So here goes....I'm going to tackle rebuilding the rear end on my 24 Touring.
I figured I'd start a thread for just this project, separate from the build threads (2017 and 2018) for my car, because this looks to be sort of a build of its own.
I'm not a novice mechanic, but I am learning Model T's for the first time so I'll be looking to this super knowledgeable community for advice, knowledge and tips as I go along.
First things first. Removal.
In addition to the rear end rebuild, I'll be changing out the wheels to a very nice set of original 21" wheels, rims, etc (see below)and will probably need to swap out spring shackles. I'll also take a look at rear brakes, the overall condition of the spring set itself, the driveshaft and I'll be replacing the spare tire carrier with one for 21" rims.
So...taking all that into consideration, would it be prudent for me to just take out the whole unit...rear spring, axle, wheels, radius rods, driveshaft and all....as one big chunk?
Here's the rear of the car as it sits now.
I can't think of a reason not to.
Just finished rebuilding the rear end on my 25 Touring. I separated the rear axle from the spring, unbolted the drive shaft and took out the axle, radius rods and driveshaft all at one time.
ps-buy the chaffin book on rebuilding the front and rear axle if you haven't already. Great info.
That seems to be the common practice Rick...and a good one.
But I'd also like to clean up the spring, check it's overall health (and the shackles) and check for rust under the rear crossmember, and maybe treat that area with phosphoric acid.
That's why I'm wondering if it wouldn't make sense to just pull the spring along with everything else.
Steve....I'll be reviewing your video for hints on where to place jack stands, etc to support the body.
I follow you. In my case the body was already off as I am doing a full resto. The rear spring was next off after the axle and drive shaft.
For me the perfect support is a six foot piece of 2x2 square tubing in front of the spring. The home made stands are about 27" high.
I've never taken the rear end out with the spring attached, but there may be a downside.
If you leave the spring in the car when removing the rear end, it is pretty easy to disconnect the spring shackles. At some point, as the axle is lowered,
you will find that there is no load on the shackles. Right then you can knock the shackles out and then proceed to lower the axle the rest of the way.
If you remove spring and all, you may find that the spring will bind the shackles, making them hard to disconnect. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.
Photo shows the axle & driveshaft going back in, but it's pretty much the same as coming out. The axle support bolted to the floor jack is shamelessly copied from Steve Jelf's video, and
extremely useful. But in building the support, you will need to determine the length for the uprights to clear the bottom of the pumpkin and yet allow the whole support/jack unit to fit
under the axle when the car is on the wheels.
Hmmm....now I'm mulling this over in my mind Dick.
If that spring is just hanging there from the crossmember and you can get the shackles disconnected and then reconnected while it's just hanging there, why wouldn't that same thing occur while the whole unit (spring and all) is out of the car?
Maybe the biggest downside would be the ungainliness of the dang thing as a huge unit.
I removed the muffler and used a 4x6x8 to hold the body up, removed the Axle, driveshaft assembly as one unit
"If that spring is just hanging there from the crossmember and you can get the shackles disconnected and then reconnected while it's just hanging there, why wouldn't that same thing occur while the whole unit (spring and all) is out of the car? "
It depends on the final curvature of your spring with no load on it. As you jack the axle down you will see the shackles rotate through an arc. In my case, there was one point at which there didn't seem to be any load on the shackles, so that's where I disconnected.
You can also get some slack in the shackles by loosening the perch nuts at the backing plates. When reinstalling the axle, it seems to makes things easier if you leave the perch nuts very loose as you raise the axle. With the perches sorta sloppy, you can move them into a position where the shackles go together more easily.
Disclaimer: This advice from a guy who has only done the job once. Would love to hear input from more experienced folks.
Because of the height limitations of my jack stands, I had to disassemble the rear end. Took the wheels, and spring off to get the axle low enough, to get past the wheelwells. I also had to remove the radius rods (also driveshaft), to get past my jack stands.
Don - I believe that what Dick Fischer is telling you is that if you remove the rear end and spring from the car as a unit by detaching the spring from the rear crossmember, you may need a "spring spreader" to detach the spring from the rear end. This is because without the weight of the car pushing down on the spring and spreading it, there will be spring tension on the shackles which prevents their removal, and subsequent SAFE removal of the spring from the rear end.
