I just pulled apart a differential that hasn't been used in years and when I pulled the thrust washers out, this is what I found. Never seen them oxidize like this before.
The one on the passenger side of my Ebay Ruckstell looked like that (the driver side has the special Ruckstell ball bearing).
They all do that, some even come apart is layers.
Mine looked like that. The car was in storage for 45 years. I believe that it is rust embedded in the surface from the mating surfaces. Lead oxide is white - iron is red
Yes. Just took some out a big drum rear end that has had water in it.
Yep! That is why one cannot just look inside through the fill hole to see if they are brass or Babbitt. I have seen several contaminated and oxidized Babbitt washers that when covered in gear oil look like brass, but out and cleaned break apart and crumble easily.
Thank you for the question, and the the picture.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I've often wondered if these washers are actually zinc die cast, or "pot metal" rather than babbit.
I've seen unused dealer stock of these washers and they were definitely injection molded. Anyone else ever thought this? It would explain a lot.
These appear to have a heavy lead content... they're very soft.
Likely contained lead, and were known as "Babbitt material" by Ford. They were machined from that stock, never molded.
Bronze and 'Babbitt metal'
What difference does it make, we need to replace Ford's cheap washers with bronze. They will not corrode, fall apart or wear out. Just replace them.
Had couple fall at 30 mph jammed everything up did alot of damage
I had one to completely crumble, send me and 14 T sailing into a busy intersection with no brakes. We scattered traffic all over the place. Then, I had no power to the axle and had to be pulled home. If you have old babbitt washers, replace um, don't wait for a failure. Jerry.
If they're original they have the Ford Logo.
Maybe you can sell them to a purist who only uses original parts.
I was only wondering if they were die cast for the sake of contributing to the thread.
I never meant anyone should use use them.
As I said, it would explain a lot. Zinc die casting was a cheap way to manufacture parts. Glen is correct. Not a good idea to use.
Zinc die cast was considered a good bearing surface, still is in some applications like small electric motors. However, when powdered lead was used to lubricate the dies for easy mold surface release, the parts were doomed from new. It's the lead that ruined the alloy from the molecular level.
This problem existed with many antique phonograph parts, Lionel train parts, and just about anything manufactured with this material and process from the 1890's until the 1940's.
Maybe the early ones were machined, but you can't get the Ford logo in there that way! Sorry Dan. I pulled down a '13 rear end recently, and it had perfect babbett washers on both sides! Usually they don't.
Yes i have seen them do that. And flake apart like sedimentary rock with weird stuff trapped in the layers.
As so many other parts of the Ford, the thrust washers weren't the same over the years. Trent posted the records of change in a thread last year, very interesting: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/585529.html?1447242043
Seemingly they were made out of "metal composition" between 1916 and 1921, pressed scrap from the floor saturated with babbitt and likely very prone to flaking, corroding and breaking. 1921-27 the material was changed to "alloy bearing metal", maybe with different aging behaviour but still something I'd change to bronze, given a chance.
Glen... There are those of us who like to unearth the mysteries of the Ford process. I just tossed this out there for the fun of it.
And Steve.. I AM one of those purists. I'm still running ball bearings in the front wheels. But I'm smart enough to put bronze washers back in!
I took apart the "no rivet" rear end on 904 in October. It had two like new Babbitt thrust washers that looked much like the ones at the top of the page.
Here's a few intact ones removed, most just are debris, sludge, or bits and pieces when they dissolve and bust up.
Some are more dark gray color, some with a gold like sheen, some appear de-laminated.
I thought I read on this forum that the early cars used bronze bushings? Or were these changed sometime in the last 100+ years?
For the newer folks who haven't seen them before, here are the thrust washers from my 1923 touring.
Bill, before Trent Boggess read through accession 1701, Box 1 at the Benson Ford Research center, noone thought the changes on this seemingly simple part were so complicated.. Bronze washers had been found when restoring some brass era cars, and what looked like bad babbitt in black era cars - thus it seemed simple, brass was used during the brass era and babbitt later on, but that's not the actual facts..
