Rear Axle Repair

A couple of years ago at the annual safety check Art Bent discovered stripped threads on one his touring car rear axles. The axle was repaired by cutting new threads with a slightly smaller metric die.  This year he decided it was time to replace the axles and rebuild the rear end. As is often the case the initial problem was only the tip of the iceberg.

First the gears were pressed off the old axles.  To do this the gear is pressed further onto the axle in order to remove the gear retaining clips. In this photo the end of the axle is resting on a bar at the bottom of the press.  The socket allows clearance for the portion of the axle that protrudes through the gear.

Seating the gear on the new axle

Seating the gear on the new axle

The rear end in Art’s car had been previously rebuilt by a mechanic who replaced the old babbit thrust washers with new bronze ones.  He did not however replace the worn-out thrust washer retaining pins.  One of the thrust washers needed to be replaced so it was used to extract what was remaining of the old pins.  The simplest way to extract the pins is to weld them to a worn-out washer or other piece of metal. 

Here a piece of flat iron with a hole in it is welded to the sheared off pin.

Here a piece of flat iron with a hole in it is welded to the sheared off pin.

When the rear end was assembled with the new axles there was too much lash between the ring and pinion and the pinion was in tough shape.  Les Schubert offered to come over and help with the project. The castle nut holding the pinion gear was only finger tight and the pinion gear was loose on the taper. Further inspection revealed damage to the Hyatt bearing race.

To be continued