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  • Rear Axle: Axle keyway length

    OK so I have 4 bent axles from Dana 44's. 2 from a 60 Hawk and 2 from a 62GT.
    I believe these axles bend when the car is left sitting for years.
    I have straightened them and they all spin fairly true.
    The issue is that that the two that straightened the best have short keyways.
    I think maybe the keyway length was shortened at some stage in production.
    Can someone verify this and which axles are the best and why was the change made?

    Allan
    Allan Tyler Melbourne Australia

  • #2
    They are all bent to some degree.

    Originally posted by alpayed View Post
    OK so I have 4 bent axles from Dana 44's. 2 from a 60 Hawk and 2 from a 62GT.
    I believe these axles bend when the car is left sitting for years.
    I have straightened them and they all spin fairly true.
    The issue is that that the two that straightened the best have short keyways.
    I think maybe the keyway length was shortened at some stage in production.
    Can someone verify this and which axles are the best and why was the change made?

    Allan
    I have always gone for less than .004 runout. When they get bent they break and cause a real mess. Never seen keways different unless the key was put in backwards which I have seen a lot. Its a taper press fit. Also some other studebakers have longer keys as well looked through my box have 3 different sizes. If the axle does break you can take a chisel on the part left and pound on it the reverse taper on the bearing will force it out.

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    • #3
      Hi Allan, there is only one part number listed for key ways during those years. The measurements in the parts book are 1/4" x 2-3/8".

      I have seen at least one N.O.S. axle shaft that was machined badly and had to be used with an extra long key to suit.

      Chris.

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      • #4
        1959/64 Lark/Hawk: 194841 .. Key-Shaft to Hub 1/4" x 2 3/8."

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        • #5
          just finishing install of a fairborn flanged axle ( and turner rear disk) on my 63 Avanti. Not sure why I waited so long besides being a CASO
          1951 Custom
          1958 Packard Hawk < resto project
          1962 Champ
          1963 Standard R1 4 speed
          1963 Avanti R1
          1963 GT Hawk R2 4 speed
          2006 Avanti Convertible

          Comment


          • #6
            If you have bent axles, it is a good idea to have them magnafluxed to find any cracks.

            I'm thinking that they get bent from improper installation of the hub and key.

            I had an axle break off going down a curvy canyon road. It broke off just outboard of the outer axle bearing, where the taper starts. Lost all the brakes and there was no way to slow the car down. You really do not want that to happen to you.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

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            • #7
              Lets not forget that new #44 diff axles are readily available. There is really no need to be playing with old junk if you dont want too.

              Chris.

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              • #8
                Some more background info: Both these cars spent 25years sitting without moving. The axles were bent over the entire length but not by much. It would be better to say they had a "set" in them.
                I only discovered this because I put one in the lathe to check run out of the disc brake rotor that I am fitting to them. I then noticed that the spline end was wobbling about 1/8" off ctr.
                The disc rotor was within tolerance. When the axle was put ctr to ctr in the lathe the rotor was about .010" TIR. You could see the axle was bent over its entire length.
                I simply marked the point on the axle and gave them a nudge with the press. They all now spin straight to the eye and about .002" run out at the rotor OD. Which is as good as is needed. There is no evidence of twist in the axles.
                My main concern was the length of the key. 3" and 2 3/8" Anyhow I will use the short key units.

                Thanks for the comments.
                Allan
                Allan Tyler Melbourne Australia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Your skill level is way beyond many of the posters here. You will be OK.

                  Make sure you install the keys as far outboard as possible, but I suspect that you do not need that advice.

                  BTW, not to insult anyone, but the posters on this forum range from super mechanics/automotive design engineers/machinists, to back yard hacks who think every tool doubles as a hammer, every part should interchange with every other part, and they can design better than the Studebaker engineers.

                  I cannot always tell whom is whom until they have posted a few times.

                  I am somewhere in the middle of that range. Some of my advice is geared to keeping the hacks out of trouble - if they listen.
                  Last edited by RadioRoy; 03-14-2014, 06:57 PM.
                  RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


                  10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                  4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                  5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

                  Comment

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