I finally got the universal joint pin to come out (took lots of hammering and drilling). We removed the u-joint and then slid out the driveshaft. No front bushing came out.
The picture below is looking down the torque tube. I don't think I am looking at a brass bushing and suspect I am looking at Babbitt.
What am I looking at?
How do I remove the bushing or Babbitt?
How important is it to remove or replace this?
Looks to me like a worn out plain sleeve bushing. Do I see a thin sheet metal shim towards the bottom of the bushing? Either the thrust face was never there or is so worn that it is completely gone.
Time for replacement! After installation, you'll want to check the fit to the drive shaft and ream as required. Then, you will want to face off either the thrust face of the bushing, or sand the back face of the U-joint as needed to set the proper axial clearance.
Worn out babbit you can get a new brass bushing
For what it is worth. Most of those front bushings were originally Babbitt. However, unlike the thrust washers, and a little more like the crank and rod bearings, those bushings (PROVIDED the were not simply left out in the weather for a few decades) generally speaking were not subjected to the water and other contamination that the differential was. They were also generally a slightly higher grade Babbitt. IF (that wonderful old big IF again!) that bushing is in good condition and fits well, it is probably okay to use (unlike the Babbitt thrust washers). I know that a lot of them are in use, and have been working well for many years.
All that said, I have also heard of a couple that were said to look good, and failed after a couple thousand miles. So if someone tells you that they should always be replaced? I won't say that they are wrong.
After all that, yeah, yours looks bad. Replace it with a new brass/bronze one available from the wonderful model T parts people. Usually not a very difficult project. Although I did have one about twenty years ago that gave me fits for a few hours.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I've used genuine Ford babbet bushings for over 50 years. Never have had a problem. I have them in all my T's. I don't understand why you had such a difficult time removing your u-joint. They usually come right out after you remove the pin.
What condition is the drive shaft in the bearing area? If it worn to the point that is smaller then the U-joint square and all scored up it can be saved but babbitt or off the shelf bronze bushing will not work. You will end up with too much bounce and chatter/whip at the U-joint end. Everyone seems get worked up about how much play between the gears at the other end then don't think about the bushing at the other end even if they do put a new one in it may still be too loose even without reaming.
Thanks, guys. We will work on removing that old one and replacing it with the brass version.
BTW: removing the u-joint was a piece of cake. It was the removal of the peened pin that wouldn't budge that gave us such a hard time.