Loader Mutt Continues...

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Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Sun May 12, 2019 6:35 pm

Hi Guys!

So... it's been a while since I last posted, but Loader-Mutt's Honda GX660 has been doing GREAT. At first I had some fuel solenoid problems, and when it's cold out, I hafta cycle the ignition switch a half dozen times to free it up, but it's fine after, and once the engine is warm, it doesn't even HINT of trouble. Initially, this engine was INCREDIBLY cold blooded... when it was below zero, it basically DEMANDED a quick shot of starting fluid to pop, and after that, it'd wake right up. When it's above 25F, it demands lots of choke for about 15 seconds, then half for another 30, then it's fine. Days like today, it's full choke, three turns, it fires, open to half, count to ten, it stumbles a moment (close choke for a blip), and then let it open, and it's fine.

But... as I was pushing a pile of firewood, it happened again...

Twisted off the RH axle shaft, right at the edge of the splines. Clearly, they did NOT take ME into account when building these rearends... it's the third one I've twisted off now, so it's time to step up a bit.

After an exhaustive search for the elusive Chrysler 7.25, and the Pinto 6.whatever, I acquired a rearend out of a '83 Mustang... the Ford 7.5". I have NOT seen any writeups suggesting it'd fit, but I figured that just means I gotta be the guy to try it. The build tag was hard to read, but I was certain it was a 6.5, with 3.08 gears. After opening it up, I discovered that my junker had a Limited Slip differential and 28-spline axles. These axles are pretty beefy, too... but realize, I have even more ghastly plans than going automotive.

Will it fit? Of Course NOT. I dissassembled the diff into two pieces, took off the ring gear, and stuffed one side in, and the pinion/ring offset will be fine, but there's NO WAY IN #ELL this thing would ever fit in the case. Matter of fact, if it WOULD, it'd only be 'cause I assembled it IN SITU... which I kinda doubt I could do, on account that all them Limited Slip parts wouldn't go in while the two halves were jammed in there, PLUS... I'd never get the bolts in and tight.

But, I'm gonna try a few things, and I'm gonna let the Bridgeport and Monarch chew on metal parts for a while, and after they're done digesting iron and steel, we shall SEE if it'll actually work.

I gotta leave for band practice now, but over the next few days, I'll post pictures, because I know you guys are all dyin' for some beastly Project-Porn...
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby dag1450 » Mon May 13, 2019 4:05 am

:lol: sounds crazy. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:02 pm

So here's the candidate. It's a Ford 7.5", Mustang 1983, 3.08 ratio. I got it for the price of showing up and lifting one side. Buddy had replaced it in his weekend racer... decided his style was more down the lines of a Strange 9", so this one had to go... which was just fine for me.

I did not expect, however, that it would be a Limited Slip.

It took a little bit to get it extracted, basically, because I had no idea how. First was to remove the bolt locking the crosspin, then knock the crosspin enough to get the bolt back through the hole, then some twisting and pulling to get it free. Once out, remove the brake drums (took a little heat to make it let go, then push the axle shafts in a bit.

Getting the C clips out was interesting... the diff housing is only open on one side, to get the clips out, the clips had to be spun around with back facing the opening, then I had to pick them out with hemostats and a magnet-onna-stick. Once the axle shafts were out, the bearing caps out, pulled it out with a prybar.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:18 pm

So for those of you that've never taken one apart, here's what a transaxle looks like disassembled...

To get the axles out, one must remove the C-clips. IF one needs to just replace a broken axle, the hydrostatic transaxle doesn't need to be emptied, just open the top cover, reach down in with a tool that'll span the Circlips and push them off. Recover the clip, and any broken shaft debris with a magnet-onaa-stick.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:23 pm

Obviously, if there's disk brakes, they'll need to be removed to allow the axle to slip out.
There will be a broken off axle stub in the differential side-gear, and there'll probably be fraggies in the bottom of the sump, as well as in the diff gear area, and in the axle side housing. Spin the differential gears a bit (opposite wheel/tire) and probe around with your magnet, you'll get most of it just fine.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:44 pm

Once the axleshafts are out, and the side housings removed, next is the differential, and it's held in place by bearing race caps that're in holes machined into the sides of the transaxle case. There's shims under each cap to provide two things- first is accurate ring/pinion backlash (lateral position), and second is correct bearing preload. If you ever disassemble your transaxle, make sure you reassemble with the correct caps and shims. If you're keeping everything as it was (meaning, same bearings, everything) then put everything back exactly as-it-was, and most likely your backlash and preload will still be correct, or extremely close.

