Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

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Rich Eagle
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Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Rich Eagle » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:46 pm

The 12 rivet rear end housing was no doubt an improvement over the earlier housings. Within two years it was replaced by a much better design which served well until the end of model T production. In time the 12 rivet version loosens and leaks even the heavy oil used back in the day. We have seen many that were brazed around the joints and rivets to alieve this problem. When I rebuilt this one 11,000 miles ago I coated fiberglass resin around the rivets to seal them. This worked well with the Amsoil synthetic R&O AW I have used in other applications for several years. Eventually it began leaking some. Lately the puddles on the garage floor under rear axle became large enough to require attention. Upon drilling the rivets out and popping the sections apart I found thick fluid was between them. It was not getting past the rivets but seeping between center end and the tapered tube. Then out between rivets. I had greased the roller bearings with Amsoil Grease and the oil was mixing with both inner and outer rollers. Probably not a bad mixture for lubricating.
Hearing of some lubricants attacking the bronze thrust washers I had worried that the Amsoil might be harmful. After rinsing the inside and disassembling the axle I found very little wear and no effect on the bronze. I’m confident this is a good choice of lubricant for me.
12RE01.jpg
12RE02.jpg
I spun the housing sections on a rotating brake drum machine which makes cleaning thorough and quick.
12RE03.jpg
I noticed the quality control on the one housing was not as expected. The hole was offset but is not crucial to operation.
12RE04.jpg
When did I do that?

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Rich Eagle
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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Rich Eagle » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:50 pm

I cleaned the rivet holes on both sides but found the fiberglass was still bonding well.
12RE05.jpg
I used JB Weld on both the riveted surfaces and the interface at the housing taper to keep oil from leaking out this time. I also used grade-8 bolts and rounded the heads rather than riveting the sections together.
12RE06.jpg
12RE07.jpg
Finally I am adding some paint over the whole assembly for what extra sealing that may have.
12RE08.jpg
When did I do that?


Rich Bingham
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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Rich Bingham » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:35 pm

You made a beautiful job of it Rich !
"Get a horse !"

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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by George House » Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:42 pm

Good job Rich ! And I especially like the pictures of the steps of your job. I did the grade 8 bolts too but, instead of JB Weld, I used RTV Hi Temp on the mating surfaces. Thanks for sharing your well thought-out technique !
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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Allan » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:52 pm

Well done Rich. I did a similar fix on my 1912 van some 25 years ago. I cut a screwdriver slot on the threaded end of bolts so I could hold them as the nuts were tensioned. Rather than a rigid fix like fibreglass, I used a Loktite red flange sealant which remains flexible rather than setting hard. I took the easy route to cleaning by having all the parts hot tanked to remove all traces of grease and grime. After around 20000 miles it is still holding up.
I did another for a friend and used button head set screws, and used filler in the socket heads after assembly.

Allan from down under.

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John Warren
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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by John Warren » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:03 pm

Its pose to leak !!!! cause if it don't, it is out of earl !!! :lol: Great stuff thanks.
24-28 TA race car, 26 Canadian touring, 25 Roadster pickup, 14 Roadster, and 11AB Maxwell runabout
Keep it simple and keep a good junk pile if you want to invent something :P

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Rich Eagle
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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Rich Eagle » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:15 pm

If it pose to it dit! I did find some of the screws did want to turn rather than tighten. A punch mark under the head with chisel or center punch will stop that. It's probably easier to do before rounding the heads.
Also, I took some advice and bought a pair of axle stands rather than use cinder blocks as I used to do. Remarks here cautioned me of that. 12 ton should hold it. The cinder block shown was to hold the driveshaft up.
Thanks
I still add a sawhorse before crawling underneath. Oil leaking at the u-joint and a leaky muffler had coated the underside of the car with slimy black. This was a good time to clean all that away. It was not a pleasant job but rewarding to have it clean now.
R6256.jpg
R6224.jpg
Also, this is a good time to install the felt washers for those who like them. And washing under the rear fenders was easier at this time.
When did I do that?

