Rear Axle Question

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: Rear Axle Question
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Verne Shirk on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 07:51 pm:

Hello All,
I have assembled a rear axle differential case with the axles, spider gears, etc. The parts, as near as I could visually tell, had no virtually no wear. In trying to check to see if the assembly will turn freely, I noticed it runs so smooth when I pull out on the axles but, if I let them come together, it kind of binds up. I did use a fiber washer (a new one) in between the axles. I've measured it, and it seems it needs to be about 1/2 again the thickness to make the rear end work smoothly. Has anyone run into this problem? Any suggestions for a solution? Anybody use a brass disk in place of a fiber one?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Verne Shirk
Wichita, KS


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steven Augustinovich on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 08:24 pm:

Might be the differential gasket. Old timers told me to make a gasket from a corn flake box. Works well on the rearends I've rebuilt.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenny Edmondson on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 08:31 pm:

Verne, there really shouldn't be enough space for another disc or a even a half. When you say it runs smooth, are you saying the drive shaft turns the axles smooth or the axles turn smooth in opposite directions while turning one end? Try to give a little more info or pictures of your set up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jack daron-Indy. on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 08:33 pm:

I have on occasion,used one new fibre washer and one old one. Sure does help with end play. I don't use a gasket on the housings,just some sealant .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 08:44 pm:

I have used hardware store washers, cut a disc from a junk axel, nylon rod, brass rod, whatever fits. Seems the fibre discs are always too thin. I allow for some movement. Easy to get things bound up when assembling the housings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 11:34 pm:

I don't understand why the axle housing will affect the thickness of the fibre washer, which is contained within the differential housing. Maybe I am getting confused by some of the threads.
Generally I have found a new fibre washer fits most axles however I have been known to make a new slightly thicker version...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jack daron-Indy. on Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 11:39 pm:

Most of the wear on center carrier is on the inside surfaces where the axle gears run,allowing more end play.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Verne Shirk on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 12:32 am:

I am talking about the inner differential case. I have not got so far as to put it in the axle housings. I've stuck one axle in the vice, pointing down, with the other standing up in the air. When I turn the axles in the opposite directions, it kind of binds up unless I pull out on the axles a little. It will turn, but binds in the gear teeth. It isn't going to take much to spread them apart a little. It runs very smooth when I spread them a little. That is why I thought maybe a thicker fiber washer might do it. I've been through about 3 dozen differential cases/axle sets/spider gears trying to find some that aren't worn. These are some of the best I have. Right now, I'm leaning towards making a "fiber" spacer out of brass or nylon.

Perhaps my next question should be, the Parts Lists indicates a change in the differential case around 1914/15. It talks about there being "no bushing". I've seen some differential cases that have a steel (I think I remember them being steel?) bushing in the hole where the axle gear goes. I would assume this is what they are talking about. Will the "late T" differential cases fit in a late 1911-12 "clamshell" axle housing? Unless there was a change in the length of the differential case or a change in the position of the ring gear (would be very unlikely in my estimation), I can't see why it wouldn't.

As far as the axle housings go, I did, one time, put a gasket in between the axle housings. That was about 35+ years ago. That was the last time I did it. I found out, just because it came in a set of gaskets doesn't mean you need it! Now, I just use "Blue Goo". On those I've assembled in the past, if it binds up without a gasket, I had something wrong. Usually, the thrust washer came off the pin and caused the assembly to bind up.

Thanks for your help!
Verne Shirk
Wichita, KS


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 01:43 am:

When I rebuilt my rear axle assembly last year, I followed the MTFCA book step by step. (The one that Glen Chafin wrote.) Using a new fibre washer, I still had about .010 of end play. I made two brass discs out of .005 shim stock, and put one on each side of the fiber disc. It has been working fine for me .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Glen Chaffin on Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 03:02 am:

Verne, One fiber washer between the axles is never enough. It is not unusual to take 50% more thickness. I usually reduce the thickness equally of two washers and fill the gap. The use of nylon or brass washers will work just fine. The early differential spider gears had brass bushings and the later differential housings can be used to replace the early ones with no problems.


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