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Old 04-05-2017, 11:02 AM   #1
Brewsterbuff
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Default New problem!

Finally got my '34 Brewster Town Car back on the road. Today went about 10th of a mile, down a grade, and heard a horrendous crack. Got out and checked everything underneath, looked OK, still driveable. Went a couple more tenths and it locked up completely, slid both rear wheels about 25 feet, couldn't go forward or back. Played with the shifter and finally got it to go forward. Very slowly drove it back and put it in the shop. My first thinking was transmission, sliding gears not totally disengaging or sliding together? Then I wondered if maybe rear end? Both rear wheels locked at the same time and released at the same time. Now has a slight click in the drive line which wasn't there before. ANY IDEAS would be a big help! Thanks, Don
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:11 AM   #2
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: New problem!

sounds like the spider gears locked up, you say played with shifter and finally got it to move forward--exactly how did you play with it? jack up rear wheels and try turning them, do they go in opposite directions or the same way. if the same way then definitely the rear end gears. with the rear off the ground and no load on the trans--try shifting thru the gears, if it will do this then the trans sounds ok. if that much lock-up was done in the trans-it would be completely shredded. we had a 2nd gear thrust washer break and it locked up trans when it went thru the gears
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:22 AM   #3
Brewsterbuff
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Default Re: New problem!

Ran the shift lever through the gears several times and tried both forward and reverse. After several tries it moved in 1st gear. That is when I got it home. Will go out and jack it up and check the spider gears. THANKS
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: New problem!

It's been a long time since I worked on a rear end! Both wheels off the ground, turned the right wheel and left side doesn't move. I think the left should go the opposite direction, correct? Didn't try the gears yet. I think if the left was on the ground then it would turn the drive shaft, correct? Does the trans need to be in gear for both rear wheels to turn?
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:10 PM   #5
rotorwrench
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Default Re: New problem!

Could be transmission or rear axle but you also have to consider the u-joint and the aft end of the drive shaft where it couples with the pinion. The pin can start coming out of the coupler or you could have a U-joint that is failing.

Lots of different possibilities. Hopefully it is one of the easier ones to fix.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:10 PM   #6
Brewsterbuff
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Default Re: New problem!

Trans in gear, wheels turn in opposite directions. Running through the gears sounds like the thud is coming from the rear end, ? left side but can't tell for sure since I am in the drivers seat. Need a second set of ears! But, trans in neutral, rear turns freely by hand in both directions. Seems to me if I eliminate the trans, the rear would show a problem? Wish it had an open drive shaft and I could just disconnect the universal joint and check the trans. Maybe a good reason to start by pulling the rear and not the engine to get to the transmission. Either one is a PAIN!
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:02 PM   #7
JM 35 Sedan
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Default Re: New problem!

Why not start by removing the transmission shifter top, six bolts, and lift that slowly, making sure the forks were positioned correctly in 1/R gear and 2/3 sliding collar. Then drain oil and check gears and see if any broken teeth are in bottom of case. If that all looks good drop the rear down as a unit and roll it out to dismantle.
This same type of failure occurred on my 35 fordor in Nov. 2015. I also suspected it was the transmission, but turned out to be the rear. What a mess it turned out to be inside that banjo. I drained the rear before removing and lots of pieces and parts came out through the drain hole with the oil. I can add some pics here later, but I can tell you it was not pretty. Everything inside the banjo was destroyed, as well as the banjo housing itself.

Edit: Some pictures of the rear failure, and my one and only garage helper....my beautiful all white cat.....Ol Blue Eyes
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Last edited by JM 35 Sedan; 04-06-2017 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:18 PM   #8
Bob C
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Default Re: New problem!

Put trans in neutral with one rear tire on the ground and try to turn the other wheel.

Bob
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: New problem!

John, Thanks for your input. I have already started to remove the floorboards to access the shifter. My son-in-law is my excellent helper and will be here over the weekend. I will drain the rear by then and if pieces come out will start to loosen stuff to pull the rear. I used to do this a lot on Model As but never found it to be fun, however pulling engines isn't much fun either on the Brewster, a little more difficult than on a stock '34 Ford. Disturbing thing is I just had the radiator off 3 times to try to solve the overheating problem and had the engine out once, and 3 sets of heads, 3 different kinds of water pumps . NOW THIS. When I was 25 it was fun, not quite so much at 80.
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: New problem!

sounds like a tooth off second gear....I popped one in my 32 starting it in second going down hill. I think some bearings were bad also and allowed the gears to mesh loosely.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: New problem!

