This is what I found today when I opened the rear axle housing!
You're 100% right. -Tie-wire is great; I use it on everything.
I drilled my oil plug sideways through the hexagon so I could safety-wire it. -Why? -So I risk stripping the threads by accidentally over-tightening the darned thing to the point where it couldn't vibrate loose and fall off. -Now, the safety-wire keeps it from unscrewing, no matter the vibration.
Same deal with my roller-timer. -It needs to be cleaned every three fuel-ups and tightening it down each time is bad for the threads. -Again, a short length of safety-wire eliminates the need to torque the bolt down hard.
Same deal with the drain at the bottom of my carburetor bowl. -I don't have to worry about it vibrating loose and gushing gasoline because it's held in place with safety-wire.
This tool, cheap as dirt at Harbor Freight, makes working with safety-wire a pleasure.
Bob, what gauge and type of wire do you use? Thanks, Bill
I use .020 in small tight areas, .032 where a little more tinsel strength is desired &.040 in easy to reach areas. JMHO
Why in the world would the head come off like that? There's no reason for it unless it struck something...
Note that the paint is "nipped" on the top of the bolt head. Same on the bolt to the left...only not as much. what would it be hitting ??that area of the rear has lots of space.
If we could see the underside of the bolt head you would see that this bolt broke along the area of the safety wire hole. At some point in it's past this bolt was over-torqued and then at a later time was removed and re-installed. this is why on aircraft all critical fasteners are one time use only. ALL bolts are stretched when torqued which does weaken them. This may not be a real dangerous issue in a "T" but I use new bolts any where that I don't want to open up again. JMHO
BTW Matt your Safety wire should look like this
This is also why you take Chaffin's advice and buy the CORRECT & expensive specially heat treated bolts for a Ruckstell ring gear.
I would suspect that the threads were buggered up and when you torqued the bolt, it did not turn in the threads but twisted partially off. Then as you drove it the pressure on the gear finally caused it to pop off. This is one of the weaknesses of the Ruckstell, especially when the car has a modified engine which has more power and speed. We had a member who broke off the bolts in his Ruckstell to ring gear at least two times that I know of. He also had an overhead conversion and a 3 speed gear box in front of the Ruckstel. Unfortunately, one of the times he had our Governor and it broke while crossing the Coronado to San Diego bridge with the governor! Anyway, Jerry is right. Be sure you have good bolts and that the threads are clean.
Matt, I pulled the axle apart that was under my T. The safety wire looked a bit like yours. When they twisted the two ends together, it just had two twists. Multiple bolts were loose.
Just reread my posting above. I didn't mean for it to sound as chiding as it does. By "you", I meant folks in general, not you personally. Sorry about that.
Matt's photo shows this can be a good case for violating the standard safety wire techniques and going with an overly stiff wire that connects all the bolt heads. the wire serves to both prevent the bolt from coming out and captures the remnants of the bolt if it breaks. It might let the bolt loosen a bit more than "proper" safety wiring but that is less critical in this situation.
My opinion, your mileage may vary.
Here is a link to a post I did a while back on safety wiring a ring gear.
Looks like the wire was to tight causing the bolt head to snap offt.
I am enjoying the discussion. Thanks for the correction that this is actually ďtie-wireĒ.
The rest of the story... the car this came off this car:
I am guessing that it was last driven before I was born. Maybe 50 plus years ago. At the very least I can say that I didnít do it and who ever did didnít log on this forum. I am not sure what access they had to the correct modern bolts. I imagine that they were a farm, this is a cut off touring.
The most interesting thing to me was that the Ruckstell was not hooked up. So whatever the lever was set to would determine if it was in high or low gear :-)
I love this old stuff;)
I had the same thing happen in a non-Ruckstell rear end. Some here speculate that the head popping off was caused by me shimming the ring gear. Sounded plausible to me at the time, but I can't swear why and can only speculate on what happened next, but what I think happened is that the bolt head came off for whatever reason and being safety wired in pairs, the head flopped around inside, unbeknownst to me, until the wire broke and then the head got between the gears. Whatever happened, the differential carrier busted into several pieces, but held together. My first knowledge was the car wouldn't back out of the shop. Upon disassembly, the carrier crumbled.
The bolt head was all rounded on the corners, it was obvious it had been slung around in there a long time. If it had been wired with heavy wire like above, it would probably still be driving just fine. I must admit, I put it back together with them wired in pairs like is said to be "Proper", but with all new bolts and ring gear, so hopefully it will last this time.
I always thought it was called safety wire?
I always want to learn new things including the correct terms:
Tie wire is the term I use for thick wire (aka mechanics wire) as I see on the differential I posted above. Some vendors call this tie wire. See: https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/63135
Safety wire is a twist wire method popular in aerospace applications and other mechanical moving parts. Here are some nice post on the forum:
When I put this back together I intend to use safety wire methods. I bought cheap tool from harbor freight, because I have only needed it the last time I did a rear end. I found it handy and will keep a look out for a nice used set.
I think there could be a good argument to wire all the bolts together. It seems like if the heads break, this would be the best scenario.
Okay now for the amazing part. Look at the washer, it is still there!
It came right off, it was only held by grease!
It wouldn't surprise me if the wire they used on Matts Ruckstell was bailing wire!
In that part behind the head of the bolt it looks like a crack? Is it a crack? perhaps something more than a defective bolt caused it to break off. and also caused the crack.
I use 0.041" stainless-steel wire. -Easy enough to find at Harbor Freight or your local hardware store.
Good eyes there, Norm ! I believe it is and that's the Ruckstell internal ring gear !
I cleaned all the grease off, and put it away in a box. I need to get it out and see!
I donít see any cracks on the casting.
Here are more photos:
Another bolt broke at the threads:
I think the reason that these broke was that these were over tightened. They were very tight.
Also this bolt was holding the differential together:
Do you see where the boat is beginning to neck on the threads? Clearly visible went above itís recommended tensile strength.
I enjoy this old stuff!
Well, that is a 'keeper' to add to a shadow box of unusual finds in a Ford engine :-)