M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » March 31st, 2018, 8:08 pm

Jeep project moved forward today. I began with cleaning up some hardware. Despite the fact that I had some brand new front wheel bearing nuts on hand, I decided to reuse these since I have the correct socket for them now. I just burnished off the high points and removed the sharp edges. They're ugly but it's the center that counts. These are parts that tell some of the story of this truck and are worthy of keeping for the next guy to see.

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More hardware to clean up. These bolts attach the brake backing plate and the spindles to the steering knuckle. New lock washers for each one!

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Since those bolts go all the way through into the cavity of the steering knuckle I installed them with Permatex thread sealant to prevent grease from migrating out into the brake area.

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Here's the kid who, at long last, has found his way back to the project. I know....I know. He's really just a head of hair with it's own life support system.

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This front axle received new king pin bearings x4, new king pin bearing cups x4, one new steering knuckle, one new hub, new front wheel bearings x4 and front wheel bearing cups x4, new hub grease seals x2, new front lock washers x2 plus a whole lot of detailed cleaning and inspection. It was pretty worn out, used and abused. The previous owner had the knowin' to keep it goin' but never spent a dime on it.

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Once we get this Jeep back on its wheels it will be time to address the brakes. A full brake overhaul is coming up!

Happy Easter, you mutts!
TJ
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby gerrygryn » April 1st, 2018, 9:38 pm

Nice progress. Happy Easter to you buddy!
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 4th, 2018, 8:11 pm

I'm so very happy to be getting this truck back on all fours! I'm unsure as to whether or not I'm going to replace these drums. There is some distortion of the deck where it mates to the hub which will likely as not flatten out when the lug nuts are tightened down. They'll all be turned of course and we'll then see where they are.

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I never got around to cleaning this drum up but since it was going on temporarily, I gave the inside face a good working over and threw some paint on it.

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Here, I am a VERY Happy Camper. Having the right socket for the hub is a huge bonus. I would have liked to have used this on my Bantam trailer. Alas, this socket was buried in the parts for the M38 at the time.

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And then....disaster struck.....

I suppose this is all part of the process. I do my level best to miss nothing, cover all the bases, work methodically and efficiently....and then I drop the ball. So the only thing left to do is try to deal with the problem with a modicum of grace and humility. :oops:

ONE of these bolt holes got overlooked. I cleaned these up by hand, carefully cleaning out each bolt hole and running a tap down into it but, as it turns out, somehow I missed one and, as luck would have it the one I missed is totally fouled up. Had I found this earlier I would have replaced the hub altogether, just as I did on the left side. Maybe I did find it and then forgot to order a replacement. Heck, I don't remember. But what to do now? Well, it's a little cheaper to heli-coil this and (lucky you!) when the kit comes in, you'll get to see me put one in. I wouldn't mine spending the money but remember, there is still the expense of a full brake overhaul ahead of me.

But, when this picture was taken, I was still oblivious to the problem; the mating surfaces are getting cleaned up with acetone and I'll be getting that lock washer bent over. By the way, getting the lock washer bent over is best accomplished by putting a small starter bend in the edge of the lock washer before installing it. Also, the tab of the lock washer (which goes in the keyway) points inward when being installed.

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With one of the many small disposable brushes I keep around for jobs like this, the splines of the axle get lubed...

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...as do the splines of the drive flange. The flange gets a coat of RTV (gray, non-rigid). With RTV, using a paper gasket is unnecessary. Don't get too hung up on that flash-rust in the middle. When that gets coated with grease, that'll end that rust's progress very quickly. Why didn't I clean it up (as I normally would have)? Well, there was some weather coming in as I was putting this all together and I was running out of time.

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And with new hardware all ready to be drawn down, this is where I discover the problem with the bolt hole. DOGGONE IT! So, I snugged the five good ones down but no so tight as to squeeze out all the RTV, thereby making a good gasket. These will be torqued down equally once I have the last bolt hole sorted out . So, I have a hell-coil kit ordered from Summit Racing, plus the "special" drill bit of 25/64".

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I just HAD to throw this photo in. And you think YOU have problems with oil leaks! Dig the crazy catch basins below those big radial engines. Owners of all types of former military vehicles seem to have the same problems.

I came across this while on a mission yesterday. It's an A-26C Douglas Invader (tail number N4818E) and it's the "hero" aircraft used in the 1989 movie, Always (Dreyfus, Hunter, Johnson, Goodman). It's tail has since been repainted and it has actually been converted to a tanker for fighting fires and was in this configuration during filming. Having an A-26 is on my bucket list. SO COOL!

