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Thread: How much lateral play in a Hawk's rear axle? (tire rubbing woes)

  1. #1
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    How much lateral play in a Hawk's rear axle? (tire rubbing woes)

    I just mounted up new chromed wheels with 215/70/R15 tires on my 1960 Hawk, after reviewing quite a few threads on the Forum related to tire size, etc. It seems quite a few have used this tire size with the GM-style wheels I obtained through Speedway.

    On mounting them, however, I've got significantly different clearance on the driver's side rear wheel well (probably 1 inch) and the passenger side (less than 1/4-inch). On test run, I had just the slightest contact on the passenger side, but enough to concern and leave a visible rub mark on the rear-passenger tire.

    What I'd like to know is how much play, either in the mounting spline or in the axle itself, the rear axle has, to be adjusted laterally? I'd hate to blow the investment in tires (but will if that's the solution) - just seems like I should be able to make an adjustment in the axle . Anyone have experience to share in managing a similar issue? Thanks in advance.

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    Most likely in the way body was bolted to the frame--off center. Could be factory or a prior repair. Can't move the axle on the springs, spring center pin fits the saddle and locates it. As I see it, you can loosen the body bolts and try to equalize the distance, slightly bow the offending rear fender, and check the spring hangers and spring perches to be sure the bushings are good and see if you might be able to slightly space them to force the spring to one side or the other. The original tires were so narrow nobody ever had a problem, now, the quality (none) of the original assembly procedures and alignment quality control shows up.
    Certainly not the first time it has occurred, easiest is to slightly "ease" the rear fender enough so it never rubs, and call it a day.

  3. #3
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    For some reason, Hawks nearly always run closer rear tire to fender clearance on the right side. If you used wheels with 4" backspace, you may have to go to 205s. The 3.75" backspace is best all around, and will allow up to 215 tires, but I usually run 205s. If you can slide your fingers up between the tire and fender it will be OK, but sounds like yours are too close even for a pinkie.

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavanbound View Post
    I just mounted up new chromed wheels with 215/70/R15 tires on my 1960 Hawk, after reviewing quite a few threads on the Forum related to tire size, etc. It seems quite a few have used this tire size with the GM-style wheels I obtained through Speedway./Cut/
    This is the part of your post that bothers me, how could you buy "GM Style" Wheels for a Stude. since NONE of their Cars EVER used a 5 on 4 1/2 Inch Center Bolt pattern?

    As far as "Style" is concerned, don't all plain Steel wheels look basically the same, at least from a distance?

    That being the case, it made me think you were not really talking about "Style" per se`as in the Look, but maybe about the Type of Center and bolt pattern.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 02-13-2017 at 02:04 AM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  5. #5
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    70 series tires will be too wide in most of the 60+ year old cars with original springs. Forget wagons or some Larks. 75 series .....

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    Another option is to use a wheel spacer. Be sure the bolts are long enough for the thickness you select. You also have to consider distance to the fender and whether you will just shift the problem to the fender.

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    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackb View Post
    70 series tires will be too wide in most of the 60+ year old cars with original springs. Forget wagons or some Larks. 75 series .....
    First numbers indicate width, and second set indicate height, i.e. 215/70: 215 means 215mm wide, and height from rim is 70 percent of 215, which is 150.5mm. Similarly, 205/75 is 153.75mm tall. So a 205/75 is 3.25mm taller, yet 10mm skinner than a 215/70. The taller tire reduces engine RPM, and the skinnier tire makes for better clearance. That is why I prefer 205/75s on Studes.

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    Yes, the rear axle in C/K cars is seldom-to-never centered. Yes, it is possible to move the spring center bolt mounting holes on the axle mounting pads. They're just steel and slight adjustments can be made with a grinder, drill and welder. Should more relocation be required, they can be cut off and re-welded.

    First numbers indicate width, and second set indicate height, i.e. 215/70.
    No, only approximately. Tires from different manufacturers carrying the same numbers will vary in width. When as close as the OP, one manufacturer's tire may just fit and another may rub. Today, the same numbers are generally the same rolling diameter, as that would destroy AWD drivelines if diameters were substantially different.

    Also, check the spring bushings and rear spring shackles. Fifty-seven-year-old rubber won't be keeping anything aligned. New shocks and a rear sway bar also reduce movement.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    For some reason, Hawks nearly always run closer rear tire to fender clearance on the right side. If you used wheels with 4" backspace, you may have to go to 205s. The 3.75" backspace is best all around, and will allow up to 215 tires, but I usually run 205s. If you can slide your fingers up between the tire and fender it will be OK, but sounds like yours are too close even for a pinkie.