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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by RajoRacer » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:02 pm

I tackled that job several years ago on our '14 - I sealed all parts with black RTV and used grade 8 "button head" 1/4" bolts - after tightening, I just filled the Allen holes with RTV - can't tell unless you stick your head down there !
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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Joe Bell » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:30 pm

There is an RTV that is special for rear axle lubes, comes in a grey tube and says for rear axles, some lubes will eat away at the RTV"s. If you are going to all this work try to use the best. Just my thoughts!

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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by RajoRacer » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:23 pm

I did mine prior to that "new" RTV coming out.


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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by JEC » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:26 pm

For years I have used Aviation Permatex which comes in a can as a thick liquid.
It appears to be alcohol based as it cleans up with alcohol.
Never gets hard and seems to seal well.
I also use a silk thread between case halves on aircraft engines.


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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Joe Bell » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:17 am

John, just got done going through my 150 Franklin so I have been there also!


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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Sarikatime » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:18 am

After going through all that work and expense of the rebuild I went out and bought a little more insurance in the form of a rear axle truss. The 12 rivet axle is more fragile than the newer axle and prone to leaking and coming loose especially with a heavier body and or having several people in the back seat on a regular basis. It works for me. Frank

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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Rich Eagle » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:31 am

Assembly of the unit went exceptionally well. The gasket sealer went on smooth as butter. Grease held the thrust washers in place. It was almost too easy. As I was bolting the halves together I noticed 4 roller bearings on the bench. Oops! Sometimes we aren't as smart as we thought.
Now the whole thing had to come back apart. Thrust washers fell to the floor. I kept putting fingers in the gasket sealer. It's odd how the whole project can go to heck in a handbasket.
The roller bearing grease got everywhere and dancing around trying to balance the axle vertically would have made a funny video on a different day. Thankfully the assembly did go back together before the sealer got too hard and with the inner rollers in place now. The axles did turn freely and all was well at last.
Just a touch of reality I guess.
When did I do that?


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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by R.V.Anderson » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:37 am

I have one of those too, on my '14. I finally had to get one, as both rear wheels were canted inward about an inch at the top. It doesn't look as out of place as I thought it would.

When I rebuilt the axle, I soaked the housing assemblies in kerosene, then in xylene to get that out. When I was satisfied that all was squeaky clean, I let them dry good and then mig'd over the inside of the rivets and applied a fillet of JB Weld to the inside edges at the index of the bearing housing and the tube with a special applicator I cobbled up. It has worked great for 16 years, nary a seep at the rivets, just a drop now and then from the center seam, probably because of the same strain that tilted the wheels inward. That will get some attention over the winter.

Driving on the lunar landscapes that pass for roads here in NY probably exacerbated the situation. Glad to see they're finally starting to fix some of them, so I may be able to take the T out more.

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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Rich Eagle » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:00 pm

I kind of like the looks of those truss rods. They add some charm to the rear axle.

While I was wrestling the axle unit around trying to reassemble it before the sealant dried I managed to put a scratch in the back of the body. Today was warm enough to get out and do some more work. I still have some of the Van Sickle green enamel I mixed up when I built the car. Like Dulux it has a good shelf life. Some narrow Scotch Magic tape was applied near the scratch and masking tape after that. Using a small brush I covered the scratch and removed the tapes when tacky. The paint shows but is less dramatic than the scratch. In time it will shrink and be less noticeable. Better paints work well but this is what I use. This car is a driver now and a few battle scars add to the game but don't have to be obvious.
Scratchx01.jpg
When did I do that?


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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Burger in Spokane » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:10 am

Can you not wet sand that scratch repair to blend, and then a little hand buffing ?
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: Sealing my 12 rivet rear end

Post by Rich Eagle » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:01 pm

Van Sickle will keep drying and shrinking for several months. If I wait til next spring I could sand lightly and rub out. I works better than the Dulux I used for years. If it still bothers me I will do that. I have touched up several places over the years but forget where. It is that good.
Rich
When did I do that?

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