shorten real axle shaft

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Scott Rosenthal
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shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:50 am

I have an axle that extends .016" outward of ideal position. Gap between the shafts inside this differential is perfect....just enough gap for the ear disc. This leaves an exposed gap between the brake drum and the backing plate. Has someone here shortened a repro axle shaft by turning back the tapered end? Calculations show I would need to remove .009" material on a side from this taper diameter in order to shift the brake drum where I want it. If this turning is practical, then this alteration would also either require the same .009" be removed from the height of the shaft key, or the key seat depth would need to be increased.

Would be great if I could purchase this prescribed shaft length from the shaft maker, but I'm guessing this could be complicated for multiple reasons, if doable at all. Thoughts/comments?
Regards,
Scott


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by John kuehn » Wed Dec 25, 2019 9:28 am

You may have an axle shaft that was made just a little longer to compensate for worn rear hubs. Texas T parts advertises these as an improved axle shaft. You can go to their website and read about the improvement.
Maybe your hubs aren’t worn like some might be.


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Dec 25, 2019 9:58 am

Merry Christmas John. This could be the case...or maybe related to some housing tolerance...not seeing any particular root cause, but have heard the same issue from others. I'm also told some early originals display this.

At any rate, I'm noodling what a practical invisible fix might be, for those who want the drum and the backing plate to match, and who do not want this gap showing. Consensus appears to be that the gap presents no functional problem, just looks sloppy IMO.

I have seen spacers installed between the hub and drum, which should work fine and are not overly noticeable.

Attempted to contact the drum maker to see if a wider drum could be made available...got no response on that. I imagine this retrofit wider drum, where you cut the width to your preference.

Regards,
Scott


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Les Schubert » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:28 am

Shorten the axle shaft at the inboard end. No messing with keyway. Just widen the clip groove. Trim the inboard end and reassemble.


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:37 am

.016" too long

no wider than an ink pen line

you're a pretty fussy guy!

When you get to aligning fenders, you may end up in a straight-jacket! :lol:
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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by RajoRacer » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:38 am

How much "gap" we talking about Scott ?


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Les Schubert » Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:17 am

I choose NOT to judge. I welcome all to our wonderful hobby!

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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Henry K. Lee » Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:28 am

I think he meant to say " 1/16" " longer as most replacements are.

just saying,

Hank

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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Henry K. Lee » Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:30 am

If you want the appearance without playing with the axle, make a 1/16" shim for the brake drum going back inwards.

Just saying.

Hank


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott C. » Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:40 am

Try swapping the other hub and drum assembly from the other side. If it fits better, then your you probably have a real one real nice hub and one worn hub, with the .0625" longer axles. Or, it is possible that you have one standard length and one long axle? I doubt that you could have used enough shims to move the assembly off center that far.
If it is only .016" then you could have enough shims in there to cause it. If so, it could be corrected with shims and or gaskets.

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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Henry K. Lee » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:11 pm

The shim I am speaking of goes in between the hub and brake drum. Not axle taper and hub.


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:14 pm

Apologies....type O....gap is .16"


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:28 pm

Now, that's a gap :D
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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:58 pm

Not enough gap you're going to throw a cat through it, but I know I can make this a better looking job. I'm taking this rear end back apart for finishing, so it is coming back apart regardless. Hank's recommendation came to mind, but then there also needs to be a spacer made to fill the widened C-ring gap. Seems like it should be fairly simple to turn the tapered portion of the shaft unless folks here see reasons not to.

I swapped the wheels to see if there was hub variance, but saw no change. Doesn't mean another hub would not be an option, but this is a 5 1/2" early style, so a bunch of work needed there.

Many thanks again for your comments.

Regards,
Scott


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Les Schubert » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:43 pm

A friend and I just made 4 axles (as we wanted them significantly longer). IF you have a good lathe WITH a taper attachment (I don’t mean the “compound”), the taper is 3/4”per foot radially (1-1/2” per foot diameter)(taper attachments I have seen will have one or the other of these scales).
Just to check try a chunk of surplus material.
Personally I would alter the inboard end.


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by John kuehn » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:13 pm

Have to agree with Scott C about sheet metal alignment on a T not being “not exactly” perfect !
When Ford built his Model T’s he wasn’t building a Rools Royce for the masses.

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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:34 pm

Seriously, were individual part tolerances so exact that it was unnecessary to do so on the assembly line? Most historic documents show measurements in fractions of inches not decimal values. :?

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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by AndyClary » Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:39 pm

.160 is a long way especially if the other side is ok. I would check the lengths of the axles in case you got an oddball. I'd also switch hubs side to side. If you recut the taper to correct this, you'll also have to recut the keyway.

Andy


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:58 pm

Hello Les:
Say more about altering the gear side of the shaft. If the shaft gear is backed away from the c-rings (lets assume 5/32" (.16) for this example) now the c-ring thickness either needs to increase by 5/32", or some other spacer is required to occupy the now increased groove width.

Hello Andy:
Other side has a .13" gap. I did not compare lengths on the new shafts before assembly, but did confirm both wheel hubs produce an identical gap. Not that this is a mechanical issue, only aesthetic. Brake shoes are visible on the .16 gap....just looks sloppy.

Thx,
Scott


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Les Schubert » Wed Dec 25, 2019 4:47 pm

Spacer; OD the same as the axle shaft (1-1/16”),ID the same as bottom of the groove. Cut the spacer into 2 half’s. Push the gear in far enough to remove the clip and widen the groove the 5/32” you want. Install the clip on the gear side of the groove and then the new spacer and holding everything in place (perhaps a bit of tape) and press axle back into place against the gear. Now trim the excess axle length, but check the hub fit etc first. After all, you want to be sure!!
I hope I’ve explained it clearly


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Les Schubert » Wed Dec 25, 2019 4:49 pm

Yes just making wider C rings could be a good option too


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Dec 25, 2019 5:47 pm

Many thanks Les et all...the options list grows. I thought of having wider drums made, where I would make these let say .38" wider so that anyone with the same condition would turn to whatever width specs needed.

