Rear axle failure

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Rear axle failure
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 02:07 pm:

On the recent Kingman tour, one car suffered a rear axle failure. On inspection the passenger side axle had snapped just behind the driven gear. On closer inspection there was a groove in the axle just behind the gear where it then broke. This is exactly where the Hyatt bearing end plate is located. When we installed a Hyatt bearing, sure enough the end ring can touch the axle. I pulled out some old axle shafts and sure enough several have the ring worn behind the gear.



Than I looked at a Ruckstell I am currently building and sure enough it has the same wear pattern.



Has anyone one else noticed this wear pattern?
The wear appears to be caused by the Hyatt bearing dimples wearing thus allowing the ring to move beyond the surface of the bearing. Since I don't like the modern bearings with no grooves, I will have to rework the Hyatt end plates or has anyone a better suggestion?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 02:53 pm:

I just looked at the pictures of my Ruckstell during its rebuild and luckily, my passenger side axle does not show any witness marks from the Hyatt bearing ring (just lucky, I guess). :-)

Is that pin on the differential housing bent over, or is it an optical illusion?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 03:00 pm:

I guess it's an optical illusion due to the flash on the iPad as the pin is quite vertical.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 04:01 pm:

The Hyatt bearing did not do that. That's what happens when the babbitt thrust bearing fails and the locating pins get sheared off and the hard steel washer that normally sits against the axle housing now rides against the axle. After a while it saws into the axle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 04:05 pm:

I'll also add, that when the locating pins get sheared, the steel disc that rides next to the differential will make the same groove, and in extreme cases even cut off, the boss on the back of the differential carrier.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 04:32 pm:

Here's an example of exactly what's happening;


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 04:47 pm:

Jerry is correct, the bad Babbitt washers can lots of grief.

Here is one axle I have worn like that, saving these as the gears are good, but need new axle shafts.





The steel washer will chew on the diff housing.



About the only thing that can happen at that end with the Hyatt bearing is the key for the axle gear can stand proud. The Service Manual points out this fact to be sure the key is sunk under or flush with the axle gear.

If not result is the Hyatt flange is gouged by the sharp edge of the key holding the axle gear.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 04:51 pm:

Thanks Jerry.
The pins are in place so I really can't see the hard steel washer can touch the axle in my existing setup.
However it may well have occurred prior to the installation of the Ruckstell some 20 years ago, who knows what has occurred in the 92 years since it was first assembled... Also I tend to think you are correct as it seems unlikely that the soft metal of the bearing ring could wear such a defined groove in the axle, while the hard steel washer certainly could.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 05:09 pm:

Wow, look at that crack in the gear, probably started at the corner of the keyway. :-(


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 05:33 pm:

I just spent the last few minutes setting up a photo similar to Jerrys.



I guess I should replace the axle shaft, must have had the groove for 20+ years.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 02:58 am:

Tony, not trying to change your mind that the soft metal of the bearing ring couldn't wear such a groove in the axle, but it definately can wear such a groove, hard or soft. Long story, bear with me. Around here back in the '50's-'60's a lot of farmers had grain augers that used a small horizontal shaft gas engine(think Briggs&Stratton, Kohler, Clinton, etc.)to run them. Often, they would put a steel 5 gallon bucket over the engine to protect it from the elements. More than once, one of them would leave the bucket on the engine after it was started, not thinking anything about it. After awhile, the bucket laying on the shaft would cut it off as if it had been in a lathe. I've seen it happen more than once. Just a thought. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 06:18 am:

I took apart a differential assembly which had been under a horse drawn jinker. One axle had a groove cut in it so deep there was only about 1/4" of axle left. Hard to imagine all that happened while it was under the jinker. I wonder how much further it would have gone in a car before parting company.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 12:04 pm:

Tony,
Are you talking about two different axle shafts? In your first post, you said the axle shaft had snapped, then in the later post, you said "I guess I should replace the axle shaft".

One must be the car which broke down on the Kingman tour. The other would be a Ruckstell you Noare currently building?

If so, this must be a common problem with T axles. In the future, when I have an axle apart, that is another thing to check.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 03:20 pm:

Norm, so glad to have given you something else to look for, indeed you can worry about all three of your back axles. Also no reason to be bored in the future as you can pull them down to inspect for yet another potential problem. :-)


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