1914 Wide Track Rear Axle Housing Bent. Looking for information or someone who could straighten both right and left rear axle housings.
Boynton Beach, FL
Find a Model T club in your area and a member with a press. A club member in Dallas and I straightened a Ruckstell housing using his press. Its not difficult but you need someone willing to take the time to caress it.
How would you straighten a bent rear axle housing? Bolt the two halves together then block up the two halves of the shaft housings toward the ends with the high side down and press down on the pumpkin with the press? How easy would it be to crack or break the cast iron? Is it necessary to use heat? Jim Patrick
Where is the bend. I would be a little surprised that is is in the centre section and not in the tube
The bend is halfway between the pumpkin and the outer (wheel) end of the axle housing.
Well then i think that Ted has answered your question.
I would not follow your suggestion
Hi Les. My rear axle isn't bent and I have never had a bent rear axle housing so I was just curious as to how one would go about straightening one or even if it was possible. Just about the only force strong enough to bend a rear axle housing would seem to be if the car were involved in a major accident and if that were the case, I'm willing to wager, a bent housing is not the only problem the car has.
My hypothetical question was based on the assumption that, perhaps both tubes were bent down the same degree caused by jacking the Model T under the pumpkin instead of at the wheel. If that were the case, I think my suggestion might be the way to go, but now we find out from Steve that it is bent in the center of just one tube, possibly caused by running over a big rock, stump, or other hard object and, in that case, I would have no idea how to correct it. Thank you, though. Jim Patrick
Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: Straighting a six rivet rear end
By bill leahy on Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 10:24 pm:
some time ago richard gould provided information on a fixture for straightening a bent rear end. i just finished making the fixture and have repaired the bends in the pictured rear axle housing. there was a 1/4" bend which has been reduced to .20th. the pictures were taken with my cell phone so i apologize for the poor quality. thanks richard.
once the rear end half was bolted to the fixture i placed a jack under the outer end and used a torch to heat shrink the tube. it took multiple shrinks to accomplish the task.
Just remember, if you use heat, use it to shrink the high side, not to try to stretch the low side. Dave
We straightened my axle tube by just supporting the ends of the tube and bumping the high side. When the axle and 0.500 bearings with new sleeves all slipped nicely together we quit.
When I said high side down, I was referring to the tubes. Had I been referring to the pumpkin, I would have said high side up. That way when the press is pressing down on the pumpkin it should bring the tubes up into alignment. Sorry for any misunderstanding. Jim patrick
You need to straighten each axel housing separately. Bills photos shows the method I use. Although not pictured, the axel end of the fixture has a large plug that fits into the inner bearing hole. You will likely have a more severe bend in one housing than the other, or the other may be fine. If you bolt the two together and bend as a unit, and press as a unit, you risk compounding the problem. If you put pressure on the cast steel pumpkin, you might bend it. I know they can be sprung, I've had one like that.
Steve, one more thing. You asked if someone straightens them. The Tin Shed does it, and Stan Howe may take it on.
Loco Larry used heat to fix my 1913 tubes and they are dead nuts on !
yes, the other side of the fixture does have a snug fitting "plug". i didn't have a picture of the other side handy when i did the post.
Picture of Wide Track Axle housings, do you think these can be fixed?
Picture of Wide Track Axle housings, do you think these can be fixed?
Bill & Richard,
I generally understand how you are straightening an axle housing but I do have questions. 1)Where are you measuring runout? Are you measuring it on the backing plate surface or on the tube? I assume it has to on a machined surface otherwise measuring it down in the thousandths would be impossible. 2) How is the outboard (tailstock) end supported? There is a mention of a tight fitting plug. Is the plug center drilled and set up in the lathe center? 3) On the inboard (headstock) end of the axle does the plug shown in the fixture go into the lathe chuck? If so I assume it centered with a dial indicator before the axle is put in place.
Any other clarifications or thoughts on the process. Thanks.
Those wide track housings really look like they have been welded together and that that is where the bend is. Did Henry actually weld them together???? I am just guessing that someone made these up and didn't do a very good job. If it is a weld then I would suggest cutting them apart at the weld. Then carefully bore them to clean up on each side and make a line up sleeve to closely slip inside. Then tack weld them on 4 sides and make sure they stay straight (way easier to grind out a tack weld and adjust). Then give it a nice not too big "root" pass and recheck it for straight. Ideally you want to have it set up so it can be turned as you weld it so that you do the pass in one continuous weld (once around in about 1 minute). Assuming it is still straight then a next pass around. Then probably a cap pass and then grind it all smooth. A GOOD pipeline pressure welder would be the right guy. They do it everyday for a living.
Maybe you should sell them to me and I will take care of it;-)
(Jim Patrick) Quote: "How easy would it be to crack or break the cast iron?"
They're not made of cast iron, they're made of cast steel.
I don't think the cast iron that Henry used back then would stand up very well in this application.
the picture of the fixture is the portion which is placed in a "collar" which is chucked in the headstock. there is a corresponding "plug" which fits in the proximal end of the housing in the location of the inner bearing sleeve. the run out was measured at the outer bearing location at the tail stock end. the only support at that point was the scissor jack. the lathe was turned by hand for rotation while the whole assembly rotated in the above mentioned collar. i suppose better pictures would help. richard can probably explain the process much better than i.
It's a long way to ship them, but Loco Larry did mine too. He has a face plate just like the one pictured and uses heat only. I don't think I've seen him use a jack. He gets them to run true within .001-.002. His business is called the Tin Shed.
Thank you Ken. That makes sense. I stand corrected. I suppose just about every part on the Model T was cast steel. Which parts were cast iron? Jim Patrick
Lots of the parts of my T are cast iron;
1. engine block and head and front cover and transmission cover and flywheel and transmission drums and original cam gear
2. rear axle housing and backing plates
3. Front and rear hubs
And other things that I have missed.
Steel is not easy to cast even today
The T had lots of small steel forgings and some not so small like the crankshaft.