Had a similar experience 50 years ago in my 36 Ford. The u-joint capscrew came out and wedged between the u-joint and housing as I was taking off from a stop light-car came to a sliding stop. Put it in reverse and screw dislodged and drove it home. Took the driveshaft loose and found the capscrew out of place and a big gouge in the u-joint housing.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: New problem!

Get a slim magnet on a stick and fish around through the trans fill plug, then the rear axle fill plug. See what sticks.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:24 PM   #13
slowforty
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Default Re: New problem!

I had a screw from the ring gear come out and broke the driveshaft. Replaced the driveshaft and a few months later it happened again and broke the end of the pinion off. Did not know the ring gear bolts were out until the second event.Never made any noise until it stopped suddenly.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:07 PM   #14
Brewsterbuff
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Default Re: New problem!

Rear end is now partially apart, enough to know that is the problem. Many teeth missing from the ring gear so I am sure the pinion is also toast, plus whatever else is also gone. Coming apart this afternoon? Where is a good place to look for a new ring and pinion set? What would be the standard ratio for 1934 passenger car?
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:29 PM   #15
Seth Swoboda
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Default Re: New problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JM 35 Sedan View Post
Why not start by removing the transmission shifter top, six bolts, and lift that slowly, making sure the forks were positioned correctly in 1/R gear and 2/3 sliding collar. Then drain oil and check gears and see if any broken teeth are in bottom of case. If that all looks good drop the rear down as a unit and roll it out to dismantle.
This same type of failure occurred on my 35 fordor in Nov. 2015. I also suspected it was the transmission, but turned out to be the rear. What a mess it turned out to be inside that banjo. I drained the rear before removing and lots of pieces and parts came out through the drain hole with the oil. I can add some pics here later, but I can tell you it was not pretty. Everything inside the banjo was destroyed, as well as the banjo housing itself.

Edit: Some pictures of the rear failure, and my one and only garage helper....my beautiful all white cat.....Ol Blue Eyes
JM, when you mentioned Ol' Blue Eyes I thought you were going into a story about the days when you and Sinatra were hanging out.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:46 PM   #16
mike in tucson
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Default Re: New problem!

Call Mac VanPelt, he probably has all the stuff in stock. http://www.vanpeltsales.com/index.htm
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:46 PM   #17
34billct
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Default Re: New problem!

A ratio of 4.11 to 1 is most likely stock and the easyest to find.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:46 PM   #18
JM 35 Sedan
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Default Re: New problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Swoboda View Post
JM, when you mentioned Ol' Blue Eyes I thought you were going into a story about the days when you and Sinatra were hanging out.
Yeah Seth, LOL, I'm almost old enough to be a member of "The Rat Pack", or in my case maybe that should be "The Pack Rats"
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:49 PM   #19
rockfla
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Default Re: New problem!

I'd go for 3:54 gears myself, we are running them in a "stock" 32 with no problems and the engine rev's are mush lower at highway speeds. 4:11 would have been stock!!
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:00 PM   #20
JM 35 Sedan
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Default Re: New problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewsterbuff View Post
Rear end is now partially apart, enough to know that is the problem. Many teeth missing from the ring gear so I am sure the pinion is also toast, plus whatever else is also gone. Coming apart this afternoon? Where is a good place to look for a new ring and pinion set? What would be the standard ratio for 1934 passenger car?
I know this is a pretty discouraging situation for you, but I think maybe posting a few pictures of this failure might be interesting to some folks here who have not seen something like this nor had to face the not so fun part of rebuilding a banjo rear.

Here's a source that advertises repro ring and pinion gears for '32-'34 Fords in the V-8 Times Magazine. Some of these ratios offered have 10 spline pinions that would most likely drop right in your stock rear axle.

http://www.earlyford.com/
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Last edited by JM 35 Sedan; 04-07-2017 at 01:34 PM.
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