On my 1923 Touring, here is the process my son and I did:
I took off the muffler, and disconnected the emergency brake rods from the front under the transmission, unbolted the driveshaft from the transmission.
Using two floor jacks, one on each side of the rear end. we jacked the car up, removed the wheels, placed the 4x6x8 under the frame in front of the springs and axle using two jack stands. Then lowered the axle till there was no tension on the springs, simply unbolted the shackles, and removed the complete assembly including the driveshaft assembly, radius rods, and emergency brake rods.
Putting back was fairly easy, placed the axle on two floor jacks, jacked it up to meet with the transmission, then the shackles and put the bolts in, took two guys, one shackle needed a little movement to hookup. The most difficult area was getting the universal joint on the transmission shaft, All in all very straight forward installation.
Hope this helpsÖ
Looks like I'll be sticking with the tried and true "Jelf Method" :-)
(yes...I know...it probably predates Steve by about a hundred years...but it does sound nifty)
Enjoy every moment of your first rebuild!
I did last summer with mine.
Dick's suggestion is on target. When you remove or install the shackles loosen the perch nuts but don't remove them. With the perches loose you don't need to mess with spreading the springs. This should apply whether the spring is in the car or out.
Here is something else that I was told to do and which worked very well.
When reinstalling the rear axle, I assembled the shackles and perches to the spring (both sides of spring). Then, as I raised the axle, I was able to manipulate the perch ends into the backing plate. As the axle continued upward, the perch shafts went far enough through the backing plate that I could start the big nuts. I continued to tighten the nuts until the perches were pretty much seated in the backing plates. I didn't fully tighten the nuts because the perches might need to rotate a bit as the spring reached its final position. Once the spring was raised enough to slightly lift the car, I torqued up the perch nuts.
That's why I started this thread.
The impressive amount of knowledge available here and the willingness to share it.
It will certainly make this task easier and more enjoyable.
Hopefully tomorrow is axle removal day.
In anticipation, I removed the two grease caps from near the drums to to see if there was any hope of anything cleaning up during the rebuild.
Now I know that these are a far cry from indicating the condition of the whole rear end but hey....it could be a good omen.
Hereís before and after a quick wire brushing.
The greasy parts are always the best preserved! Good luck with the rest of it.
It too the better part of my Saturday, but I managed to remove the rear end.
Hereís where my T is residing until my shop gets built.
I decided that Iíd try my idea of lifting the rear of the car then pulling the rear end and wheels and spring as a unit.
First step was to take the ball cap loose, then the spring from the rear cross member.
Then I positioned my engine hoist behind the car, removed the rear floorboard and placed a piece of heavy steel square tubing under the frame and wrapped a chain around it.
Next I jacked up the rear of the car and the spring and rear end fell out as a single unit. I did have to nudge it a bit as the car was lifted, but not a lot.
Then, since the rear wheels weíre still attached, the whole unit, from the ball cap back just rolls out. This is where a chain fall attached to a beam would make things easier. The engine hoist is kind of in the way and I had to push the axle back and over to the side to get them both out while placing the frame on jack stands.
Iím glad I decided to go this route. One leaf of the spring set was broken in half. And I also noticed this....a cracked rear crossmember.
However, I had the unit out as a whole and it was really easy to roll it to the garage for tearing down.
Didnít take long to remove the torque tube and rear wishbones.
Then I split the main housing and got my first look at the gears, etc. The first thing I noticed was that the Babbitt thrust washers were still in place and although intact, they were in pretty deplorable condition.
The ring gear teeth arenít missing and big chunks and donít seem to be too beat up.
Thatís where I left it for the evening.
I have Chaffinís rear axle booklet and Iíll dig into it starting tomorrow. Iím sure Iíll also have a lot of questions for you fine folks here on the forum.
A good day's work. Bravo! Good luck with your project, Bill
NOW I see why you asked about dropping the entire assembly out.
So you could roll it up to the garage! :-) Like!
You got a lotta SXXX done today.
You can wait until the car is mobile again to have the cross member welded up if you wish.
