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Old 03-01-2019, 12:18 AM   #1
dennis lumbert
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Default Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

I had rear axle housings machined and installed replacement races in 08.Car has 1600 miles on it and inspected brakes to discover grease colored like silver.After inspection found wear on housing races only.Checked them for hardness with a file and their soft.I removed the sleeves and the housings are both machined to 1.752Ē.The sleeves appear to have had an inner diameter of 1.750Ē.purchased replacements from Bertís and they are 1.695Ē inner diameter.
I moved to Ar in 15 so I have to find someone here to have them both remachined .A local machinest wants a min of $170.00 each to do the job.I was hoping to find sleeves the same size as the ones I removed but that may be impossible.Not saying the price is to high ,just was hoping to not have to Machine the housings again.Has anyone run across sleeves with a 1.750 inner diameter?
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

You seem to have already removed the sleeve. Congratulations on a job difficult at best. (One might question the quality of the machinist if one can simply "remove" a sleeve - although you do indicate 0.002 interference - which might be correct for a "solid" interference fit - i.e. a stub in a hole without stretch.)

It would be more normal to "machine" the existing sleeves off. Early Model A's had the bearing seat "sleeved" by Ford. Henry dropped the sleeves in cost savings for later cars. So one might encounter either version.

A good machinist is aware of the possibility of stretch of the sleeve - and adds a bit more to account for it.

In my case the sleeve came with instructions for the final outside diameter - which was actually a "target" with (IIRC) about 0.005 finished diameter. Also suggested OD of the machining to achieve the final OD given press size/use of Loctite/lubricant.

I think you're going to have to pony up to the bar on this one. Your machinist is a trifle expensive. Its a 2 hour job on a lathe with carbide tools, but not a terribly demanding one. So he's making about $85 an hour - which is not that far out of whack in today's professional world.

Of course Berts may have entire trumpet housings already prepared for less than the cost of sleeve and installation. And the best part is they come with "satisfaction guaranteed," which is unlikely to be afforded by your machinist given the specifics of the job. ("Gee, I don't do this for a living.") A new housing(s) would require one to "totally set-up" the rear end (gear bluing, gasket thicknesses, etc.) But that is YOUR work - if you have the capability.

Maybe a Trade School shop class? Do they still have these things?

In my case a 1908 Flather lathe and high speed tool would not touch the sleeve. I farmed this out to a machinist with carbide tooling - he charged me $24 for one, including pressing - in 1978.

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Old 03-01-2019, 04:40 PM   #3
dennis lumbert
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

Thanks for the reply Joe.Im use to getting pressed on races off having worked on Honda cars professionally for 30 + years.I just found a machine shop 4 miles from my house who came highly recommended.He is going to do them both for $125.00 .Problem solved. Dennis
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

I think you're doing the right thing using Bert's sleeves. They are thicker and hardened to a reasonable degree. They will last. I haven't seen a decent sleeve from any of the other vendors. I'd also check the hubs and rollers. They have been running in that contaminated grease for long enough that they might be damaged too.
I've just done a rear end and I used good hard sleeves, original rollers in good nick (about .001 to .0015" wear) and new hubs. I'm expecting good service.
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

I know of someone who had the same problem with a reputable repro parts house.

They just Pooh-pooh'ed it.

He reported it to one of the major Model A magizines...same thing.

Guess they did not want to loose their advertising business!!!

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Old 03-02-2019, 04:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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I think you're doing the right thing using Bert's sleeves. They are thicker and hardened to a reasonable degree. They will last. I haven't seen a decent sleeve from any of the other vendors. I'd also check the hubs and rollers. They have been running in that contaminated grease for long enough that they might be damaged too.
I've just done a rear end and I used good hard sleeves, original rollers in good nick (about .001 to .0015" wear) and new hubs. I'm expecting good service.
The hub races look good,they do have the hub saver races .I would rather have new hubs but that wonít fit my budget.I bought new bearings from Bertís and Steve reports good service from them.By the way Steve is a fantastic guy to deal with. Best regards, Dennis
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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Originally Posted by dennis lumbert View Post
The hub races look good,they do have the hub saver races .I would rather have new hubs but that wonít fit my budget.I bought new bearings from Bertís and Steve reports good service from them.By the way Steve is a fantastic guy to deal with. Best regards, Dennis
Met Steve when we were in Denver last year! With new sleeves on the axle housing and sleeves in the hub, the roiginal rollers are way too big. Most people use the smaller diameter V8 rollers. I think the hub sleeves are made for that.
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:15 PM   #8
dennis lumbert
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Met Steve when we were in Denver last year! With new sleeves on the axle housing and sleeves in the hub, the roiginal rollers are way too big. Most people use the smaller diameter V8 rollers. I think the hub sleeves are made for that.
Yes,I purchased the V8 bearings.When I originally rebuilt the rear axle assembly in 2008 new hubs were not available.I put new cast iron drums on the old hubs and used the hub saver races and v8 bearings.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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Met Steve when we were in Denver last year! With new sleeves on the axle housing and sleeves in the hub, the roiginal rollers are way too big. Most people use the smaller diameter V8 rollers. I think the hub sleeves are made for that.

