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1920 big 6 driveshaft u-joint rebuild


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I've got 2 bearings on one end spinning in the carrier causing improper wear. I can find 1 circlip holding the outer race to the carrier. The bearings will not come out even with it removed and I don't want to assume using a press. So do I press? Should there be a circlip on all 8 (4 each end) bearings? This looks like a simple sleeve bearing, not a needle bearing as in newer vehicles. 

20210203_121049.jpg

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It's a Spicer U-joint of a type used on many cars.  The axle I got from a 1928 Studebaker GBW car had the same thing.  I never have figured out how to get it apart, but it can't be pressed through.  The caps have to come off somehow.  I had to make a new driveshaft anyway, so I made up an adapter to take a more-modern U joint.  

 

1354670931_spiceru-joint1928GBW.thumb.jpg.de8b672239f7a685cff5bfad4483aca4.jpg

old Spicer U-joint

 

Spicer_2-2-459_and_old_flange.thumb.jpg.3934585858fc9237a9c28ced09f1e454.jpg

New adapter for modern U-joint.

 

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The problem with removing the caps is that it isn't possible to get a good purchase from the other side of the joint.  You can just barely contact the top of the cap even with odd-shaped drifts.  The cross is very large and beefy.  The caps don't want to budge, which is why Randy posted here.  There has to be a trick or a very special tool to get these apart.  

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2 minutes ago, Gary_Ash said:

The problem with removing the caps is that it isn't possible to get a good purchase from the other side of the joint.  You can just barely contact the top of the cap even with odd-shaped drifts.  The cross is very large and beefy.  The caps don't want to budge, which is why Randy posted here.  There has to be a trick or a very special tool to get these apart.  

 

I am going to rebuild another joint some time this week.  I will try to take some pictures on what I did.

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On 2/4/2021 at 11:30 AM, Gary_Ash said:

The problem with removing the caps is that it isn't possible to get a good purchase from the other side of the joint.  You can just barely contact the top of the cap even with odd-shaped drifts.  The cross is very large and beefy.  The caps don't want to budge, which is why Randy posted here.  There has to be a trick or a very special tool to get these apart.  

If I understand you correctly Gary you are using a drift diagonally across and under the drive shaft yoke to drive out the bush.  It looks to me that this is the correct way to do it, however, if the bush is seized or frozen on the cross journal you may not get enough contact with the drift to force it out.  I would suggest tying to free up the bush first but this could be problematic without damaging it or the housing.  I'm sure it can be done but not easily.

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IF there were a replacement cross and caps available, I might weld a bolt head to the cap and use a slide hammer to pull the cap out.  Unfortunately, finding a new cross and caps is going to be difficult.  Maybe a little heat on the flange would loosen the caps, alternating with penetrating oil.  As Randy suggests, the caps probably have bronze bushings in them for the cross to ride in, wouldn't be too bad to remove the old ones and press in new ones once the caps are out.  I don't have a 1920 parts book but my 1925-28 Big 6 book shows part number 32204 for the cross, 32210 for the "bushing"/cap.  Maybe with an old Spicer catalog, the original Spicer part number could be found.  That would increase the range of replacement parts.

 

Since I made a new drive shaft and yokes/flanges/crosses, I'm not spending any time worrying about how to get mine apart anymore, but Randy still has the problem. 

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New Spicer cross and bushings were still available in some sizes, not long ago. Check with Tom at Odyssey Restorations, 763-786-1518. That's where I get them for the Spicer u-joints used on 6 cylinder Franklins.

 

Paul 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought that some of you might be interested in how to disassemble the torque ball/ u-joint on our old vehicles.  Below is the write up on what I did.

 

I disassembled the torque ball that I am going to use on my 1915 Buick truck.  The original torque ball had a square shaft output but is was worn out. This u-joint is from a 6 cylinder Buick.  I have been told that it is a Spicer joint. 

 

You can see the disassembled pieces in the first pictures. 

 

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The two bushings that that hold the spider to the flanged part of the joint do not have any retaining rings to hold them in the flanged yolk.  They are held in place by the cover.  To remove them I tapped them out with a punch from the opposite side while supporting the yolk. You can see the lube groove area that gave a purchase point where I could tap them out with a punch. They were a little bit tight from corrosion, but not a problem to remove them.  

 

image000000 (63).jpg

 

The output side did have retaining rings holding the bushings in place.   I was able to fish out the rings so the bushings could be removed and the complete u-joint could be glass beaded.  After removing the retaining rings I tapped out the bushings.

 

My plan for the retaining rings is to use a hot melt glue gun and fill the void with hot melt glue.  This is how modern u-joints are held together. 

Change in retention plan.  I have talked to others and the hot melt might not be strong enough for this application.  I now plan on using a clip again to retain the cap in the yolk.

 

Any questions, let me know.

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I am going to solution clean all of the parts and repack with graphite-molly grease and reassemble the joint.  Example below.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sta-Lube-SL3141-Moly-Graph-Pressure-Multi-Purpose/dp/B000CPJMZ2/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=Moly-Graph&qid=1613416073&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-13-catcorr

 

From a google search:

"What is graphite grease used for?

 
Moly grease is a special formulation that is used in situations where metal slides against mental under high pressure and is generally used on pinion gears and splines."

 

There is a place for a grease fitting on the cover.  Should be good for touring next summer.

 

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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On 2/3/2021 at 8:30 PM, Gary_Ash said:

The problem with removing the caps is that it isn't possible to get a good purchase from the other side of the joint.  You can just barely contact the top of the cap even with odd-shaped drifts.  The cross is very large and beefy.  The caps don't want to budge, which is why Randy posted here.  There has to be a trick or a very special tool to get these apart.  

 

See above.

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On 2/3/2021 at 1:11 PM, Randy D said:

I've got 2 bearings on one end spinning in the carrier causing improper wear. I can find 1 circlip holding the outer race to the carrier. The bearings will not come out even with it removed and I don't want to assume using a press. So do I press? Should there be a circlip on all 8 (4 each end) bearings? This looks like a simple sleeve bearing, not a needle bearing as in newer vehicles. 

20210203_121049.jpg

 

See my post above.

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