If folks will remember back a few months ago, Betsy snapped a rear axle shaft on her standard Ford single speed rear end. Luckily, I had a Ruckstell two-speed rear axle already built up and ready to swap in, it has been working great!
Today, I got in one of those "head down, too busy making progress to pay attention to the details" moods and decided to finish the rebuild of Betsy's standard Ford rear axle with two new axle shafts from Chaffin's.
It all went great until I realized that I had finished bolting up the driveshaft without installing the radius rods! It's true, you cannot install the rear axle radius rods after you have firmly bolted the driveshaft to the rear axle housing!
Luckily, the RTV hadn't cured yet, so I loosened and unscrewed each of the six pinion housing bolts about 1/4 inch and was then able to move the driveshaft enough each way to install the radius rods. Once the rods were in, I re-tightened the six pinion housing bolts. DUH!
Be sure to check it with a square to be sure that the radius rods hold the drive shaft perpendicular to the axle. If you have the rods with two nuts at the front end it could be off a bit.
Thanks Norm, will do tomorrow.
This axle is going into storage in the basement, I'll be leaving the Ruckstell installed in the car.
Small drum radius rods WILL go on after the torque tube is installed - done it several times - you have when installing high speed gears - pinion too big to go in the hole - only way to do it !
Did you have any "issues" with the new axle keyways accepting a standard .250 key ?
Tony, if you have a method to do it, please share it, I tried several different ways and none of them worked for me.
Regarding the axle keyways, yes, the keys were initially too tight, so I had to do a little sanding on the keys to get them to tap in while still being a snug fit.
Mark I have installed the radius rods on small drum and large drum 26-27 rear ends after installing the tube. I can not remember the exact method, but there is a position that the radius rod will "almost go" I remember, at that position that I would bend the radius rod a little to put it under strain into the position of trying to go on and then I hit the fork end with my giant "dead blow" hammer to finish forcing it into position. You must have the rear facing lock nuts in position, and ran as far to the rear as you can. This does not work on the 26-27 radius rods using only one nut. You will have to do as you did and loosen up the pinion bolts to get them to go on. I know I have done it before, but as they say, "your mileage may vary"
Donnie, there was one position that was really close, if I had put some bending pressure on the radius rod I might have been able to get it to go.
In my case, I decided to go ahead and loosen the pinion housing bolts instead rather than risk bending the rods.
Another important point. Be sure to use lock washers in back of the front flange to keep the nuts from backing off.
There is a position which requires slight pressure as Donnie stated - you are not going to "hurt" those radius rods - they bend back easy enough.
There seems to be an "issue" with the keyway being cut .247 - .248 which a standard key available from all the vendors will not fit !!!
I've spoken with the axle supplier but have yet to hear back or if the "issue" has been rectified.
Finished up the rear axle this morning - checked for square, the lock washers are indeed on the back side with the plain nuts per the service manual. I tightened the rear radius rod bolts & nuts, but left the cotter pins off because the bolts will have to come out again for accessory brake installation if I ever install the unit back in the car.
For now, it is resting peacefully in the basement, with a tag on it reminding me to fill it with 600W lube once it is installed in a car.