I discovered a crack in one of my rear (wood spoke) wheel hubs. So the question is: Do I find an original replacement or just go ahead and buy a new repro part ?
I really prefer original parts when feasible. But I'm concerned about whether most old hubs have the tapered bore worn too much.
Am I looking for a needle in a haystack, or are good serviceable hubs pretty common ?
Rear hubs are common at swaps, or complete rear wheels with bad spokes. You pay for the good metal. Most times hubs can be had for $10-$25 each. A new repro will cost you $160. Might do as well to purchase 3 or so original rear hubs for less than that and pick the best one.
I deal with many hubs and quite often they have a worn bore. So I use one stainless shim and the problem goes away. I don't like to use more than one on each axle, but that's just me.
Are many of the original hubs worn so badly that they need more than one shim ? Is there some way to check a hub (by measurement or whatever) before dragging them home ?
Both my hubs had shims when I took the rear end apart. But it would be nice to have better condition hubs if possible.
One can measure the gage diameter of the taper... But it's a whole lot easier when you're working with new parts. You can use a depth micrometer spaced off of the brake flange a known amount, and measure down to a ball bearing seated into the taper. Of course all of the surfaces need to be bare, clean, and fully deburred to get a good measurement.
If I remember correctly, for every .001" of diameter variation there will be about .010" of axial movement. As you can see, it wouldn't take much wear to get the brake drums to drag.
A cut off axle end could be used to make a comparative measurement on the fly. Simply Dykem the top of the taper, then use a known hub to scribe a line on the axle. All you need to know is if the hub your lookin at buying, seats on the axle stub deeper or shallower than the one you are replacing.
I could provide specific dimensions of you want, but unless you're making new parts, you might find an actual measurement to be overkill, and horribly inconvenient to do on the fly.
Rotten spokes often make wheel parts dirt cheap, and many of the hubs are usable. I've paid single-digit prices at auctions and swap meets. I'd do as Kevin suggests and take along a marked axle taper to check them.
You can most likely assume that if the keyway is nice and square, (i.e. not stretched out, with keyway sides wider at the top than at the bottom, and with burrs at the edges), then the taper will most likely be good too. The situation that wears out the tapered bore, also wears out the keyway. (That situation would be running with a loose hub.)
Rear 1912 wood spoke hub, used
Thanks for all the help, guys.
I ultimately decided to take Vern's advice and ordered a used hub from Lang's. I was assured that the hubs are cleaned up and inspected prior to shipping.
The Lang's used hubs cost $50. I know this is going to get me drummed out of the Mr. Thrifty Saver's Club and I'll have to turn in my secret decoder ring and lifetime membership card. But the closest swap meet (Bakersfield) requires $50 or more in gas just to get there and won't happen until next April.
This exposes my shamefully profligate ways for all to see, but at least Otto will be back on the road in due time.
You wanted a known good hub and you wanted it soon. That costs extra, cause it's worth it! You done good.
Thanks, Jerry. I know it was the intelligent decision, but as a child of the depression it still causes some deep seated anguish knowing that I didn't do it the very cheapest way possible.
Dick, I agree...
With limited budget, we try to get the cheapest and make it work, and learn something by fixin' or doing it ourselves. But sometimes, time wins.
If you own more than one T or antique car saving a little on a nice used part is welcomed. If you don't have it and need it a nice part is always worth a few more bucks..
Did you have a questionable axle too, or was it a spider gear? Either way, an axle change while your rear end is still exploded may reduce the need for a shim.
I was raised by people who came through the Great Depression, and they were raised by 19th century farmers, so I share your reluctance to spend the dough. But as the western movies that were so popular when we were kids taught us, sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
We had to replace both axle housings and the ring & pinion, but John said the axles looked nearly new.