John Gelfer

Columbia rear axle seals?

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I know that Auburn and Gardner shared some of the same Lycoming straight 8 motors. I'm asking if the Auburns of the late 20's also shared the Columbia axles. The reason I'm asking is I hope to find a modern replacement for the leather grease seal on the rear axle of my 1928 Gardner. The outer lip sits in the axle housing, while the inner lip is about 1/4" shy of the axle. The inner edge of the  seal meets up with a machined chamfer inside the wheel hub.  I know some old Chryslers had the same type of seal, but I don't know the dimensions. My seal needs to be 70.7mm (2.78") OD, and 47mm (1.85") ID. The original leather is 3.5mm (0.14") thick.

There is a piece of spring steel on the back side of the leather to hold it against the hub. That steel spring plate is broken in 3 peices on one side.

I'm prepared to make a new leather one, if I can't find something better.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!

John Gelfer

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I don't think my dimensions will match up with a modern seal. The leather gets deformed and pushed into a space by the inside lip of the hub. Even though it is 3.5mm thick, the final height of the inner lip would be much higher than 3.5mm. Since that lip is worn away, I have no idea what the height would be.

Maybe someone out there has figured this out and has a part number.  If I had some of the rubber stuff that hardens that dentists use, I could make an impression of the seal, after I put the hub on the axle. I think that would be the best way to figure out what a modern seal would have to look like.  I'm going to see if I can get some.

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