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Old 06-20-2008, 10:38 AM
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Default Checking axle housing for straightness

Anyone have a link or know how to make sure that my D44 housing is straight? Anyone know how much off it can be and still last?
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:42 PM
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I don't think Dana made any gay 44s, but the 35s I'm not sure.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:07 PM
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You're a lot of help!

My concern is that if it gets too hot it might give up the straight life.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:34 PM
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Sorry Jim, it was just such a great "straight" man line, I couldn't resist.
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:38 PM
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Jim, unless you've got some lasers and sights, the only way I know for the average guy is to lay a long perfectly straight piece of metal across the inside of the tubes and check for clearance between the tube and the housing. That's not going to be easy. Then, if it is bent, how do you propose to fix it without a couple of 100 ton presses and jigs?

As for how far out can it go... check the slop in a new set of bearings, cut the slop in half and that's about the amount of out of round/straight tolerance you can have. But the axle will still be running crooked,and that is going to wear the seal.

Unless you have the equipment to check for true and restore the axle tubes if their bent... it may be a good idea to take this one into a shop.

With your shop, and experience, IMHO, you'd be better off removing the tubes and lathing new thicker tube stock for insertion and welding. The you'd just have to make the jig to hold everything true when you're welding. But at least you know you'd be starting with straight tubes.
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:31 PM
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How about make a couple of tapers to fit into the axle bearings. Put a threaded rod through them and tighten nuts to stretch it. Then clamp a dial indicator to the rod so that it reads against a carrier bearing journal. Then rotate the rod in the axle bearings. If the indicator reading doesn't change, the bearings must be in line.

I don't know what I'd do if it isn't straight, but I have a 50-ton press and access to a 200 ton press. I can move it around for sure.
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Old 06-20-2008, 03:19 PM
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On the whole, it seems OK... I'm wondering how accurate that plan would be over the length of the tube. It also doesn't tell you where it's bent, and how to compensate.
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Old 06-20-2008, 03:57 PM
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Jim, I think you idea would work. I was thinking of using a piece of pipe instead of a threaded rod. I thought about checking straightness of my HD AMC 20 housing, before building it but decided it was a waste of time.

Everything I have read says the bearings need to be in an exact line. The problem is that "exact line" is a meaningless term. If I tested the housing I would most likely have found some run out. I would then have to decide if it was enough to make a problem (0.0005" 0.005" 0.05") Who knows. Rather then get results that I had no idea of the meaning of, I decided to just ignore the issue. My understanding is that the axle splines will wear quicker if the housing is bent as they will need to act like CV joints.

One could even argue that the housing should not be completely straight while on the work bench. The housing will flex: as weight is taken on and off, as the gears are loaded, and on a semi float the axles will flex as well. Even changing the backspacing of the wheels will result in a different loading of the housing. Resulting in the housing bending slightly.

I know none if this is much help. It just seemed to me that no matter how many tests I did, I would still only know it was a straight enough housing after I ran it and it did not eat parts.
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
It also doesn't tell you where it's bent, and how to compensate.
Where it's bent really doesn't matter. One would have to assume that the carrier bearings are where they're supposed to be, and the ends of the tubes must be in line with them.

It would be easier to do if one could mount the arbor to the carrier and then rotate it. Then you would know exactly how far and in which direction each tube end was out of line.

But it really is pointless, as Wilhelm points out, unless there is an allowable tolerance somewhere. There's nothing in the '78 FSM about it.
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:50 PM
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[quote]Then you would know exactly how far and in which direction each tube end was out of line.[quote]And that's the rub! You're using very tight tolerance on one end of the tube. By the time you extrapolate that out to the outside of the tube, the measurement has splayed. Also it really doesn't detect if the two tubes are square to one another.

What would it take for you to rig up a jig to mount and rotate the whole assembly?
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