Front Range 4x4 Upcoming Trail Runs - Add a New Trail Run

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Thread: 58 Willys Wagon

  1. #341
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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Next project on the 58 has begun....time to install the vintage powr-lok limited slip differential that I built this past spring....going to do a full rebuild of the 19spline D44 as well. Unlike a lot of modern D44s, this old school one has 2-piece axle shaft and wheel hub....Getting the hub off can be the hardest part of the whole deal - a big puller helps, as well as i pulled these for brake work a few years ago. They came off pretty easy...Note the old-school inboard brake drums - those will also be replaced with a more 'modern' bendix style self-adjusting drum set-up (as compared to these OEM Wagner manual adjusters).


    Getting this parking brake cable out through the backing plate was one of the PITA parts...turns out there is a special tool for this - I used a combination of pliers, vice grips, screw drivers and some well placed swearing:


    Here is the special tool - photo from a friend:


    There are a lot of pieces to get out before I tried to remove the entire axle housing or get R&p out.... I rebuilt the D44 in my cj, but this one definitely a bit more going on with the tapered hubs as opposed to the flanged axles...


    Once the axle housing was on the bench, it was time to get the R&P out and record helpful data....and I'll put them here for future reference if needed (like I loose my notepad)...these are the 'removal' numbers
    Axle shims - right side only: .085 total
    .060
    .010 x2
    .005
    *does not include the .155 retainer plate on each side

    Pinon - outer (small): .071 total
    .030 x2
    .005
    .003 x2

    Pinon - inner (large): .038 total
    .015 x2
    .005
    .003

    Ring gear Backlash: .010
    And a pic of the pattern before removal:


    The its time to remove the R&P...


    Still need to press off the inner pinon bearing, and to remove the carrier bearings - although I was hoping to wait until I had the clamshell bearing puller for that (waiting on overdue shipping). Last time i got them off with my large bearing splitter, but its not the best method, and it will probably damage them - I was hoping to make set-up bearings out of them. I can always work on getting the pinon installed with proper depth and preload while waiting....the pinon seal was at the end of its life as i could tell from the oil seepage, but it was rough enough that a bit of grit and moisture etc got in, and driving the pinon and outer bearing race out was a bigger PITA than I remembered. But overall, the bearings seem very good - guessing they never got a lot of miles on them, but mostly sat unused for many years. I replaced the gear oil a few years ago, but it was still pretty nasty....lots of carbon and thick gunk stuck on lots of stuff.


    I can also work on cleaning up the housing....and the last two things still in the housing are the inner oil seals that I need to pull....one of the axle bearings look to have red grease and one was black - so someone has been in here messing with things. In both cases, the 'grease' was very stiff, and what is sitting up against the inner oil seal is maybe grease mixed with clay and whatnot all caked and dried up.


    Anyway, I have all the bearings and shims etc as part of a rebuild kit I bought awhile ago, but need to order the axle/hub grease cups and oil seals....
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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  3. #342
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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    That "special tool" looks like something you could make in the shop.

    Are those axles considered full float?

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Jim previously posted:
    "Are those axles considered full float?"

    No....these are traditional 2-piece axles where the outer end of the axle shaft rides on a bearing that is set inside the outer end of the housing. The axle connects to the hub via a machined taper press on fit and a key/keyway.....the hub/axle keyway can be weak spot in these early D44s as can the shafts. A 'full-float' set-up would have the hub riding on a bearing that rides on a dummy 'spindle' shaft that is bolted to the end of the axle housing (just like a front axle minus the axle shaft u-joint and knuckle that allows for turning). The outer end of the axle shaft would be splined and connect to the hub via a female splined drive flange or locking hub (just like the front). The full float is not necessarily stronger in terms of the axle shaft - although it necessary to get aftermarket shafts which are often inherently stronger. And the splined hub/axle connection is no stronger than the tapered keyway, but the set-up allows for the ability for the vehicle to keep rolling on all 4 if an axle shaft breaks (and with removal of the broken shaft you can drive out in front wheel drive), as its the hub that is supported on the bearing and not the axle shaft. Blow up an axle shaft on the old 2 piece set-up, and its a PITA to get the jeep to even roll (so its hard to even tow it out)....