Now, here's what the arrangement of Hydrostat (long straight-tooth gear), bull gear (large straight tooth) and pinion, ring gear, and diff housing look like in one photo.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:47 pm

Now, once the side caps are out, the differential carrier, bearings, and ring and pinion lift out... but it ain't easy... you have to move it far left, then sneak the ring gear area out first, and pivot it TIGHT against the left side to get the whole assembly out.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:50 pm

Now here's the diff out, sitting in cups... I've placed the upper cup shims on top, so they were obvious.

Now... look at the Cub diff, and compare it to the Ford 7.5...
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:51 pm

Doesn't look too far off, does it?

But look at it from THIS angle... with the ring gears lined up...
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:56 pm

Clearly, the 7.5 housing is longer. The ring gear mounting face MUST be lined up. The right side is almost identical... not out of reach for a little work on the lathe. The left side (up) will protrude quite a bit farther than the original cup position, and because of the limited slip's internal components, will NOT be able to be shortened up...

But wait... that's not all. The shape unfortunately makes it so the differential housing, EVEN WITHOUT THE RING GEAR installed, will NOT go into the transaxle housing. It will require some butchery... AND.... that left hand bearing will need to be supported oh... somewhere about an inch into the axle housing's area.

To get a better idea, I disassembled the diff carrier into right and left halves... and placed them inside one-at-a-time. The right side was darned near perfect. Once the stock bearing cap is trimmed out enough to allow the Ford 7.5" bearing race to slip in, it might just be fine as-is...
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 10:58 pm

The left side, on the other hand, ain't even close. Rather than try to place it on the inside, I set the housing on it's side, and placed the diff carrier left half right on TOP of the bearing shell mounting surface, to get an idea of just-how-much metal we're dealing with here.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 11:01 pm

Now, the housing has a different arrangement on the left, than right side. The axle housing is actually proud of the bearing cup mounting surface by around an inch. if I were to cut out the area where the old bearing cup surface WAS, and open up enough space for that diff to fit in, then I could make a piece that fits onto the axle housing mounting surface, that has an integral bearing cup. Obviously I'd need ot make it capable of accepting shims, and it'd hafta be strong enough once bolted on, to provide proper support and alignment of the differential.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 11:12 pm

Does this seem totally sick, or over-the-top? Extreme?

Well, perhaps it is, but I'm not letting that stand in my way, because I haven't even gotten to the GOOD stuff yet.


There's usually just a few reasons why a shaft breaks. Materials, machinework, and metallurgy contain many, but the greatest ones include too darned much torque, or... having the axleshaft not properly aligned with the differential.

Take a straight piece of pipe, and slip it inside a hole in a machine. Now step back a few feet, bend the shaft. Now turn it ten degrees, and bend it again, so that it's in the same spot as where it was before rotating... keep rotating it, bending, then rotating, bending. Basically, you'll be twisting it, while in a state of malignment. What happens, is a spot, right at the point where the hole starts, will be in a perpetual state of bending, and it will work-harden, then crack, then eventually, break.

Clearly, it's difficult for something like this to happen, but realize that in a semi-floating axle, you have the shaft with a wheel flange in the end. When there's weight on that wheel, the flange tilts so that top of the tire leans toward the machine, so as you roll, the shaft has a curve to reflect that lean.

Better yet, load the tires down with ballast... make them brutally heavy... 250lbs a TIRE. Sure, that doesn't increase the axle's vertical load (like the 450lb weigh box on back), but when you're rolling in a straight line, and make a REALLY TIGHT TURN, that tire needs to 'scrub', and when it's an ag-tread, in soft soil, the tire WANTS to follow a straight path, but the tractor is turning... thus, the axle shaft experiences a BEND, which work-hardens the bend point at the diff housing.

This is the reality of a SEMI Floating axle... the shaft is doing MORE THAN ONE JOB, and the combination of the two tasks results in some ugly stuff.

