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Another Torque Ball Repair Question


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I've read all the threads I could find on the subject, which did help a lot, giving me the confidence to tackle the job of replacing the leaky torque ball seal on my '60 Buick Invicta Convertible. But, I've run into a problem. I can't seem to get the torque ball retainer out! I've got the rear axle pulled back as far as it will physically go, but there just doesn't seem to be enough clearance between the end of the torque ball and the frame cross-member. I thought that perhaps pulling the torque ball out first would work, but can't get it out either. I've pulled the e-brake cable out of the cross member to give me a little more wiggle room, but still no go. Can anyone help?

Thanks!

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Any way you can get a picture of what you're dealing with? If the crossmember is in the way, try tilting the end of the torque ball to torque tube attachment up or down to clear the crossmember. If it's sticky, you can tap it easily with a dead blow hammer (don't wail on it), or even use a broom handle or tube of some sort if it will fit. If the torque tube itself is still in the way, you can unbolt the rear springs and just pull it out of the car...If you've disconnected everything, there should only be those two bolts left.

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I am not sure that I can add much to this but I just finished going through this exercise, taking it off and then putting it back on. Both times it was like figuring out one of those puzzles - you know what I mean. Anyhow, what worked for me was to pull the torque ball and retainer off the shaft and then moving just the torque ball to one side a bit while rolling off the retainer to the other side. Not sure if all the clearances are the same - my car is a 60 Electra. Good Luck!

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I've tried manipulating the torque ball every which way possible to get the retainer out. It moves freely so that's not a problem. My thought now is that if I pulled the rear axle OUT, it would give me more clearance to move the torque ball itself back far enough to POSSIBLY remove it first, then I could get the retainer and the rest of it out without a problem... the reason I hesitate is that everyone, and even the manual says I only need to "pull it back". Maybe the cross member on a convertible is wider than on other models, causing a clearance issue?

I'll see if I can get a pic here shortly.

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In my experience (granted, in earlier year models) you have to pull the rear end WAY back. The springs will not need to be removed but everything else will from the diff. Shocks, sway bar, etc. You may need a come-along strapped to a heavy (immovable) object like a truck bumper, frame, etc. Keep tryin', it's nice to have a dry Dynaflow, and it IS possible!

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Mike, I've got the rear end back as far as it will go, the springs are now up against frame bracketry so to go any further its gotta come out. Here's a shot of the torque ball area, you can see that I have the retainer piece shoved into the cross member hole, in an attempt to pull the torque ball out, but it bumps into the end of the drive shaft... so, I guess I'm goona yank that rear end.. what the heck.... like Aaron65 said, it's only two more bolts!

torqueballhell.jpg

buickbeingworkedon.jpg

Edited by Nostalgic Dave (see edit history)
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Dave,

The frame crossmember you are talking about, is that the one the trans bolts to? I think I removed mine to change the angle of the entire driveline. If you are hitting the back, I'm not sure what to do.

Great looking Invicta BTW

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Thanks Mike... the cross member is directly behind the transmission, it is only a frame stiffener, nothing but the e-brake cable is attached to it. Well I removed the rear end completely and was able to get the torque ball cover and torque ball to come out through the hole in the cross-member. Yeah!!!!! So simply pulling the rear end back out of the way wasn't sufficient, even though others suggest that it works and so does the service manual.. not sure what to think of that, maybe its a difference with the cross member in convertibles? At any rate, now that I know exactly what to do... the job is "not that hard". Ah the power of knowledge!

So now a new problem... the torque ball has a bad wear spot, caused by a ding in the torque ball retainer at the bottom. I suppose I could have the bad spot tig'd up and lathe it all back smooth, but obviously I'd prefer to replace it. Anybody know if these have been reproduced?

torqueballwear.jpg

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  • 3 months later...

I figured this one out. I had the same problem as Dave. I discovered that the trans mount was flattened a bit from 50 years of age, and I just could not get enough clearance to get the torque ball retainer out. I loosened the mount and jacked up the trans about 2 inches and poof! it came out in a whisker.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Just a tip from the torque ball retainer I installed today.

I did this when on a two post lift and followed all of the other instructions above, i.e. disconnected the shock links. I then used two ratcheting tie downs hooked around the rear bumper brackets and around the rear axle.

BTW, I got it done in three hours. Oh, that included installing a new thrust pad!

post-32260-143138507799_thumb.jpg

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As far as NOS torque balls, I suspect you will not find one. I would call Wheatbelt Buick in Oklahoma, they will probably have a good used one for you. I got a Universal there, they had one right on the shelf.

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Dino Bob,

This is actually an old post, but since I took pictures of the process I used yesterday to pull the rear end back, I wanted to attach it for anyone using the search feature when replacing their torque ball retainer.

(Yes, I know, NOBODY uses the search feature) :D

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  • 2 years later...
Dino Bob,

This is actually an old post, but since I took pictures of the process I used yesterday to pull the rear end back, I wanted to attach it for anyone using the search feature when replacing their torque ball retainer.

(Yes, I know, NOBODY uses the search feature) :D

Hi' I'm NOBODY, thanks for the tip

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Another nobody here! On the '39 Special Coupe I have a growl that I can hear and feel in the steering wheel and brake pedal. Had a brake dragging a bit that I have fixed by honing all wheel cylinders and new springs and flushed the fluid, then changed out inner wheel bearings on right front wheel that felt rough, but still have the growl and vibration. Checked differential and trans, and fluid levels are fine. I am thinking torque ball or universal joint is my next suspect since I still feel the vibration when I go into neutral or have the clutch in. Tried to loosen the torque ball mounting stud per the manual by 1/4 turn but could not get the lock nut loose on either side - was afraid I was going to tear up the rubber mounting. I could get the nut and lock washer loose on the other end of the studs enough to get a little play in the outer torque ball retainer, but when I tighten everything back up I still have the problem. So, does anyone have some suggestions of what I should start looking for next?

Thanks,

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