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Technical Driveline Failure

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by AVater, Jul 1, 2021.

  1. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    AVater
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    I guess the pictures give you the general idea of how my ride went this morning. After working through a series of carb/fuel pump issues, I finally got the truck back on the road for a "test drive" this morning. Leaving from a stop sign on a slight hill, the truck bucked then I heard a snap sound and rolled down hill to a stop near a local farm (note the sign visible in the windshield). Honest--was not beating on it. Had the truck towed home and put it to rest in the garage.

    Having broke axles before, I remember that it was a pretty silent event only noticeable by the fact that I could not leave from a stop light in one case and in the second case, huge racket only from the safety hub retainers. This time the "bang" seems to be the only difference. Visually I cannot see either of the rear wheels out of place, at least not grossly as I saw with the previous broken axles. As background, the driveline is an *BA flathead with a wide ratio '39style 3 speed and closed driveline. Truck rolls freely in gear when the engine is off.

    If it is not an axle, what else could it be? Your insight/past experiences welcome.

    By the way--the truck ran very well:rolleyes:

    Either way, Thank you in advance with what you can share and hope to find out for myself soon (may need to wait past the holiday) IMG_6725.jpg IMG_6734.jpg
     
  2. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,055

    Doublepumper
    Member

    That sucks. Only positive is just the snap sound and not a snap, crunch, crunch, crunch sound.
    Gorgeous truck, hopefully you can get it back up without a big ha$$le.
     
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  3. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,075

    1pickup
    Member


  4. Jokester
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 530

    Jokester
    Member

    Broken trans mainshaft? Broken drive shaft?
     
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  5. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 2,256

    harpo1313
    Member
    from wareham,ma

    Jack up the rear , chances are youll know right away.
     
  6. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    AVater
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Thank you--good point. I guess I started the holiday with a "Bang"!

    That would be so nice!

    Good idea--Thanks!
    Have another transmission--That would be OK. Driveshaft could be painful for me.
    I'm on it tomorrow morning (couldn't get into it today as other stuff going on) but may need to finish later. Will report back
     
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  7. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,646

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pull the rear caps, start engine, idling in 1st gear. (emergency brake on) Look inside rear wheel centers, watch for castle nut turning (but not wheel, obviously) Broken axle key.
    Moon used to sell 'soft' axle keys, I used them in my '34 five window. (I had a locked rear, (welded spiders) so wanted to avoid peeling an axle...)
     
  8. WiredSpider
    Joined: Dec 29, 2012
    Posts: 875

    WiredSpider
    Member

    Torque tube coupler?
     
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  9. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,423

    gene-koning
    Member

    Would you have felt better if you would have been beating on it when it broke?

    I had a car break an axle one time while just driving it, that actually upset me! If I would have been beating on it and the axle broke, it would have been expected. After replacing the broken axle, I pretty much beat on the ride every time I drove it. Never broke another axle, other parts, ya, but never another axle. My buddy always said that you break the weakest thing first, guess for me, that axle was the weakest point.

    Getter fixed and find the next weakest point. Gene
     
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  10. Hoping it's a simple fix.........
     
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  11. SS327
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 292

    SS327

    Pinion gear. Hell, it could be anything. Jack it up.
     
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  12. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    AVater
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Thank you—me too!


    Yep and hope to get started this morning.

    Thank you all and have a great holiday weekend!
     
  13. redoxide
    Joined: Jul 7, 2002
    Posts: 612

    redoxide
    Member
    from Scotland

    stripped drive shaft coupler .. Put it in gear lift the clutch and if it makes a sound like the gearbox is filled with rocks thats it stripping the last of the splines off the coupler before it goes silent :)

    If it is that when you replace the coupler add some locktite thread seal to the spline when you put on the new one and replace the retaining pin good and tight. Give the locktite a good day or so to cure before driving the truck again.
    This happened to me , was near the end of a 1500 trip in my coupe , 20 miles from home I was just pulling up a hill around 50 in top when BANG followed by a rotational clattering as though the gearbox had grenaded itself. Pulled the alxe and found that the coupler splines were completely stripped ..
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
    AVater likes this.
  14. That sucks for sure! Bet Bruce might have whatever you need. let us know if we can help you out.
     
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  15. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    AVater
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    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Walt--many thanks! Please say hello to Bruce for me. Was hoping to get up there for a Hemmings event but last I looked I didn't see any listed. If nothing else, hope to get to Stowe in August so will likely be by then.

    In my "parts department", I have some axles, a whole differential and a transmission. What would be unfortunate would be if the ring and pinion is messed up because I have 3.55 gears in there and had the driveshaft altered from 10 spline to 6 spline some years back to accommodate the pinion. Going out there now to see what the problem is.
     
