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31 Durant rear axle

The rear axle for the '31 model 619 seems to be unique, heavier and different than others I have seen. I picked up an axle that has reportedly been gone through - redone, including new brakes, etc. I was told it was put together but not "set up". I'm not an axle kind of guy - never have taken one down. What does "set-up" involve? Hoping somebody can fill me in. Would like to take advantage of this since the axle on my car is a Chevy (ugh), and my original has another problem. Hope somone can enlighten me and give advice.

Re: 31 Durant rear axle

There was an article in the original DUrant Standard about setting up a rear axle by the late Harvey Frid who had probably forgotten more about auto repair than I'll ever know. I think it may have been in the second or third issue. He was talking about getting the car up on jacks and listening fron a hum from the rear end for the correct set up ( I don't want even to get into what that last statement sounds like!) check those back issues.

Re: 31 Durant rear axle

Hi Wayne. I have a 1931 619 complete rear end I am willing to sell that has broken teeth on the ring and pinion gears. I am running a higher gear ratio stronger rear end now in this car. I took the third member out to a rear end shop and found out it would be between $1,000.00 $2,000,00 .Also found out the rear end is weak. The axles are OK if needed. Set up means the gap between the teeth of the ring and pinion gear and the angle they touch. Not a simple thing to pull off. Noise is not the way to set a rear end. I cannot even find tolerances for our old rear ends. Not expensive to have one set up right for you at a experienced rear end shop. These 619 rear ends are completely different than any other model Durant made car. I am restoring a four door 619 right now. Good luck. Later Lance

Re: 31 Durant rear axle

I like your rear end shop idea. But I think I'll have to ask around. Rear end shops aren't in my yellow pages. Then again, I see one that at least could be a starting point. I have a rear axle like yours - teeth missing. My new "rebuilt" one I got from Frank Johnson in Upper Mich. I visited him and he told me it needed set up.
Did you ever find wheels and transmission parts for your 619? I kind of lost track after we talked. I got my extra parts so packed away it's hard to list them.

Re: 31 Durant rear axle

It is probably 99% certain that the ring and pinion were made on the Gleason system machines. Literature from them will show you how to set them up. In our shop the gear machinists would set them in a test machine and etch in the "mounting distance". This was the installation for best contact under no-load. [Keep in mind, you cannot normally mix and match pinions and gears, they are supplied in sets.] As you can imagine, under heavier loads, there is enough twist and deflection to cause the contact to shift.
You can see the contact pattern if you use bluing or a thin layer of colored wax, something like shoe polish. If you don't have other instructions or experience to say otherwise, the contact should be towards the small end of the gear (not all the way) and at the center of the tooth depth. (both gears) You adjust this with spacers or shims behind bearings, for example. [We're talking in terms of .001 inch adjustments]. If you apply heavy loads, the small end of the teeth will deflect and throw the load towards the larger end. Often, if you set it up too far to the larger end, you will get noise at low loads. Gearing is a very particular business, so this is just to be taken as a suggestion. In those days of yore, the materials were probably soft enough to "wear in" with time. It's not unheard of to lap them together at the factory with lapping compound. This is a slow, old-fashioned thing that wouldn't be very cost effective today. High performance gears are case-hardened and finish ground to a very smooth surface.


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