    …as do sedans. I believe this is to compensate for lean typical of road designs in the 1950's and earlier. Most people do not notice this until they install modern wider tires.

    It definitely becomes an issue with fender skirts...

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    President Member E. Davis's Avatar
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    I heard it had to do with drive shaft alignment.

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    President Member wdills's Avatar
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    I found the body on my 61 was offset quite a bit. To get it centered over the rear axle I had to open up the body mounting holes anywhere from 1/16" up to 1/8".
    Wayne
    "Trying to shed my CASO ways"


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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    For some reason, Hawks nearly always run closer rear tire to fender clearance on the right side. If you used wheels with 4" backspace, you may have to go to 205s. The 3.75" backspace is best all around, and will allow up to 215 tires, but I usually run 205s. If you can slide your fingers up between the tire and fender it will be OK, but sounds like yours are too close even for a pinkie.
    That's true Joe, on all the unrestored Studes I've dealt with over the years, the right side is USUALLY tighter!

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    Any chance the car had a minor rear ender and distorted the fender some time in the past. My 54 had an impact on the drivers side and you couldn't see it except for a wrinkle in the inside panel. The tail light bezel did not fit right and I could not determine why.

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    Maybe I am missing something here, I have a 54 sedan and 80s GM (Buick) wheels fit perfect.

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    The wheels he used are the Ralley wheels used on the bigger cars and pickup trucks. I put a set on my Transtar to clear front disc brakes calipers.

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    You could have the car put on a 4 wheel alignment mating to determine the centerline and thrust line, in doing that you would clearly see where the rear axel sits in relation to the chassis.

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    The end play was set at the factory with shims on the right side.
    You can move the shims to the other side and maybe get enough clearance !
    http://www.raylinrestoration.com/Tec...e/RearAxle.htm

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    The shims in this article are for setting up the rear Timken axel bearing clearance I believe and not so much the positioning of the rear axel assembly in the chassis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by altair View Post
    Maybe I am missing something here, I have a 54 sedan and 80s GM (Buick) wheels fit perfect.
    http://www.wheelsupport.com/buick-bolt-patterns/
    Here's what you have on your car--none are 114.3 (4.5 circle). Probably using 115 metrics which are not correct for Studes 114.3 but can be forced on, but lug nuts are not properly centered on the wheel lug openings.

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    Resolution: Tire dealer was more than willing to take the cleaned-up 215/70/15s back and sell them as new. He even comped the labor and all other charges and zeroed me out the door with a set of 205/70/15s...which fit well with enough room for comfort. Great customer service from Royal Tire Co of St. Cloud, MN.

  21. #21
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    What Jack V said is on the mark..... Proper springs and good bushings matter.

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    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    This, so far, is/was the most accurate reaponse to the OP's question about axle end play on a Stude Dana diff.
    Axle end play is all about the tapered bearing inner cone to outer race end play/adjustment.
    It has nothing to do with the placement, or centering, of the differential to the body.
    Axle bearing end play should be between .000" and .006". as measured with a dial indicator.
    The closer you get to .000" the better. (*note).
    This is not a Studebaker created spec. This is a bearing manufacturer spec.

    (*note)
    Since .000" is almost impossible to measure, most bearing manufacturers suggest .001" as a minimum,
    because that is the smallest number you can measure with conventional tools, like a dial indicator.

    Tapered bearing life is optimal at a slight preload ( -.004"). That is very difficult to achieve without special tooling, or measured fasteners.
    You cannot 'measure' the difference between .000" and preloaded (any preload) by hand.
    Even the 'feel' method is not accurate in the preload area.
    Since bearing manufaturers, and vehicle manufacturers, are concerned with warranties and service life,
    their service and adjustment methods are going to all be based on fact based and verifiable methodology.

    Hence the dial indactor measurement requirement.



    Quote Originally Posted by rkapteyn View Post
    The end play was set at the factory with shims on the right side.
    You can move the shims to the other side and maybe get enough clearance !
    http://www.raylinrestoration.com/Tec...e/RearAxle.htm
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  23. #23
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
    This, so far, is/was the most accurate reaponse to the OP's question about axle end play on a Stude Dana diff.
    Axle end play is all about the tapered bearing inner cone to outer race end play/adjustment.
    It has nothing to do with the placement, or centering, of the differential to the body.
    Axle bearing end play should be between .000" and .006". as measured with a dial indicator.
    The closer you get to .000" the better. (*note).
    This is not a Studebaker created spec. This is a bearing manufacturer spec.

    (*note)
    Since .000" is almost impossible to measure, most bearing manufacturers suggest .001" as a minimum,
    because that is the smallest number you can measure with conventional tools, like a dial indicator.

