North American Turbocoupe Organization

Axles out, are they bad? (long)
Matt S Offline
Posting Freak
First off when I finally got the clips off and removed the axle, I found rubber o-rings on the groove the clip goes in. They stretch when I put the clips on. Should I/could I replace those?

The larger question is the condition of my axles. There's not any groove that my fingernail catches. But there is wear that I can see. There is a circle you can tell the bearing was on, the polish is somewhat gone and they have the brassy steel look and microscopic pits. Like the tip of a used cam, only no ridge at all. I took a razor and checked at 6 places around by shining a flashlight behind them and looking for light with the razor edge lengthwise on the bearing area. There were a couple questionable readings where tiny amounts of light could be seen on this worn area. But not all the way around, and the rest of both axles where the bearing doesn't ride isn't flat making it questionable if the razor was flat at all.
It made noise back there, but that could've been my stuck slider pins dragging a brake - outside pads had less than 1/64 inch. The bearings aren't out yet, but they also don't show signs of heat (no blue) or wear, aside from the same as I saw on the axle.
What do you think? With new bearings being pretty cheap, could I last another year on these axles until I could afford new ones? I can take a picture if that would help.
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Nate K Offline
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Matt, I went through this last year. My left axle was making noise due to it cut from worn out bearings. Upon removal and inspection, you could see a definite polished area where the bearing rode. Not really a groove but enough to catch your nail as you described. You may have heard you can use an offset bearing and reuse the axle... don't waste your time or money, they don't hold up, and end up leaking. If your axle was making noise, you should go ahead and put new axles in now, if not you will be redoing everything again in a year or so, including new bearings again. Two new axles from Moser Engineering will run you about $250+/- shipped to your door (maybe slightly less because I had them install new lug studs and bearings. I sent them one of my old axle shafts (cost me $11.80 to ship UPS) for them to go from since the TC axle shafts have different dimensions than the Mustangs of other Fords. They have a two day turn around on cutting them and getting them out to you. Moser's tech guys are great to deal with and I highly recommend Moser.

FYI, the ABS gear that's on the shafts has to be pressed off and on. Do NOT bang or beat on it, it will crack and they are not available from Ford any longer. If you do it yourself, be sure to measure the location of the gear. Most any shop with a press can do it, or if you send both old axles to Moser they will swap them over for you.

About the O-rings. They need to be on there. Usually they are missing when you remove the axle shaft. The o-ring is to help keep the c-clip in place and to help elimate it slapping against the face. Take one of your old O-rings to your parts store and buy the same. Don't reuse the old ones.

Advice, don't replace just one axle shaft, that like putting new brake pads on one wheel. Also, be sure you pre-lube the shafts and bearings before you reinstall everything.

If you are planning on keeping your TC for a good while (why wouldn't you...LOL), go ahead and spend the money and do it right the first time. You will spend more money later redoing it all over.
NATO Member
90 Mustang LX 5.0L Notch

Cars I wish I still owned:
69 Coronet 440
70 Torino 351C
79 Bronco 351M/400 on 35's
79 Trans Am 403 (6.6L)
88 Cougar XR7 5.0L
93 F150 Flareside Mark III Custom 5.0L

Matt S Offline
Posting Freak
Nate, thanks. I know what you are saying. But is it normal to see some polished area there. There is *NO* ridges, or anything. My fingernail, the razor catches NOTHING going across the race area. No cut, no nothing. If I didn't use my eyes, I'd say it feels fine. Only thing is the worn look I described.
And it only made noise after driving for about 15 minutes at freeway speed, and that's with frozen slider pins on the brakes.
Yeah, I'm cheap, and also 80% sure of losing my job in 6months. $250 now is my very very last resort. If my razor or my fingernail caught a ridge, then I'd be all over the credit card.
I guess I should ask, how do I know if they're good??? I'm with you, if I wasn't worried about my job, and my new mortgage, I would.
So would they still be polished chrome all the way around if they were good? Or do good ones get a worn look also?
I'm really on the fence. 1/2 of me wants to just slap new bearings and see. $250+ for axles, another $50 for moving the ABS rings, shipping etc sounds more like $400 after everything. I still have to replace brakes, unfreeze slider pins, front bearings, lifters etc....

[This message has been edited by Matt S (edited 05-20-2003).]
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Matt S Offline
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Ok, so I called a couple places, they said to replace them. Found a local place that sells them with the ABS ring for $240 each.
So I go to Moser Engineering and find that the co-founder and plant manager have died just last Friday in a plane crash. I've never ordered anything, but that's just horrible.
I called them, they quoted me $260 a pair, PLUS shipping. I figure another $50 to ship something that heavy to Washington. THEN all the shops here say that the ABS ring is a PITA to get off, and want to charge me shop time at no less than $50 an hour to get them off and put them on something else.
By that time, I'm only a few dollars from getting them WITH the abs ring on them ready to go from 10 miles up the street.
But here's the thing. I tell this place up the street I don't want the ABS ring, they say that the ONLY axle they stock for 83-88 Tbirds is WITH the ring.
Jeeze. I'm feeling like I'm getting screwed all around here.

[This message has been edited by Matt S (edited 05-20-2003).]
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