Leaky Rear Axle - period & modern solutions?
I've finally got our 1912 Michigan on the road..... but it's not road worthy yet. It doesn't want to stop. The brake linings were completely soaked with differential oil (that was their condition as found in the barn). Apparently, the axle shaft and bearings have no seals. What should I consider as a period fix before resorting to machining and modern seals--- if anything is actually available that would fit. The axle is a floating type with space in the axle tubes for lubricant to flow out to the hubs/ wheels -- where it leaks onto the wheels and brakes. I have some photos below. Thoughts? Solutions? Thanks, Craig Correll
The Model T Ford vendors sell a modern inner seal that works great. You can contact them to get the ID and OD to see if it would fit. They also sell an outer seal, but it is designed to fit over a rather large flange on the brake backing plate.
Craig being the axle is full floating,this means the gear lube is what also lubes the rear wheel bearings.With this in mind you will have to seal the bearings after they are lubed-sealing before they are lubed will result in a burned bearing. Post more pictures of the bearings in there races in the hub. Cheers pete
Yes, the bearing needs "a little" lubrication. The bearings in the hub were probably replacement New Departure closed bearings. No separate race or ball bearings. The number for the bearing was on one side. ND D310 A12 Z. I cannot find any cross reference or literature on the number for that bearing. Check out the exploded and annotated photos that I have attached. This may give you some further ideas on stopping leakage of differential oil. I have added some felt seals and changed the differential oil to 1500 weight.
Craig what are the measurements of the bearing in millimeters? Pete
Sorry Pete, measuring is not easily available - the axles are all buttoned up and --- I HOPE --- sort of sealed. We used a combination of felt seals (made some dies & cut them ourselves), an "O" ring, and a bit of RTV silicon sealant on a slot on the axle tube that was for nut locking tabs & a non-spinning washer that all have tabs on the inside. (see exploded view photo from prior post). We drove the car around the block (no obvious axle leaks yet), but we discovered that reverse gear is making a horrid grinding noise. Consequently, we pulled the transmission and our fully assembled car is now without a transmission that I'm pulling apart to see what is causing the terrible grinding in reverse. Ah..... old cars..... it's always something. Cheers! Craig
Best of luck ! Keep us posted cheers pete
on the 1902 Northern, I measured the old bearing and found a #5208 double row sealed ball bearing did the trick. These are factory lubed and sealed on both sides and will never need attention in my lifetime, or my son's. If you still wanted it lubed, you can pop out the seal on the nut end and leave the one intact on the brake end, it would still keep the grease contained, but not necessary. ND had their own numbering system, and were bought by GM decades ago, so any cross reference to date is long obsolete, you just have to measure the old bearing and get out a current catalog. 99% of the time you will find a match. I am about to do the same again on a Model 14 Buick transmission with ND bearings that look JUST like that wheel bearing.