Cheers,
TJ

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Last edited by m3a1 on April 15th, 2018, 6:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 6th, 2018, 9:12 pm

Got caught up in a little work so haven't been back at the Willys yet, but Summit Racing delivered my Heli-coil kit in two days ($20.99 for the Heli-coil kit).

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This kit comes with 8 coils which are the consumable bits. So, I can repair not only the hub that I'm using on the Jeep but I will ALSO sort out the other hub that I initially replaced on the left side. I suppose I could recoup most all of my purchase if I really cleaned up the other hub, fixed the botched bolt hole on that one and offered it on eBay and it would be a very substantial savings for someone; far cheaper than having to bear the cost of a new one (at $67). Sell it or keep it as a spare, I really have no down side here.

Some of you already know about Heli-coil threaded bushings and some of you may not so, here's the skinny..

I have a messed up bolt hole that is supposed to be 3/8" x 16 turns (coarse thread).

So, the procedure is to drill out that hole with a 25/64" drill bit which is 1/64" OVER 3/8" (and if you want to do the math, 3/8" equals 24/64").

With that done, I'll re-tap that hole with the tap they've provided which is the correct size for the little wire coils in the kit.

With the coil screwed into place, the interior of that coil provides the correct dimensions for the original bolt size (3/8" x 16 turns).

Here's the clever bit. Each coil's wire is turned over at one end and that turned-over bit (the tang) is what the installation tool uses to motivate the coil to turn while it is being screwed into place. Once the coil is screwed in to the appropriate depth, you simply take a punch, insert it and strike the wire bit which is scored in such a way that the little wire snaps off permitting a bolt to thread fully through the coil. Obviously, you'd first need to remove the tang once it's snapped off.

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Ingenious, eh?

The downside is that once installed, each of these coils provides only about 7 full turns of thread but for the hub flange which is held on by six bolts (which is gross overkill) I can live with it. If I was working on a performance vehicle I'd be sourcing taller inserts with more turns.

Here's a link if you're interested in reading more about the installation process.

http://www.repairengineering.com/helicoil.html

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby rickf » April 7th, 2018, 8:22 am

You can always drill the holes deeper and stack the inserts if you have the depth to do so. I have done that with 100% success on stripped aluminum threaded parts. And I will mention to always remember to knock out the drive tab at the bottom of the insert once it is installed or otherwise it will cause all kinds of grief down the road when it jams up the bolt. I always do my best to try to get the tab out of the hole with a small magnet although it is not required. On a part like the hub you can turn it over and shake it out.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 7th, 2018, 11:44 am

Stacking the coils could be a little tricky given the tang is at the bottom of each one but I'm sure with care it could be done. As things stand right now, my plan is to use only one.
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby rickf » April 7th, 2018, 3:58 pm

If you mean as far as breaking off the tang on the second,or top one, as soon as it bottoms against the first one and you put a little ooomph on it the tang breaks off. I always use red locktite on the outside of the insert and then run a regular bolt tap into the inside to be sure everything is copacetic before putting the bolt in.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 10th, 2018, 3:40 pm

Hooray! Got the old Willys back on all fours today. Several days of people demanding my time kept me from it.

So, I found that I had a bolt hole that was FUBAR and this required a heli-coil insert to sort it out. This meant that I had to remove the freshly installed hub drive flange in order to sort it out but I left the hub on the truck. Taking it all the way off just for this seems completely unnecessary.

Can you identify the bolt hole that needs attention? You guessed it....at the 11 o-clock position in this photo. The original left hub also had a bad bolt hole (and you have to ask, why does something this easy get screwed up with such amazing frequency?) but it was rather wallowed out so it still may not be repairable.

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But first, I need to install the left hub's drive flange and get that side wrapped up. Here we have that hub's lock washer. Notice the tab sticking up? That rides in the keyway of the spindle and on installation, the tab points inward toward the centerline of the vehicle.

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The purpose of the lock washer is to secure the outer jamb nut and keep it from backing off while it's hidden away down in there. This lock washer gets bent over against the nut and that's all there is to it. It can be reused several times but after a while, it'll be time for a new one. The hard part is getting the bend started and it can be tricky chiefly because it is situated rather deep within the hub. The solution is to start just a small bend before installation. Just pick a spot and put a very modest bend in it. In doing so, the little bend create a place to get a flathead screwdriver behind it. Just remember - Keyway tab goes inward...little bend goes outward.

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Judging from this photo, my bends are gross overkill. :shock:

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Acetone makes a great chemical for cleaning up those surfaces that are getting RTV put on them. Any other time I run out, I'd get a big ol can of this stuff at Home Depot but I happened to be at the grocery store and Acetone just happens to also be used as nail polish remover, so adios oil, dirt and grime!