    FWIW, This is some of the same challenges you see with the later AMC era model 20 differential found in the CJ5 and 7. The model 20 has a strong R&P, but weak axle shafts with a 2 piece design (and a weak axle tube as well). The old D44 2 piece is probably a bit stronger (albeit it wasn't often run behind the more powerful engines). The big change/improvement in the D44 (at least in the CJ vintage) started around the 1970 production year (so that includes my cj5), with a 1-piece design. The axle shaft has a flanged end that is also the wheel hub - thus '1-piece'. The axle shaft was also increased in size just a bit, axle housing increased in strength just a bit etc - proved a very strong design for most all builds of the vintage era. It is still not a 'full float' design, but the increase in strength and durability of the axle makes breakage must less likely - but yes, if the axle shaft breaks, its still a pain to tow it out on all fours. The design proved solid enough that many model 20 axles were later converted through aftermarket kits to 1-piece design (most notably moser axles).
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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  6. #344
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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Making a bit of progress on the D44 PL install etc....got the housing cleaned up enough to get new zircs installed for the wheel bearing cavity and welded up the axle tube vent:


    Got a new vent drilled, tapped and installed in the top of the housing - this is a much better location and eventually could upgrade to a threaded nipple and a hose vent extension:


    Painted the housing:


    Spent some time with the pinon....a couple of the first threads had some damage and I was having a lot of issue getting a nut to thread on...But after tracking down a big die at the local hardware store and a lot of stress with a file and a die, I got it cleaned up pretty good without making it worse and unusable (which was the stressfull part - didn't want to deal with replacing the R&P). Those threads look pretty good now....also pressed on the new inner bearing:



    Drove in the inner bearing cup with the shims behind it - just trying to copy the existing pinon depth (although I erred on the side of a thousandth or so short on the stack instead of a thousandth or so thick - so that will raise the pinon up just a smidge (ps note - this may come back to be a concern!)....
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Next was getting the pinon preload set...put in the exact .071 outer pinon shim stack and rotational torque came out just a bit too low at 10inch-lbs.....looking for something around 15in-lbs


    so drive the pinon out and pull out the thin .002 shim ---- I got it!


    I am not 100% pinon depth is spot on, so going to leave the seal and slinger etc out until I get the carrier shims set and verify good pattern. It won't be fun removing the pinon again and inner cup to change those shims if needed, but will do what needs to be done to get it right. But I matched the old inner shim pack to within .001, so it's got a good chance of working as is.

    Next was transfer the ring gear from the OEM open case to the PL case....


    I pulled the old carrier bearings using a clamshell puller - this allowed me to not damage the old bearings upon removal so i could repurpose them into 'set-up' bearings. I ground the inside diameter of the bearing out just a bit so they would 'slip-fit' on the ends of the PL case. This allows them to be easily put on and off as the shims that go under them are fine tuned. Once the shim packs are finalized (based on R&P pattern and backlash), new bearings will get pressed on.


    Now for the fun...using the thickness of the shim packs that came out, I had a starting point to try test fitting the new PL case. First attempt:
    I am trying to essentially match the existing wear pattern and maybe improve the backlash just a bit from the .010" that it had previously....
    Here is the new set-up pattern on the drive side:


    coast side:


    I think the pattern is coming out okay in terms of in terms of height between the root and crown, but seems to be too far towards the toe. Here is the old pattern again - if anything, its possibly a smidge low, but its more centered between the heel and toe:


    Based on wanting to move the pattern away from the toe and towards the heel just a bit, I need to move the ring gear away from the pinon (move some shim stack from bolt side to the tooth side). Doing this will increase backlash.....The current backlash is just over .008" and I am worried that I will end up with too much backlash.

    I moved the shims a bit toward the tooth side to push the ring gear away from the pinon....I went right up till the backlash was back at the max of .010 (and the same as where it was with the old case when it came out). It produced a ok pattern that mimics pretty close to what came out. The drive side is good - the coast side is still a bit towards the toe, but I would take it. I like the pattern - just wish I could squeeze the backlash down a bit. Guess I have to decide if its good as is, or if I should mess with pulling the pinon (which is a bit of a PITA) and trying to set it a bit higher (reduce the shim pack) - that would both move the pattern away from the toe, and more importantly, also raise the contact patch higher up the the flank? That would increase the backlash, so I'd also have to move some shims from the tooth side to the bolt side to offset that, and hopefully be able to get another few thousandths to across to reduce the backlash to something like .008.

    Overall, I don't think this pattern is all that bad considering what it started as upon removal:

    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Decided to fight it a bit more and see if I can get it better....Tore it all apart again, removed a .010 shim from the inner pinon stack (from .030 to .020)....As expected, the backlash increased so I had to move some of the shim stack from the tooth side to the bolt side...Here is the best result I found with the new pinon position and a backlash of .008 (I had trouble finding a backlash of .010 or so, it seems to jump to .012 and beyond very quickly).
    Drive side is not horrible - it definitely further away from the toe, but I think its a bit too high up the tooth...



    the coast side is not very good - its high and toe:


    Decided the .010 reduction was too much, so I added back .004 and checked pattern, then another .002, and finally, another .002 for a total reduction from starting point of only .002. This puts me around a total shim thickness of .028. The drive side is starting to look pretty good - its nicely centered between the root and top. Its a still a bit towards the toe, but that is less important (FWIW - BL is .006):



    I think one of the reasons its tempting to run the pinon even close to the ring gear centerline is the coast side...this image is not the best and kind of over emphasize the issue, but its still pretty high and towards the toe. I looked at some ghost patterns and they do look better - though not as good as the deeper position I did very first and which was similar to what it came out with.


