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1959 chevy rear end problem

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 59 brook, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook
    Member

    well i went to take my 59 chevy wagon on the hot rod power tour and 300 miles into the trip the rear end let go. this is not the first time i have had problems with the rear. i replaced the axle bearings 10 yrs ago when i redid the car everything was fine but the rear has always been noisy thought it was a lack of insulation as the fluid was new and everything seemed ok inside. about 2 yrs ago on the way home the bearing retainer slides off the axle and the axle walks out allowing the driver side rear tire to rub the fenderwheel. replaced the bearing with a new bearing from napa and everything seemed ok.like i said 300 miles into the trip and i get flagged down by a guy who says their is oil blowing out the back. i pull into the rest area and the drivers wheel is smoking like crazy,and the rear fluiod is running down the wheel. i get it towed to a friend's shop and pull the wheel. the rear is still full of fluid but the bearing has split around the circumference of the bearing into the o-ring groove and there seems to be about 4-5 ball bearings missing. now i do have an extra 9" ford rear or another gm rear ready to rebuild with an eaton posi unit ,disc brakes new 3.23 ring and pinion. the axle shafts have some pitting. so i am wondering what is causing the rear problems and opinions on either a different bolt in rear or should i rebuild the extra 59 rear or the 9" ford thanks
    P.S. fixed the rear with a new bearing only to discover that the trans was on the way out as i couldn't back up or hardly drive forward so i got it to a trans shop where we discovered that the planetary gearset was disintegrating and the trans needed to be rebuilt. so i bite the bullet and rented a dodge charger to do the tour .wasn't as cool as cruising in the 59 but the charger was very impressive 'cept it didn't have a hemi
     
  2. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    The Chev "pumpkin" rear wasn't the toughest one in the world, but they went a lot of miles if they weren't abused. A good rebuild should last forever under your wagon, unless you have a heavy foot and lots of cubes.
     
  3. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 9,794

    Johnny Gee
    Member
    from Downey, Ca

    I would say that the bearing was pressed on wrong. May have been pressed with the pressure placed on the outer portion of bearing. I abuse mine close to its limits and only scattered the spiders a time or two.
     
  4. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook
    Member

    never had a problem with the spiders just the drivers side bearing once the retainer slid off and this time the bearing split
     

  5. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,568

    Torkwrench
    Member

    Are you talking about the separate bearing retainer that presses onto the axel shaft, or the bearing retainer plate that has 4 bolts and bolts to the end of the housing? If it's the press on retainer, maybe it's the wrong size retainer. I've bought a few new bearings, (marked with the correct bearing number), that had the wrong size bearing retainer, (the retainer that presses on). It would press on the axel with a slight amount of pressure. One of them went on by hand.
     
  6. SLAMED 59
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 79

    SLAMED 59
    Member

    just put the 9 in it and be dun with it. after 2 axles sliding out and one snaping off on my 59 thats what i did ,good luck
    rhsb9s.jpg
     
  7. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook
    Member

    the first time the retainer that was pressed on slide off . this time the bearing split right next to and crossing into the o ring groove
     
  8. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    I tore up, broke and busted quite a few of those 55/64 Chevrolet rear ends back in the day .

    The newest 64 Chevrolet rear end is almost 50 years old :rolleyes: ... and parts are not as plentiful as the 9 inch Ford pieces and parts.

    Moser Engineering sells a complete 9 inch Ford housing with axles for a 1959 Chevrolet ( even with the Chevrolet 5 on 4.75 wheel pattern ) for not a ton of $$$. :D

    If you plan on keeping the 59 ... I would go ahead and upgrade to the 9 inch Ford.

    .
     
