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Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:09 am
by Pep C Strebeck
I think that I now have almost everything I need to make overhauling the rear axle a lot easier and less of a physical struggle (87 years old come April) than any other axle that I had done in the past. I always wanted a KRW axle stand and have had more than one opportunity/chance to buy one over the last 50+ years, but space has always been an overriding and determining factor. I have never had, and still don’t have 25 to 30 square feet that I could/can dedicate to a single job specific tool. I will say that this is what I came up with, but for the most part and being honest, it was my son. He took everything that I barked or complained about when doing a rear axle and made and outfit this compact little work table.
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The table top measures 42” x 21” and it is a comfortable 40” working height. The top is 5/8” thick and has been Blanchard ground. The frame/legs are all 2” square thick wall steel and it sets atop ball bearing casters. There is a mix of original tooling and modern and a great set of fixtures to hold and manipulate the axle and its component parts for whatever operation needs to be performed.
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It also comes with a set of frame stands and a cradle for the hydraulic jack to lift the axle. The jack also has it’s own “extra” support for the front of the torque tube. This would be the only Model T part that was harmed in making what you see (it had 4 holes drilled in the base).
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All-in-all, it is a nice compact set-up that is solid and stable, yet easy enough to move around, even with the axle on the table. After you are done using it for rear axle work it can be used as a solid work table or workbench or move out of the way. It does need a small tweak or two, but nothing major. For it's first trial run it worked extremely well and made the job easier than I ever remember. That 3 hour and 28 minute time for an axle overhaul in the Ford Manual may be in reach. I will post some other photos of it in use.

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:19 am
by Pep C Strebeck
Here are some photos of it in use.
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Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:29 am
by Pep C Strebeck
A couple more.
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This next one made cleaning and de-greasing the differential and inside the axle housing a lot easier and cleaner than anything that I had done before. An old, "worn-out" hub with a crank handle add to it and then just fill the differential with your solvent of choice. I used the carburetor cleaner in the 1 gallon can and it cleaned out pretty well. All you have to do is have the catch pan underneath the axle and then turn it over and pour out right where you want it.
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Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:29 am
by Tom VanMeeteren
Neat tooling and great photos

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:15 am
by Steve Jelf
I love the little trailer to carry the torque tube. Great idea.

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:56 am
by Pep C Strebeck
And a couple more.
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Please forgive the "modern" wing nuts and spacers on the Stevens tool, the originals have not come back from the plater yet. The spacer that fits over the end of the drive shaft and the tool I had made, and they were copied from originals. While they do "work", they do not work well; no fault of the machine work, they are just too short and should be designed a bit differently. I am going to have some different ones made that are longer and a bit different (more solid). The only problem with this tool is that it wants to spin on the drive shaft as you tighten it up. Also, you need to remove the handle and use a wrench on the end, that 5/16" straight rod handle won't cut it.

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:08 am
by Pep C Strebeck
Steve Jelf wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:15 am
I love the little trailer to carry the torque tube. Great idea.

Thank you. That is something that got "modified" before the axle was put back in, it just needed a bit more height/reach. It is a nice solid connection to the jack and does not wander around when you go to pull it out or move the axle assembly around in general. It made putting the axle back in and lining up the u-joint an easy job.

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Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:41 am
by Scott_Conger
Joseph

I very much enjoyed looking over your tools and tooling, as well as reading about some of your techniques. Your tooling design is very good and well executed...lovely welding work!

We would all benefit from your sharing more and more often on the Forum. Thank you for this look into your creative mind.

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:33 pm
by aboer
Here some pictures of how I do it .

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:36 pm
by Rich Bingham
Joseph, thank you for posting. It's a pleasure to see everything orderly, with proper tools, and so well thought out. Such a contrast ! Inspires me to try to follow your example, rather than my usual "down on hands and knees, in the mud, and the blood and the grease !" Thank you for posting.

Here's what not to do:

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:10 pm
by Steve Jelf
And then there's the cheapskate method:
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Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:15 pm
by RajoRacer
I utilized an old metal milk bottle basket, a couple pieces of nesting tubing & a piece of all thread to adjust the torque tube height - works O.K.

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:02 pm
by Pep C Strebeck
Rich Bingham wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:36 pm
my usual "down on hands and knees, in the mud, and the blood and the grease !" Thank you for posting.
Getting down at this point is not the real problem, it's getting back up. I just physically can't do it like I did before. Forty or 50 years ago, on the ground and on the knees, dead lifting the whole axle assembly, etc., but that was a long time ago now. A couple of groups of photos have turned up missing somewhere between the camera and the computer, the set-up for removing and replacing the front drive shaft bushing and the ones for checking the backlash. If you look at the far right corner of the work table in the photo below you will see a short support (just under the zero in the license plate). That supports the front end of the torque tube when you are checking the backlash. The axle just needs to be turned in the holder and the torque tube will set across the length of the table to the support.

