Leather rear axle seals

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Les Schubert
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Leather rear axle seals

Post by Les Schubert » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:29 am

Apparently these are no longer available.
Personally I really like them as I found them to be extremely “forgiving “.
So I’m thinking about making some. The formed leather part is pretty simple. The round disc of spring steel is also simple. The formed spring washer is slightly trickier, but with Laser cutting shouldn’t be too hard.
Any interest?

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Ruxstel24
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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:12 am

Les, I have a box full of leathers and washers AND the dies to make them all, including the spring washers...
I used to sit and make them as a boy, I forget, $0.25 per 100 ? Then the old man sold them to Snyder’s.
If you’re interested, send me an email, Dave

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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by CudaMan » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:32 am

Just be careful not to let the spring steel fingers rub on the axle shaft, or eventually they will wear a groove that acts as a place for cracks to start. I found out the hard way.
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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by DanTreace » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:09 am

Would agree with Mark. While haven't experienced a fractured axle from the spring toothed washer of the Ford leather rear axle seal, still prefer the much better modern rubber seals from Chaffin's with the long flexible nose.


Ford didn't add that hardened spring toothed washer until the last, had the leather boot in place, but only came out with that washer in the last year, June of 1926. Don't think Ford thought that washer though, they did know the leather warped and allowed seepage, so did add that spring washer to try to hold the leather nose around the axle.

Note the new 'washer' added as part # 2511B for the #2511 leather.
Leather washer Ser Bull.jpg
Leather washer Ser Bull.jpg (119.32 KiB) Viewed 668 times

The better IMO is the modern rubber, long flexible nose, these work fine for my T's.


As for the hardened spring toothed washer of the Ford design, note this one on the right. Pulled from rear end, and the leather boot is almost worn gone, and you can clearly see how the hardened teeth of the Ford late design can rub and wreck a good axle shaft. :(

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Improved leather type seals were already in the aftermarket, this one is patented with coil springs, better idea than Ford, if the coil got loose only would run in circles around that spinning axle. ;)

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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by John Warren » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:30 am

Hi Guys, I have thought about this some for a while. I have been installing a bearing/seal setup on most of my model T's. It works well with a modern bearing and seal. I would also like to see a free floating seal that could be used with stock bearings. The modern seals for this don't float and can't follow the axle. Our Model T's have some movement that was built in. Here is a sketch of what I had in mind. It would use a stock seal retainer with a floating seal and retainer pushed inside before installation. This setup only requires one seal at the wheels and now all the bearings can run in the rear axle oil, like a modern car.
model t axle seal.jpg
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Les Schubert
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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by Les Schubert » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:38 am

Thank you for the responses. Some things to think about. Personally, in 45 years of T driving there are probably many things I haven’t experienced. I quite like the one with the coil spring and leather. I might try making some


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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:40 am

John

there exists a free floating seal...Dan has one pictured on the left side of his picture. It works very well.

regarding seals at the outer end, you are right...the axle flexes enough that they always get beat to death and become useless. So long as differential oil is kept out of the grease (and the seal Dan shows does just that), the grease stays put with FORD's felt seals just fine anyway.

I believe that Chaffin's makes/markets the seal. It's excellent.
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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by Original Smith » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:03 am

I have a bunch of Ford script leather washers somewhere, and the retainers to go with them. The problem with the reproduction retainers that were made a few years back, is the idiots that made them had too much tension on the lugs. When I used them on my '25, I bent each one of them up so they couldn't dig into the axle. Common sense!

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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:02 pm

Ignore that noise. Just keep driving. :D

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ORIGINAL Leather rear axle seal

Post by Dropacent » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:44 pm

Larry, do you work at being that rude, or does it just come natural to you? Mr Hanlon and his friends were some of the early pioneers in supplying replacement parts back in the 1950s and 60s. Cottage industries were all over Ohio and elsewhere and were integral to the success of Snyder’s and others. Some of the best wiring harnesses I’ve ever seen were made by a friend and neighbor of Mr. Hanlon. Dave’s been selling them for better than a year now, and I believe Bobs auto has the remaining few now. To get back on topic, here is an original NOS leather axle seal. I will bet money when Dave’s dad made these seals they were good, and correct, and much better than when these things were then made in Argentina and the Far East.
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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by henryford2 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:18 pm

Well put Tim, there is no place in this forum for needless criticism. It's value is in the opportunity to constructively share members experience and knowledge as it relates to the Model T Ford.
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Re: Leather rear axle seals

Post by Original Smith » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:38 pm

I don't call making parts that dig into your axles rude! I call it dumb! I have a number of original script leather seals like Tim posted. As I recall, they started using them in 1925, but I can be off on that.

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