  16. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    AVater
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    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Ok--so have the truck blocked up (hard wood blocks and jack stand backups--the bottle jack is holding up air at this point) and ready to remove the differential from the transmission back. So far I have learned they axle keyways are fine and no evidence that the axles are broken: when I turn one axle the other turns the opposite way and I can't seem to slide them out. I'm afraid More fun to come on this.
    down under.jpg
     
  17. Seems there was a shake up at Hemmings and Jim was moved over to managed the "fleet". A new fella was sent in to take charge. Meets were cancelled. rumor was there was only going to be one a year then Covid arrived. Haven't heard any scuttlebut lately but I would not hold my breath waiting to hear.
    My bet is on the drive shaft. Hope you find it after lunch:)
     
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  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,593

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here I turned the light up a bit. Let' hope it's a simple fix. down under (2).jpg
     
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  19. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 3,718

    Fordors
    Member

    I have zero experience with early Ford read ends but I think I’d be looking at that modified driveshaft.
     
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  20. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,134

    Truckedup
    Member

    Axle keys alone do not secure the hub, it the tapered fit that does the job..the hubs and or axle taper get wacked out of shape over the years and no longer fit properly.
     
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  21. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    AVater
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    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Ok, so for a quick update, on Saturday morning I slid the rear out the back of the truck. With some quick playing around, it became more and more apparent that there was a problem with the driveshaft. This morning I was able to take off the torque tube and take a better look at the situation. To back up a bit, about 15 years ago when I swapped out the rear for twin with 3.55 gears, I needed to alter the driveshaft. I took it to a shop that removed the 10spline coupler from the tail end of the shaft and grafted in a 6 spine coupler to match the 6 spines on the new pinion. With the torque tube off, I could see that the shaft and coupler had in effect "decoupled" To complicate the matter, somehow the shaft slid over the coupler to cover a small part of the pin that holds the coupler on the pinion. After much twisting, turning, choice words and elbow grease, I was able to remove the pin and slide the driveshaft off. Now what to do? It appears the coupler needs to come out about another inch from the driveshaft tube and will need to be rewelded. This could be plan A. For plan B, I have a solid driveshaft 1937 or later with coupler and a torque tube with the middle bearing that could replace the hollow tube used in 1935-36. Not sure how to proceed. If I go with plan A will need to create a puller of sorts to move the coupler out the above mentioned inch and find a shop that can weld and balance the end result. If I go with plan B, will need to learn how to remove and replace the old center bearing from the replacement torque tube. Decisions, decisions. Your insight welcome!
    IMG_6740 .JPG
     
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  22. SS327
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 292

    SS327

    I think the torque tube with the center support bearing would be better. It seems it would cut down on harmonics and whipping of the driveshaft.
     
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  23. hardtimesainit
    Joined: Jan 24, 2009
    Posts: 569

    hardtimesainit
    Member

    Taking the bearing out of the driveshaft is a fairly simple straightforward bit of work. Put new bearing back in same manner ( if my old brain still remembers).
    Take a socket of cloose inside tube diam. Use an adequately long length of rod… to get bearing to end of tube. A nice sharp hammer strike should dislodge bearing from its resting area/NOTCH in shaft. Just use same equipment to reinstall bearing. STOP went it indicates that it is back in tube far enough.
    I measured distance to install by marking rod length.
    Best luck.
     
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  24. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,960

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    I too had the tail shaft coupler changed to match the higher gearing a few years ago.
    The weld actually broke.
    Here’s was my fix.



    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/ford-banjo-question-34-pickup-problem.1206145/

    Finally got to the problem.

    The main inner drive shaft adapter spline broke at the rear differential.
    I’m thinking the adapter was placed in the tube backwards and welded in.
    The broken weld was well done but I believe it was installed it incorrectly.
    Take a look and compare the pointed looking teeth on the spline gearing.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    I flipped the adapter to the correct spline gearing, drilled and installed a pin perpendicular to the shaft and welded the pin ends in.

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,247

    indyjps
    Member

    The weld that broke was very cold and ropey with little penetration, it was just laying on the surface.
    Good that you found the issue and are on track to a repair.
     
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  26. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,457

    adam401
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I would (and do) run a shortened and resplined solid driveshaft. Less bullshit to worry about. Dont tell anyone but I dont even run the center support bearing (not recommended). Shhhhhh.
     
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  27. Those old splines aren't pointed... they're worn! What do the mating splines look like!
     
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  28. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    AVater
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    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Petejoe--Thank you! Your diagnostics similar to mine too. Looks like a good way to fix the problem. How did it hold up?
     
  29. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,598

    AVater
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Thank you Adam401 & your secret is safe with me. :rolleyes:

    The way I figure--if I use the solid driveshaft (option B) then it does not need to be shortened and therefore it may still need the center bearing?
     

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