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1931 model 8 66 torque ball leak


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My 8 66 coupe leaks oil badly from the torque ball at the rear of the trans. I got the seal from Bob's. Do I have to remove the rearend to install it or does it unbolt at the rear of the trans? I have the parts book, but it has no pictures. I saw a post for the later model, but it has a real seal on the output shaft. This seal is rubber and looks like it must fit into the ball itself. All help appreciated.

Thanks Dave in N.H.

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Okay So today we dove in. Pulled the rear end back far enough to remove the bell cover and the torque ball itself. There was a felt seal installed into a groove in the cover. There was a 1/2" gap in the seal. I replaced it with packing strip supplied by Bob's. Fit in nicely. I trimmed the ends at about a 45* angle , so the would seal well when butted up. We cleaned up everything else and started reassembly. Lining up the spline was a bit of a challenge, as you can only see through the holes in the bell. We found a tie down strap around the rearend and attached to the crossmember helped to pull the drive shaft back together. Once the shaft was snugged up with the cap, we aligned the shackle bolts through the springs and hooked everything back up. Whole job took two of us about 3 hours. Not to bad afterall. I drove it around and put it in the garage. No oil on the floor after supper. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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I`m not sure about your `31, but on my `36 the ball flange has to be clocked correctly, the four bolt holes where the torque tube bolts, are equally spaced and easy to put in wrong. Mine is marked "Top" in the casting, which I found after cleaning. If not clocked right the drain hole in the bushing will be 90deg to the left or right or 180deg out and be at the top. bushing drain hole should be to the bottom. Tom

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Dave, on my `36 just in front of the round flange with the four bolt holes, the casting is recessed between the location of the threaded holes, "TOP" is in raised letters. On mine the T and the P are visible, where the O should be there is a brass or bronze plug that locks the inside bushing in place. Tom

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I'm going to take it to the shop in the morning, jack it up and see if I can see the mark. I can't believe we didn't see the word top on the casting. I did see the hole in the bushing, but it kind of got lost while struggling with the shaft. No, sorry, I didn't take pictures. But if anyone needs help, send me a note and I'll be glad to share what I know.

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I jacked up the car this am. At the top of the flange I can see "TO" . No "P" is showing. Seems strange as the letters are raised, but no hint of the P. On the side at 3 o'clock I see the brass pin talked about in one of the posts. I'm going to leave it alone as I believe it is right. There is not enough space , if I loosen it up to see the hole, again I will just let it be. Thanks to all of you for you help.

Dave

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  • 1 year later...

I'm going to dig up this thread to hopefully get some help resolving a leak in my '31 Model 57.  In the Specs and Adjustments guide, it doesn't really talk about a torque ball in the Model 50s, just the 60/80/90.  But if you look at the attached diagram, it appears to have one...please correct me if I'm wrong. 

 

At any rate, I'm getting a decent drip from the seal around the ball.  If you look closely, you can actually see some of the seal is torn and sticking out.  When I bought the car, the leak was pretty minimal, but I've put quite a few miles on it since rebuilding the water pump and it's gotten worse - especially after long drives.  After a long drive, I'll have about 1/8 cup of extremely thick lubricant on the floor.  It's so thick, that when it cools it has the consistency of tar. Naturally, I'd like to keep that stuff off my garage floor! 

 

I'd like to have a go at replacing the seals - but I can't seem to find anything for the early 30's cars, especially the 50 series.  Bob's has kits for 1934+, 60/80/90 series.  Am I looking for the wrong thing?  If anyone can help get me moving in the right direction, I'd appreciate it!

btb.jpg

Edited by envoy_to_the_stars (see edit history)
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There should be a leather cover over the ball to catch the oil,mine leaks about a once after it is parked after a hour of driving,just add more,thicker the better.i think they always will leak,have seen pics of really nice one with spill trays under them.

