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I am new to the forum but have LOVED my 61 Econoline p/u for several years. It has been a great, good-looking daily driver and I have even used it often to move furniture and stuff for myself and for friends. Unfortunately the rear end is now apparently shot. It leaks like crazy and shudders so bad upon stopping that I have had to quit driving the truck. A local mechanic who specializes in antiques and is usually pretty good says the rear end cannot be repaired and must be replaced. Is he right? If so, are direct replacements available? If not, what else might work? I have heard that a Ford 9" will work and wrote to Jimbare about it, but I know he's busy. I have also heard that a late-model Ranger rear end can be used. I need ideas. Can you all help me out?
Sounds like the axle seals are leaking causing the brake shoes to get soaked in oil causing the shudder.
Does the rear end whine or clunk? If not it may be able to be fixed by replacing axle seals and maybe new bearings.
I concour. It sounds like seals and bearings are gone. This mechanic did he elaborate more. As if the gears were wore, was something broken and further damaged the casing or other gears. Most cases are bearings and seals and the gears still can be in pretty decent shape. If its bearings and seal, these can be gotten. If it is the pinion and drive gear, you still can replace them, but very expensive.
If it is those, look for another econoline with a rearaxle in and see if you can change it. The other is look for a mid size Comet, Falcon, Fairlane from the early 60's, for the gears in them would be the size to fit your carrier.
If you know someone else that does differentials, maybe see if he can have a boo at it and give his opinion.
Thanks, guys. The rear end does whine, and the shudder happens equally whether or not I apply the brakes. There is sometimes a grinding sound at low speeds, too. It is leaking badly, so I know the seals are gone. I'm thinking of just switching out the rear end and then seeing what I can do with the old one, at my leisure. I sure would like to find one from an Econoline, but failing that I'll take 66GPW's suggestion of what kind of vehicles to look for. Can you all tell me whether the gear ratio is marked on 60's Ford rears?
What you have described sound too much like bearing are gone. Not the gears. The leaks are they at the sides with brakes or front where the drive shaft goes.
If they are the front it will be the pinion bearing. The sides are axle seals and bearings. The axle ones are easy to fix. The pinion takes more work, a lot of times you have to remove the gears. Either way you have to fix it soon or your axles can get heated and blued from the heat. This weakens the axles temper and risk breaking in the future.
These bearings and seals are still available. Look on the back of the diff for a tag and it should say what gear system ypou have.
The other is in the front door (drivers) is an identification plate. It says axle. If it says 01 your axle is 3.50:1 If it says 02 then it is 4.00:1 Hope that helps a bit.
Thanks, guys. The leak is not at the sides but at the pinion pearing. It was full and not leaking when I bought it, but apparently the differential has been run dry in the past because the gears now have that terrible clunking and grinding. The pevious owner probably re-sealed an already damaged differential, it seems to me. Given that the axles might now be bad, as you have pointed out, I would feel much better replacing the rear end rather than repairing it. I am in Atlanta and would love to get a line on where I could get one.
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