I am rebuilding a Ruckstell and need at least one replacement axle. What is the quality of the new reproduction axles now?
I know on the O2O Tour a few years ago there were a few axle failures due to the shaft metal being too soft. Has this issue or other problems been corrected where the repro axles are considered good quality? Is there more than one manufacturer??
I was very happy with the reproduction axle shafts I got from Chaffin's. They have superior metallurgy compared to the OEM Ford originals.
They are 1/16 inch longer than stock to account for rear hub taper wear and to allow for the extra thickness of Rocky Mountain rear drums.
I did have to dress down my outer rear axle keys a bit to get them to fit tightly into the keyways. The inner keys and gears fit well without any modifications.
I wonder if the problem was the axle shaft OR
The use of some of the “improved/ replacement “ bearings??
I m aware of a number of instances where people have used a “cartridge style “ hub bearing that has cut into the axle shaft and the axle has broken. Certainly not the fault of the axle shaft.
If one of these cartridge style bearings is used it MUST be securely locked to the axle shaft. NO “fretting “ can be allowed to occur, for it to survive long term.
People don’t always post all the facts about failures unfortunately!!
Also beware of the old style leather inner grease seals with the spring steel stiffening "fingers". The fingers can wear a groove into the axle shaft, providing a perfect place for cracks to start.
Had a failure caused by the leather/saw construction of those grease seals in my 13 roadster. At night, in mountains, going up hill. I'll not forget that one. Cut into a bank( I hoped was there) to wreck it . Drainage ditch stopped it. No damage to car or passengers. Just lucky I guess. DON"T USE!
I put new axles and rear hubs from Langs on my car, and the quality is outstanding. Mixing old and new components in a precision assembly like a rear axle has never worked out very well for me. The resulting poor fits destroy the new parts and you are right back where you started. This time I bit the bullet and am so glad I did. BTW, Chaffins Rux parts are very good, too. I bought them through Langs as well. Good luck! Cheers, Bill
Brent -- You can get standard-length axles from Lang's. I have used several and never had a problem with them. They have the longer ones as well; some of the vendors have only the longer ones. The standard-length ones and longer ones are made by different manufacturers.
I used the Chaffin axles and thought they were extremely good, along with the ruckstell parts. I think you can get them stock length. I purchased the longer ones because they made much more sense.
I am surprised no one is making the new axles correctly. There is no need to make them longer!
And as far as the original Ford axle seals, the tangs won't wear into the axles, only the reproductions will. I have the repro retainers in my '25, and don't have any problems. The problem is the research on the reproductions! They didn't do their homework! I took a pair of them, and bent each tang to where it should be, and it's impossible for the tangs to contact the axle!
I apologize. I wasn't aware that Don is making correct axle shafts!
I purchased 2 new standard axles from Bob's. They fit perfectly. I am using the double taper Timken rear axle bearing assemblies. I have several thousand miles on them and no problems. I found the axles easy to install and the wheels fit perfectly.
The Timken style bearing kits were easy to install and they support the axle over the same spacing as the old Hyatt roller bearings.
These new style Timken sleeve kits are the same type of bearings that some new all wheel drive cars are using on front axles. They are a sealed unit and provide many miles of trouble free driving.
I suggest you buy the American made axles from Bob's as I know his fit and are USA made,
Thanks everyone for posting here or sending the PMs. I ordered a set this morning from one of my wholesale vendors as I decided to replace both axle shafts and then have one good spare should the need ever arise.
In reality, I decided I could probably use the additional 0.060" in length due to potentially worn hubs, so since that option was available, I did purchase the longer ones. I might see if I can find a tapered spiral flute reamer to true the inside of the hub by a few thou.
Mr. Hoffer, I did get a chuckle out of your comment about the rear end being a precision assembly. Please don't be offended by me laughing, as I am sure I am not taking that part serious enough however when I am machining something I tend to think of tenths as being precision, ...which I never seem to find those tolerances inside of a T rear end assembly. Please forgive me sir.
Thanks again everyone.
How can a hub wear if the hub is tightened properly?
Hey Larry, from my experiences there are basically two ways. First, as you eluded to, running the hub loose is a prime way and probably the most common. The second is an axle key gets broken/sheared and the axle spins inside of the tapered area.
A tapered reamer that will drop down inside of the hub will most likely self-center, and then a few twists will straighten the taper and remove any burrs or high-spots that might cause the hub not to center and tighten securely onto the axle taper.
It is rare to see a hub without wear. In a perfect world the axle nut gets checked and the hub stays tight. I would say that the damage was done years ago. Also when using rocky mountain brakes on a small drum, the extra distance comes in handy due to the stacked drums.
Brent, the Rux in my car as purchased would indeed have been lucky to have tolerances in the tenths. I am amazed somebody did not lose the brakes and wreck the car. The axles moved in and out more than 60 thou. Rebuilding the unit may have given me some more white hair, but everything is just right now! Good luck on the rebuild. Cheers, Bill
Larry, every hub and axle, that I have and have come across, has the key way worn and most have the end of the hub worn from the nut. So all were install incorrectly. I have to use shimms on all of my cars to keep the hubs from rubbing on the housing. I am very prudent about tightening them properly to stop further ware. Most people (non mechanics) won't tighten them in fear that they won't be able to get it back off. So SAD So.. to keep things moving down the road, I do what I have to do. Of course I could replace everything $$$$ and start over properly, but then it wouldn't be original.
When I find a hub that is worn, I discard it. I don't understand why anyone would want an imperfect hub in their car?
Are original axles ‘script’? Just curious. I had read somewhere, possibly an interview by Wandersee, that by the mid 20’s, that even at Ford they considered axle failures chronic?
Should that be the case, local replacements were probably made out of anything handy...and...the simplest scratch on a soft surface can lead to bending failure.
Later production axles are "script" - not sure of date but there's is an article in the Service Bulletins regarding placement of the "Ford" - I've seen/have earlier axles with the "Ford" on the barrel of the shaft - later they were stamped "Ford" in the hub keyway.
I meant to write "axle keyway" - not hub.
George, that's an interesting point to bring up. I wonder what was the most common cause, or if most failures were similar ? They had to have been pretty common, witness the number of "busted axle slings" still around. I don't know if the complexity of machining an axle shaft from stock would have been within the capability of most "rough 'n' ready" machining methods of the local blacksmith-cum-auto repair outfits ? Even back then the part from Ford would have been cheaper.
Probably part of my reason for asking. While I have all of Wandersee post process hardening specs...I DON'T have the knowledge of just how deep and what the heat affected zone trail-off might be for a typical cyanide bath! LOL, by the time I came along they had stopped teaching that stuff for most of the bad stuff.
I can also 'see' a Ford axle breaking after 1 billion cycles on a just because basis, and then the car going through axles a couple of times a year using home brewed axles and folks blaming 'that Ford'.
As an example, when the blind study was done on triple gear bush pins about a decade ago, there were a few that were slugs of wrought iron in the analysis that had been machined to be pins. In fact, there were an alarmingly few that fell into the Ford material spec for pins...local blacksmith mechanics prevailed there!
Steve T. Thanks for providing answer to my question...next time someone has a break, maybe they can look for a script logo...
Mark S. Any chance you still have those axle chunks? Be curious if they were script. The photo looks like the case hardening was put on mighty quick with no trail off going to core.