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Mine is a 31 Series 60 so I don't want to mislead you but I'm pretty certain that you have a rope seal that fits into a groove.  I got mine from Bobs, it had a Teflon feel to it and it tightened right up.  Although my tranny was already disconnected, I would think you could change that seal by unbolting that casting holding the seal and then pulling it back enough to peel out the old and put in the new. 

 

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1 hour ago, Bob Engle said:

The early 50 series do not have a seal.  I don't know what year they added a seal, but 1932 did not have a seal, just the leather cover to catch the drips.

 

Bob Engle

 

That's really interesting to hear.  the amount of fluid dripping out of my torque ball (especially after driving a few miles) would probably fill up a leather cover very quickly.  It leaves a pretty sizable puddle on the ground.  Is it possible to add a seal, perhaps some modern kevlar rope packing?  Or is it one of those "buy/make a boot and deal with it" kind of things?

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The early 1931 50 series cars had the same transmission as the 1930 30 series cars.  It was a non synchro mesh transmission.  Mid year 1931 they went to the same transmission as used in 1932.  there was no seal on the torqueball on the 50 series car.  The leather cover was to keep dirt out of the ball and keep drips to a minimum.  The transmission should use 160 weight oil to keep leaking to a minimum.  The fit of the ball to the transmission can be adjusted by adding or removing gasket shims.   You should expect a small amount of leakage, but not enough to affect the level in the transmission.

 

If you wanted to add a seal, you would need to machine a groove in the back cover .  With the spherical shape of this ball and cover, care would be needed to get a proper groove in the cover.

 

Many of these cars have damaged torque balls due to the leather cover deteriorating and allowing dirt and water to get in the ball, pitting and corroding the surface.  Of the 5 drive trains I have, only 2 had suitable parts for use.

 

I would first change the oil in the transmission to 160 weight oil and see if that helps.  Many people just go get standard 90 weight and increase the severity of leaks.

 

Do not use modern GL5 oil!!.  it will damage the bronze synchronizers in time.  GL4 is the correct oil to use.

 

Bob Engle

 

 

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Bob,

 

thanks for the extra info.  My car has the synchromesh transmission like the 32's, so maybe I should be looking to make a new boot and add some shims (though i think i remember bob's automobilia only has '34+).

 

I don't want to add something that wasn't there originally, so I'll abandon the seal idea.  I'm fine with a few drops every now and again, but right now I'm getting about a 10" puddle after every 10 mile drive which seems excessive.  Shims should help cut that back, along with the leather boot you mentioned.

Edited by envoy_to_the_stars (see edit history)
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I added the rope/packing seal to my 30-50.. if you look in the pics above you see the third pic down it has a beveled edge to the inside? that's where I put the packing seal. cut at 45 angles where it the seal ends come together. It did the trick.  My car did not have the leather when I got it. you can look at the pics of the cars where bob asked folks to post pics. and you will see my 31-57..

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On 4/9/2016 at 9:07 PM, my31buick said:

I added the rope/packing seal to my 30-50.. if you look in the pics above you see the third pic down it has a beveled edge to the inside? that's where I put the packing seal. cut at 45 angles where it the seal ends come together. It did the trick.  My car did not have the leather when I got it. you can look at the pics of the cars where bob asked folks to post pics. and you will see my 31-57..

 

What size packing did you use?  I have a good amount of 1/4" UTEX packing left over from rebuilding the water pump, but it looks like that may be a bit big for this application.

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hi all I used some rubber o rings I brought a length of round rubber about 5 mm across  and cut and glued to the length needed to make the o ring and I put it in the grove on the small end of the last picture I am guessing it has a grove there like the 25 buick and I fitted gaskets between the faces

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En voy. I do not know the size. I just ordered it from bobs automobilia. it is what was used on the other cars and I put it as mentioned above. done the trick, Honestly, if to do over again I would probably just buy a can of black silicone that's like a can of cheese wiz. and use that. apply thin bead on the flange. let it cure. bolt together. No one will ever know.. Your car is beautiful

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