Is this an acceptable wear amount for a 2spd rear end?

Discussion in 'Triple Diamond Trucks' started by eric©, Dec 29, 2019.


  1. eric©

    eric© Farmall Cub

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    To start, I already know that shift motor, wiring, or the electric switch on the shifter are the most likely failure points. It won't shift even with the motor removed from the axle, otherwise I would have just locked it in high range and moved on.

    Truck is a '59 B-162, electric shifted 2 speed rear end, that has never fully completed a shift in to high range. Once it almost made it there, got about 500 feet before I lifted off the gas, and it disengaged. While I know there isn't a true neutral in the axle, it always felt like it would get stuck in a neutral between low and high ranges, then was a bear to get it back in low range and driveable again (took a bunch of shifts back and forth, between 1st and reverse gears, to get the thing to slide back into low range...otherwise letting the clutch out felt like the transmission was in neutral). At one point I found it would hold high range in reverse, but never in forward.

    About a year ago, assuming that like most, it was an issue either with the switch, motor, or limit switches, I pulled the shift motor off the axle, and attempted to shift the axle into high range manually, and couldn't get it to go into high range that way either. It would _almost_ slide in, but when turning the driveshaft, the shift fork would kind of ratchet. Usually I could get it to hold high range while spinning the driveshaft in reverse, but would ratchet in forward. I then pulled the center section out, moved it to the garage, and forgot about it for a year.

    I got ahold of the Eaton factory service manual some time ago for these axles, and it mentioned inspecting the sliding clutch and planetary assembly for excessive wear, but didn't really show what excessive wear was. Today, I pulled the differential apart for inspection of the sliding clutch, and mating planetary assembly. I found that again, if I rotated the sliding clutch while pulling on it, it wanted to ratchet around rather than engage as well. The harder I pulled on it, the less it wanted to slide over and engage. I've tried to find pictures of these parts online, but haven't been able to find any kind of close ups to compare new parts to mine, or anything showing what excessive wear would be.

    So, are these two toast, or should I continue to look for issues elsewhere? I know that the splined parts aren't suppose to be a sharp square cut, but given that one side of the planetary splines are much more worn than the other side, I'm thinking that's where the issue is, and would explain why it seems to be grabbing in reverse, but not in forward.

    IMG_20191229_151429.jpg IMG_20191229_162638.jpg IMG_20191229_162733.jpg IMG_20191229_162736.jpg
     
  2. eric©

    eric© Farmall Cub

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    As it happens so frequently, months of googling turns up little to nothing for me, then I post a question on a forum, and figure part of it out shortly after, lol. I realized that the "planetary gear" part name is the "high speed clutch plate", and that did turn up some positive results. It also appears that my clutch plate does in fact have some extensive wear. I got the plate off my unit, to start hunting for some part numbers.

    I also realized that this thing is virtually identical on both sides...and reinstalled it "backwards". Slid the sliding clutch back in, spun and pulled on it, and it slid right into engagement as I expected. It was actually rather difficult to force it into a "ratchet", whereas before it was nearly impossible to not have it "ratchet", even when spinning it by hand. Any reason I can't run it installed "backwards" to get some more life out of it? I'd normally just try it and see, but it would be just my luck that it would seem fine until I'm 300 miles from home and hooked up to a heavy trailer, at which point it would fail and not go into low or high, lol.
     
  3. George Yingst

    George Yingst Farmall Cub

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    I sure don't have the expert opinion on this one, but if its identical either way then that is exactly what I would do. Seems there were a lot of parts back in the day that you could do this with and get lots more life out of them without the cost of replacement.
    Let us know what you end up doing and how it works out. Now I'm curious.
    And glad to see it looks like you are still getting work out of the truck if you haul heavy trailers hundreds of miles with it.
     
  4. eric©

    eric© Farmall Cub

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    Well, to be honest...in the 3 years or so that I've owned this truck, I've put MAYBE 5 miles on it. When I bought it, the brakes were virtually non-functional....to the point that I nearly drove it off the front of my trailer getting it loaded up, and again loading it up on a buddy's much larger trailer..turns out it was a bit much for a 10K GVWR trailer behind a 1/2 ton pickup tow rig, and a 100 mile trip home, lol.

    Took a year plus to get it up and running, and another few months to get the brake vacuum booster sorted, then I found the problem with the rear end, and life happened. I found myself with some down time while waiting on the transmission parts to show up for the Blazer, and engine bits for the Samurai, so I figured it was a good time to start investigating the axle issues on the International.

    The plan for this truck was always to make it a heavy hauler...or at least anything heavier than what my old 1 ton Ford could realistically handle in the bed. I know it will never be like driving a modern truck, and that's part of the draw for me. The Ford has since been replaced with a newer Chevy pickup, and at some point down the road, I'd like to yank the 7.3 diesel from the Ford, refresh it, and put it in the International. Maybe I'll find something like a RoadRanger 13 speed to install in there as well with modern heavy duty axles (admittedly, I'm not all that familiar with heavy truck transmissions....there may well be much better choices out there, but that's for future research). Even without the 7.3, I have every intention of putting this truck to work on some level. I don't buy, or build, driveway and cruise-in parking lot art, lol.

