You probably think there is a typo in the title of this thread.
Yesterday I helped Dennis Sanford take apart the rear axle of his '14 touring for inspection. I told him before we started that every one I have ever taken apart has been junk inside. That record remains intact.
This is a great way to get your garage really dirty, really fast. Half the job is cleanup afterwards. You need to have plenty of paper towels, rags, drip pans, and spray cleaner handy before you start. A parts washer is nearly essential.
We started by checking the U joint and immediately there was an obvious problem. With the U joint riveted to the drive shaft I could move the drive shaft forward and aft about 1/4". Looking at the U joint after removing the rivet we could see the U joint was completely shot, with all the rivets loose, and it had not one bit of grease on it.
I remember a while back someone writing on this forum that maybe they could use a mini bore scope inspection camera to peek inside the rear end through the oil filler hole to see if there were bronze thrust washers. The assumption being that if there were bronze washers, and not Babbitt washers, that the rear axle is safe to operate, and no further inspection would be required.
That is utter nonsense of course.
The grease was full of metal chips and shavings. The bronze thrust washers have metal imbedded in them. They are ruined, as was almost everything except the differential case and the spider gears.
Here is what caused all the trouble. The pinion bearing was missing the rear portion of the cage.
One roller was completely missing. The other rollers had seized on their shafts from all the heat. The pinion sleeve was seized in the middle of the bent and twisted rollers. The driveshaft was turning inside the sleeve, trying to wear through so that it could spit out the pinion gear at some moment in the future. All the missing metal parts were ground up by the ring and pinion, which are also garbage.
The forward drive shaft bushing had never been greased. It was at least .100" worn, the reamer rattles around inside when I tested the fit. The driveshaft was .050" undersize where it runs in that bushing, and scored heavily at the rear where it was being cut in half by the pinion sleeve.
The inner Hyatt bearings were shot, as were all the Hyatt sleeves. One axle had a severely worn keyway.
Dennis had just replaced the two outer Hyatt bushings with some NOS ones, so those two were still OK since he had wisely not driven the car. They measure .498" on every roller, and the cages are not twisted or loose.
The parts list needed to repair this one is at least the following:
Ring and pinion set
One drive shaft
One U joint
New drive shaft bushing
Four Hyatt bearing sleeves
Two bronze thrust bushings
Four thrust pins
Two Hyatt bearings
Pinion bearing modified by Fun Projects
Four steel thrust plates
1 new axle key
1 new axle nut
1 tube of "The Right Stuff"
Love write ups like this. Learn a lot by just looking at the pictures. Thanks Royce.
I resemble your remarks Royce. Just feel fortunate your not working on a Ruxtell. The last time I had the rear end out of my speedster, I found about 2/3 of the pinion bearing down in the pumpkin. About $1500 in parts, and a good effort rescuing some of the surviving hard parts, it was finally ready to go back together.
Been running the tapered roller pinion bearing now for the last several years. Won't be going back to a hyatt pinion bearing, unless it's behind a stock motor.
Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive: "My, my, my, my my. What a mess!"
Yup. And some wonder why people charge so much to rebuild a Ruckstell (or a standard differential) and do it correctly. There is far more to go wrong in there than the unexperienced would guess and more to setting one up than meets the eye.
I'd go along with Kevin about the pinion bearing and would add that it only costs less than $300 to put safety hubs in there while you have it apart.
See my list. I have the Fun Projects pinion bearing on there already. I'm not a fan of the safety hubs, the original Hyatts work fine if they are greased.
I always kinda wondered how many people took rear ends apart and actually found GOOD pinion bearings in there. Every one I've taken apart, the hyatt pinion bearing was a mess or pretty close to it. Now before I even take a rear end apart I just order a Fun Projects pinion bearing.
I have found good pinion bearings, in fact I have a drive shaft sitting in my garage that is like new and the pinion bearing on it is also perfect. I will use it some day.
More often than not everything except the housing is junk, and some times even the housings are no good.
I LOVE it! Water Pumps and Safety hubs. I don't use water pumps but, put safety hubs on every one I've rebuilt.
How many hours to rebuild a rear end Just curious. thanks Ross
"THE" book says 3 hours and 28 minutes
Depends on if your being paid to do it, and your time-clock is running for the next job.
Did a friends rear axle a month ago, repaired all, with a shortened drives shaft and torque tube for a KC Warford. Took right at 3 days to complete. But not on the time-clock. And all parts were on hand then.
Only charged him actual parts used, which came out to be $858 (labor free, a friendly no guarantee job) Had on hand an older new set of ring and pinion at a nice friend price, his axle had 3 good Hyatts, and both housings and carrier were nice, with good pins too. Had a good axle to replace one, and of course the Fun Projects pinion set. New shorty drive shaft from BirdHaven.
I have got to one up you on this one! I recently disassembled the rear end from my '13 roadster, and what a bitch it was, because as I suspected from driving the car for perhaps one hundred miles prior to disassembly, it had 3-1 gears in it. I was able to reuse almost every part except the 3-1 gears which I don't care for. Even the babbit thrust washers were perfect! Ultimately, I installed a Ruckstell, and interestingly I couldn't slide the sliding clutch gear over the axle, because the early axles are a larger diameter.
Larry Smith: I often find axles out of regular rear ends that are too large (thick) to put in the left side of a ruckstell because they are too thick for the slide gear. I like to keep a supply of the thick axles for use in the right side of ruckstells because of coarse there is no slide gear on the right side. Many years ago I learned the hard way to always check the slide gear on the axles before starting. I had all the internals together and went to put the slide gear on. Since the slide gear is the last part of the internals to put together I had to take it all apart and put the thick axle on the other side. I thought I had learned my lesson well but about a year ago I did the same thing with someones ruckstell and had to take it all apart again.
Safety hubs are aptly named and a wise addition, regardless of how anyone feels about water pumps.
Those pictures could well have been taken in my garage a couple of weeks ago ! My cost $750 and change. And you will get dirty ! My wife suggested a toilet bowl brush(with a handle extension)to clean the torque tube and rear housing. Assembly was a snap, required one paper gasket on FP spool to set pinion depth, no fitting at all for bronze thrust washers. Be careful of the size of a new drive shaft, mine was ok but still could have been a little tighter for the bearing race.
Watch out for the set screw on the collar of the Fun Projects spool. I am currently rebuilding my axle and the set screw was rubbing against the drive shaft housing. Being new to an axle rebuild I thought the binding was at the ring & pinion. It drove me crazy trying to figure it out. I took a grinder to the inside of the housing and now it is fine. I now just have to replace the thrust pins, wire some bolts and recheck clearances so I can close it up.
Thank you to Glen Chaffin for the well written book and to all those who posted previously on this forum about the subject.
Before I added the one paper gasket on the spool I had to much depth on the pinion gear, wasn't much but I had a bind in a few places when rotating the ring and pinion, the ring gear screws protrude far enough to hit the very ends of the pinion gear teeth in three or four places. And yes I had to ream the inside of the drive shaft housing 'cause the lock collar set screw was hitting.