Modernizing the adjustable front axle tubes??

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Modernizing the adjustable front axle tubes??

Postby drspiff » Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:22 am

I have just finished extracting the front axle extensions from the front axle. It only took 4 cans of liquid wrench, 2 cans of Wasp and Hornet spray, 10 hours of sweat, and $100 for a 4 ton porta power kit.

While I'm not complaining about an opportunity to buy more tools, this part of the '51 Cub teardown/rebuild was a major pain. After examining the disassembled axle, it seems the culprit is not crash damage but rust/grime/sludge. So I started thinking about how to avoid this situation in the future.

After appropriate surface prep to include rotary wire brushing inside the axle extension, I think the the problem with the wasp nests can be easily corrected. I plan to fill the interior of the front axle extensions with spray foam, and use 5/8" wood dowel liberally greased as cores for the front axle clamp pin.

I plan to deal with the the rust/sludge etcetera, by tapping the front axle tube for some grease fittings. Since there are already several grease fittings in the neighborhood, a couple more is no big deal. I'm thinking 2 on each side of the axle. The 1st about 6" outboard of the center pivot, and the 2nd half way between the 1st grease fitting and the outboard end.

http://photos.cubfest.com/albums/userpi ... zation.gif

Any comments or things to be considered before moving ahead with this?

Rick (moderation, even in modernization) Dulas
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Postby George Willer » Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:19 am

Rick,

If someone had simply smeared a little grease on the tube 50 years before I wouldn't have had to work so hard to get this one loose. Those two 6 ton jacks were probably overloaded in the process and the subsititute spindles were bending before it gave up. It was necessary to pump the jacks together to keep the pull straight or the bind would stop progress.

After the parts were separated they were cleaned thoroughly and greased so the next guy 50 years from now won't have as much trouble. The inside surfaces were well cleaned by a sander belt in a slotted dowel driven by a drill motor.

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Postby ScottyD'sdad » Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:21 am

I wonder if simply taking the axle assembly apart every year or two, cleaning, re-greasing, and reinstalling would be sufficient. Remember, some of these axles haven't been apart in 30 to 50 years. Ed
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Front Axle End Cap

Postby drspiff » Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:42 am

The setup George used is very similar to what I used on the left side. Except that I removed mine in situ. I first rotated the Axle Extension so it was coplanar with the center pivot tube. Then the ram pushed against the large portion of the center pivot tube and the top of the spindle bearing housing.

I jacked a little at a time and delivered some additional assistance with a BAH to the long side of the spindle housing. It finally came loose. But what a battle. I doubt that these tubes were ever moved, let alone greased.

As for the foam inside the extension, I was looking at the Steering Gear Housing Plug and thought that the same thing could be done on the open end of the extension tube. This would prevent/slow down crud and stuff getting into the end of the Axle Extension amd would be a nice finishing touch.

I'm also tempted to weld a tab on the Axle Extension tube between the upper spindle housing and the first Front Axle Clamp Pin hole. At the narrowest front track setting, there is about a 1/4" of Axle Extension exposed. As long as the tab is kept short enough for the Steering Knuckle Arm to clear, it should not be any problem.

But these are thoughts for next week after I get all the parts cleaned.

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Re: Front Axle End Cap

Postby George Willer » Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:45 pm

drspiff wrote: I first rotated the Axle Extension so it was coplanar with the center pivot tube. Then the ram pushed against the large portion of the center pivot tube and the top of the spindle bearing housing.
Rick (No, Really! I am having fun) Dulas


Now I'm confused! If you can rotate it it isn't really stuck. :( :( :(
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Well... there is being stuck and there is being STUCK

Postby drspiff » Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:51 pm

Well... there is being stuck and there is being STUCK. When I first started working on the left side, it was STUCK. I rigged up a U-bolt arrangement out of 1/2" all-thread that went around the lower end of the spindle housing. I put a 6' long prybar parallel to the spindle housing. This left 5' sticking up above the horizontal axle and used the horizontal axle as the the fulcrum.

I then hooked up a come-along between the prybar and the rockshaft mount. Ratcheting the come-along a tooth at a time, spraying with Liquid Wrench between times, it took about 2 days to start to move the the Axle Extension away from vertical. Once it started moving, it only took another day to get it all the way to vertical. Now the assembly was stuck rather than STUCK.

From here on it was a matter of hydraulics and BAH.

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Postby Buzzard Wing » Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:47 pm

I ran mine through the electro tank (two phase operation because of the length) and tried GW's way and got nowhere. When it broke the shear bold on the Hi Lift jack trying to compress it..... I figured that I liked one side out a notch and the other all the way in. Just like I found it.

I was a bit nervous about breaking/bending something besides the jack. (Repair kit was $13 at TSC and has the lift pins too)

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Postby Boss Hog » Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:53 pm

Rosebud :lol: and pry bar out she will come
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Postby Jackman » Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:13 pm

My 51 was also STUCK it took 3 days per side and 1/2 a can of PB Blaster anf a big hammer plus some patences. I can understand your idea but also think that a nice coating of grease on reassembly will work wonders for the next time.
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Postby Super A » Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:20 am

ScottyD'sdad wrote:I wonder if simply taking the axle assembly apart every year or two, cleaning, re-greasing, and reinstalling would be sufficient. Remember, some of these axles haven't been apart in 30 to 50 years. Ed


I think you just found the answer to the problem......

Our IH 424 has the same setup, just a larger tube. It got moved at least twice a year. When it was narrowed back up after planting time, it was always oiled/greased liberally first. I expect it would slide right out now without too much trouble, and it has been left "closed up" in the narrowest setting for several years.

People restoring the larger IH's still have trouble with stuck axle tubes. Most of the time it was because they were set at the factory or prior to delivery by the dealer when they were new, and haven't been moved for 30, 40, or more years. In the case of Super A's they were usually left at the narrowest setting, in the case of Cub's they were usually set out "one hole" to give a 44" spacing.

Unless you need to set the axle at a different width, I would clean it up and paint it and not worry about breaking it loose.

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Postby splicer » Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:17 am

I would be not use the spray foam. My experience with it has shown it will cause metal parts to corrode at a high rate. I used it a few times around steel water lines, cut it off a couple years later and the pipes were heavily pitted and corroded. I do like the rest of the plan.......can't hurt
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Postby Into Tractors » Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:39 pm

I plan to fill the interior of the front axle extensions with spray foam
My experience with it has shown it will cause metal parts to corrode at a high rate.

I wasn't going to be the first to respond to the spray foam idea, but I too think the same. The foam will/could add to the problem in my opinion. It'll trap moisture and add to rust/corrosion. If you were to coat the area with say graphite/oil/grease/silicon spray, and every once in a while remove the pins & clamps on the axles and more them a bit, I think the problem will not be there. I set my axle out to where I am using the second hole. That way, I'm able to loosen things up a few times a year and keep them from seizing up.
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