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If I can't "find" the photos I will mock-up some parts and re-take the photos. Rather than hammering/driving in the front drive shaft bushing, it is set up to be "pressed" in. The photo below shows part of the tooling for that, it is used with the long rod that is on the back of the work table in one of the earlier photos. The plate that mounts to the pinion end of the torque tube is an old Kent Moore bearing race driver for the bigger mid-30s' Chevrolet trucks. With the lip on it it can be used on either of the torque tube styles, flat or with the recess/lip.

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Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:53 pm
by Pep C Strebeck
Just some close-up photos of some of the tools.

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The Stevens drive shaft bushing puller works well, you just need to make sure that the back side of the bushing is "clean" and free of grease. If there is any grease, the pawls that actually grab onto the bushing to pull it out just kind of spin and slide. The link below is where I had to make a new spring for the pawls on the puller.

https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php? ... 7469#p7469

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The Cantrell-Miller rear axle bearing sleeve puller works well, but if you do not have the dummy axle you will not be able to pull out the inner bearing sleeves. Scott Conger had made some excellent looking reproductions of this puller not to long ago and he also made the dummy axle to go with them. He was right in dropping the crank style handle and making his with a hex head for a wrench/socket, that will work much better with a stubborn sleeve. The link below is where I was looking for dimensions for one of the pieces for the puller. I ended up having to make a new rod/cam and pin (that actually pulls out the sleeve) for mine and they both worked well, one REALLY stubborn sleeve. For my dummy axle I used an old Model T axle with 2 grade-8 flat washers welded together and then to the bottom (2" diameter washers).

https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php? ... 287#p11287

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:47 pm
by Pep C Strebeck
Just some more of the tools.

The photos below show one of the original Cantrell-Miller tools for installing the "oil retainer" into the axle housing. Not an essential or required tool by any means, but it made pushing the modern neoprene seal into the housing simple enough. In the link below there is a photo/attachment from the Automobile Trade Journal (1919) showing the original Cantrell-Miller tooling and oil retainer. If anyone has one of the Dust Cap Pullers I would very much like to see some photos. https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php? ... 287#p11287
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Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:55 pm
by TRDxB2
Poor man's rear axle work table and tools. Just doing one axle. Flipped the old bushing over to push the new one in - used a roll of cardboard between the threaded rod an new bushing to keep it somewhat center and protect the surface of the new busing. Removal tool is as described in the Ford Fix.

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:36 am
by StanHowe
Some great ideas there.
Here is one I build years ago when I was rebuilding Ruckstells. It rotates in the middle, holds the left side housing in clamps so the right side is free to install and remove the housing, etc.
Notice the winch, there was a cord to a battery mounted on the bottom rail. It also had wheels to roll it around the shop and short legs to set it down on the floor to make it more solid. Just let the air out of the tires to lower it and blow them back up to move it.

I think now it is on the iron pile at the ranch rusting away.
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Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:42 pm
by Pep C Strebeck
StanHowe wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:36 am
It also had wheels to roll it around the shop and short legs to set it down on the floor to make it more solid. Just let the air out of the tires to lower it and blow them back up to move it.
I think that how easy this rolls, even with a complete axle on it, is fantastic. You can easily roll it out of the way if needed and the when the brakes are applied it is solid. The best part is that once you are finished with the axle this is a solid, moveable, steel-topped bench. Here are a couple more photos of the tooling (the last ones, I promise).

The puller for the pinion gear is an old Kent-Moore ball joint puller for late 1950's Cadillacs. Not an original service tool I know, but it did work very well.
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The spot-facer/counterbore used to face off the drive shaft front bushing I was able to buy as surplus and I ended up paying more for the pilot than I did for the 1-9/16" counterbore, $4.50.
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I will post a thread about the actual overhaul of the rear axle a bit later. I won't go into all of the details but focus mostly on the issues, problems and a couple of pleasant surprises. How often do you hear that when talking about rebuilding a rear axle, pleasant surprises.

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:58 pm
by DHort
Did they ever have a tool to remove the outer axle housing cap?

Re: Rear axle work table, fixtures and tooling.

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:55 am
by Pep C Strebeck
DHort wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:58 pm
Did they ever have a tool to remove the outer axle housing cap?
Yes they did. It is shown in the photo below, the upper left item. If anyone has on I would definitely like to see some pictures of it.

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