil grooves. Oil grooves were necessary back in the model T days when the differential oil ran out through the outer bearings and onto the brake lining. The oil grooves helped push the oil out faster. Today, most Model T owners use some sort of inner seal for the outer axle bearings which traps the bearing grease (not oil) in the bearing. The grease cannot go anywhere, so the solid roller bearings have no difficulty moving the grease around within the confines of the sealed bearing. Therefore, I see no problems with the solid roller bearings. They are no different than the solid roller bearings used in the front wheel bearings. Others complain of the bearing cages becoming loose. Again, this is no different from the original Ford bearings, they become loose too. I too would like to have the original style bearings but they are no longer available and too expensive to manufacture so be happy that you have a bearing to use. I wish we had an alternative to Timpkin front wheel bearings.
I agree with Glen that the new bearings etc. would be fine with modern seals and lubricants.But,none of my friends in our little northern Indiana backwater of Tdom have gone that route-yet.Steam cylinder oil-600w- is poor lubricant by modern standards so no wonder the new driveshaft roller bearings don't live..And you have to keep on top of greasing outer axle bearings with the stock setup.I have either grease fittings or the cups with the hidden fittings and I am all over my cars,even the 'junker' chassis with grease gun and oil can every time I drive them.
There is no net pumping action with the old bearings. If you look at them closely, the spirals run alternately right hand and left hand, thereby negating any oil pumping action of the bearing assembly.
I was making a funny not stating a fact regarding the grooves. The fact is if the bearing is sealed any kind of roller will move the grease around.
Thanks Mike, I got a good plate for the other axle assembly from your discussion anyway.
Now that I have a plate, I still don't have any rivets or know the size that is required.
The redeeming feature of the Hyatt bearings is that they are are very forgiving for misalignment. The "oil grooves" are an incidental feature formed as a consequence of the manufacturing process. These bearings are designed to flex as they rotate with no ill effects. In the solid roller is misaligned it can not flex and would tend to scrub as it rotates. The Ford rear axle is anything but pure in its alignment of bearings necessitating the forgiveness of the Hyatt bearing. The solid roller bearings are obviously cheaper to manufacture. If they were satisfactory, Ford would have put them in from the getgo and put the money in his pocket or reduced the price of the car.
Lang's has rivets.
James,holler if you don't find any,I have some.
Mike, I must have looked in the wrong place. I will check Langs catalog again in the back.
Thanks Jack! I have the plate coming from a friend of yours.
Yes,if i'd known,We could have sent them along.
Thanks Kenny and Jack for being a good Model T helper.