    So if going only off the drive side, I like this set up...if taking the coast side into consideration, not sure where the best compromise is. As i said, the ghost pattern seems to indicate its not as bad as the above photo, and maybe with a bit of usage, it will 'wear-in' a bit more and a larger, more centered contact patch will develop. Its also possible that increasing the backlash just a bit from .006 to .008 or so would help - and maybe would be a better target given the used gear set? Or I just go back to what I finished with yesterday and call it good - i am not seemingly getting anything that is markedly better that I can tell.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Well, its getting close....buttoned up the carrier yesterday with the limited slip power lock case, and finished up the axle install and new upgraded 11" drum brakes - upgrade because these are self adjusting style instead of the OEM manual adjusting style. And hopefully the parking brake will work better.....


    You can see in the background some leaf springs that I found cheap that I think are old Rancho 1" lift springs for a willys wagon! They are a bit crusty, so disassembled and need to clean them up a bit and put them back together. I got all 4, but just working on the rears for now. The spring pack is only 4 leaves, but they are THICK leaves - one reason to believe they are Ranchos. Anyway, they will probably ride STIFF, but given their age and use, and some cleaning and lubrification, they might work just fine. I could use a bit more clearance on the rear. If they are too much lift or too stiff, i can maybe merge a couple of the thick leaves into my old OEM soft springs and find a happy medium.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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  11. #348
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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Congrats on getting the diff adjusted/assembled!

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    FINOCJ (November 23rd, 2023)

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Well....I think I identified the engine knock I've been chasing for a year. All driving symptoms have suggested c-rod knock developing when the engine heats up and the oil thins out, but its finally gotten loud enough that I could use a stethoscope around the block and heads at idle to begin pinpointing the location. I took it for an around the block drive on 7 cylinders, and the knock was definitely gone with #1 plug wire pulled...So it seemed time to dig into this further....results are not good:
    I got the bottom cap off the #1 rod and bearing shell looks like this:


    yup....crank journal is damaged as well...so the crank has to come out which basically means pulling the engine and pretty complete disassembly. Time to think about how to best move forward, if at all with this right now.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Ouch.

    Is there time to get the task tended before jeeping season? Do you have a spare motor? Or would you slap it together*, keep driving to a minimum, and use it for the season?

    * cross the fingers repair - pull the conrod bearing half (maybe not removing the head to replace it), fine grit sandpaper on the crankshaft to remove the major marks, install new bearings. How many jeeping miles would you put on this season? You'd likely always have the trailer at the trailhead... Worst case is a strap pull to trailhead.

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Jim previously posted:
    "Ouch.

    Is there time to get the task tended before jeeping season? Do you have a spare motor? Or would you slap it together*, keep driving to a minimum, and use it for the season?

    * cross the fingers repair - pull the conrod bearing half (maybe not removing the head to replace it), fine grit sandpaper on the crankshaft to remove the major marks, install new bearings. How many jeeping miles would you put on this season? You'd likely always have the trailer at the trailhead... Worst case is a strap pull to trailhead."

    If it were the CJ, I might consider a minimal, get it back together repair for the summer wheeling season. But as this is the 58 wagon, and isn't so much a wheeler, but something I try to use more as a driver, it might as well head towards formal repair - although I am not sure what that exactly is yet. At least the CJ is running normal, so that will basically be my rig to run-around in an as well as explore some 4wd trails.

    Still deciding on repair direction....I'd like to know what was the cause....like was their an oiling issue due to my error with cleaning out oil galley or whatever, or did I miss improper clearance on this one rod bearing (plastiguage)....The torque on the rod bearing cap was appropriate when I removed it. I guess what I need to do next is inspect the other main and rod bearings and see if this issue was a one off, or if it is pervasive. I'd like to think it was maybe just that #1 rod was out of size/round just a bit and I missed it when checking clearances - plastiguage has to be pretty inexact? That will also give some indication of how much metal has moved through the system...If just the one bearing showing damage, I think just get the crank machined (or new crank), the rods R&R'd, and new rod and main bearings properly over/undersized and re-assemble with all the essentially lightly used pieces....I guess I could consider a rebuilt/reman short block, especially if all the bearings are showing damage and lots of metal has moved through the system.

