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  • leaky rear axle oil seal

    while doing some brake inspection on the rear of my 63, i noticed oil at the bottom of the bearing retainer and backing plate i assume the axle shaft oil seal is leaking. i am sure its the same on a squarebird. i will remove the 4 bearing retainer bolts and pull the axle. do i need to remove the axle bearing to replace the oil seal? if so i assume i will need to have the old bearing pressed off and reinstalled or replaced. any suggestions? thanks. https://imgur.com/a/vzlZsl9

  • #2
    The wheel bearing will be on the axle shaft. The oil seal will be in the axle housing. It's up to you whether or not you want to replace the bearing but I wouldn't want to do the job twice so I would probably replace the bearing too. You may need special tools to remove and press on the bearings. It's been awhile since I did one so maybe someone else can chime in. If you have a NAPA machine shop or something similar near you they will do it fairly cheaply. It's the exact same procedure as a Squarebird so you can use the shop manual for reference. If you need the '62-'63 shop manual you can download it for free here: http://fordramair.com/new/info/tech/...hop_Manual.pdf

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      thanks john, i have watched some you tube videos, and it looks pretty straightforward. i will borrow a slide hammer from one of the parts stores (auto zone, orellys) and maybe a seal pulling device that works with the slide hammer. when i get the axle out i will check the bearing, if it is good, i will leave it alone. thanks as always. vermbird.

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      • #4
        ok axle came out without need for a slide hammer. seal leaking, bearing good. will just change out seal and I am good to go. at least this repair was or will be straightforward. thanks to all who replied/viewed.

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        • #5
          This may be a good opportunity to change your gear lube. Yes, change it. If your DOT-3 brake fluid hasn't been changed in a few years, chang it too. Many cars go to their grave with the original gear lube, riddled with metal flakes and sixty years of debris, etc. The procedure is in your Shop Manual and none of the shims need to be disturbed. When you order your axle seal, get two The seal number is on the old seals.

          Pull both axles out and wash out the housing with kerosene or diesel fuel and a 'parts brush' to get in the nooks and crannies. I use a lot of diesel fuel for cleaning parts. It's only a couple bucks per gallon, it works much better than gasohol and there is no danger of fumes catching on fire. Many mechanics like using aerosol brake cleaner not knowing it is highly combustible. Most parts washers use mineral spirits (paint thinner). I use diesel fuel.

          I like to drain the old lube into a pan and look at it in the sunlight (you will be amazed). Buy a couple quarts of quality 'name brand' 90W lube and a gasket for your housing. BTW, bearings normally give plenty of audible warning before they need to be changed. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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          • #6
            do you mean i should pull the third member, the carrier/pumpkin to clean out the whole rear 3rd member/axle housing?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vermbird View Post
              do you mean i should pull the third member, the carrier/pumpkin to clean out the whole rear 3rd member/axle housing?
              Absolutely. You will have the axles out already. It will cost you a gasket ($3.55) and two quarts of lube. Your rear axle probably has original lube in it.
              Axle seals are under a buck each and so are axle gaskets.

              Equally as important is your brake fluid. DOT-3 always comes 'water clear' in color. If you see red or brown in your brake reservoir it is coming from RUST inside your brake lines. DOT-3 is glycol-based, not petroleum based. It is a rust inhibitor because the glycol sucks up water until it saturates, then it can't any more. Water-laden brake fluid can freeze in winter. Your whole system only holds about a cup so it's not expensive to change and you don't have to bleed the system dry. Use a turkey baster from the dollar store to suck out the reservoir then fill with fresh brake fluid. Open each wheel cylinder until clear fluid comes out. - Dave
              My latest project:
              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
              --Lee Iacocca

              From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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              • #8
                Yes, in order to clean out the housing tubes and the interior of the banjo housing, particularly the decades of accumulated particulate in the bottom.

                This requires (after the axles are removed) the removal of the driveshaft (4) nuts & lock washers w/ U-bolts and swing aside, watch for the u-joint caps to fall off with the resultant loss of needle rollers, not good! (10) nuts about the periphery of the carrier case ("pig"); then if the unit has not ever been pulled before or if they were replaced when it was (less often) there are 10 copper sealing washers that will have deformed into the holes of the case about the retaining studs, this may prove a P.I.T.A. as one must dig all of the washer material out before the carrier housing will slide off the studs.......fun! It will then often require a block of wood and a two pound hammer walloping the carrier housing up by the pinion support, right, left, up and down to break the adhesion of the carrier housing/gasket/axle housing in order to remove. Watch out for the lube splash as it comes free. Don't forget that the assembly is going to be heavy once it's off the studs,.......thump!