  9. b-mauger
    Joined: Dec 26, 2011
    Posts: 13

    b-mauger
    Member

    had the same problem it was my rear housing was bent and caused constent pressure trying to pull the tire outward this made my axel pull out a couple times and broke a couple till i figured it out. i changed housing and never had another problem,
     
  10. Just a quick question ... was your bearing a timkien or could it have been chineese?
     
  11. b-mauger
    Joined: Dec 26, 2011
    Posts: 13

    b-mauger
    Member

    honestly i kept steeling complete orignal axels off of the parts car i had. just putting them in i always figured if the seal wasnot leaking on the outside the bearing was still good. after i changed housing i had no problems again. this car also had hydrolics. so i am sure that helped bend the houseing.
     
  12. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook
    Member

    had an extra housing so i had it built with a posi and 3:31 i think and new moser axles. the originals seem to bent with the wheel hub flange having a bend . rear now has some miles on it and no more problems so far. the last bearings were from napa. the new set was from a shop locally that specializes in rear ends and driveshafts
     
  13. " the last bearings were from napa."

    The races will say if its chinese or not ... napa sells both
     
  14. mattcates
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1

    mattcates
    Member
    from Malibu CA

    I've had the axles slide out twice on my 59 Brookwood wagon...seems like a common problem. can you tell me more about your ford 9" swap?
     
  15. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook
    Member

    i still have a chevy rear in the car and it has a couple of thousand miles with no issues . i had an extra housing and new axles, bearings ,posi and gears with no more problems.
     
  16. Sauli
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 499

    Sauli
    Member

    This talk of the bearing retainers, I see words "pressed on with slight pressure" or "slid on".

    Am I stating the obvious if I mentioned that, to the best of my knowledge, these retainers should not go on the axle period, without having to be expanded by way of being heated up red hot w/ a torch...?

    Just rebuilt a complete, similar-type ´58 Chevy rear axle just last year, and that´s how the retainer rings of the bearing races were installed on the axle shafts.

    As for the OP´s last posting, if You have this axle back together and it´s worked for You without these outside bearing issues recurring, good for You. If Your third member is good, I´m sure it´s going to hold up just fine for You and Your car under normal driving conditions.
    I personally wouldn´t swap it for a Ford 9-inch, unless I had a complete such axle readily in my possession and were in a position to fabricate my own control arm brackets.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
    gas pumper likes this.
  17. surfcaliforniasurf
    Joined: Sep 17, 2007
    Posts: 402

    surfcaliforniasurf
    Member

    I have put 80,000 miles on my original rear after buying the car in 2004 with no problems. Cruise 85-90 all day no worries. I would say there is a bigger issue causing the problem
     
  18. surfcaliforniasurf
    Joined: Sep 17, 2007
    Posts: 402

    surfcaliforniasurf
    Member

    Damn this must have been my cocky undoing. I have since had the drivers side rear axle walk out twice in the last 14,000 miles, once just today. I hope I don't have a bigger issue.
     
  19. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,652

    manyolcars

    57 chvy.jpg I was in my 57 keeping up with a smart-alec going 90 down the interstate. Doing ok until I got to my exit. When I backed off of the throttle, there was a loud pop and I smelled gear lube. A piece of the gear blew a hole in the cast iron housing so I drove it 30 miles home and got another rear axle A few years later it went bad so I'm ready for a 9" too.
     
  20. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    Member Emeritus

    My guess is your rear end housing is tweaked; have all the issues been on the same side? Bolt in 9" rears are available from Currie and others; but unless you really beat on the car, the stock rear end should be fine, provided everything checks out. Again, check to be sure the housing is't tweaked/bent. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  21. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,947

    B.A.KING
    Member

    OK here we go again.i'll tell you how to stop the axel walking out. first its caused by those cars are basically light in the rear. Yeah i know ,a wagon but its kid of light. They get a slight side to side motion that you really cant feel. Get your bearing from ecklers late great chevy club. make sure that where the bearing contacts the axle its not worn down. You'll need to check against another axle. THEN when you press on new axle bearing/retainer, tack weld the retainer in 4 spots on axle. Remember i said TACK WELD. not run a bead.Old drag racer told me this years ago after my axle ran out on 59 el camino. Been great ever since over 300,000 miles. while your at it take drive shaft carrier bearing out fill holes with silicone, let set after you have wrapped with tape
     

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