That way you could drive it over to a buddy's place to have it done. :-)
Very interested in your build. :-)
Thanks for the pix, Don. I plan to pull my axle tomorrow, and your images are a big help to anticipate what is coming. Cheers, Bill
And, for what itís worth....regarding the question about whether the spring would be readily detatachable from the shackles with the whole unit out of the car.....
It was super easy. The spring set was totally floppy and wasnít binding at all.
Apart from the engine hoist getting in the way, this is the perfect way to pull an axle for rehab...especially if you need to look at the u joint, ball cap, etc.
What would make this ideal would be a shop with a chain fall coming from above.
You better do some checking! You have 21" rims, going on a 30X3 1/2 tire carrier and a 1926 spare rim carrier.
Good eyes Larry.
I already have plans to modify the spare carrier to fit the 21Ē rims.
Iím not going to use the 1926, y-shaped carrier if anyone needs one.
The gears and bearing surfaces look really good so far (I havenít taken apart the driveshaft and pinion gear yet).
Now the dumb questions begin....and there will be a lot them. Hopefully yíall will have patience with me.
(Message edited by Rustyfords on March 26, 2018)
First question....when I was rolling axle around and when I spin the gears on the bench in the configuration shown below, theyíre really noisy. Almost like a rock crusher transmission. Is this because of the square cut gears?
The more modern gear sets Iíve messed with are almost noiseless.
Do you mean when you spin the gears as indicated below? That's pretty normal as you don't have the other axle and the separator disc in place to properly space the gears apart. In the "gear world", we'd say you're running in "tight mesh" and that would be noisy.
Really, all of you gears look pretty nice.
Oops. Forgot the picture...
That makes sense Jerry. Thanks for the response.
I'm building a list of items I'll need to purchase to complete the rebuild.
First up, I think, is one new axle. I'll try to chase these threads but I think they're too far gone.
There's nothing left to chase. It's done...
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too Jerry.
So....my purchase list begins with things I know I'll need:
- Axle (1)
- Axle Nuts & Cotter Pins (2)
- Thrust Washers (2)
- Main Housing Seal (1)
- Sleeve Puller (1)
And then continues with things I have questions about:
- Outer Bearings and Seals. I'm definitely not going to go back with the original style outer felt seals. Does it make sense to buy the expensive, one-piece set that eliminates the sleeve and has the modern bearing, seals, etc all encompassed in one unit? Or...is the better choice to keep the old style outer bearings and sleeves and buy the neoprene outer seals that eliminates the aluminum outer cup? If I go with the one piece outer bearing/seal unit that would prevent me from possibly having to buy new sleeves and outer bearings (if they're bad).
(Message edited by rustyfords on March 26, 2018)
If it were me, I would replace both axle shafts. Even if the threads are good on the other old shaft, it might have a crack somewhere, eventually resulting in:
Wow Mark....so much carnage on the inside of that brake drum.
Not to mention the "fun" that must've been when it turned loose.
You've convinced me. Two axle shafts now on the list.
I'm considering these modern bearings (inner and outer) and eliminating the Hyatt bearings.
This will be the only T I'll ever build and I'll never sell it. So, I don't really care about getting my money out of the car. I tend to overbuild my car projects and this looks like my kind of overkill.
So...other than the cost, is there a downside to them?
I just installed a set last fall along with new shafts. I had to polish the shafts some to get the bearings to slide on. When all installed they worked very well and love them. Just make sure both the inner and outer bearing assy slides on the shaft BEFORE installing the gears. I also added the adjustable pinion bearing , sealed all with black sealant and has worked well and quiet. I also filled the rear with Amsoil and runs well.
Don, if it's within your budget you might want to consider installing floating hubs. I used the hubs from Birdhaven when I rebuilt my Ruckstell last year. Apart from the added safety benefits, these hubs take the weight of the car off your outer bearings (Hyatt or otherwise) and distribute it directly to the axle tube itself. Further, if you break an axle, you won't lose the wheel. Check them out, I believe the increased safety was worth the extra expense.
Based on the experiences of a fellow club member, I would not choose those bearings for a car of mine. I suppose others have had good experiences with them, but I would choose a different bearing. Cliff's suggestion of floating hubs would be good choice, I believe.
