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1930 Hudson Super 8 axle end play excessive amount


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I recently purchased a 1930 Hudson Super 8 and I've noticed that the axle end play is a huge amount.  The manual called for .005 th. - .010 th. end play.  After draining the rear end and cleaning the axle bearing and race so that it is bare, and then installing a fresh gasket between the brake backing plate and the bearing end cap.  I have about .073 th.  So granted if the differential was filled, and the bearing was thoroughly greased that would probably reduce the end play by maybe a couple th.  

The manual mentions about adding or subtracting shims between the backing plate and the bearing end cap to get within proper end play.  But that's all. I have since learned that in this particular car on the spline end of the two axles, which actually touch each other, is what is called "thrust buttons" .  So the procedure is to hard face the ends of the buttons with hardcraft welding rods.  I would presume that these are available in tig rods as well.  I've been told that one would add an appropriate amount to both axles until one got to a close tolerance in end play and then take up the difference with shims.  

My car came with one .003th. shim and one gasket on one side and 2 gaskets on the other side.  At least the end play was equal.   So making shims would be quite difficult without the aid of a CAD laser cutter or something similar.  So I'm thinking trying to get the added amount onto the thrust button to be as close as possible so I only have to add maybe a couple gaskets to be within .005th.-.010th.


My question is has anybody ever encountered this method?  I'm thinking once an appropriate amount was added to the end of the axle, the end surface would have to be machined ( lathe/ milling machine ) at a very precise 90 degree to the axis of the axle, since they ride against each other.  

As to why there is so much end play, I have one possible long shot theory.  On one of the axles is written with orange paint  21-31.  Typical of what you might find on parts from an auto wreckers.  I'm thinking that maybe at one time the axles, were replace and the replacement axles were not correct, and nobody bothered to check the end play, or if they did, they didn't bother to correct it.  Perhaps they came from a coupe.  I know that for instance, my wheels are 18 in. dia.  with 12 inch drums.  But the 1930 Hudson Essex coupe wheels are 19 in. with 11 in. drums.   So even though, same make and same year, there were at least that difference.  Perhaps the axles were different as well, and I have the wrong axles now.  Just a thought, because there are no other variables that can be altered to bring down that huge end play. 

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