All axles the same?

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All axles the same?

Postby mrsprite » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:35 am

Are all axle shafts the same?? My Bugeye has the front and rear brakes (if that matters) from a '65 Sprite and it has a 3.90 diff. I twisted an axle (from a later Spridget too) and replaced both with what looks like the original axles.....they came with the car as spares. They look slightly different and were a tighter fit. I actually had to tap them in with a hammer to get them to seat on the hub. When I took it for a test drive, it whines/howls pretty badly (sounds like the classic differential whine). Is this related to the axles fitting tighter or is that a pipe dream and it's the diff that's the issue?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby mrsprite » Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:29 pm

OK.... I figured out that the axles are the same, although slightly different looking. I popped them back out again today and noticed something else that was a little disturbing. The axle doesn't seem to seat very well to the hub. I replaced the O-ring and hub gasket, but there is a small gap between the hub and the axle which produces a small leak. On the drivers side, I can actually move the hub in and out when I have the drum and axle removed. It doesn't move much, but there is noticeable play in the hub. Obvioulsy this is not good, but is it just a bad wheel bearing or is there more to it than this?

Thanks.
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Postby spritenut » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:54 pm

Did you tap the axle home into the inner seal with a big rubber hammer?
Did you put the little screw back in?
It will move a little until the wheel is boltd on since that one screw doesn't hold it tight all around. But with the screw in, it shouldn't move in and out.
It might wiggle ever so slightly until the wheel is on.
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Postby mrsprite » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:19 pm

spritenut wrote:Did you tap the axle home into the inner seal with a big rubber hammer?
Did you put the little screw back in?
It will move a little until the wheel is boltd on since that one screw doesn't hold it tight all around. But with the screw in, it shouldn't move in and out.
It might wiggle ever so slightly until the wheel is on.


I did not tap the axle in with a hammer......I was afraid of doing more damage. I'll give that a go tomorrow to see if that helps seat things better.

Yes.....the little screw is present and accounted for. It wasn't the axle that was moving in and out.....it was the hub itself (the thing with the wheel studs), but only when I had the axle and brake drum removed. Once everything was bolted up there didn't seem to be any movement.

What weight gear lube should I be using in the diff? I put in 80W-90.....should it be heavier or ?? I'm still getting a lot of whine from the rear end.....anything I can add to quiet things down?

Thanks.
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Postby mrsprite » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:47 pm

OK.....I beat the living $#%^ out of the axle (well, not really, but I did tap it with a hammer) and the axles will not go in any further. I believe they are in as far as they will go. There is about a .08mm gap between the axle flange and the hub/gasket.....which is, of course, leaking axle fluid. Where the small screw is attached, the axle is snug against the hub, but the gap is on the other 3 sides. What gives?
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Postby hpmowog » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:15 pm

Usually, the way I install my rear axles is to snug the flange down using lug nuts, then tighten down the 1/4" screw, then remove the lug nuts. When the brake drum and wheel are installed, the lug nuts are squeezing everything together. With the stock single-row ball bearings, there is some slop in the hubs (especially after several decades of wear :wink: ), since ball bearings are designed primarily to take radial loads.

You mentioned that you twisted an axle. Did it break at the hub or at the diff? Did you remove and inspect the diff after the failure?

From your description, it sounds like you've got at least a worn bearing on the driver's side.

As far as the oil weight, 80W-90 should be fine as long as it is hypoid rated.

As to your original question, I've never had to beat an axle into place.
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Postby Jimmy » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:09 am

yes, my axle/hub gap looked the same when I first put in that screw, so I did almost the same as hpmowog. I took out that screw because I thought it might be oddly stressed, put on the drum and tightened the two drum locating screws, and that closed up the gap nicely.
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Postby Charlie Tolman » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:47 am

With competition axles on my '63 Sprite, I always used four lug nuts, and perhaps a washer or two on each stud, to pull together the axle flange and hub face. See the suggestion above by Karl.

A gap of 0.08 mm ?? This is about 0.003 inches. Use a thicker gasket ??

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Postby mrsprite » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:54 am

Thanks for the replies. The axle twisted at the splines, but did not actually break.....it didn't have much longer to go though! I did pull out the diff to replace the pinion seal as it was leaking oil. It looked to be in good shape....no worse for the wear.

I supose it gets snugged down once the lugnuts are tightened up, but man.....it just doesn't look right when the drum is off. I would feel better knowing it had a bit tighter of a seal.

I think I'll live with it until I get an upgraded rear axle assembly installed......with the extra power I'm putting down, I will be replacing axles every month! I've already trashed one diff and now an axle.....anyone here do the RX-7 rear end swap?? I have a link to a website that details it very well, but it might be beyond my skill level.

Anyway, thanks again.
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Rear end whine

Postby Bill Masquelier » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:07 pm

Mike
You say that you just replaced the pinion seal-- I bet that your new whine is from an incorrect crush-piece distance from when you retorqued the pinion nut. that distance is critical.
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Re: Rear end whine

Postby mrsprite » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:19 pm

Bill Masquelier wrote:Mike
You say that you just replaced the pinion seal-- I bet that your new whine is from an incorrect crush-piece distance from when you retorqued the pinion nut. that distance is critical.
Bill


Well.....I marked the nut so I would get it back to the same position. Should I back it off a little bit?
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Whine

Postby Bill Masquelier » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:44 pm

I think that folks far more knowing than I should answer that. I've only read about it, never taken a diff apart and hope never to have to.
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Re: Whine

Postby mrsprite » Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:14 pm

Bill Masquelier wrote:I think that folks far more knowing than I should answer that. I've only read about it, never taken a diff apart and hope never to have to.
Bill


Thanks anyway. :) I have never taken apart a diff before either and I'm in no real hurry to do so. I do have a trashed one though.....I may do some experimenting with that one.

I have decided to do the RX-7 rear end swap this summer, so I can live with the howl until then.....it's just so annoying!
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Postby fastvee » Tue May 08, 2007 12:32 pm

I didn't see this mentioned, but check the hub face for flatness. I have found damage from hammering on the O.D., and evidence of using a chisel to separate the axle which upsets some metal. Sometimes just using a flat file on the high spots is enough, without having to remove the studs and bearings.
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