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1955 Super Torque Ball Questions


EconoJoe
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So I put on my big boy pants and got after my torque ball leak today. In a previous post I noted the typical symptoms which included external leakage as well as leakage into the differential housing. Having a lift as well as other shop equipment had the rear axle out in a few hours. Fortunately I bought a car that spent 99% of it's life in Texas so rust is at a minimum.

 

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I have a kit on the way from autotran.us (David Edwards) that should get me the outer torque ball retainer / seal, gaskets, and a rear seal. After looking at old posts I think that I'm seeing that with the new style torque ball retainer & seal there is no concern with shimming the retainer to achieve a specific tension. So reassembly would just be clean parts and gaskets as I see it. The last person in this one used blue silicone on the outer torque ball retainer. Are there recommendations for a sealer when I put it back together?

 

Another concern is the torque ball condition. The last person in here apparently thought that painting the torque ball black was a good idea. I've seen much information about getting the torque ball surface mirror-like which I intend to do. But I'm wondering about the inner surface of the torque ball and the surface of the inner retainer that it rides against. I've seen no mention of these surfaces in previous posts (or I missed it). Mine show some definite chaffing and wear.  At a minimum I'll try to polish these surfaces as well. Or does this need more attention in the form of replacing the torque ball and inner retainer? Another curiosity is that someone felt it was necessary to plug a hole in the torque ball with orange silicone. I'm assuming that this is a drain hole of sorts and and the silicone was not the right way to approach this. Any insight into this?

 

  image.jpeg.09cff54f79968ee9b370f80afefeb7a6.jpegBlack paint and orange silicone.

 

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Torque ball inner chaffing.

 

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Inner retainer chaffing.

 

Additionally, I'm used to seeing u-joints in a conventional driveshaft. This u-joint seems "loose" in it's mountings but shows no perceivable wear between the cross and the bearing cups. Is this normal?

 

Any insight from your experience is welcome and appreciated.

Edited by EconoJoe
added information (see edit history)
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12 hours ago, EconoJoe said:

one used blue silicone on the outer torque ball retainer. Are there recommendations for a sealer when I put it back together?

The silicone will probably be effective, but after it squishes out your car will look like a chevy.  I use anaerobic sealer on the gaskets and wipe the excess.  Attach to the torque tube before you completely tighten the outer retainer.

12 hours ago, EconoJoe said:

Another concern is the torque ball condition. The last person in here apparently thought that painting the torque ball black was a good idea. I've seen much information about getting the torque ball surface mirror-like which I intend to do. But I'm wondering about the inner surface of the torque ball and the surface of the inner retainer that it rides against. I've seen no mention of these surfaces in previous posts (or I missed it). Mine show some definite chaffing and wear.  At a minimum I'll try to polish these surfaces as well. Or does this need more attention in the form of replacing the torque ball and inner retainer? Another curiosity is that someone felt it was necessary to plug a hole in the torque ball with orange silicone. I'm assuming that this is a drain hole of sorts and and the silicone was not the right way to approach this. Any insight into this?

A few years ago I found a NOS torque ball and it is not real smooth...about like yours in the non-contact areas inside and outside.  And that NOS torque ball looks like yours on the inside after 70,000 miles.  The one I replaced had grooves worn from the original style retainer and the bushing was very worn and caused vibration on deceleration.

I use silicone grease (Sil-Glyde from NAPA) on the rubber of the outer torque ball retainer as well as the inner and there some still there after many miles. 

No orange silicone!

Any deep nicks or gouges can be filled with JBWeld and sanded smooth.

12 hours ago, EconoJoe said:

Additionally, I'm used to seeing u-joints in a conventional driveshaft. This u-joint seems "loose" in it's mountings but shows no perceivable wear between the cross and the bearing cups. Is this normal?

Normal.

When installing the seal in the front of the torque tube, check the surface of the sleeve on the driveshaft that the seal rides on.  Often the original leather seal has worn grooves that will not seal.  Hopefully you will not need to buy THIS ONE ($$$)!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Joe, I have a lift as well, and have to do the torque ball on my 1954. My question to you is, how did you get the rear axle on the ground after you disconnected everything on the lift? Do you have to support it in any way? Any help in appreciated. Thanks in Advance....Paul BCA #52100

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I disconnected everything except one lower torque tube to torque ball bolt and the two lower sring retainers. Those three I loosened half way. Then I lowered the car into wheel dollies,  which left enough room to shinny under to undo those three completely.  Raised the car just enough to roll the whole works back to clear the frame. The wheel dollies are optional but they sure work nice.

Edited by EconoJoe (see edit history)
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I have never completely  removed the rear end to replace the outer torque ball retainer or to R&R the transmission:

#remove the tires

#remove panhard bar

#disconnect shock links

#disconnect at torque ball and jack or ratchet the assembly back until the spring on the right side is jammed against the bracket for the panhard bar.

 

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I saw a YouTube video on that. I was tempted but was glad I took it out when I had to deal with the seal sleeve wear on the front of the propeller shaft. Having the tube separate from the carrier gave me the space I needed to deal with that.

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  • 8 months later...

Oh i am soooo glad to find this thread.My neighbor has a large new full time mechanics shop and says he will repair my 46/51 series torque ball leak and rear seal.If he has any questions,i can refer him to this page.Thank y'all soo much for all this valuable information!! I needed to post so i am subscribed to this topic.BTW,my car has a 55 dynaflow in it so everything should be the same as described here.Thanks again gentleman.

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