WhipperSnapper

Mounting the Torque Tube - 51 Super

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Posted (edited)

Hey guys. I’ve got a question, or two...

 
So, I've spent most of the day mounting the engine and transmission to the frame in my 51'. I'm having some trouble mounting the torque tube to the rear of the transmission. The book suggests that the spline should just slide in, but that's not been my experience. Perhaps I don't have everything lined up properly?
 
I’d also like to get some clarification on proper assembly of the torque ball... What gets sealed, what gets lubricated prior to assembly, etc. Are there any oil channels that need special attention? The book is very vague on the subject. 😕
 
Any advice would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 
 
- Joseph
Edited by WhipperSnapper (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Make sure the torque tube is level with the torque ball. Use guide pins.  It takes some finessing but she'll slide in.  

The torque ball, get a vulcanized unit. This type has no need of adding gaskets for proper sealing. I use RTF gasket goo

 I add a light coat of grease between the inner cup and out torque ball cup. 

You have a manual transmission? If so the torque ball tail shaft bushing should have a channel to allow oil to return to the sump. The channel should be at the 6 o'clock position. 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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Thank you for the reply! Mine is the Dynaflow automatic.

 

Any recommendations for lining up the torque tube? I have the rear end disconnected, as it says to do in the book. It’s on a floor jack so it’s still mobile without allowing the wheels to spin the shaft. I spent a solid hour trying to line it up with no success. 😞

 

I ordered a seal kit for the torque ball housing and it came with 2 matching paper seals, and three additional paper seals, but different colors and much thinner. No instructions. 

 

Finally, does the copper bowl use a seal against the transmission? 😛

 

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Posted (edited)

The floor jack should be under the rear pinion gear housing. I jack up until the entire tube is level to the tail of the transmission. The wheels should be free to spin allowing the drive shaft to spin. I spin the drive shaft just a hair and then pull the entire torque tube forward. I continue to spin the drive shaft in the fashion until it slides into place.  I have removed and replaced Buick torque tube assemblies 5 times.  This method works for me each time. 

 

The manual should show you how to get the desired drag on the torque ball using the different thickness paper gaskets and a broomstick type handle.  Looks like a lot of trial and error until you get the desired tension/movement of the ball as well as a seal.  However, a vulcanized torque ball eliminated this trial and error using paper gaskets of different thickness.  I recommend the vulcanized torque ball for this reason.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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Well, I've spent all day trying to make this work and it just won't. The spline will not slide in, as described. No angle or adjustment seems to matter. 

 

The only thing I can assume it that the spline is damaged, even though it looks fine. I'm not sure what to do. 

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If you haven't replaced the torque ball seal yet isn't it premature to put the rear axle assembly in?

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Two questions. Is the rear axle easy to move forward/backward? If not you will need to make it so as mating the spline shaft teeth will require some precise & gentle movement. And, 2 - Do you have the transmission in park so the output shaft will be stationary when attempting to mate the spline and u-joint? If not it is possible the pressure on the spline will permit the output shaft to turn with the u-joint when you need to be able to move the drive shaft a bit to line up the spline teeth. Once you have everything oriented correctly everything should slide together easily. Good luck😊

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A good friend and I tinkered with the Buick tonight and there appears to be damage to a few of the splines, preventing the shaft from going in. I’ll be filing them down and working to get them back into shape tomorrow. With any luck, it’ll do the trick. :)

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On 8/18/2019 at 3:40 PM, WhipperSnapper said:

Well, I've spent all day trying to make this work and it just won't. The spline will not slide in, as described. No angle or adjustment seems to matter. 

 

The only thing I can assume it that the spline is damaged, even though it looks fine. I'm not sure what to do. 

 

It is not an easy task and takes patience.  I understand completely.  My 60, the first time I pulled the tube, fought me for an hour or so getting back in.  Reason being there is one spline thicker than all the others that must mate with the tail shaft with the thicker opening for that specific spline.  This assures both the front u-joint and rear u-joint are aligned.  If your torque tube driveshaft is like my 54 Special, all the splines are the same thickness.  It can be put in place at any position.   Let us know how if you get it installed after spline clean up.          

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Posted (edited)

BTW, are you using guide pins?   The manual(at least for 54) shows guide pins to align the two mating surfaces together.  Only once was I able to have the two ends meet without the use of  guide pins.    I purchased 3 3/8 by 16 bolts. Cut the heads off.  I found using 4 inch is better.  

 

1957-buick-removing-torque-tube-from-tor

 

  

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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Small amount of grease on the splines will help.  Even with the guide pins pushing up on the driveshaft will help as it is engaging.

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Put the trans in park.  Use the guide pins as pictured above.  Have a friend jack up the rear end under the pumpkin, otherwise the long tube will bind in the frame X member.  With you at the transmission to guide and direct, have your friend push the assembly forward, rocking the assembly and  turning the wheels, all the while laughing at you until it all falls into place.  

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Have you tried using threaded rod in place od the guide pins and "pulling it in " with nuts and washers?

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1 hour ago, JohnD1956 said:

Have you tried using threaded rod in place od the guide pins and "pulling it in " with nuts and washers?

 

  I have tried forcing them, John.  No joy.  It will , a said,  almost fall in when aligned properly  Problem is in doing so.

 

  Ben

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