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  • Differential tools

    I spent the afternoon finishing up my differential tools. I gathered up some pieces from my scrap pile and tool box drawers, a few pieces I bought at Home Depot. I have a miniature lathe that I've used a lot over the years to turn out small pieces for special purpose tools. It came in real handy this time. I wanted to have the ability to check bearing preload and ring to pinion backlash, so there are a few pieces sticking out here and there to provide a base for a dial indicator. I've been dragging the old Black & Decker Workmate around for over 35 years and it continues to come in handy for small jobs. A few pieces of wood bolted to the work bench and cut to fit an axle housing are adequate for holding the assembly. I found some button head allen bolts to turn down making guide pins for the axle housings to the differential housing. Drilling a hole through the spider cross just didn't make sense to me, so I fabbed a tool that tightens in one side of the differential from mating surfaces that expand when the threaded stock is tightened. That is the only purpose of the threaded stock, the pipe with the 5/8" nut, (15/16" wrench), on the top end provides the means of turning the differential inside the housing. Two of the photos are of the cleaning brush I made for the inside of the axle housings to clean all the old grease and oil out. Taking my pressure washer would push the grease from one end to the other so I drilled some small holes in a rod and wired an old brush to it. A little gas and some scrubbing got the insides of the housings nice and clean. So to me the brush was an essential tool as it got the job done faster and easier than a high pressure washer. I have yet to make a dolly for the complete assembly to roll under the car which I'll make from some oak salvaged from an old piece of furniture. A few casters will be all that I'll need to round up.
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    Last edited by Dennis; 01-07-2018, 09:38 PM.

  • #2
    Good information thank you.

    mike
    Michael
    1928 speedster
    1929 closed cab p/u
    1930 standard roadster
    1931 deluxe tudor sedan
    1967 ss/rs conv.camaro

    Comment


    • #3
      That 50lb snapon torque wrench is my favorite.

      Comment


      • Dennis
        Dennis commented
        Editing a comment
        The 3/8" clicker? It's 100lb. The dial indicator wrench is 150 inch pounds.
        Last edited by Dennis; 01-06-2018, 02:22 AM.

      • CM2
        CM2 commented
        Editing a comment
        couldnt see the dial,the snapon fifty pounder looks the same..

    • #4
      Nice work Dennis

      We can add your special tools to our free tool rental crib.. lol
      3 ~ Tudor's
      Henry Ford said
      "It's all nuts and bolts"


      Mitch's Auto Service ctr

      Comment


      • #5
        Whew. Dennis are you becoming the new Tom Endy, if so I am calling you when and if I decide to go 3:27s in my car!

        Last edited by DaWizard; 01-28-2018, 02:44 PM.
        You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

        Comment


        • #6
          Dennis this is very well thought out. I admire talent.

          Any chance you can get a couple shots of however you did this:
          "so I fabbed a tool that tightens in one side of the differential from mating surfaces that expand when the threaded stock is tightened."

          I am having trouble visualizing this

          Dave

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          • #7
            Dave, look at about the last 3 pictures. Two of the pieces are shown next to the finished part. I turned down a galvanized 3/4" pipe sleeve both on the outside and inside. The outside is machined straight to a slight step so it shoulders against the differential to keep it from going in too far. It has a few thousands clearance to pass through the end of the axle housing. I then turned about a 10 degree taper on one end about .300" from the end and then straight about half way inside the sleeve. It is about .060" thick in that area. I cut 4 slots in the end with the taper so it can expand. I then ran a small bead on it where it is screwed to the 3/4" pipe to keep it from turning loose. If you buy one of these sleeves be aware that it could be a left hand thread on one end and right hand thread on the other end. Home Depot sells these and nobody working there can tell me what they sell there that has a use for a LH pipe thread. LOL The other piece is a #16 JIC male plug. I turned down the threads and hex so it can fit in the differential housing with about .010" clearance. I cut the taper on the end that wedges into the sleeve about the same angle as the sleeve. I drilled and tapped threads for the thread stock and welded it on the end to keep it from unscrewing. When using this setup it is to use a dial torque wrench on the end of the pipe up where the dial indicator is, but you can not get an accurate reading checking gear backlash if you turn it up by the dial indicator, you have to have something you can reach in the fill or check plug hole to move the ring gear. Ideally you want the stem of your indicator about 4" from the center of the axle housing, think half of the diameter of the ring gear. I measured mine at approx. 8-3/8" diameter. I used JIC caps and plugs and ORF to plug fittings and hoses when I was working on construction equipment. I never tossed them and they've been in my tool box waiting for some kind of use someday.
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            Last edited by Dennis; 01-06-2018, 02:12 AM.