    The rest of the engine was freshly machined, new pistons, new rings, rebuilt aftermarket heads with hardened valve seats and grind, and all new components (rockers, pushrods, springs, valves etc), all with less than 5000 miles. I think the cam and lifters made it through the break in period without issue - although this is the last 'new' flat tappet cam I deal with - roller cams only going forward. When rebuilding it, the machine shop suggested going with vortec heads and roller cam, but it wasn't it my budget, plus, getting the right alternator and AC bracketry for swp with vortec heads and intake was getting complicated. Oh well...its kind of like lighting $3k on fire....
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Ah, thanks - I had CJ on my mind.

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Here are some photos of other bearings etc....
    Rod bearings (top and bottom shells) for 1 and 2 that share same journal - front is to the right (so 1 is to the right) - guessing the damage to number 2 might be 'residual' from #1?:


    Here is #1 main - damaged:


    Here is #2 main - much less damage - just every so slight feel of something.


    Here is the crank....Main 1 has a minor groove that if it was the only issue, I think you could try a little emery cloth and new bearing shells and it might work. 1/2 journal is really only an issue on the #1 side, but its not salvageable. Main 2 is in good shape.


    So, mostly I was pulling these for my own interest, but at this point, I don't see any value to continue to do so....The engine has to come out, so might as well start moving in that direction. The 3 options I see going forward (other than just parking it in the corner and forgetting about it for awhile):
    1) disassemble, take the rods (and attached piston as I don't deal with wrist pins) and crank to local shop for resizing and machining etc, and then reassemble. I guess technically the cylinders would need honing?, but....also not sure if this was an oiling issue, what I would need to do about that. Also, has enough metal move around that I need to worry about the cam lobes, cam bearings, oil galleys etc - Guess you could start over with this block, and get it tanked etc, honed, new cam bearing etc, and then reassemble etc - but guessing that would cost as much as other options
    2) buy assembled short block, and put the rest of my stuff on it - my basic build shouldn't have any issues with matching any of the valve train components to the lower end. I sent an inquiry to S&J about short block, but don't think they sell them. Other online suppliers do....not sure who would be the best suppliers.
    3) buy long block or complete crate engine....although I have good heads and whatnot, there is nothing special about the 993 iron heads.....full crate engine probably means going with a TBI vortec set-up...
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    What the heck caused this? 5000 miles since the build? Is the oil pump not pumping anywhere near spec?

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Jim previously posted:
    "What the heck caused this? 5000 miles since the build? Is the oil pump not pumping anywhere near spec?"

    At first I was thinking the journal or the big end of #1 rod was not machined properly and oil clearance wasn't correct....but looking at the 'groove' in the bearings in both the #1 rod and the #1 main, both those grooves are inline with the oil passageways on the crank journals - so guessing some junk or machining debris was left in the crank and flushed out into the bearings. I don't really know how you know for sure.....in some way, the cheap, gambling part of me is thinking that there is nothing wrong with the rod, so maybe I could just swap out the crank for a new one, need to find the appropriate bearings for what I assume would be a different over/undersize combo, and put it back together. Of course, that is running the risk that the metal that has travelled through the system hasn't done any other damage or is stuck somewhere? Its not really feasible to swap a crank with the engine in place (the trans/TC would have to be removed of course), so going to start engine removal....I can ponder on whether I want to gamble and go minimal repair (just the crank), take the rods to a machine shop as well and have inspected, or go with full rebuild, assembled short block etc.....thinking pull the engine and trans/TC together, put the engine on the stand, do some rebuild of the OD unit on the TC that needs attention, and then just let it sit for awhile and think....
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    If that's your thinking (sounds reasonable to me), I think I'd be testing flow for every oil passage you can locate. Blow either with air or my preference is to flow water through them as it gives a nice visual to see the flow (though surface rust is a concern).

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Engine is out along with the 465/18/OD.....



    need to pull apart at the bellhousing and get the engine on a stand. Hoping I might be able to save the iron heads, and I have an aluminum intake that I never got put on - that would be to move past the qjet carb and do something more interesting like TBI. So that would mean maybe I can get a ready to go short block....but that also means staying with flat tappet cam and 2 piece RMS etc (these gen1 sbc just are hard to seal up - after 5000 miles the amount of oil seepage everywhere is obnoxioius). Roller cam, vortec heads, 1piece RMS would be nice, but price goes up, both for the long block and for all the additional items to fully finish it like new intake, new flywheel, new bracketry etc...

    Think I want to look into the OD - its not shifting correctly. It was a used unit that I didn't rebuild, so it might need some love. I need to order a couple things from AA, so maybe new blocking ring/synchro for the OD as well.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon

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    Jim (1 Day Ago)

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    Default Re: 58 Willys Wagon



    Tough break James, sorry to hear! This thing was coming along so nicely too. Seeing thinks like this happen to really knowledgeable mechanics is really humbling to an amateur like myself. Good luck and I hope you can find a somewhat cost effective solution, keep us posted!

  24. The Following Member Says Thanks to Mountaineer01 For This Post:

    FINOCJ (22 Hours Ago)

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