Thanks Cliff. I agree that the floating hubs seem like the ultimate solution.
Jerry, please expand on the experiences you mentioned.
I don't know if the manufacturer is the same, but that style of bearing wore a deep groove in my buddy's axle shaft, leading to a break. He put in a new axle and another bearing of the same type, with the same result. Not trying to bash the current supplier's product. Just saying what happened.
I'm on the fence...and admittedly out of my element with Model T's.
Although my car will have the "farm-used" look, I do intend to drive it...a lot and sometimes hard. This is a departure from my original intent for the usage of the car, because the more I work on it and coax it back to life, the more I love the old thing. I'll almost certainly will take it to the Texas T Party and similar gatherings.
Any upgrades that I can make that will be invisible (or almost invisible), I probably will make. I don't want to run an alternator or a distributor because I think those things take away from the overall experience of operating a T. For instance, the wooden buzz coils are just cool, and very much a part of running a T in my book, as is a good functioning magneto.
But things like modern bearings that are buried within an axle or pinion, or upgraded valves or a Scat crank (also hidden from sight and mind)...I'm all for upgrading them.
A couple questions:
- If you use the floating hubs, what do you use for the inner bearings?
- I plan on building and installing a Ruckstell in a few years. If I buy and install the floating hubs now, I'm wondering if I can transplant the floating hubs from my standard axle to the Ruckstell when I upgrade.
Well Don, the bearings you show may indeed be a different animal than what my buddy used. They look the same to me, but I'll admit I may be incorrect about that. It was probably 8 or 10 years ago that he had his trouble. Maybe this product has not been out that long. Let's see if anyone else can add their experiences with that exact bearing. Eck seems to like them.
The floating hubs will transplant nicely into a Ruckstell rear end - the axles are the same whether in a standard rear end or Ruckstell. I used an inner bearing similar to the one Don shows.
Don, if you go for the floating hubs you have to chop off about 1" of the axle tube on the outer end. Not difficult to do, I used a grinder with cutting wheel. That, for me, was the most difficult part. Same operation required whether standard rear, or Ruckstell.
The instructions from manufacturer were very detailed and easy to follow. You can download them from the Birdhaven website if you want to take a look before making a decision.
I continue to find and enjoy ancient farm repairs on my car as I go through it.
Hereís a nail used as a cotter pin on the rear axle nut
Don, I have no experience with floating hubs, but quite a few people do use them and nowadays I think I would consider it.
I am also with others, replace both axle shafts for piece of mind. You wont see any of it once assembled.
Unless your housing is perfectly straight, I would not use that modern bearing. I believe in my opinion that is what causes the funny wear people experience. The hyatt bearing is flexible, and can move and conform to any irregularities. The modern bearing cant really move around if the housing is slightly tweaked.
If you keep you hyatts all around, measure the rollers. You'll probably find the inside bearings can be serviceable for the outside. And more than likely you'll have to find another pair to put back on the inside. Rollers spec out at .500" Usually .495"-.500" is sufficient for the outside. I would rather not use anything below .495" if possible, but I suppose even down to .490" would be fine. I would use something like that on the inside if it were me.
Good info Chad. Thanks.
It's unclear on Birdhaven's site if the floating hubs are $515 for the pair or $515 apiece. $515 for a pair is expensive, but worth it I think. $1030 for a pair is another story.
(Message edited by rustyfords on March 29, 2018)
That nail through a nut is a familiar sight. It seems a lot of old timers had nails and baling wire in their repair kits.
Another Vendor sells these at 265 each. I would guess from that that the 500+ figure is for both. Call him.
I'm leaning heavily toward the floating hubs.
As these cars are approaching and reaching the 100 year mark, I do spend some time thinking about metal fatigue...particularly in bearings, axles, rotating assemblies, steering components, etc.
Hyatts are fine, very good.
How is the rebuild going?
Don, I am surprised that no-one has commented on your rear spring. In addition to the broken leaf, you are missing three to leafs. The long centre bolt in an earlier photo tells me someone had been in there. The log thread is a further indicator of missing leafs.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I envy Steve Jelf's abilities with a camera. However, sometimes his posts are just too good.
