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Help to dismantle rear axle / differential


CDN224

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Forum Members,

It's been a while since I have been on the site, the restoration is going great... I'm now attempting to remove the covers on my rear axle / differential... I was wondering if someone could help describe the steps, as my manual is really basic and limited detail. There's a big weird bolt on the bowl / back, does this come off? Also there are 3 bolts on the drive shaft part, what are these for?

i have never done this and would like some help with what part comes off first...

also, on the shaft going to towards the drivers side wheel, there is a small tube sticking up, not covered, and when I cleaned it, it's a tube that I can see the shaft turn... Is this an oil port? Or a place to dump grease? Picture attached, I covered it for now..

Thanks in advance, appreciate all the help

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The small tube is a vent. It is there to release heat and pressure. There should be a cap or something to keep dirt out. The big weird bolt is the drain plug. If you have a manual you have more info than I do, sorry I can't be more helpful.

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The small tube is a vent. It is there to release heat and pressure. There should be a cap or something to keep dirt out. The big weird bolt is the drain plug. If you have a manual you have more info than I do, sorry I can't be more helpful.

thanks :) Rusty.. Appreciate the quick reply.. I'll post my info so it may help others.. Once I figure out this stuff...

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If you are going to remove the bowl shaped cover shown in the third photo, remove the all the bolts around the outside and the cover should come right off. It maybe stuck on the gasket so some prying maybe necessary. If you are going to remove the cast iron assembly (It's called a pumpkin) in photo two, first remove the axles then remove the all the nuts around the outside and the pumpkin should fall right out. The three bolts on the drive shaft part are there to hold the pinion bearing outer race in place.

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If you are going to remove the bowl shaped cover shown in the third photo, remove the all the bolts around the outside and the cover should come right off. It maybe stuck on the gasket so some prying maybe necessary. If you are going to remove the cast iron assembly (It's called a pumpkin) in photo two, first remove the axles then remove the all the nuts around the outside and the pumpkin should fall right out. The three bolts on the drive shaft part are there to hold the pinion bearing outer race in place.

thanks, yes, just found out about the pumpkin name.. And my manual covers a large portion, and also describes the axle removal but the pictures and the terms are very confusing... Appreciate the feedback.. And the info about the 3 bolts...

The part that I'm going to have to dig info on, is the axle removal... The guards behind the brake assembly are aged, looks like there's 4 bolts but look like large rivets either from time or rust... I'll see how far I get...

it looks easy and with care and patience I feel I can clean and paint this part with great results...

Appreciated..

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Unless there's been a mechanical failure of some type, it's probably not necessary to disassemble the entire rear axle assembly, aka third member. If there's been a whine or a growling noise than go ahead and investigate and repair. But if it turns smoothly with minor effort, I would just replace the seals, and clean the gunk out of the pumpkin. Use a magnet in the old gear lube to determine the condition by seeing if any metal fines are attracted to it. If there's little or nothing than it's in pretty good shape. Then just re-assemble what you have and clean and paint. I would apply the old adage "Don't fix what ain't broke." But that's your decision, I'm sure there's more pressing details on your project that command your time and attention.

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Unless there's been a mechanical failure of some type, it's probably not necessary to disassemble the entire rear axle assembly, aka third member. If there's been a whine or a growling noise than go ahead and investigate and repair. But if it turns smoothly with minor effort, I would just replace the seals, and clean the gunk out of the pumpkin. Use a magnet in the old gear lube to determine the condition by seeing if any metal fines are attracted to it. If there's little or nothing than it's in pretty good shape. Then just re-assemble what you have and clean and paint. I would apply the old adage "Don't fix what ain't broke." But that's your decision, I'm sure there's more pressing details on your project that command your time and attention.

Thanks Larry,

yes all I wish to do is replace the bolts on the differential, clean and reseal the back bowl and the pumpkin... The rest works fine, no noises or grinding and axle turns great... My reason was to make sure after years of neglect, all was ok...

So if I gently remove the part (pinion bearing?) as it slides out from the pumpkin stem (where the drive shaft attaches) the pumpkin casting just pulls off exposing the gears correct... Then I can clean, and reseal both sides ready for paint..

thanks in advance...

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I don't know. That's why I'm advising not to get too deep into it. You may be opening a can of worms. I would just remove the bowl shaped cover, and leave the rest alone.

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Take the rear cover off, drain the old oil, flush out the axle housing - kerosene works - and inspect the gears. If there is no obvious evidence of wear, put the cover on, refill it through the plug on the diff carrier and leave it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Terry

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Take the rear cover off, drain the old oil, flush out the axle housing - kerosene works - and inspect the gears. If there is no obvious evidence of wear, put the cover on, refill it through the plug on the diff carrier and leave it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Terry

That is my philosophy also!!

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Hey Guys;

By responding to CDN224 you helped me out too. I am at the point in my Durant restoration where I need to paint the rear end, as all the springs, front axle and frame has now been done. Car had 45,000 miles on it which I believe is authentic due to what I am finding as I took her apart. The guy that does my blasting and some of my painting for me is a local restoration shop that mostly works on more modern cars than my 1928. I spoke with him about how he would do the rear end and he said he usually takes it apart, cleans it, bead blasts it and then repaints it. I am super leary about having him take apart my rear end since if he messes it up I'm going to have nightmares. You just can't get all the parts for a 1928 Durant rear end anymore and I have bad dreams about starting down the road with a fresh new restoration and having that grinding metal to metal feeling. I would think that he could seal the ends and just blast it and paint it somehow as to not get the media inside. Any other suggestions as to a good way to clean and paint these. I like the idea if it ain't broke don't fix it. That's my motto also, but he's insistent that he has taken other ones apart and never had a problem. With the shims etc in there, just don't want to mess with that. You guys are great with your help to us newby restorers. Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

Team, thanks for all the advice, the bowl removed fine, the drain plug needs replacing... The bowl just fell off, the seal looks like leather or rubber... I have replacement gasket, fits good by measure...

the magnet showed no metal bits, just really dirty.. The manual now helps since I can see the insides.. And is very similar to a post I found online about a chevy truck differential cleaning...

http://www.truckmodcentral.com/forums/f168/10-bolt-g80-differential-teardown-thread-11626/

the gears seem easy to dismantle and to clean, replace with new fluid.. The seals look in great shape but I may need to inspect closer...

appreciate ALL the feedback and advice... Eventually parts do need cleaning and inspection, taking advice from this forum, I will use caution and care...

thanks all...

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  • 1 month later...

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