So, being fairly new to the Model T hobby, I bought a 26 Touring to get back on the road. I decided that since this car will be in the family for a while (my wife says she will never sell it...) I thought I would try to do the best I could to make sure it lasts for a while.
The first thing I did was tear it all apart because someone else started to restore it and never finished. This is not going to be an original restoration, instead it will be a resurrection to get it close to looking new but I'm sure that it won't be perfect. I do want to make sure that it is mechanically safe to drive and therefore the first thing I did was take apart the rear end to replace the thrust washers and check the ring and pinion gears. The original axles measure within tolerance, the original axle bearings all measure very good, but the ring and pinion gear, the thrust washers and pins, and the driveshaft were all garbage... I decided to replace the parts with new (thinking this was the best thing to do) but when I got the new driveshaft it was not perfect. Not only was the hole for the u-joint not where it needed to be, the actual driveshaft was not the proper size and therefore the pinion bearing actually spins on the shaft. Are all aftermarket parts for these model T's junk? What parts would be okay to use new (non-ford)? Should I try to find good used original parts for anything that moves (drive train, engine, steering) and use the newer parts for things like electrical, interior, trim, etc.
Some of the new parts can be a bit off. The hole for the U-joint being off isn't uncommon. Usually it isn't too much effort working on reproduction parts for them to be a correct fit. Did you use the key for the pinion gear? Can't see how it would spin with the key in place. Good used and NOS parts are getting rare. We are lucky (in my opinion) to have vendors supplying reproduction parts to keep these old cars going. For example, the Scat crankshaft is a vast improvement over the original T crankshaft, as are the new camshafts, transmission drums, and so on.
Some new parts are excellent, some are OK with some adapting, and some are just plain sorry. I suppose the only way to know what to buy and what to avoid is to ask on the forum about particular parts. Examples: Rear axle Hyatt bearings are preferable to the new replacements; the current lined brake shoes are OK but may need some grinding to make them fit; the FP pinion bearing is better than the original Ford parts.
You say the pinion bearing spins on the shaft..Did you press on the pinion Bearing sleeve first?
I'm using the FP pinion bearing kit. The driveshaft measures .999 (just under 1 inch). The Bearing slides on the shaft with little play but after speaking with John from fun projects he explained that the fit needs to be "pressed on" and that most of the aftermarket driveshafts are not made to exact ford specs.
Michael, not all repro parts are junk. I have had issues with a few, but I recently bought a front hub from Lang's; if there was a problem with it, it would be that the new hub was much better then the one that the T was built with. The machining was vastly superior then what Ford did on the original, and the surface finish was perfect, unlike the original rough casting (or forging).
Have used several new driveshafts, Lang's, and one from BirdHaven (shorted one for KC Warford install).
All were made from round stock, and finish and O.D. dimensions were good for the Fun Projects modern pinion, both sealed bearing in the housing, slipped up OK as it should, and the taper bearing behind the pinion gear fit snug, and was driven up in place with the gear.
But, did have u-joint hole location issue, on all but the short shaft as it came without a hole. Was easy to drill hole as these repro shafts are rather soft steel.
Bet if most buyers would call Lang's and complain, the vendor making these driveshafts might spend a few dollars (about $200) I think, and get the Ford print from Benson Ford Library and make these correctly!
Now, that said, we have to have reproduction parts, finding good original important chassis parts for the driveline, axles, driveshafts, U-Joints is just too hard to do.
Many times you find what look like good used parts, but there is always a flaw somewhere.....these are 80-90 year old parts now...so we should hold the suppliers to make quality replacements. Off the Soapbox ...
This used driveshaft was beautiful in all specs...except see that tiny crack? Almost used it before seeing this...dang, good used part became scrap.
It wouldn't cost the DS manufacturer anything to offer their repo's with or without the hole. But the best 'fix' is to build exactly to spec. respectfully, jb
As a new guy, I'd like to hear what aftermarket parts should be avoided and what parts are good. Could save aggravation.