I was hoping someone can help me diagnose my poor, immobilized, '25 Touring.
I was driving when all of sudden, I came to screeching halt. The rear wheels locked up. I Towed the old girl home.
The car will not roll in neutral or high.
When the right wheel is jacked up--it's frozen, it will not move at all.
Same with the left--left wheel is frozen.
But when both wheels are jacked up, they both move freely.
Last year, I replaced the Babbitt thrust washers with bronze. I've driven the car almost every day since then.
There is no wobble, or side-to-side play when I tested the rear wheels.
The transmission drums do not appear cracked; triple gears look OK.
The engine starts and runs--but neither of the rear wheels move when I hit the low or reverse pedal when the car is jacked. I'm hesitate to run the engine any more.
How do I begin to diagnose what is wrong?
What test can I run to differentiate between transmission and rear end--so I don't pull one or the other unnecessarily?
Maybe the answer is here, and I'm not seeing it?
Anyhow, thanks for any help, and hoping to get back on the road soon!
How about the u-joint?
Sounds like the drive shaft isn't turning. How many things can prevent that???
Ring and pinion locked up. Probably tooth off of ring gear. Pull it all apart.
I assumed when rear wheels are jacked up, they turn in opposite directions, right?
Sounds like the rear end blew up. Pull it and check it out.
The only thing that can prevent the drive shaft from turning is a bad pinion bearing. Very common to have the pinion baring fall apart, particularly the newer solid roller style.
When you replace the pinion bearing you want either original NOS or perfect original Ford parts, or the excellent replacement setup made by Fun Projects.
Also I remember one time where the pin in the u joint broke and fell down just enough to lock up the rear end, Bob
Yes, the wheels are spinning in opposite directions.
Thanks for the advice everyone--seems I have my work cut out for me with the rear end.
I'll post some photos of what I find, for posterity....
I had a rip-off sleeve the bearing rides on disintegrate several years ago when I was making a trip to the store. Once you tear things apart and if you discover that it is the pinion gear that went, I would highly recommend you replace the bearing with the modern system that Fun Projects puts out. It automatically sets the clearance between the pinion and ring gear and makes the setup so much easier.
Davey, any of the above conditions that will stop the driveshaft from turning will cause these symptoms. Bob has a point. Pull the driveshaft pin plugs first, and see what you can see. That would be simple. In the recent past, did you have to make a quick stop?
I did make something a quick stop before this happened.
I didn't think too much of it.
I'll check the pin plugs.
Thanks for the suggestions.
I bought an inexpensive endoscope with an LED light on Amazon ($19 or so) that works with a cell phone. I used it to inspect the crankcase of my '39 Packard for sludge, so I bet you could use it to peek into the rear axle and get a sense of what's going on in there without tearing it all down.
I had the same thing happen, the drive shaft broke at the bearing. Pinion fell in and locked the ring gear. I think it was due to using a solid bearing and it not getting enough oil.
You said you towed the car home. How did you get it to move with the wheels locked up?
The triple gears move when the engine is running in neutral, so that would eliminate a transmission problem. It must be between the universal joint and the pinion gear because the axles turn. I would suspect your problem is in the ring and pinion gears. That would take a disassembly of the rear axle assembly to find and repair the problem.
Correct me please but I believe if the drv. shaft or pinion/ ring gear were locked the wheels would still turn in opposite directions when jacked up because of the axle & spider gears operating normally.
I have heard of, but not seen myself, of a drive shaft locking up on the front bush from lack of grease.
Here's an update on my immobilized '25 Touring.
I pulled the rear-end this afternoon, and discovered the U-joint was pulverized--first photo, below.
The tail end of the U-joint is still pinned to the drive shaft. It easily turns, and both axles spin freely, in opposite directions. Second photo.
Do I need to remove the entire drive shaft to replace the U-joint?
Is there anything else I should check for that is associated with U-joint destruction?
Norm--I broke down in the middle of a busy road. I angered a lot of people. I towed the car from the rear axle, off the main road; then onto a flat bed. I tried as best I could to keep the rear tires from skidding.
Don't feel too bad ...
I anger many people when I DRIVE down the road ....
It sure sounded like a u-joint to me. Glad you found the problem and that it isn't catastrophic.
Do you know if that U-joint was an original Ford part or a modern replacement?
Davey, all you have to do is knock the pin out and replace u-joint.Get a nice tight original one. Use a new pin.
I don't know if it was original or a modern replacement.
Thanks everyone for your help.
An original one will have the Ford logo on the end that's still pinned to the driveshaft. Let us know please.
I removed the remaining part of my destroyed U-joint.
There was no Ford script anywhere on it.
The only identifying mark is what looks like a capital E within a diamond.
Sorry, I don't know why this photo insists on appearing horizontally.
Davey, It was a Ford universal joint. Unless the rear axle has already be thoroughly rebuilt including the driveshaft I would take the entire thing apart and rebuild it. Since the U Joint failed I would assume it has not been done yet.
I'm probably wrong, and hope I am. But after looking at the remains of the u-joint, I am wondering if this isn't the effect, not the cause. Davey, does everything turn absolutely free now? Do both wheels turn in same direction OK?To me, that damage originating with u-joint doesn't add up.
The drive shaft turns freely--turns quite easily too. Both axles turn.
Why do you think this is a symptom? Is this an unusual way for a u-joint to break?
Whether the U-joint is a symptom or a cause, if you don't know the rear axle condition for a fact you need to look into it.
Yes, to me it is very unusual.Having torn apart a large number of Ts,The only broken u-joints I have ever found were very worn out. I should have saved one that the bearing surfaces were worn down to about the diameter of one's little finger. They then wore themselves pockets in the ring,and did not slop back and forth. Discovered when disassembling for another reason.
Like I said, I hope I am wrong and probably are. It just strikes me as odd that it would break in that manor. Unless all the rivets loosened up, and it just sort of fell apart.
Likely failure of fatigue and perhaps the rest of your axle is OK. But you won't know without removing the rear end and take it all apart and inspect, and repair as needed.
The rear end is the brakes of the T. Any failure of the drive line affects go and most important, affects stop.
Open the drive shaft access plugs for the rivet that holds what's left of your U-joint.
Bolt in the plug hole is there to check threads, and makes a good buck for re-rivet of the U-joint to the drive shaft.
Since you have recently gone through the rear axle and overhauled it, if it were mine, I would find a good used U-joint and put it back together.
(Message edited by piewagon on October 14, 2016)
At minimum, pull the driveshaft tube away from the differential and inspect the teeth on the pinion and ring gear. But if it were mine, I would pull the driveshaft out and make sure it isn't bent or twisted. If you were rolling along at cruising speed when this happened, that was a lot of load that got transferred to the shaft. I'd check it for sure since you're into it.