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            • tbirdtbird
              tbirdtbird commented
              Editing a comment
              OK, that makes more sense. Still don't know how you came up with that. I took an old spider cross, annealed it, and drilled it.
              Wonder if the sleeve is actually a "merchant coupling"......

            • Dennis
              Dennis commented
              Editing a comment
              Tbird, I added some pictures, do those help?

            • tbirdtbird
              tbirdtbird commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes that is a huge help, and I have no idea how you came up with that!!!! LOL

          • #8
            While I have most of what I need to do most of the diff easily. One thing I still need to make is a solid center to put on the end of the carrier half to better support my bearing puller. I have managed without one it is on the want list to have made. Since I have found most of the bearing surfaces on carriers to be worn and allow the bearing inner race to turn on the carrier, I need to buy a lathe to turn down the carrier and put a sleeve on them. Maybe I just have bad luck with carriers. Looking a buying a lathe just big enough to do this. My understanding is my mentor in the hobby likely will be selling his. I have not gone to visit with him since his return to his home after recovering in a nursing home for 10 months. Does not sound like he is doing much since his return home. Just prior to his illness he pulled out the motor from his Model T pickup after finding the mains need replaced. Do not think he is going to have them redone and just go to shows with his 29 Nash. He justed turned 87, so that likely is how things are going to be. Rod
            "Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good." Thomas Sowell

            Comment


            • Dennis
              Dennis commented
              Editing a comment
              This happens sometimes, acquiring everything from tools to cars and trucks from the loss of our fellow enthusiasts. I bought my Model A from a widow. Buying that Model A has been the best thing for me since I lost my wife 4 years ago and retired 2 years ago. Machining a carrier for a bearing would be more that just a simple task as you will need to dial in to the ring gear surface on both sides to get it accurately centered I would think.

            • Rowdy
              Rowdy commented
              Editing a comment
              Definately not simple, will first have to make sure the lathe is still accurate enough to accomplish the task. Should be able to indicate off of the small portion of the surface just outboard of where the bearing rides.Can double check the setup by indicating off of the ring gear mounting surface. Rod

            • Dennis
              Dennis commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes. I didn't realize you have good surface outboard of the bearing.

          • #9
            Originally posted by DaWizard View Post
            Whew. Dennis are you becoming the new Tom Endy, if so I am calling you when and if I decide to go 3:27s in my car!

            I know Tom knows what he is doing, but from what I have heard he is getting on in age and temperament.
            You might need to find a different driveshaft if and when you change gears as yours might be threaded. I'm no sure if a threaded shaft will fit in a threaded pinion.

            Comment


            • #10
              Ok, so I start looking for another rear end, then see what happens... I'll keep ya posted.

              To be continued at a later date........
              You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

              Comment


              • Beauford
                Beauford commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm looking for a spare as well. Mine works too well and is the only thing not rebuilt which scares me. It still has original leather seals on axles. Having the drums rusted on saved the seals over the years along with being full of oil.

              • Mitch
                Mitch commented
                Editing a comment
                Exactly what seals are you referring to? The original leather seals on the axles are inside the axle tube housing, and not viewable without removing them

              • Dennis
                Dennis commented
                Editing a comment
                Mitch I'm thinking Beauford is talking about the seal behind the nut and washer on the end of the shaft.

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