Enter the Full Floater. A Full Floater axle doesn't hang the tire and wheel on an axle flange. Instead, it's hanging on a hub, which spins on two bearings, which is on the OUTSIDE of a spindle on an axle tube. The SHAFT that powers the wheels, actually slips THROUGH the center of the hub and spindle, to engage the differential side-gears. The outer end of the axle shaft has a flange plate that bolts to the HUB, but there's no vertical load on the shaft... all it does, is provide torque to drive the wheels.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 11:17 pm

Now, the stock Cub axle is about an inch in diameter at it's THICKEST point. There's a narrow spot just before the splines, and it's been my experience that THIS is where the axleshaft breaks... at the 7/8" area, right up against the side-gear splines.

A thicker axle would solve this. The Mustang 7.5" axle shafts are substantially larger OD... there's probably twice the meat... and instead of the Cub Cadet's 9-spline, the Ford is 28 splines. More contact area for transmitting torque.

Obviously, the Ford axle's additional diameter will NOT nicely slip into a Cub Cadet side-housing. I have NO intention of doing that... and I have NO intention of looking for a way to rework the Mustang axle flanges to fit Cub Cadet wheels. Instead, my general plan will be to lop those flanges off...

And make new outer housings that have Dana 60 Full Floater spindles and hubs, and use the Mustang axle shafts (welded to flanges to bolt to the Full Floater hubs) for drive.

It'll require some machining. It'll require obtaining some more junk parts.

It'll require me doing some substantial think-sport on Loader Mutt's rear wheels.

and after all this, if it works, it'll be downright BEASTLY.... :o :o :o
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Mon May 13, 2019 11:25 pm

Oh, and by the way... I tip my hat to all you guys that've adapted the SGT fine-spline setups to earlier cast iron housings... and all those that've put in Dodge Dart and Pinto diffs, shortened up the axles and re-drilled 'em for stock wheels...

but my amplifier goes up to 13.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby cholloway » Tue May 14, 2019 12:10 pm

You never cease to amaze...
I'm sure you'll find a solution to it all.
Good Luck.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Tue May 14, 2019 12:31 pm

Heh... well, we'll see. If I'm successful at getting it in there, it may start an obscene trend in the tractor-pulling world. :lol:
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Tue May 14, 2019 8:37 pm

Alright... time to see if this ring gear has a chance in #3LL of fitting...
First... grind off the rivet heads. I used an 80-grit flapper wheel... it took the head off each rivet in under a minute...
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Tue May 14, 2019 10:57 pm

Once the heads are off, a drift pin and hammer pushed 'em through. If that drift pin looks somehow... 'unique'... it's hand-made, using the roller shaft liberated form an old dot-matrix form printer. I made it specifically for driving spi-rol pins from Cub Cadets. If you need a carefully-sized drift pin, they're easy to make with a cordless drill, bench grinder, and 4" angle grinder with a flap disk. Chuck the printer shaft in a drill, spin it up, and address it against a running grinding wheel... grind a groove in it, then break it off. Then, repeat same to reduce the remainder's OD appropriate for whatever you'd like to drive out. Finish by giving it a light polishing while spinning with the flap disk... or a belt sander. Don't dig in hard, as this will change the temper of the (already) nicely heat-treated shaft.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Tue May 14, 2019 10:58 pm

Getting the remains of the rivets out of the ring gear means a little more pounding, and on some, some more grinding, as they tend to mushroom a bit...
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Tue May 14, 2019 11:10 pm

Okay, so now I've got the IHCC ring gear out... time to compare it to the Ford 7.5" LSD carrier. I've got just one half of the carrier shell here for this test-fit...
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Tue May 14, 2019 11:18 pm

Yeah, so... the IHCC ring gear and the Ford 7.5 LSD are close enough so that if I skim a little metal off the OD of the LSD housing, and a little off the ID of the ring gear, it WILL result in a compatable fit.

What I have NOT established yet, though, is if I can actually get this diff carrier to slip into the rear end of the IHCC transaxle, NOR what I'd have to do to actually MAKE that happen.

Clearly, it's a case of "Blow up that bridge when I get to it"... so here's my general plan: I'll skim down the housing and ring gear 'till I can get the ring gear to drop over the whole (assembled) diff carrier, and then make it so that I can bolt the ring gear down AT LEAST three places, so it's secured to the carrier in a perpendicular plane.

