I have a new bell housing and am having trouble with the thrust washer that sits inside of it. It had an old fiber thrust washer in there when I took it apart. Now, upon assembly with a new steel washer, .088", the assembly was too tight to rotate. I rooted thru my pile of used washers and found a .084. Tried that. Still too tight to turn. I've been sanding it down, on a granite block with sandpaper. I've got it down to .083 and she turns now.
My question is: Do I keep reducing that steel washer to get my .005" of clearance inside the bell?
Why don't you use a fiber washer. Fiber is also easy to file down if it is too thick. If it is what I think it is, it is the washer between the two axle ends. Steel will cause wear on the axle ends but fiber will not. All this washer does is to keep the two ends separated. All the thrust is on the pinion gears in the differential.
I checked the catalogs and (including Chaffin's) did not see them. I have one for the unit I am working on but it beat to c*&p. So who sell them?
Chaffin's catalog, page 23 upper right part # 2506
That is the fiber washer that goes between the axles not the one that is between the bell and diff in a Ruckstell assembly. Chaffin's P171A page 18, but that is the steel type, which the same as the 2529 page 27 only a different thickness.
Well, now I have a whole new dilemma. I reduced the steel washer enough to give me .004 clearance inside the bell. All good there. Now, I've got the two axle housings bolted up, with the differential and full thrust washers in place and went to check how snug it was, expecting it to be too tight to turn without the gasket in place. It's loose as all hell. The whole thing is moving back and forth an eighth of an inch! This is with 2 new steel washers and a new brass thrust washer.
I'm wondering if my brand new bell housing is made wrong and causing both the initial problem and this one. IE: the bell may be shorter than its supposed to be? And to top it off, I advertised the old bell on the forum classifieds, free for the taking, and sent it off to NC yesterday. Now, I can't even compare measurements against the new one. Damnit. Has anyone used a new bell recently?
Go back to a new steel washer. Most times the pins in the bell are pressed in too far and bind up the whole assembly. tap them out a little from the inside and start over.
Do you have the P147 Gear locking notch plate in place? Ok I have only done a few Ruckstells and rear ends but I have yet put one together that I did not reduced the thickness of the brass washer. Have you set the pinion depth?
It's easy to leave un-needed parts out while just "setting up"... Especially in a Ruxtell axle. Sounds to me like you didn't put the lock plate behind the ball bearing. This would cause a considerable amount of end play between the carrier and the housings.
The lock plate is in place, seated on a clean surface and unbolted. Stan, during the inner steel washer setup, I had checked the inside height of the pins against a the new steel washer and drove them outward to fit the reduced shim thickness. I filed them shorter outside of the bell. They now sit slightly shy of both the inner and outer steel washers. I have not gotten to setting the pinion depth yet. I'm just trying to complete the end play process. Can someone give me stock bell dimensions?
Ruckstell did in fact use a fiber thrust washer. It's like the common steel ones, but is thicker. I believe it is about .105". Glen refuses to make this part, so I've always had to fabricate my own. Too bad.
The thrust washer will only change the setup inside the bell not the whole assembly when installed. From the face of the bell (outside) where the thrust washer sits to flange where the ring gear sits I get approx 3 1/4 inches, and approx 11/16 for the flange.
Sorry, I didn't read the original post right. I was thinking you had too much clearance inside the bell.
I'm still not exactly sure what is going on but my best guess is that the bronze plate is bent which is very common and will cause the problems you are having. Think of the tremendous thrust against that plate under heavy load.
The bronze thrust plate controls every other part position except the ball bearing.
How did you install the thrust ball bearing onto the bronze plate? Did you support the backside of the plate as you pressed the bearing on? If not, the plate may be collapsed inward, (or bent, as Stan describes), thereby shortening the length of the assembly and creating end play.
Could also have been bent when you got it, (not trying to blame you here )
Interesting about the bent bronze casting. I didn't need to press the bearing on, just tapped it with the wooden hammer handle. How can I check that plate? This end-play is going to effect where my ring gear sits and as it looks now, the ring gear is "low" in the housing. Is shimming between the bearing and the bronze plate ever done?
Mark. Thanks for those measurements. Any chance you could get an exact thickness of the bottom flange, where the bolt holes are?
Thanks Mark. I'm going to take it apart tonight and measure that bell flange and see what I can determine about the bronze thrust plate being slightly crushed.
So, the problem is resolved. No one asked the one magic question of me.
That question would be, "Are you sure that the ball bearing is facing the right way?"
There is definitely a right way for this bearing to go onto the bronze thrust plate. The inner race protrudes ever so slightly, maybe .050" beyond the outer race. That protrusion needs to bear against the bronze plate and the outer race needs to bear against the notch plate. If it's on backwards, the protrusion falls into the recess of the notch plate and gives you a whopping big amount of end-play.
Funny thing is that I put this rear back together exactly the way that it was when I took it apart initially. I had taken photos as it came apart and made sure to reference these upon re-assembly. The moral here is that you really can't trust that whoever had they're hands inside of whatever it is last were any better of a mechanic than you are. Reference the books.
Now, that being said, I scoured the books and watched the MTFCA videos by Fred many times before and during this undertaking. If this tidbit was addressed, I sure missed it.
I'm just thinking, is your bearing on backwards?
(Yes, I just read your posting above ) Glad you've got it figured out!
The large ball bearing SHOULD have "thrust here" on the inner race area that goes onto the bronze plate.
Funny Jerry! Actually, the side of the bearing that has the numbers and Made in USA is the side that goes toward the brass. So yeah, it almost does say thrust here. Now, I just have to wait for my backordered driveshaft and pinion bearing kit from Lange. Another 2 weeks out.
Lets dispell some miths here. The P171A and 2529 are the same part. The P171A was the part number assigned by Ruckstell to the fibre washer. I have an original fiber washer and it is the same thickness as the Ford washer We recommend using the Ford washer because it will not wear as fast as the fiber. The P139 thrust plate can be crushed inward by two means. If the internal differential assembly has too much internal clearance to the outer assembly the bronze thrust plate can be crushed inward due to lack of support. Second, when installing the ball bearing you must use the P145 thrust plate as a support under the P139 to prevent crushing it inward when pressing on the bearing. The P139 can be easily fixed by placing it on the P159 bell housing for support of the outer lip then gently pressing on the inner center of the P139 with a press untill the inward crushing has been corrected. Then mount the P211 ball bearing on P139 and place the assembly on a flat level surface and spin the P139 on the bearing. The P139 should spin with no verticle wobble. If you have the correct P211 bearing it does not have an inner race that is wider than the outer race. Both inner race and outer race have the same width dimension. If your bearing has a wider inner race you have the wrong bearing. The way to check the bearing for proper mounting is look at the width of the side of the outer race. The width will be wider on one side than the other. the wider side must be mounted so it rests on the face of the P147 notch plate. The thin side goes toward the P139 thrust plate.
All fiber washers were not the same thickness. I've seen 10 to 15 thou variation in thickness. This is NOT variation from swelling.
That said I've use steel washers without a problem. I just make sure there is proper internal clearance.
Thank you very much for your clarification, Glen. My bearing is made by New Departure and is number 0212. After looking more closely, the inner race is not wider than the outer but I definitely had it on there backwards.
Dave, If you need any additional help feel free to call 951-735-4791