Front axle- Which side is the front?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Front axle- Which side is the front?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Warren- Huntington, VT on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 05:16 pm:

I took apart the front end of my 26 touring to paint the chassis. Now that I am putting it back together, I am looking at the front axle and I am wondering how to tell which is the front and which is the back. It looks like it could go either way but I assume there is a right way and a wrong way to install it.
Thanks
Mike


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 05:18 pm:

The axle itself fits both ways. The spring perches are flat on the front and radiused on the rear where the wishbone fits.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Sims--Reed City,Mich. on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 05:23 pm:

The axel is the same both sides, but the spring perches must be placed so the small raised part with a dimple in it goes to the rear of the T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Warren- Huntington, VT on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 05:54 pm:

Great! Thanks guys for the quick response. Hoping to get the chassis back together in the next few days. I'll post pics as soon as I have some progress.

Mike


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 06:49 pm:

This question was discussed here not too long ago. While it's true that the front axle is manufactured to be installed either way, there is a possibility that if it was bent to achieve proper front end alignment it now does have a right and left (or front and back) that are not identical.

Unfortunately, if you didn't tag it before disassembly the only way I can think of to tell is to assemble it and check the alignment. You have a 50/50 chance of putting it back correctly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 06:55 pm:

If the axle is bent it's junk.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 07:09 pm:

Stephen,

Typically that's true. However, bending the front axle is a part of the recommended alignment procedure. If it is deliberately bent for this purpose, removed from the car, and reinstalled in the same orientation as it previously was, it should be fine and that aspect of the alignment will probably be preserved.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 07:14 pm:

Try putting a length of rod up thru so you can see how your caster/camber looks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Doolittle on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 07:41 pm:

Front axle alignment rods.

If the rods don't align properly, then the axle must be bent so that the rods align. This procedure makes a big difference in how the car drives and how the tires wear. See pic.

Front axle alignment rods


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 07:54 pm:

I like the method posted above. All four rods should be even and true.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 07:58 pm:

If you were the very first person to remove the front axle of the car since it left the factory and you want to put it back on exactly the way it was:

Due to the crown in the road, the right side (passenger side) yoke including the inner faces of the yokes and the holes and threads for the spindles typically show more wear than the left side yoke.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 08:53 pm:

As long as all four holes line up it does not matter how the axle is installed in the car. If someone bent the axle to make up for a bent spring perch, spindle or wishbone then that is rigging and the axle and other parts are junk.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Monday, July 25, 2016 - 10:56 pm:

Plenty of axles get straightened. They are not junk just because they have a bend in them. Unless the perch holes are wallowed out, that is a different story and even then those holes could be fixed but it's not cost effective to do so. Drop axles are bent and stretched.
There must be a back story why you are saying they are junk?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 01:02 am:

By this time, most axles need straightening. I don't understand Stephen's declaring them "junk." We don't have the luxury of going to the Ford Dealer and buying a new axle whenever we want one!
Ideally an axle set up by the rods, and good perches and a wishbone will give you the proper caster & camber.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 01:06 am:

By this time, most axles need straightening. I don't understand Stephen's declaring them "junk." We don't have the luxury of going to the Ford Dealer and buying a new axle whenever we want one!
Ideally an axle set up by the rods, and good perches and a wishbone will give you the proper caster & camber.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 02:41 am:

He is only saying they're junk because he's a troll looking to deceive people.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Doolittle on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 07:43 am:

Kep- I think he is stating that a bent axle is junk, which it truly is, until it receives a little TLC on a 30 ton press and is brought back to a serviceable life. At this point, it is no longer junk.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 07:50 am:

I had always heard that a model T axle could be tied in a knot without breaking due to the tough and malleable steel use. Love to see that. If that's the case it would seem that they can always be cold bent back to specs given enough effort.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 08:49 am:

From the 1913 catalog:

Kk


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 11:04 am:

What I mean is unless a bent axle is straightened it's junk.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 01:24 pm:

John Wandersee hated that image of the twisted axle because it implied many things that were not true, and promised a lot that Vanadium steel was not capable of without failure

Ford's chief metallurgist John Wandersee (employed at Ford from 1902 - WWII era) tells a lot about the move away from vanadium steel in Ford products in his very interesting interview here:

http://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15889coll2/id/ 17079/rec/219


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 01:30 pm:

You can put the best looking side to the front as long as the spring perches are on the correct side to give you the correct caster.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 07:13 pm:

For some reason this thread reminds me of the long story about a guy applying for a job at the lumber mill grading trees--short version, the final test given was to go out and mark the front side of a tree. Guy goes out, walks around the tree then takes the chaulk and puts a big X on it.
"That there's the front side!"
"How can a tree have a front side?" asks the tester, figuring he's got the guy now.
"Cause someone took a dump on the back side!"
:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Warren- Huntington, VT on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 10:02 pm:

I started putting the front end back together tonight. Everything seemed to line up pretty well. I have put everything together loosely figuring I want to make sure everything is correct before I start tightening down and putting cotter pins in. How tight should I be tightening the nuts on the front end? My thought is good and snug, not too tight, just tight enough to be able to get the cotter pins in. Does that sound good?

I checked the front axle and the caster is perfect. Hoping to get the rest of it all set tomorrow night.

Then I have to re-assemble the rear end, and it should be all set to roll... Getting closer, an hour here and an hour there...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 10:18 pm:

Get the kingpin nuts tight to make sure that they cannot rotate in the axle and wear the holes out.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 12:34 am:

Sounds good. Do not get the king pin too tight so that you pinch the spindle. I did that to mine and had a fun ride for a couple of blocks!!! Had to back it off a little. So check for free movement before and after you cinch up the castle nut.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 02:23 am:

Mark has a very good point, as when you tighten the castle nut, it pulls the king pin down a little--yes, there is that much "play" in the threads!Ideally the spindle moves easily, but with no play up and down. After you've put some miles on the car (something like 200), check the fit again as things do wear in as they mate with each other


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