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55 mph rear axle snap!

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  • 55 mph rear axle snap!

    I have a Golden Hawk 1957, when driving at 55mph the rear axle shaft snapped off, could anyone please tell me if they have any problems either with a similar year or model.

  • #2
    Yes, unfortunately, this will become more and more common, I have had
    one break on my 60 Hawk going around a corner. A friend had one break
    on a 1961 Hawk about a year later, I know a guy in town that had one
    break on a Lark ... its scary. The "problem" is the nature of the way
    the hubs are attached to the tapered axle. It creates a stress area
    right near the end of the taper. Over time these crack, and then as
    you experienced, they break. I hope you didnt hit anything. What is
    worse is the single master cylinder, as you most likely found out, you
    lose your brakes completely. Contact Fairborn Studebaker for the best
    way to fix your axle for good, its a flanged upgrade kit.

    http://www.fairbornstudebaker.com/

    Tom

    '63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires
    '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
    Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
    I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't feel so bad today I saw a late model Dodge p/u that had just made a turn on the busiest intersection in town lo and behold his axle slid out of his housing almost all the way he came to rest on the shaft. So it happens to more than just our beloved cars. Yes I did laugh a bit at his plight, of course it will bite me soon I know

      Comment


      • #4
        This is not just a Stude problem, your native Volvos of the 1960s did/do the same things, one of the things that caused them to pull out of factory team rallying along with a fatality in the 1965 or 66 Acropolis. The half shaft would sheer right at the drum backing plate.

        Age and metal fatigue will both be factors too I am afraid.....[B)]

        Garrett

        Comment


        • #5
          Tom...

          The stress you mention at the end of the hub..
          Isn't almost identical to the stress created between a flanged axle and the pressed on bearing?

          I've had a few (of the big three) fail there too. Luckily not ever going very fast!

          Mike

          Comment


          • #6
            I never thought about busting an axle, but I bet if a person took them to a machine shop (before they crack) and have them cut a half radius groove where the taper meets the shaft, that would prevent the cracking. You'd think cutting a groove would make them more prone to breaking, but a groove like that causes the lines of stress to go around the groove (on the inside) much like driving around a pothole. Apparently as it is now the stress hits the machined shoulder and makes a sharp turn outward which causes metal fatigue.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes .. the stress area is the same on a flanged axle, but there is a
              bit more material there to take the brunt. There is also not the two
              pieces, the 200 foot pounds pulling on the taper to hold the hub on.
              The tapered axles also get cycled over and over with the hubs being
              removed and forced back on. I found that the hubs get distorted over
              time, when I checked the runout on my rear disc conversion.

              No matter how you slice it, there is a time bomb ticking.

              Tom
              '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
              Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
              http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bracket-update
              I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them

              Comment


              • #8
                John...a very true statement as far as the undercut goes..

                But...this needs to be done before the final heat treatment is done. Apparently the manufacturers don't feel it's nesessary or they would be doing it...even at the extra cost.
                If you don't heat treat "after" the undercut, you will open a soft section of material where a hard surface once was...not a good idea for the same reasons why one would do the undercut in the first place.

                The Buick V-6 was a good example.
                The standard crank shaft looked like any other crank shaft. But the Grand National cranks..then later "all" of the turbo engined cranks and all of the over the counter "race" cranks....were undercut on the rod throws to help promot crank strength.

                Mike

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well mates, it's not a total surprise that some mechanical bits fail after 40 or 50 years of service (abuse?). Perhaps someone can take a drive shaft and subject it to a dye penetrant check, followed by a magnetic particle check and give as an analysis.
                  It might be useful to know what (if anything) shows up in those 2 checks. A dye-pen check is not teribly difficult to do, mag particle requires the specialised equipment that only work shops have. The dye-pen spray cans anybody can buy and use.
                  Any takers?
                  /H

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the expert follow up Mike. You too Hank, I hadn't even thought of that. Over here we call that process magnaflux and would probably be pretty cheap considering the damage would be done when your axle unscrews itself.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is a problem for the Ford Model T also the T also has tapered axles. There are a couple of aftermarket safety hubs produced to counter this. For the T they require some machining of the hub but they are designed to keep the wheel on if something like this happens. Now a T doesn't have hyd. brakes and springs in the way they are much more simple. Not sure if you could have something like this copied for a more modern vehicle. But it might be worth a look at them to see if they could be adapted

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think for my 64 6 cyl Daytona I'll buy a flanged Dana 27 at SASCO when I go this Spring. At under $300 bucks for a complete unit (with TT), why wouldn't I?

                        Todd


                        63 Lark 2dr Sedan
                        64 Daytona 4dr Sedan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you all for your comments, I have found them to be highly useful. In order to replace the snapped axle shaft I am considering replacing the existing shaft with a Ford 9 inch rear axle. Could you please let me know whether you consider the potential replacement to be sufficient or whether the Ford 9 inch rear axle may in the future also snap. Thank you again for your comments in assisting me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Get the axle kit from Fairborn. It may look expensive but by the time you adapt the ford axle, you know, spring pads, brakes, e-brake cables,ujoints etc you will money ahead. Also the Fairborn kit doesnt require removal from the car of the axle assembly.
                            Only one of my Studes has a Ford 9 inch, a '62 Champ pickup. It was installed by a previous owner and I havent gotten around to replacing IT with a Dana 44TT from a 63 Champ just yet.

                            3E38
                            4E2
                            4E28
                            5E13
                            7E7
                            8E7
                            8E12
                            8E28
                            4E2
                            59 Lark
                            etc

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Kom...

                              Transtar is right in this case.

                              Though if you do put the Ford in...with the big axles....youl'd need a "LOT" of hp to break those big shafts.

                              Concidering cost and time out of service...the Harbit/Fairborn axles should hold up just fine for everything under about 600hp!!

                              Mike

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