If I had taken the photo of his car propped up on that 2 x 2" steel section with my not-so-smart phone, from my usual too far away viewpoint and with my usual camera shake and lack of focus, it would not have revealed that the brake shoe springs were on in the wrong orientation!
With the two piece shoes, the open end of the spring should be on the outside. That way the spring tends to pull the shoe back towards the backing plate, rather than rock it out towards the drum. This is not important if the new one piece lined shoes are installed in one piece, but that is another story.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I have rebuilt 4 rear ends and have used the original bearings for the inner and the sealed modern for the outers. There is not a whole lot of load on the inners. They also receive constant gear oil and very rarely fail.
Craig...the axle build is on schedule despite the fact that not much is happening. I'm building my parts list and want to place my parts orders all at once.
I'm going to buy a micrometer this week to measure my Hyatt bearings. If they're within spec, I may just reassemble the rear end now with the Hyatt bearings, new axles, thrust washers and seals (leaning toward the modern seals). The plan is the upgrade to a Ruckstell in a few years and when that happens, I'll seriously consider upgrading to floating hubs.
And thanks Allan, for pointing out the springs issue. I think it might be worth it to add a new set of springs to the parts list.
Thanks for the suggestion Phillip. I hadn't considered going half Hyatt, half modern.
It's yet another option for me to consider.
I'll have to make up my mind soon.
With one child in college and two teenagers at home, my main restriction on working on my T is time.
But I do squeeze in some T-time whenever possible.
This morning I took measurements on my Hyatt bearings. The worst measurement I found was .4975 and the best was .4990
Would yíall consider these to be usable?
If the cages are tight and the rollers aren't pitted, yes. In a recent discussion of Hyatt bearings some of the guys with many years of Model T experience said they have never found one, even NOS, that measured the full .500".
Next question...how do you remove this gear from the axle shaft? Do you need a hydraulic press?
Iíve looked in Chaffinís book and the Service Manual and canít find an answer thatís descriptive enough.
First you need to "press" the gear down towards the taper, remove the 2 split keepers then "pull" the gear off.
Don, yes you need a good heavy duty press. You first have to press the gear slightly onto the axle to remove the c-clips, then you can press the gear off the axle.
A HF 12 ton got mine off. The only problem with this press was the height from the press table to the floor. Too short. I purchased some steel u channel and will add about a foot to the press height. These are tight but pressed off with no problem.
Don, I am closing in on my Rux rebuild. If you buy a HF press, go 20 tons. It is a few more bucks, but more capacity is a good thing. To remove the old gears, I put the cross beams all the way down in the lowest pin setting, then put the heavy steel plates at the bottom and rested the gears against them with space for the axle to pass through. Axle facing up. I put the axle nut on the tapered end to protect the threads, then started pumping. I thought the whole thing would explode after a bit, and then the gear moved with a BANG! Continue pressing until the keepers are clear and remove them. Then put the cross beams at the highest setting, support the gear again with the heavy plates and axle hanging down, and press the axle through from the tapered end. Easy. Had a torch to warm the gears but did not need it.
PS Lang's / Chaffin's parts are awesome. Hope somebody picks up the ball.
If you cut the old axle an inch or so from the gear with a chop saw it makes it a little easier to handle when pressing the gear off.
Just out of curiosity...does this axle shaft stamping
Indicate the type of steel Ford used (I think it says EE)
It doesn't actually matter if the old bearings are worn... as long as they're worn evenly you can put a sheet of shim metal between the housing and the sleeve, If you have 10 thousandths movement, add a 5 thou' sheet.
The inner Hyatt bearings aren't usually worn as bad as the outer. If you have another old axle to take apart you can use the inner bearings in another rebuild if the axles aren't worn excessively.
Don, if the axles are toast, it is far easier to remove the gears if you cut the axle off leaving just the inner bearing surface intact. That way you can fit the stub into the press easily to push the gear on to get at the circlips.
Be very careful pressing the gears onto the new axles. If for any reason you have to start loading up the pressure, you run a grave risk of bowing your new axle. It is good if you can support the tapered end in an old hub rather than push on the thread or just a nut on the end.
If things look like getting too tight, a close fitting tube steel collar around the shaft will help keep things straight.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Thanks for the wisdom Kep, John and Allan.