I'm reposting Trent's findings from the records of change from this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/585529.html?1447242043
4-6-10 Changed thickness from .198 -.200. Howard
10-13-10 Changed thickness from 1.98-.200 to .196 -.198. Howard
10-9-14 Changed material from babbitt to bronze. Galamb
10-24-14 Changed name from Differential Thrust Plate Washer.
Also called for two Ό holes located 1-1/2 from center
of washer. Changed thickness from .196-.198 to
.183-.185. Changed material from bronze to semi
steel. Changed number required from 2 to 4. Galamb
10-27-14 Changed thickness from .183-185 to .196-.198, the
material from semi steel and the number required
from 4 to 2. Galamb
3-2-15 Specified that this washer to be made of X bronze. Wills
4-28-15 Changed thickness from .196-.198 to .200-202, I.D.
from 2-9/32 to 2.254-2.257. Also specified inside of
washer to be finished. Have also brought drawing up
to date with washers as they are being made, by
specifying the sides to be disc ground. The above
changes to take immediate effect, all washers on hand
to be used up. Galamb
10-8-15 Specified oil grooves to be straight instead of spiral,
located 1-7/16 from center of washer, 2 on each side,
the center line of grooves to be at right angles with
each other. This change is to take immediate effect.
All washers on hand to be used up. Galamb
1-14-16 Brought drawing up to date by specifying number
req. on 1916 cars. Howard
3-11-16 Changed material from X bronze to steel and babbitt,
i.e., the plate will be made by taking the rough side of
T-31 and babbitting the sides and edges. This changes
the O.D. from 3-3/4 to 3-3/16. Howard
6-9-16 Brought drawing up to date with washers as they are
being made as follows: Changed outside diam. From
3-3/16 to 3-3/4. Changed material from steel coated
with babbitt, to composition having 25 Brinell hardness.
Removed note specifying oil grooves inside to come
even with top of plate and added dimension specifying
them to be 1/32 deep. Mosher
6-16-16 Specified the weight of 1 washer to be 8-1/2 oz. This
weight was added for the convenience of the purchasing
dept. in buying stock. Wilson
12-20-16 Specified this part to be used on 1917 cars. Howard
8-30-17 Specified for use on 1918 cars. Galamb
10-8-20 For 1921.
11-3-21 Changed material from Metal Composition to Alloy
Bearing Metal (Approved). Howard
3-13-1923 For 1923.
12-12-23 Specified for use in 1924. Howard
3-24-24 Specified edge to be beveled. Galamb
11-1-24 Specified for 1925.
8-1-24 Change thickness from .200-.202 to .198-.200. Galamb
1-3-26 Specified for 1926. Howard
9-14-26 Specified for 1927. Howard."
So yes, bronze was used, but only from the spring of 1915 to the spring of 1916 according to the records. The short period during october 1914 when bronze also was specified was perhaps not even implemented?
Who has seen "semi steel" thrusts that were supposedly used during the winter 1914-1915 or the babbitt covered steel thrusts used during the summer of 1916?
I was going through some brass (bronze) washers the other day and accidentally dropped one on the floor. It shattered in pieces. When I looked at it, it was NOT brass but was babbit covered with a brass coat, I am glad I didn't put that in a rear axle.
Also the other day I was pulling out thrust washers out of a bunch of rear axles and came to one that I could not tell if it was brass or babbit, it had so much junk on it. I tried cleaning it on the wire wheel buffer but that didn't tell me any thing. I finally ground of a slight bit of the edge in one spot and was glad to see it was brass.
Royce, I assume 904 had a babbit pinion bearing and riveted on pinion gear?
Yes, and it has Babbitt inboard axle bearings as well. Thank goodness all those bearings are in good shape, I do not know how I would ever replace them other than to machine new ones from brass on my lathe.