    But for now, I'd like to just get it drive-able as is, and part of that is learning what I can, and what SHOULD be done in these kinds of situations. I honestly don't know if it's really identical on both sides, other than one is worn and the other isn't. I know from experience that just because something looks like it CAN be done, doesn't necessarily mean it SHOULD be done, lol. The other part of this is that getting this differential in and out of the truck is a major undertaking for me, due to the weight, and the only concrete I have is in the 2 car garage..that this truck won't fit in to. Even getting the differential from the dirt area the truck is parked on now to the garage to work on it involved the neighbor dragging it through the dirt with his tractor. I'm not yet sure how I'm going to get it reinstalled (I'm imagining a gantry crane, cutting out the rotten wood on the flatbed, and lowering it down from above)...but I'm pretty sure I'm only going to want to do it once :p
     
  5. George Yingst

    George Yingst Farmall Cub

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    ok, so at least you plan on working it. That's good enough.
    Yes they are a heavy bugger to lift back up into the housing. Going from above may work if no crossmember is in the way on the truck or the bed. Good luck with that.
    Another option is to swap out the entire axle assembly. Just about any 2spd from an IHC, Dodge, Ford should bolt right in since the frame spacing is standardized on all. And all of them used Eaton axles and parts. The brake parts and driveshaft flange may be different but all can be worked with.
    I believe GMC/Chevrolet built at least some of their own stuff so they may not work.
    As a kid I remember my dad trying to find a 2spd axle to replace his worn out single speed in our L160 wheat truck. At that time they were hard to find and it cost him $500 plus exchange at a wrecking yard.
    When I started playing with trucks I saved all the axles with that in mind. In all those years I was able to trade one away and the others just sat. The market just dried up and blew away for them. They eventually went to scrap when the prices were high. I kept just a few for spares for my own stuff. If you were closer I could set you up.
     
  6. eric©

    eric© Farmall Cub

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    Option, yes...finding one is the key though. They're not exactly "can't walk through the scrapyard 10 feet without stumbling on one" kind of parts though either, and maneuvering an entire axle assembly in there seems like it would be an even bigger undertaking than just the center section, lol. Though I suppose I might be able to unbolt the current axle, roll it out, install the center, then roll it back in too..but then I'm getting jiggy with attempting to raise, and support, the frame high enough to do this...in the dirt, with a single large bottle jack...

    Plus, the few other trucks I've seen for sale of this vintage has been non Internationals, and also meant 6 lug wheels vs. my current 5 lugs. I believe most of the others also used vacuum shift 2 speeds as opposed to Internationals being electric shift back in those years? Only complete/semi-complete trucks..never parts. I've been looking for a spare wheel or two, and until recently, I haven't found _any_ 5 lug wheels around here (eventually found a couple at, surprisingly enough, a junk yard here in town...I live "in the sticks" outside of Phoenix, and the Phoenix yards are all pretty much 50+ miles away. Plus, those are all normal car/light truck yards...until I found the local yard, I didn't even know where to go for OLD medium/heavy truck parts. I know there's a couple semi truck yards in south Phoenix, but last time I called them looking for parts for another project, I was told they generally don't have anything older than 20 years or so. The local guy has about 2 dozen very well stripped out trucks sitting way in the back, and only one of which was an International with 5 lug wheels...and last time I was there, I think two of them were still left on the truck. Kept meaning to get back there with appropriate tools to pull them off, and keep forgetting. Maybe I'll remember this weekend, lol.

    Going 6 lug wouldn't be the end of the world, but then I'd be changing the front axle too, and sourcing a full set of wheels to go with it too. If I'm going to that length, I'm waiting until I find a good front drive axle, and making this puppy a 4x4 (or 6x4? Not really sure what the "proper" nomenclature would be here..). Or would I be able to swap just my rear hubs over to say a Ford or GM application axle? Just how standardized are these things?

    I did find a couple new high speed clutch plates online for pretty cheap prices, but none of them have been listed specifically for an International application, or even the Eaton 13600 (RA125) axle that I have. Most of them have been Ford, with a Ford part number, and I've yet been able to find any resource to cross reference Ford part numbers to Dana/Eaton/Spicer or International applications. They _look_ identical to what I have now, but then I also don't know how many of these parts were used in different axle assemblies, and if it could be like ring and pinion gears - from a picture, a ring gear from one of these big axles really doesn't look all that different than a ring gear from a much smaller light truck ring gear.
     
  7. George Yingst

    George Yingst Farmall Cub

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    I tend to forget that this stuff is drying up since I have a back yard full of it. And I tend to know and hang out with others that also drag this stuff in.
    I also have a large forklift and crane to move and lift stuff with, so I tend to overlook that as well.
    Sounds like you will be ahead to fix what you have either by flipping it over or putting in a new one.
    A 6x4 would be two driving rear axles and non driving front axle. You would be looking at a 4x4. I toyed with that idea too at one point but always had too many other things going on to ever get to it.
     

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