I received a set of new axle shafts for my 1926 TuDor. So I started to compare the new with the old. The length and diameters of the shafts are the same and the wheel nut threads on well. The differential gear keeper slot is the same distance from the end of the shaft and the keepers fit in the slot well. Although the old axle end has been camfered by hand, maybe easier to install. The key ways are a little different and I'm looking for some opinion or experience as to whether or not I should do something about it.
The Differential Gear Key way is about 1/8" farther down the shaft. The key fits in the key way.
Here you can see that the key way is down the shaft a bit.
I suppose my only concern is that the key must not interfere with the inner bearing. If the key protrudes from the assembled differential gear, I'll have to cut the key a bit.
The wheel side key way is also moved a little.
It almost looks like the taper starts at a different spot, but that I think is just the picture. The both tapers are a little more than 2.75" long. Again the installed keys sit in a different position.
The wheel key could interfere with the wheel, I'll have to check how the hub fits on the shaft. Is there anything else I should be looking for prior to putting this together?
Double check the diameter of new axle before you try to press a gear on it.
I don't have a 1 to 2 inch mic. I measured it with a vernier and it is 1.063". I have a machinist friend that I'll see this Thursday and have him check it.
I tried the axles on the wheel hubs and everything looks fine. I measured the depth of the differential gear from the end to the bottom of the keeper slot, 1.4", the distance from the bottom of the keeper slot on the axle to the end of an installed key is about 1.5", so I think that the key will extend out past the end of the differential gear. I'll have to check it after the different gears are on. May have to grind the keys a little.
Drawings are from an old magazine article on dealer made axles for Fords, so dimensions are general, but you can see the keyway for the wheel hub is set to give even depth.
The is a rather poor shot of axles, old on left, and new on right, but the new threads and hub key way are covered with tape. I recall they were similar to the Ford in look. The keyway didn't go real far into the threads on the axle shaft end.
I did remember on this install that the key for the axle gear was almost sticking up (can't see it in this only pic of have [upper left corner],) but it didn't. But you are correct to take caution when pressing on the gear to be sure the key won't protrude.
I would not be very happy with those axles. The placement of the diff. gear keyway is wrong, as you thought. If used, the key must be trimmed so as not to interfere with the bearing, also as you thought. The other thing is that the sides of the keyslot are of unequal length suggesting to me that the keyslot has not been cut on the centerline of the shaft. Also, if the proper key is used, and the proper, matching keyway cutter as well, you should not see either end of the keyslot when the key is installed and photographed as you have done. It appears that the key may be able to rock in the keyslot due to the curvature of the key not matching perfectly the curvature of the keyslot bottom.
Your comparison of the outer ends, with keys installed, is a little confusing. First, the key as shown in the original axle is installed wrong. The curved "sled runner" end, which is shown on the end adjacent to the threads, should be placed so as to relieve the key where it mates with the same "sled runner" in the bottom of the keyslot at its innermost end. Not sure from your photos if the key in the new axle has the sled runner end or where it may be located. The thing is, it should have the sled runner end and that end should be positioned to match the depth of the keyslot where it tapers up to the axle diameter.
The outer keyway wouldn't be my biggest concern, my biggest problem with that new shaft is the sharp 90 degree corner where the threaded end meets the end of the taper. See how the old axle has a generous radius in that same area? The old design would be much stronger and less prone to cracking at that sharp corner. Also, not too wild about the keyslot extending so far into the threaded end, reducing its cross sectional area and therefore it's tensile strength.
If it were my car, I would not use those axles. What other liberties have been taken that cannot be observed with the naked eye if those obvious flaws are so apparent and allowed to exist.
Pretty shoddy machine work. They were probably made by a high school shop class. I'd send the axles back. That's a common problem when someone tries to reproduce parts without a factory drawing. For sure, those weren't made from the drawing. The factory was specific down to the size of the keyway cutter and the length of the cut.
I have to agree with Jerry & Ken. I've machined shafts before, and there is a lot of tedious setting up to do to get them correct. This looks like a cheap, too fast job...
One also has to wonder about their quality control. They obviously don't use their products.
Who ever sold those axles to you needs to send a better set and pay the return shipping.
Who does sell quality correct shafts then?
Thanks for pointing out a couple other items that I missed. The key in the original shaft has a sled runner on each side, so it is in correctly, just looks odd. I'm interested in the comment about the diff gear keyway maybe not being on center, as evidenced by one side of the keyway being longer than the other. This mis alignement could put some extra side stress on the key and keyway by just installing the gear, if the gear could be installed.
I purchased these shafts from Lang's, 2505. The paragraph says 'Rear axle shaft made of hardened alloy steel with precision ground bearing surface. Made in USA. 1912-1927.' They are $89.75, each. I opted for these, rather than the ones listed as 2502HS. Apparently, the HS models are made from 4140 steel and are 1/16" longer. My hubs are in good shape, so I figured I didn't need a longer shaft and would save the $35.00 per shaft difference. Well...... I suppose I'll send Lang's these picutres and my comments. I'm going to ask for some similar pictures of a set of the 2505HS shafts and if they look good, ask to exchange them. Rats!