Next, I'll hafta do some measuring, then affix the housing to the milling table, locate the spindle concentric to the differential's main axis, then cut a 'witness' surface on the ID of the axle extension mounting hold (it's rough cast right now), then bore out the bearing cup area big enough to get the differential carrier into the transaxle. THEN I'll hafta look, hem'n haw, and do some experiemental other stuff to actually get it IN there in some fashion that I can actually get it fully assembled.

Once I can do that, I'll machine at least one of the bearing race cups, and get it bolted (with ring gear shimmed to clearance on the RIGHT side), then measure and calculate, draw up, and fabricate, then machine whatever necessary to support that left-side bearing. After that, it's on to axleshafts, axle housings, hubs, etc. ;-)
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby dag1450 » Wed May 15, 2019 3:33 am

I'm speechless!! You are mad! :lol: Looks like your having fun! :beer:
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Wed May 15, 2019 11:21 pm

Okay, so it was a really busy day, but I took an hour in the shop after dinner to chuck this diff carrier into the lathe.

Yes, the ring gear is sitting on the tailstock backwards... that's so I can use the 'square edge' to find my initial clearance diameter. once I get to the 'finishing' stage, I'll flip it around to check fit at the landing surface.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Wed May 15, 2019 11:24 pm

So the first few contacts were all about getting the right combination of tool type, speed ,and feed rate. That big 'window' in the side of the housing results in what machinists call 'interrupted cut'... and it's really hard on tooling at times. To make it even worse, that big gaping hole throws off the balance of that differential, so if I swing it fast enough to make carbide work really WELL... it shakes the machine pretty vigorously, so I'm splitting the difference.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Wed May 15, 2019 11:25 pm

Okay, so I got the ring gear to clear the carrier shell, and it didn't take a whole lotta metal to make it fit... barely any, actually...
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Wed May 15, 2019 11:28 pm

And now I've got it skimmed right-close to finish... there's a small 'ledge' that will hold the ring gear secure under load, but it's STILL a wee bit too large...
But I'm NOT gonna cut it back right now, on account that all the other cutting has raised the housing's tamperature a bit... perhaps enough to cause the ring gear surface to be a bit overgrown. If I cut it to fit NOW, it will cool and contract, resulting in a loose fit. Instead, I'm walking away from it for the night, will resume it some other, and carefully 'sneak up' on it 'till the fit is perfect.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Thu May 16, 2019 9:19 am

Of course, this all may be an exercise in futility...

...I have NO idea wether I'll actually be able to fish this thing INTO the hind end of the housing, either in whole, or in pieces, and if the latter, if it'll actually be ASSEMBLEABLE...

...but while the whole point of this entire exercise is to DO something...
The reality is that when something hasn't been attempted, or hasn't been documented... or actually, until it HAS been attempted and documented, nobody knows.

And getting the ring gear to fit is ONE of many challenges in the process.

Once I've got the ring gear on, then I move on to getting the carrier INTO a transaxle housing. Will it? Stay tuned! BTW... there will be lots of ferrous carnage... and if I'm clumsy, possibly some blood. I'd say Rated R, or at least PG... but the housing will be almost completely nude, so X? :lol:
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Fri May 17, 2019 8:56 pm

Okay, so after calling it a night, and working in the office all day, I got home this afternoon and took a minute to do the finishing cuts.

See... when you 'hog' metal off something, that something gets hot, which means it expands. IF you cut a hot piece of metal to some precise dimension, it invariably cools, and contracts, and then the part you meant to fit... doesn't. So when I'm cutting parts that need precision, I make my hogging cuts to get close, and then I let the part cool, double check for runout, then make the final 'skim' cuts, 'sneaking up' on the proper fit, and this is no exception. I also changed tooling to a C6 carbide boring bar, set up in the holder backwards, to reach in and cut the 90 degree internal corner. Then I reversed it, took a skim off the OD, and cut back a bit of the back of the carrier flange so I'd have some predictable surfaces to measure off of or set concentricity in the event that I needed to later.

Anyway, the ring gear now fits perfectly... I can slip it down, and once it's at the final land, a light tap around the gear face with a small brass mallet, and it's nicely seated in place, and it spins wonderfully true.
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Re: Loader Mutt Continues...

Postby DaveKamp » Fri May 17, 2019 8:57 pm

Here's the 'housecleaning' in process...
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