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Old 03-11-2013, 08:11 AM
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1955 Mercury axle rebuild

Having kids and a wife has taken me mostly out of the hobby over the past 12 years or so, and things are getting to a point that I'm getting back into it. I'm getting a frame sandblasted and powdercoated, so my current project is getting a rolling frame together for my 1955 Mercury Montclair frame-off restoration.

I've never done an axle rebuild. I worked as an engineer at American Axle for a while, so I've got a working familiarity with axle internals. I'm not familiar with the specifics on my axle, so I'm looking for some resources. I have 2 axles to work with, and I only suspect that both need at least some seal replaced, so my assumption is I might as well replace all seals and replace bearings while I'm at it.

My questions:
1) Is there's anything I shouldn't bother with because it's not likely worn out and/or too difficult?
2) Any equipment I should have for the job? I'm assuming I'll need a hydraulic press and plan to get one, but any guidance on what I should get would be appreciated?
3) I looked at C&G Early Ford and this is the shopping list I put together, is there any parts I need that's missing?

8M-4621 Pinion Front Bearing 28.50 ea 1 28.50
8A-4616 Pinion Front Bearing Race 12.50 ea 1 12.50
8L-4628 Pinion Rear Bearing Race 15.00 ea 1 15.00
B5A-4630 Pinion Rear Bearing 28.50 ea 1 28.50
8M-4215 Pinion Shaft Gear 37.50 ea 1 37.50
8M-4676-USA Pinion Seal 22.00 ea 1 22.00
8L-4221 Differential Bearing 25.00 ea 1 25.00
8L-4222 Differential Bearing Race 13.25 ea 1 13.25
B7A-1177-A Rear Wheel / Axle Seals 5.00 ea 1 5.00
8M-1225-A/1180 Rear Axle Bearing & Retainer 28.00 set 1 28.00
8A-2245 Rear Wheel Bearing Retainer Gasket 3.50 ea 1 3.50

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:27 AM
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1) Is there's anything I shouldn't bother with because it's not likely worn out and/or too difficult?
2) Any equipment I should have for the job? I'm assuming I'll need a hydraulic press and plan to get one, but any guidance on what I should get would be appreciated?

You will need an inch lb. torque wrench to properly measure the pinion bearing preload. A long bar for leverage to crush sleeve if using a new one.
You will need a dial indicator setup to measure ring gear backlash. Something to check tooth pattern with. I use white grease.

There are many online sites to help with inspection and gear tooth patterns.
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Slipangle (03-11-2013)
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:35 AM
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I've only had one of those early Ford rear ends apart and I don't remember exactly how it was built. It may have a solid pinion bearing spacer instead of a crush spacer. If it does then you might need some shims for it. If it has a crush spacer be sure that you use a new one. Also use a new pinion nut and put some red Locktite on it when you do the final assembly.

Be sure that you check the backlash BEFORE you disassemble it. Also use some gear marking compound and check the pattern BEFORE you disassemble it. Take pictures of the pattern so you will know what it looks like when you put it back together. You can get the yellow gear marking compound at a GM dealer, or from Randy's Ring & Pinion, Tom's Differentials or DTS. This works better than grease and MUCH better than the blue stuff that some people use.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:44 PM
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So I'm gathering from looking around and also from finding my shop manual, this is a Dana 44 axle and I'll be needing a housing spreader tool.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:32 AM
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That's great. The Dana 44 is a better rear end and parts are eazy to get and cheap. I didn't know that they used the 44 in those cars. I thought it was a T Bird only rear end in back then.

You don't need a housing spreader. I've built many Danas without using one. I've had a spreader for many years but only used it on aluminum rear ends. If you decide that you want to use one Randy's Ring & Pinion has one that doesn't cost a lot.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:58 AM
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Does this version of the D-44 use the tapered/keyed axles (I believe theres a large nut and cotterpin involved but its been forever) ? If someone didnt know any better, they can do a lot of damage trying to remove the drum/hub.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:01 AM
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I rebuilt a '55 T Bird Dana 44 a while ago and it had one piece axles in it. The Dana 44 in Jeeps had the two piece axles. There may have been others with two piece axles.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:19 PM
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I believe the Studebakers had this arrangement and theres a differential in Europe called a Salisbury which is similar o the D44; this was used in the Jags and Sunbeam Tigers and I think maybe the early AC Cobras
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