    Tapered bearing life is optimal at a slight preload ( -.004"). That is very difficult to achieve without special tooling, or measured fasteners.
    You cannot 'measure' the difference between .000" and preloaded (any preload) by hand.
    Even the 'feel' method is not accurate in the preload area.
    Since bearing manufaturers, and vehicle manufacturers, are concerned with warranties and service life,
    their service and adjustment methods are going to all be based on fact based and verifiable methodology.

    Hence the dial indactor measurement requirement.
    I may have missed something, but thought rkapitan was talking about moving the .100" or so of shims from right side to left. That would move the right wheel inboard by .100". But .100" is probably not enough to address the OP's clearance problems. I say .100" or so as an estimate, because that's about the average amount of shims I have found to be needed.

    As for Jeff's similar but different subject of end play, the feel method works great, once you get the feel of it. LOL

  24. #24
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    I will not discount the 'feel' method. But it is not fact based and verifiable.
    What feels 'good' for one person might not feel good for another.
    And manucturers won't stand behind that, and train their instructors not to teach any 'feel' methods.


    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    As for Jeff's similar but different subject of end play, the feel method works great, once you get the feel of it. LOL
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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    I ran a set of 1970 Ford Thunderbird wheel on my 1955 Commander. They were 15x6 on 4.5 x 5 bolt circle. Same as Chrysler. I think what Mr. Studerich means is, GM wheels are 4.75 x 5 bolt circle.

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    http://www.wheelsupport.com/buick-bolt-patterns/
    Here's what you have on your car--none are 114.3 (4.5 circle). Probably using 115 metrics which are not correct for Studes 114.3 but can be forced on, but lug nuts are not properly centered on the wheel lug openings.
    Quote Originally Posted by salmonstude View Post
    I ran a set of 1970 Ford Thunderbird wheel on my 1955 Commander. They were 15x6 on 4.5 x 5 bolt circle. Same as Chrysler. I think what Mr. Studerich means is, GM wheels are 4.75 x 5 bolt circle.
    Not exactly. At varying times in the recent past, all the auto manufacturers began using metric dimensions. As Rich correctly says, there is a newer FWD GM 115mm bolt pattern; very different from the 4.75"/120.65mm Chevy used for fifty years and more.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  27. #27
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Not exactly. At varying times in the recent past, all the auto manufacturers began using metric dimensions. As Rich correctly says, there is a newer FWD GM 115mm bolt pattern; very different from the 4.75"/120.65mm Chevy used for fifty years and more.

    jack vines
    The 115mm converts to 4.53". So it still comes down to two sizes: 4.5" and 4.75", give or take a few thousands, which are tolerable.

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    Glad if caught this tread. My 63 Hawk has been dog-legging for a long time. The rear right is maybe 1” and the left is 2.5” to the fenders.
    i replaced all the spring bushings. A wet tire mark of the rear right is 1.5” over the front right. I’ve done numerous measurements of the frame, all good???? Discussed this re:body mounted askew??.. and maybe it something in the front end exaggerating an error the lenght of the wheelbase.....Im at a loss to figure it ?? Think ill setup a couple of lazer levels with the frame as reference. Really hope this is the case.

  29. #29
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    I had some clearance issues on my my narrowed Ford 9" rear end. Even though I had it narrowed for 10" rims in the rear, I still had a little clearance issue with the wide rims. I did 2 things to solve the problem and kept the rear fenders stock. First, I used urethane bushings in the eyes of the leaf springs. But I also used washers on the outer side of the bushing to "push" the leaf spring inboard. I was able to get almost 1/4" clearance on each side with the washers. The urethane bushings also help to stabilize the rear end so it doesn't swim around quite as much.
    Next, I rolled the lip of the fender slightly. Using a baseball bat, I had my son drive the car ever so slowly forward and back while I held the bat between the tire and the fender. I did not want to push the fender out as I did not want it distorted. I just wanted the inner lip of the fender to be out of the way of the tire. It worked out perfectly.
    On the car in the avatar below, the rear fenders used to hold 10" rims with 10-1/2" wide tires without any rubbing.
    Nowthen, as I write this, I have to say that I also have on this car, a 1-1/4" front sway bar which grreatly helps the car to remain stable in fast turns. That also decreases the likelyhood of rubbing.
    After all this blabbing, the method that may be of use to you are the bushings. If you use urethane bushings, it will help stabilize the rear, and if you insert washers on one side of the mounts only, you can push the rear slightly to one side or the other. It may be enough to get it much closer to center.
    sals54

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