                Also note that it is generally advised to replace the wheel bearings once they have been exposed to leaking axle seals as a common path for the gear lube is thru the bearing thereby diluting the grease to a flowable consistency which will be lost in perhaps a short period of time.

                Scott.

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                • #9
                  wow sounds like a real PITA! can I not repack the wheel bearing by hand as you cant repack it with a bearing packer without pressing off the bearing? because i am bit lazy in my retirement days, i think i will shove a rag on a stick down each end of the the axle arms and try to clean as best as i can. will put hose down the filler port in the center of the banjo assembly nd suck out as much of ot of the remaining fluid. having owned this car since 2005 I have personally changed the gear oil in the unit 2 times and the car is driven less than 500 miles per year, i think I will be o.k. the fluid has never been really dirty or full of metal chips in the past. also i don't have a shop press to press off and press on the bearings and retainers. i appreciate your complete description on the carrier removal and clean out process. vermbird

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                  • #10
                    i have flushed the whole brake system on several occasions as I have either replaced several wheel cylinders or rebuilt them with honing several times on both my t- birds. you are definitely correct about the importance of flushing the system clear of rust and water logged Dot 3 fluid. thanks again.. vermbird After sitting here now and being tired, I will go head and pull the 3rd member and other axle tomorrow. Scott, aka pbf777, where do i get the copper washers for the 10 carrier hold-down bolts as the old ones likely will have been squished. Are they just plain old copper washers,

                    not the "CRUSH" type used on brake lines, master cylinder banjo bolts, etc.?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vermbird View Post
                      ...where do i get the copper washers for the 10 carrier hold-down bolts as the old ones likely will have been squished. Are they just plain old copper washers, not the "CRUSH" type used on brake lines, master cylinder banjo bolts, etc.?
                      These washers are available in many places including eBay (9+free shipping). Summit also sells them as a set of ten for $7:
                      https://www.summitracing.com/parts/r...xoCOdsQAvD_BwE
                      My latest project:
                      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                      --Lee Iacocca

                      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ok its 10 pm sat nite. got the 3rd member out (heavy!!) the oil in the banjo assembly is black and thick. someone must have had the assembly out (PO) as there were only 4 copper washers out of 10. Per Dave's suggestion I got some diesel fuel and will use it to clean out the insides. while I'm there i will clean up the outside and paint it with the wm. wonder books suggested color ,"red oxide". the oil seals were the original, said FOMOCO on them and C/R. so they are 57 or so years old! this was a lot of work, put in new self - adjusters/levers all around. Took off the springs for the shoes and self adjusters, wire brushed and repainted them. now they look new. many hours of work, but i have the time. many thanks to all contributors.

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                        • #13
                          No doubt about it, suspension work is BULL WORK that requires heavy tools. Many of the components are heavy, that's just the nature of the beast. If you think about the work they do and how long they last, they need to be. Some people haul trailers over mountains without changing any suspension or brakes.

                          If it were me, I would use Rust-oleum on the outside of the carrier. It's available everywhere at a reasonable cost.

                          Maybe some day I will talk you into front power disc brakes for your Squarebird. The result is amazing. - Dave
                          My latest project:
                          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                          --Lee Iacocca

                          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            about a yes ago i had the power booster rebuilt . i have a really firm brake pedal now. i would have to change out the "new" booster for dual one. i don't drive the car too much and am very careful about "tailgating" Maybe in a year or two i will do it. also i have 14" "roadster"/Kelsey- Hayes repro wire wheels, and if I am not mistaken I would then need larger wheels and tires. Maybe there is a front disk kit that accepts 14" rims. I don know.

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                            • #15
                              Yes, there IS a kit you can get that has the disc brake mounting bracket you will need to do the disc brake install. For quite some time, Scarbird made just that piece, but recently modified it to include other parts, besides their mounting bracket. In doing so, they tested OEM 14" rims, 14" K-H & Truspoke wire rims and designed their system to work on them. So no longer does one have to go scrounging through junk yards or buy aftermarket disc brake ready rims. The latter can save you the money on buying them. His kit certainly costs several hundred bucks more than just the mounting bracket, but you get more components with it. Check this link. https://scarebird.com/index.php?rout...product_id=260. Lets not get this thread to far off the subject though. Since you had the question, I decided to answer it here, because many others who are reading this thread and have been thinking about going to front disc brakes may have decided not to because they have 14" OEM rims. It does not matter anymore since this kit came out.

                              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                              The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                              https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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