1937-1948 CENTER DRIVE SHAFT BEARING REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION

From: Sonny296 (Original Message) Sent: 12/9/2003 9:10 PM
My driveshaft was hard to turn, but after the torque tube was removed it turned okay. The shaft was pretty rusty in the center so I suspect the bearing is bad. Haven't had any experience in this area. Don't know what it looks like and don't how to get it out and reinstall. Also, didn't find a part listing with anyone. ....Any help will be appreciated. BTW, the front bearing looks okay.
Sonny

From: Sonny296 Sent: 12/10/2003 10:27 AM
Phooey! ....Got the bearing to wiggle and then turn by driving a broom handle into the center and worked it back and forth. Finally hooked up a drill to the handle and with WD40 squirted through the grease fitting hole got it to spin. Problem now it's just too rough feeling to live. Still haven't found a replacement listed. Guess I'll try to drive the thing out from the tranny end and see what happens. Anyone that has been through this please comment.
Sonny

From: rodnut1 Sent: 12/10/2003 3:20 PM
Sonny-
You're not going to want to hear this, but these bearings have become a major problem. Not only does it take a special tool to remove and replace them properly, but the bearings are now next to impossible to find new. No one reproduces them, so NOS or good used are your only choices here. If you're lucky enough to find NOS you're likely going to have to pay about $300 for it! They were made by Firestone and consist of a roller bearing similar to the rear hub bearings, with a rubber carrier vulcanized around the outer diameter. It also has captured felt oil/grease seals at each end. I've tossed around the idea of trying to make up a tubular replacement driveline in order to eliminate this bloody bearing, but that's as far as I've gone with it. You can remove/replace them through backyard engineering (a puller made of various custom-ground flat washers; hex nuts; spacers; a long 6' length of all-thread, etc.) but it's definately a pain in the ass! The bearing is located in a metal collar that's spot welded into the torque tube, with a flange at the front end that the bearing locates against. So it is removed and replaced from the differential/rear end of the torque tube. The rubber is usually deteriorated/stuck to the collar, and may require a lot of scraping, hot tanking, etc. to get it all out of there once the bearing is removed. Be sure to get the tube interior nice and clean before the replacement bearing goes in, or it won't last long. It's a nasty job! Other than this, all I can say is that when you're done, you'll be an expert on these babys...

From: Sonny296 Sent: 12/10/2003 7:04 PM
Thanks Rodnut,
Yeah, what a bummer. I think I figured out some of what you wrote and jjust about beat the thing to death in the process. The drive shaft had some pitting where it rides on the bearing. Sooo, I think I'll look around for another rear end. Maybe one of the streetrodders around here has a discard.

Your "tube" shaft idea sounds feasible. Are you talking about small tube to go inside the torque tube housing? It's obvious that Ford's solid shaft would whip itself to death without that center bearing. I guess the rubber mounting snubs out some the runout the shaft might have. Thanks again for explaining in detail the "pain-in-the-ass" center bearing situation.

Sonny

From: hotrodjack Sent: 12/11/2003 11:40 PM
Hey Sonny & Rodnut,
My buddy, Ken Schofield, (KGS) from over at the Fordbarn Site sent me an email with the info below. He is just a "lurker" here so he couldn't post it himself. Hope this helps.
HotRodJack


Hey Jack,
Merry Christmas to you.

On Bill B's Ford Flathead 1932 to 1953 forum, Sonny 296 is getting some bad news re: his Driveshaft Center Bearing problem. Skip Haney, the waterpump and coil guy in Punta Gorda FL is doing this bearing. See below. I'm still just lurking so I thought you might provide this input for him.
Thanks, Ken (aka KGS)

Send an email to skip@fordsrus.com He makes a replacement bearing that includes a sleeve for the drive shaft. Most of the drive shafts in the bearing area are pretty sad. It come with complete instructions on removal of the old and installing the new one. It even has an alignment tool to aline the hole in the bearing with grease fitting on the torque tube. Drop him a note and he will send literature. G.M.

 From: Sonny296 Sent: 12/13/2003 5:11 PM
This is Skips Center Bearing Replacement. .............Sonny

 

Skips Email: skip@fordsrus.com

 

From: Sonny296 Sent: 12/13/2003 5:31 PM
1937-1948 CENTER DRIVE SHAFT BEARING REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION

1- Remove speedometer drive gears and bearing.
2- Remove torque tube to rear bolts. Slide torque tube off drive shaft.
3-Stand torque tube up with rear bolt flange down.
4- Remove center grease fitting.
5- lnsert 42" length of 1-1/2" steel pipe down through transmission end of torque tube. Make sure it is centered on old bearing and drive out with a large hammer. There is a metal flange down there you will hit if not centered.
6- Clean inside torque tube and examine with a flash light for any rubber or dirt.
7- Apply grease from rear end with an old broom handle to bearing area.
8- Insert alignment pin in grease fitting hole.
9- Slide new bearing assembly on drive shaft. If to tight file shaft to fit. It wants to slide on with very little effort, yet not be to loose.
10- Clean inside of new bearing sleeve and apply a THIN coat of J.B. Weld (not the fast hardening type) inside the sleeve and on the center bearing surface of the drive shaft. Grease the O.D. of the rubber.
11- Clean broom handle and slide new bearing assembly on broom handle with the white line facing down. With the torque tube standing up with the transmission end down, slide the bearing assembly onto the torque with the white line on the side of the grease hole in the torque tube.
12- Lay torque tube on a set of saw horses and with a flash light look in from transmission end. Align white line on end of bearing with the alignment to pin in grease hole.
13- Stand torque tube up on transmission end. REMOVE ALIGNMENT PIN and broom handle.
14- Take a 36" length of 2" plastic pipe with a coupling on one end and insert the coupling end down in the torque tube. Center on bearing and with a block of wood and a heavy hammer drive the bearing in until it seats. Carefully watch the white line through the grease hole so the hole in the tube aligns with the hole in the rubber.
15- Insert drive shaft into torque tube through the new bearing assembly and bolt up the rear.
16- Install grease fitting and grease.

 

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