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1953 Buick rear axle broken bolt problem


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Hi- I have the rear axle center section open to remove the axle half shafts so I can replace the outer housing oil seals and inspect the bearings. I began to unbolt the 5/16" dia. locking bolt which retains the 3/4" dia. pin which retains the rectangular steel block which traps the axle half shafts in place. The bolt broke off with most of the 2 1/2" bolt still in the center carrier!!***

Had anyone devised a good solution for retrieving the broken off part of the bolt? Can I remove the center carrier section without first removing the axle half shafts? It would be much easier to drill out the broken bolt stub on the bench.

Thanks

Martin Lum

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Bob-thanks for the speedy response to my lament. i talked this problem over with a friend who has done lots more mechanical work than I and decided I didn't like the large hammer approach so I got out my right angle drill and drilled the hole in the broken off bolt(which had threads on it)deeper than i had the previous day-an 1" or so- and tapped in the appropriate sized EZ out and- to my surprise-the darned thing unscrewed the broken off 2" long bolt which had about 4 threads on it. The metal in this bolt is very soft probably not even grade 2. I made a new 2 1/8" bolt and used a grade 5 5/16" bolt. Planning to use Loctite on the reassembly after a careful Q tip cleanup of the threads with solvent.

The axle shafts, the real reason for this bolt removal so I could access the keepers at the inner end of the shafts, are out and new seals will be installed. CARS sold me a set of inner and outer seals-the inner seals fit nicely but the outer seals don't seem to have the lip part installed properly so I'll try local autoparts with the Buick part # for, hopefully, a better quality oil seal. Does anyone have an autoparts # for 53 Buick outer oil seal?

Thanks loads for the support-The club forum does a great job helping members and, in this case, a member's restorer ,to bring a Skylark back to life. I'm kind of glad I went into the rear end as this bolt head might have fractured and dropped into the housing during operation . Meshing a 5/16" bolt head with the ring and pinion sounds like a recipe for disaster.

I just removed the axle shafts on a 35 Chevy months ago and found exactly the same mechanical setup but, fortunately, no broken keeper bolt.

Martin Lum

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Thanks again for the response to my problem.

On the outer rear axle oil seal, thanks Mike for the tip. The CARS oil seal is made out of extremely stiff plastic and does not seem like it will fit on without breaking or exerting too much pressure on the shaft.

Martin Lum

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