Jump to content

'38 Torque Ball seal....a shockingly quick success!!!


Recommended Posts

Well I was watching a movie ("Along Came A Spider" with Morgan Freeman, awesome see it if ya havent!) and had a couple Pepsis so I won't get to sleep for another half an hour at least, so why not post up the results. (Amazing the effect caffiene has on me, takes nothin to get me off the wall. Wonder if I'll be a cheap <span style="font-style: italic">drunk</span> too. Bah. All the more reason to stay away!!!!)

ANYWAYS laugh.gif um yeah between about 2-ish Friday afternoon and yesterday evening, about 4-ish, I replaced the seal. I ran into a snag early on, with the panhard bar. The two(carriage?) bolts on either end-link would not come out once the nuts were removed, even with a sledgehammer head. So...I had to undo the bracket haha. Six bolts instead of 2 big whooptie-doo.

Other than that everything went <span style="font-style: italic">scarily</span> smooth. I ended up attaching a come-along to the axle anyway because you just can't get the axle low enough so that the springs part company 100% and I didnt want to complicate it by undoing them at the frame. I worried about them being under tension like that but they stayed put and all was well, just did it little by little.

Torque ball was.....ehhhhhhhh...whatever. LOL must have been driven a few times over its life with not enough oil, because it didn't look too great. But maybe that's just moisture rusting and pitting it, because about 97% of the actual area that is used up with the amount of realistic travel it sees, is good and clean and felt smooth, just shiny and heavily scuffed looking like you smeared something on it.

The old seal had this "spring-washer" behind it. I thought it was part of the seal as it came out with it and seemed like it was coming out of it and breaking into pieces as it did from age. A call to Bob's Automobilia informed me correctly, and he said the new neoprene rubber as opposed to the original cork really ought to be ok without it. Hey, if it drips a LITTLE, I'm fine with that. Don't all Dynaflow owners deal with that as it is? I just don't want a big PUDDLE.

Everything went back together as easy, anti-seized everything as I re-assembled it, wire-brushed rusty bolts yadda yadda. Probably should have had a helper there to line up the drive shaft and watch it as I originally removed it but the floor jack under it fortunately did roll as I planned so it came out smoothly not putting a ton of stress on the splined shaft or anything. And I got them lined up for re-entry good too, I worried about that.

Don't feel *quite* like uploading the pictures sorry laugh.gif . I'll do that sometime tomorrow. Err I mean today. That must be the Pepsi wearin' off. Good!!!

All in all I'm still kind of in disbelief of how smoothly this went and how simple it was. (So is mom!!!!) Two years ago this sounded impossible, hence why it didn't get done sooner! We had a HELLUVA rain all day today, and it hasn't gone below freezing somehow so no new salt and the old's gone by now! Cant wait to go for a drive tomorrow, fingers crossed, the drip-pan oughta stay pretty clean now!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I really like following your posts. You have learned a lot in a relatively short time working on your Buick.

By the time you get that old girl done to perfection, you will be a prewar Buick expert mechanic!

I like your new photo too....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First off...the messy "before" pic. Icky!!!


How I yanked the axle back. Those springs really are pretty soft for sure, which really comes in handy with this operation! Tied a towing strap to that and hooked the come-along to it. I just love how useful solid steel bumpers like these are!


Alright the innards of the situation.


After a run through the parts washer the retainer and ball looked a little nicer!



All back together!


Sure enough the rain only lasted until last night, today, though it's cold, it's sunny and the roads are oh-so clean. I took it out for a solid 20-25 minutes. Very refreshing as always. BUT worth mentioning is that I crawled under it afterward....look at that last picture. It <span style="font-style: italic">still</span> looks like that!!! Not a drop! I'm totally blown away.

By far the best part is thinking back, remembering my frustration in "knowing" I'd have to find a shop that would tackle this sort of thing and I figured I would pay dearly. $39 including shipping, maybe 12 13 or so hours of my time, and it's all set! NO leaking. And it was fun too. Absolutely nothing went seriously wrong. I actually did not get frustrated the whole time. Nothing misbehaved. As I said before very shocking.

