Our cursory inspection of the rear end shows we will be doing a complete rebuild. I've done 1 in the past and have the literature, but I wanted to kick this to the group for discussion.
The right axle will be replaced. About 2 inches of the keyway is sheared out. Most disturbing is that there is a solid 1/4 inch of end to end play when the axles are pushed/pulled. There doesn't seem to be any separation in the internal workings if both axles are pulled, so that gives me hope that the works aren't shot. My initial thought is that the thrust washers are bad.
Beyond that, to what other areas do I need to pay particular attention?
You need to look everything over very carefully - anything can go bad in those axles. But if you haven't got a rare NOS driveshaft Hyatt lying around, it's almost certain you'll need a modern style Fun projects bearing. And it's also rare to find the ring gear in any good shape, so you may have to consider a new set. And if one axle is bad, then you may find some flaw in the other too - sometimes almost nothing can be reused - and the axle halves may need straightening & might also end up swapped for better ones since post 15 styles still are easy to find (In USA )
Not encouraging, but appreciated. Thanks
Would you like to know a truly sad story? I contacted our vehicle donor who stated this past weekend he attended an auction in Colorado at which there were many, many T rear ends that sold for $5-15 and at the end of the auction, the leftover rear ends were flat priced at $5 each and bought by a foundry.
Makes you want to cry.
And the rear axles at that auction weren't all used on trailers like most of the axles around here....
Or were they?
Axles are really easy to rebuild. What you're saying about thrust washers and one axle sound correct. Housings can be straightened and carriers can be repaired, drive shafts repaired and even worn bearings can be ground down and re-assembled if you have to. In the past i have shimmed bearing sleeves on the axle housing side.
Some good news is that the spider and the differential gears are usually OK. You have the MTFCA book, so just check all the measurements Glen gives you there. The pinion bearing inner sleeve is often cracked. I'd use the FP bearing as Roger said.