Question from First Time T Owner Re: Babbit Thrust Washers

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Question from First Time T Owner Re: Babbit Thrust Washers
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Emering on Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 10:46 pm:

Is there a tutorial on how to check the rear for babbitt thrust washers?
Would these washers not have come with the car from the factory?
I take it that not having these washers is a safety issue?
Are there pictures or videos that show what to check for?
I have little to no mechanical knowledge, but am hell-bent on learning some!
Thank you,
Gene


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker, Oklahoma City on Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 10:50 pm:

Let me be the first to post this :-)

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG79.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Emering on Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 10:57 pm:

Thank you Cameron and Larry!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Emering on Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 11:06 pm:

Where can I get the replacement washers?

Thanks again!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Mullin on Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 11:09 pm:

Gene,

Get in touch with one or more of these New Jersey chapters of the MTFCA and MTFCI. It is so good, and a lot of fun, to have other Model t folks to help you along.

For MTFCA:
mtfca

for MTFCI:
mtfci


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Emering on Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 11:24 pm:

I see that Lang's has the brass thrust washers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 01:23 am:

All the dealers have them. Birdhaven, Bob's, Chaffin's, Lang's, etc.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nevada Bob Middleton on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 12:26 pm:

If your rebiulding your rearend put brass ones in.
I had one babbit fail doing around 40mph E ticket ride say the least


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 12:42 pm:

Behold, the poster child for a babbitt thrust washer ready to blow.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 12:43 pm:

Excellent example, Walter !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Keppler, Fredon NJ on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 03:13 pm:

Gene I sent you a P/M


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 03:21 pm:

I don't think they were necessarily bad in their day, it's just that nobody foresaw the potential degradation. It's the same with old pot metal.
Nobody was supposed to be using these junky old cars this long. If you were to pour new babbitt washers today, they would probably hold up pretty well, but it just doesn't make sense from a labor / dollars standpoint.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Rogers - South of the Adirondacks on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 03:30 pm:

Well said Walter. Babbitt washers repeatedly and continually receive major abuse on the forum when in fact they served millions and millions of cars with great service. It's just the usual case of an original part that has greatly exceeded it's service life.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 03:58 pm:

Sometimes you find them in very good shape.





...and sometimes you don't.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Emering on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 04:13 pm:

Doug,

Does a PM show up in my email?
I do not see it yet.
Looks like we're neighbors.

Gene


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Keppler, Fredon NJ on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 05:04 pm:

yes Gene its suppose to


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Keppler, Fredon NJ on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 05:12 pm:

Gene if you don't receive the next P/M, send me one so I have your e-mail


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duey_C-west central, MN on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 10:18 pm:

Walter's post and what Tim brought up are interesting points with Tim's "they served million and millions of cars with great service".
Like pot metal of the day. They didn't know the thrust washers would degrade. Nice twist. :-)
Multiply that by the miles driven by all these cars! Millions of miles! With Babbitt thrust washers? :-) Yup.
I pulled the pot metal carb top off a 23 baby Overland earlier this year and the cover disintegrated in my hand. Oops. :-) :-/
Easy going, hearty thrust washers for the rear axle. For awhile...
Shoot, into the late 70's, word was not widespread yet that these Babbitt thrust were not safe to use.
I'm one of the many here that have since found otherwise.
We haven't changed. Those thrust washers were great for the "here and now", then.
Gene, did you order the rear axle repair book yet? It really IS that good. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, December 03, 2017 - 10:54 pm:

What Duey said. If you don't have the book, get it. My only quibble is that Glen is impartial about whether to use the stock pinion bearing or the Fun Projects replacement. It's FP for me every time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, December 04, 2017 - 03:20 am:

The amazing thing to me, is how good some original washers can look, and still be brittle with age. And it "mostly" is an age problem. More than 45 years ago (Criminy! Has it been THAT long?) I was working on my first model T. Some good friends told me it was a "good idea" to replace the Babbitt washers with the new "brass" ones (these people were and since well known for preferring original parts, just not those washers). So, while I had to replace a bad pinion bearing, I replaced the old washers also. After the job was done, I was walking back to the garage with a few tools to be put away and the most beautiful looking original Babbitt washer I have ever seen. While walking, I stumbled slightly in a gopher hole. My hand squeezed a bit, and that nice shiny new looking Babbitt washer snapped into three pieces. Didn't matter how nice it looked. At only fifty years of age, it was far too brittle to be safe. Imagine what another fifty years has done.

Brass (usually bronze technically) replacement washers have been available since the early '10s. Considering some ads from those days I have seen, apparently those Babbitt washers were known to fail more than rarely even when they were only a few years old. Generally, such a failure in those days was not a serious safety issue. Traffic was lighter (mostly), speeds were slower, yet rear end repairs were common. I have seen quite a few original era photos showing a model T, sitting in the road, with the rear end on blocks and apart. I can only wonder what broke? And that was then.


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