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Technical 1954 Chevy enclosed driveline rear axles

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by hobbyjp, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. hobbyjp
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 327

    hobbyjp
    Member
    from socal

    I've been hunting down a horrible clunk and vibration. It happened one morning when I put the car into reverse. The car drove home fine the day before. Now the noise is constant. Thought it was the ujoint but its not. I've only taken it around the block at this point.
    If I grab my rear tire and pull outwards it pulls the passenger tire in when I push the tire inwards the other tire pushes out. My manual states the axle shims are the problem but the diagram doesnt show shims. I feel like a clip or something broke. I haven't opened the pumpkin yet that's my next go but wanted some insight so maybe I can have parts on hand when i dig in. Any knowledge on the subject is greatly appreciated.

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  2. hobbyjp
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 327

    hobbyjp
    Member
    from socal

    Nobody around anymore that still has knowledge on the original equipment?

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  3. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,583

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    @hobbyjp It has been many years (decades) since I have been inside one of those, but I recall the basic setup. The axles are retained by ‘C’ clips on their inner ends. Like many later rear diffs, you remove the diff cover, remove the locking pin (small bolt) from the carrier, push out the spider gear pin, push the axles inward to gain access to the ‘C’ clip, remove it, and withdraw the axle. What I do not recall, exactly, is if there is spacer block in the diff carrier through which the spider gear pin passes. I seem to recall that spacer block, but can’t swear to it.

    Given the way the assembly is designed, it is not immediately apparent to me how and/or why the axles move in unison. Even if the carrier bearings were wiped out one would think the pinion gear to ring gear contact would limit sideways movement of the carrier in at least one direction. How much side move is there when pushing/pulling on the wheels?

    In any event, sideways movement of the carrier assembly is only scenario I can imagine allowing the axles to move in unison. Obviously, a tear down is in order.

    Please post what is found upon inspection.

    Ray
     
  4. carolina chevrolet
    Joined: Nov 14, 2018
    Posts: 63

    carolina chevrolet
    Member


  5. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 799

    irishsteve

    Are the U bolts holding the axle to spring tight?Any chance the spring center bolt sheared? Movement caused by these can cause clunking too.
     
  6. hobbyjp
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 327

    hobbyjp
    Member
    from socal

    Thank you for the input. It baffles me too how its moving I'm starting to think it's the carrier bearing some how. Its moving 1/4 atleast side to side. I'm opening it in the next couple of days I'll keep you up dated.

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  7. hobbyjp
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 327

    hobbyjp
    Member
    from socal

    Thought about that one rearend is too solid for that and I measured from the axle to the perches it's pretty square.

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  8. hobbyjp
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 327

    hobbyjp
    Member
    from socal

  9. hobbyjp
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 327

    hobbyjp
    Member
    from socal

    I found another rearend nearby that I'm gonna pickup in the next few days can anyone confirm if a 51 3 speed torque tube rearend will fit a 54 3 speed? Im gonna pull mine open I the next few days and see what I can fix iys worth saving as all the brake components are brand new

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  10. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,583

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    The ‘49 thru ‘54 Chevys are all built on the same wheelbase and basic chassis/running gear. The earlier torque tube/carrier assembly should fit with no issues.

    Ray
     
  11. High5
    Joined: Jul 2, 2012
    Posts: 185

    High5
    Member

    I would guess it's a carrier bearing. If both axles shift side to side together, then the C clips and spacer block are doing their job. I had a carrier bearing fail with similar symptoms.
     

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