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Old 10-09-2013, 06:29 AM
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vibration at 60 bent axles?

I have a narrowed 9" ford. Stock shortened axles. Bought it ready to install from a local guy that tubbed cars back in the 80's. I have had a vibration from 55-70 since I ran this combo the first time in 92. Worst at 60 but smooth after 70. Has a buzzing feel to it like a bad u-joint. Did a makeover in 09. New engine, trans, drive shaft, axle housing, yoke, brake drums, ring and pinion, bearings, posi clutches and tires. All that is left is axles and pumpkin from the original set up. I have tried pinion angles from 3 up to three down in 1/2 degree increments to no avail. Road force balance did nothing. I pulled the fat Mickeys off and put the wheels and tires off my wife's Mercury on and ran it in the drive way. Same vibration at the same speed. I did notice the reflection in both wheels were wobbling. I took the tires off and ran it with the drums only. I can see the wobble and the vib is the same. What is the right way to measure axle run-out? IIRC the axles were cut and pinned to shorten but I see no parting line so I may have dreamed that part.

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Old 10-09-2013, 06:39 AM
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Is there any other noise...like a grind or a serious hum...a visible vibration would indicate either axles or bearings...in this case, if the bearings aren't bad and if the axles aren't true, the bearings will break down. Try removing the axles, check the bearings and take the axles to a machine shop to see if they are straight....if you can see a variation when running just drums...I'd put my money on bent or untrue axles.

Ray
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:59 AM
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Can't hear any bearing noise. Old bearing were okay too. When the vibration is at its worst it had a rum-rum sound to it as well as the buzzing feel from the rear. When I had stock motor mounts the engine would move to the rum rum sound. Those 18" wide Mickeys must have added to that if the axles are not true. I will pull them and get to a machine shop.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:12 AM
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Just a thought...when you had the 18" wide Mickey's...what was the off set on your wheel's? A deep off set or something far away from center can be stressful on axles. If your running 18" tires, your rims must have been 12 to 15 inches wide...anything with an 8" or 9" depth or off set can look cool but, if it's driven regularly...hard on the axles.

Ray
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:07 AM
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Was the bolt pattern redrilled in the axles when they were cut? If they were then it could be off center. You can check the axles in the housing by setting up a dial indicator on the end of the housing and running it against the axle flange. That will tell you if the axle is bent.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:36 AM
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The wheels are zero offset. The axles are stock Ford that have been shortened. I changed housing to Trac9 because the narrowing job was done wrong and had no support in the end of tubes. Also had flanges that were not straight so I decided to start fresh.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:16 AM
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Do the axles still have the stock Ford 5 on 4 1/2 inch pattern, or were they drilled for another pattern?
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:46 PM
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They are re-drilled 5x5 to 5x4.5 . I could not get a good reading on the axle outer edge or the face because of the rough edges and dings. Then I set up on one stud and marked it as "zero". As I rotated from stud to stud the others were gradually off to minus .028 at the opposing stud. Same on both sides. My calipers measure the same distance from stud to outer edge of axle and center of axle to center on studs is the same. All I can guess from here is the studs are off-center or the axles are bent. Could be the re-splined ends are crooked and act like a bent axle.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:06 PM
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send your axles in to Mosier and have them build you some new ones .
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:28 AM
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Stock axles w/an unknown history, shortened by an unknown process, possibly redrilled/resplined wrong, and possibly bent? Wouldn't be something I could trust. Since you've spared no expense getting everything else right on the rearend, I would bite the bullet and order a set of aftermarket axles having the correct length and wheel pattern, and not look back.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:07 PM
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Thanks! I had a long talk with Strange. As well as bent axles the right side is 1/4" too long as in a bind against the cross pin. Never noticed it before with the brakes on. Doing the measuring with the backing plate off it was obvious. New axles will be here Wednesday. I should have asked Mitler Bros. to check them when they built the Trac9 housing and pressed on the new bearings. My mistake. Now the only thing not new is the Prostars.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:58 AM
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Better to be safe than sorry. Over the years Ive seen several "Faux Street" cars that were built using some "interesting" methods. The reasoning was usually "Ah hes just going to putter around the fairgrounds revving his engine" Post pics of your rebuilt ride. We love "car p0rn"
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:51 PM
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One of the worst cases of building for looks instead of using sound engineering was a "Pro Street" Chevy truck back in FL. Canary yellow '72 stepside, w/sprint car rear tires on it that had to have been a foot and a half wide (no kidding), w/a stock width rearend. This was done by increasing the backspacing of the rear wheels along w/relocating the coilovers way inboard- but w/o changing the spring rate or shock valving.

The rear axle bearings wore out almost immediately and at anything over about 70 mph the wheels/rearend went into some sort of harmonics that felt like the rearend was going to bounce off the road. It fortunately didn't have enough under the hood to do a burnout, else I believe it would have self destructed right then and there. But looking at it from behind it looked like it was all that and a bag o' chips.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:13 AM
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Update: New strange axles in and vibration is still there. The lateral runout on the Weld prostars is still .030 left and .070 right. I did a runout on the drive shaft and it was .008. I also could move the pinion about .010 up and down. Now I am down to pinion bearings and wheels being the only things that are not new in the entire drive train. Since my vib is there with wheels off I will go for pinion bearings and see what happens. Sure seems odd that would be it but worth a shot.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:46 AM
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I'm late to the party but wondering what your suspension set up is? Leafs or coils? 4 link, 3 link?
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