When I mentioned this problem months ago, multiple folks contacted me to say they had similar condition, so I will assume the is of collective remedial interest.

I also questioned whether my housings may have seen repairs that may be contributors, however I don't see suspect hallmarks of any such activity, so purely shooting in the dark on that notion.

I have street rod friends who have custom widened rims, where the builder used an auto pipe-welder for consistent weld. Seems this could be easily applied to these brake drum shapes (cost versus spinning unknown), where the drums would then need to be turned to flush the welds. Very doable technically, but better cost managed with a dozen sets versus one-sies and two-sies.
Regards,
Scott

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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by DanTreace » Wed Dec 25, 2019 6:08 pm

Scott

Happy New Year too, seems the gap at backing plate and brake drum edge has been perplexing you for this year.

Your post this Jan.:

https://www.mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=381

All T’s have some gaps, normal as long as axle parts are tight and running well. Factory manual photos show.

Good luck in your quest to tighten ‘em up ;) You’ll solve it.
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:23 pm

Hello Dan:
Yes, this has been a head scratcher for me for a while. Options with solid potential are:
a) new wider drum trimmed to fit
b) splice current drums to wider then machine to desired width
c) remachine taper to scoot drum inboard
d) Build doughnut spacers between hub and drum

a) through c) so far seem like best cost fixes that are invisible for the most part. I've seen d) done where I would not notice this if I did not go looking for it.

Regards,
Scott


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:06 am

brake drum gap.jpg


This shows the .16" gap. No it's not horrible, but no need to have these calipers showing if this can be addressed.

When shot in Brewster Green and pinstriped this would not be as conspicuous. However, got a ton of time in this rear end, and will have much more with the finishing work complete, so I'm wanting to work all of the cosmetics while the scrapes don't matter.

Regards,
Scott

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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by DanTreace » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:11 pm

Scott

With your photo can see that gap is a bit more than earlier cars show at the backing plate / drum junction.

Your fixes may be best, Would first double check all the parts are fitting correctly. Sometimes the grease retainer cup on the axle housing isn't seated all the way, that could let the hub stand proud of the backing plate. Could check again and fit the rear wheel without the brake shoes on, to be sure the drum and hub are all the way on the axle, and fit as they should.

Early axle with normal like gap.


fullsizeoutput_111e.jpeg
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Re: shorten rear axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:04 pm

axle variation.jpg
A member here was kind enough to send this shot of axle length variations that are consistent with .16 overage that I'm seeing. Also notice the 3rd shaft down has the cotter hole aligned with the keyseat. If not mistaken, this Ford machine drawing shows this hole perpendicular to the keyseat ...not that this has any functional impact. Regards,
Scott


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:51 am

#904 rear end  1-5-2020.jpg
Much like my example, this early 09 rear end has similar random drum gap showing on both sides. This known car has the original style straight axles, where adjusting the gaps would be similarly complicated. I have to question whether these gaps would have been more problematic back in the day when this was an original driver, as the result of mud and debris accumulating inside the drum. I have retrofitted lined shoes with my drums, for improved E-Brake effectiveness, so cannot have the potential of some obstruction getting in there, that limits or prevents this performance.

Regards,
Scott


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:44 pm

That '09 looks perfect to me
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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:46 pm

brake drum gap ls  1-14-2020.jpg
After research and much consideration, I elected to build spacers between my hub and drums. The desired aesthetic result has been achieved as shown. When I got the wheels off, I noticed a fresh cut had been taken on my hub-to-drum surfaces, which certainly accounted for a percentage of my gap problem.

I was initially sold on cutting and widening the drums, but then the reality of distortion resulting from 25 inches of weld became the game changer. I also investigating the option of making new wider drums, however economics was not favorable for the parts I needed. I discussed the wider drum option as a potential niche product, but the vendor consulted likewise does not believe these potential sales will cover the tooling investment. Hope this helps other OCD restorers...many thanks for these productive comments gentlemen.
Regards,
Scott


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:57 pm

Scott

I think that was an excellent route to take for aesthetics, safety, and (relative) ease of implementation's sake.

Thanks for sharing the results
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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Joe Bell » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:52 pm

I have not been following this post, my first look at it, I picked up some NOS Ford axles recently, they have a fine surface rust from lying around for years some where in a warehouse if of interest I would trade you. Just trying to help out on these projects. Joe


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Piewagon » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:17 pm

I personally hate it when a vendor tries to compensate ahead of time for worn out parts which I guess are all supposed to be worn out some magic amount. Shims are available for worn hubs if you can't find good ones but there is no "negative shim" that comes in a length of -1/16 so that you can put a good hub on this incorrect length axle shaft. I have always made parts EXACTLY per the ford drawings when they are available and let the end user decide how to shim it or compensate for any wear in the parts he has.


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Re: shorten real axle shaft

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:57 pm

Hello Joe: Many thanks, but I believe I have arrived at the happy place. The axles are new, and they are the ones that are 1/16" over-length. At the time when I bought them, I was led to understand they were the best of the repos available, where I knew these parts had this specific potential, so it was me who created this challenge for me.

Hello John:
As per earlier in this post....looks like length is just one of multiple liberties that have been taken with these repro axles over the years. Some might call this a "fixing things that aren't broke" example.

Fun Projects parts are of unparalleled quality thanks to your commitment to accuracy....many thanks for these superb products.

Regards,
Scott

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