It'll just make the experience of driving it that much better. Between this, the side-vents being all nice and painted up now, and the 3.73 gears the Cougar's getting soon, this summer is going to be FUN FUN FUN (and nobody's takin either of 'em away! laugh.gif ). I can't stand it. For the last 3 years every summer is better than the last, I've always got something new and more fun to look forward to, making each winter exponentially longer and harder to get through! laugh.gif Im sooo excited right now...can hardly contain myself! At least the roads will be good all this week...and this week is Spring Break. Woohoo!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Mark. I am amazed at how much you do on that car. While I would not have considered yanking it using the rear bumper, I can appreciate how you make up your mind to do something then dig in and take care of things like this with basic common sense. You'll be a great engineer someday soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind words everyone!

(Fortunately?) my rear bumper is hardly nice-looking, so I don't have to worry about scratching/scuffing, it's got plenty of that already! And, actually very little force was needed. I definitely didn't want to bend it either, so I was good there. Sure is sturdy though I wouldn't be surprised if someone put a hitch on one back in the day! If it was all re-chromed and restored it wouldn't have been used, I would have figured something else out.

Actually now that I think of it the rear-most cross member right behind the fuel tank is RIGHT there...coulda used that! laugh.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good job! These successes make the driving a lot more enjoyable. Plus, you'll know your car inside and out.

Did you have to mess around with the shimming instructions to get the right pre-load, or were you able to reassemble pretty much "as-is"?

Regarding the spring, I think they are available from either Bob's or CARS, so if the leak re-appears, you can just slip in a new spring. I would agree - it should work ok without the spring.

You can see how removing the springs entirely would make the axle removal easy. Next time you are under the car, try hitting the upper bolts with some penetrating oil - use PB Blaster with the nozzle extension tube and go through one of the frame holes to try to get some oil up there. It may pay dividends in the future.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The guy on the phone at Bob's said they didn't carry em. Perhaps CARS.

Good idea about the rear springs though I agree that would be a good idea to try and loosen those anyway in case I do really need to undo them someday.

I did have to shim it. There was actually shimming already on there originally, I could peel off one (which turned out to actually be three very thin ones) and then started to take a thicker one off...but it was quite adhered to the transmission and started peeling itself apart. I knew it would be a mess trying to scrape it all off, so I left it. I had only pulled up maybe a 1/2" arc of it around the edge, and 1/4" in before it started ripping so it's still well-sealed to the transmission. I know I really should have taken it off but I HATE gasket scraping, particularly in a somewhat awkward position where there's not a ton of space, mainly up on top there. I put on the two new shims that worked best and called it a day.

The one justification for all of this....due to the nice roads and being on break I've gone totally nuts and have driven it a ton between yesterday and today. Probably 2 - 2.5 hours total! I checked it maybe 15 minutes ago when I got home...still NOTHING. The bottom of that retainer is completely spotless. And, where the retainer mates to the transmission...nothing coming out there. And I never use the car in the cold without making sure it fully warms up during the drive. So the oil must be getting thinned as usual so that's not a variable or anything.

I don't wanna sound too confident but I think this thing shut it's trap and stopped droolin' for good!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest imported_JPIndusi

Good work Zondac.

Did you have to remove the lower spring bolts? I cannot tell from the pictures. I assume the hydraulic brake line and the emergency brake cable and the shock links also had to be disconnected to get everything back far enough.

Joe, BCA 33493

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes the <span style="font-style: italic">lower</span> spring bolts were the ones I did, not the ones holding the springs to the frame.

The shocks were undone as was the e-brake cable and rear brake hose. So yup had to call mom out "can ya push the pedal a few times?" laugh.gif She's STILL gotta deal with that. Had to help bleed em with dad, now with me!! LOL

At first all that stuff kinda put me off but then I thought "is all that really THAT bad to undo? no, no it's not. I'm gonna do this myself it'll be sooo worth it".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little wisdom that comes with age,

Been there, Done that, Can't remember. confused.gif

And most of all, The older we get, the harder it is to get started. eek.gif

Especially when it comes to getting under as it seems our parts don't work like they did once. frown.gif

Once the job is done, it didn't seems so bad after all. grin.gif

Dandy Dave! laugh.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...