IIRC the V8 bearings were about half the cost of the originals. But add to that the price of sleeves. When I was at this point the cost difference was there - but not enough to get me away from original.



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Old 03-02-2019, 07:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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IIRC the V8 bearings were about half the cost of the originals. But add to that the price of sleeves. When I was at this point the cost difference was there - but not enough to get me away from original.



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Old 03-02-2019, 08:57 PM   #11
dennis lumbert
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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IIRC the V8 bearings were about half the cost of the originals. But add to that the price of sleeves. When I was at this point the cost difference was there - but not enough to get me away from original.



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Old 03-03-2019, 08:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

Take solace. I'm not sure better IS any better. Ford changed for a reason.

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Old 03-03-2019, 09:07 AM   #13
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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Take solace. I'm not sure better IS any better. Ford changed for a reason.

Joe K

True, and each year Ford made improvements, -and if we follow the mindset of always wanting to make it better or make improvements, ...soon we are driving something that most call a street rod. Correct??
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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True, and each year Ford made improvements, -and if we follow the mindset of always wanting to make it better or make improvements, ...soon we are driving something that most call a street rod. Correct??
Correct. And certain of us chose to keep it original.

I think the object for all is to "keep 'em rolling." And the hobby (and the forums) are large enough to at least tell how it can be done. And put out the plus & minus of each.

I will probably never drive a "full pressurized" Model A engine myself - much less a 5 bearing engine, but I enjoy hearing from those that do.

Thanks for bringing "perspective." Part of the forum too.


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Old 03-03-2019, 06:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

Have there been problems with the new V8 bearings?
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Old 03-03-2019, 06:34 PM   #16
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Have there been problems with the new V8 bearings?
Not that I'm aware. They may even be stronger/longer lived because of the smaller seal area/better control of entrance contamination.

They certainly were used on a "higher horsepower" application. (i.e. compare V8 capability to 4 cylinder capability) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_flathead_V8_engine (95 horsepower in 1939)

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Old 03-04-2019, 01:09 AM   #17
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

Over the years of rebuilding rear axle assemblies I have encountered unserviceable hubs on the ends of the axle housings. There was a local shop that could turn down the hubs and press on hardened sleeves. He supplied the sleeves. At first his price was reasonable, but he kept increasing it until he priced himself out of the market and finally went out of business.


One piece of advice he gave me, which I believe is important, is to not use the reproduction rear wheel bearings the suppliers sell. The roller elements are much too hard and will tear the sleeves up. Find some originals.


Soon after Bratton's started offering hardened sleeves. They sell for about $25 each and I have been using them for years. I found a shop that will turn down the hub and press the sleeve on for $80 each and have been going this route for a number of years. I also advise my customers to find some original rear wheel bearings. There are ample still around and they were over-engineered and perform well.


I have not had any customers comeback with a sad tale of a hub failure, But of course many of these cars are not driven often.


The original wheel bearings have a spiral in each element and appear to be of a softer material. I see them at swap meets and are sometimes found in old discarder drums. They can usually be had for little or nothing.


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Old 03-04-2019, 09:39 AM   #18
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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One piece of advice he gave me, which I believe is important, is to not use the reproduction rear wheel bearings the suppliers sell. The roller elements are much too hard and will tear the sleeves up. Find some originals.
Go Timken and you won't go wrong. That was the original bearing IIRC.

We have a family member who did his "student interneship" with Timken. Having heard him expound at length about the quality checks (his particular specialty) I can positively say that Timken is one of the few American companies who have maintained or even improved their US and dare I say world position in the field.

My own field, Nuclear Power Plant engineering and startup, appreciated that because ANY product of Timken could be provided with "Nuclear Quality Assurance" for pretty much the cost of the paperwork - and involved nothing other than assembling the paper and sending them to you. We reasoned that the bearings are ALL made already to the ultimate quality, and all are identical origin, production, and documentation wise.

As I say - Go Timken - an American Success Story.

Not saying you won't pay for it - that also is what Americans do - get their piece of your hide.

Joe K


Edit: somewhere here I have assembled in a box the COMPLETE set of Timken Cone Bearings to do a rear end. Almost $400 in bearings done in Timken which the large cones & race units run about $55 a copy. I was tempted at first to do the "aftermarket" bearing which run $25-35 depending on source. But wisely saved up for the full set.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:12 PM   #19
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

Hello,

the circulating lubricating grooves are not good!

At that time in the past designers thought these grooves were necessary for the constant fat distribution.

Today it is known that these grooves interfere with the hydrodynamic pressure resistance of the lubricating film.

Therefore, all bearings have a smooth surface with a little rough-depth. (Never polished!)
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:00 PM   #20
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Default Re: Rear axle housing repair sleeves not hardened

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Hello,

the circulating lubricating grooves are not good!

At that time in the past designers thought these grooves were necessary for the constant fat distribution.

Today it is known that these grooves interfere with the hydrodynamic pressure resistance of the lubricating film.

Therefore, all bearings have a smooth surface with a little rough-depth. (Never polished!)
I believe the grooves are not there for anything to do with lubrication. It is more to do with the way they were made. A strip of the appropriate alloy steel was twisted into a cylinder, ground and hardened. The grooves are a result of the winding/twisting process.
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