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RTV made for gear oil was my selection for sealing this and I'll spread it around with the Q-Tip but beware if you use a Q-Tip because by the time I'm done spreading this stuff around, there will be a tail of cotton hanging off the swab and that is something you really don't want in your RTV seal. a Q-Tip is clearly not the best choice for the job but it was the closest thing at hand.

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This is what your RTV seal looks like after you just barely tighten the bolts down on the hub drive flange. Do that, let it cure and then come back later and torque things down to your satisfaction. That's a pretty good looking seal. All the little irregularities in the face of the mating surfaces have RTV in them. Some RTV will squirt out when you first put the hub drive flange on. Let it cure (if you can afford to leave it alone for awhile) and then peel off the overflow.

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Well, I'll be darned! The holes don't line up! (just kidding) The truck is up on jack stands and I'll just rotate the hub and wheel a few degrees until the holes do line up. If you rotate the drive flange you'll be moving the axle and the gears and all the little bits inside.

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This stuff is fabulous. Out of the jar, it's the exact opposite of Permatex Aviation sealer. It's thick, white and clingy instead of thin, black and sticky. When it cures it becomes very rubbery. Permatex makes good products. However, in the business of putting everything together, I would like to suggest that you dope up one bolt at a time, just before you put each bolt in rather than coat all the bolts and then start putting them in....just in case you run into trouble. In this way, if something does go wrong you'll have fewer bolts to wipe down. This sealer creates a very good bond to the bolts and believe me, it isn't something you want to have to wipe off.

Do these bolts need to be sealed? After all, the bolt holes are blind (closed off). Well, I've seen hub drive flanges leak and I've seen that leakage migrate into the retaining bolt holes making an awful mess so I'm sealing mine so the next fellow doesn't have to go through all this again.

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Ok, I've got the left flange installed and now it's time to sort out the right side. In preparation for installing the heli-coil, I've removed the right hub drive flange and masked off the places where I really don't want little metal shavings to end up.

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Here are the results from drilling the hole out to 25/64 and tapping the hole with the special tap provided in the Heli-coil kit. By the way, this is a special tap created especially for the Heli-coil and is not interchangeable with other, regular taps. So, if you use one of these, when you're done, keep it separated from other taps!

25/64 is just barely larger than the original hole and I found the drilling to be especially easy because the drill is taking out only what is left of the original threads plus just a tiny bit more. In the business of drilling this out, I discovered why this bolt hole was all screwed up. As it turns out, an earlier bolt had broken off deep in the hole. Someone center-drilled it but couldn't get it out with an easy-out and so, abandoned it in there and yes, it was still in there! Anyway, they switched to a shorter bolt but apparently that bolt was just a bit too long and when they tightened it down against the remnants of the first bolt, it stripped the threads. :roll: Happily, I was able to drill out the whole thing and start with a clean, fresh hole to full depth.

After tapping the new hole to full depth (which also went easily) I blew out the hole with a breath and (pay attention) the following is the most important thing I have to say in this posting. USE COMPRESSED AIR because a puff from your mouth simply ain't going to cut it. When I switched to my air hose a ton of shavings came out. Yikes! Glad I did that!

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Here's the heli-coil and the driver.

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Here's the heli-coil ON the driver and you can see how the driver engages the coil; far different from earlier kits that use a rod with a slot in it.

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Looking at this you can see why it's important to have your freshly tapped hole clean, dry and free of all debris. It has the jewelry-like look that some of Guy's products have. Heck, I may give a set of these to my wife for Christmas and tell her they're earrings!

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And here is the heli-coil installed. As recommended, 1-1/2 turns below the face of the hub. I put four little dots of red (high strength) thread-locker on the outside of the coil as I screwed it in. It penetrated the coil and it also ended up on my driving tool. Having thread-locker on the inside face of the coil is something we don't want, so, I swabbed the inside of the coil with a dry Q-Tip and then cleaned off the driver with acetone. I did not stack the coils as Rick and I discussed. I was satisfied with one coil because as I said, having six bolts on this flange is far more than is really needed.

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I reached inside the installed coil with some long needle-nose pliers, grabbed the tang and pushed inwards sharply. Off came the tang, just as designed, but I dropped it. :oops: So, I got a big magnet, put it on my long screwdriver and retrieved the tang. I might just as easily have used compressed air to get it out but in doing so, I would have lost track of the tang and then wouldn't be sure I had gotten it out.

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And, everything went back together smoothly, just as it should have in the first place. I did use a grade 3 lock washer on the bolt in the heli-coiled hole (all the rest are grade 5) so as to ensure that I know which hole is heli-coiled in the future.

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At long last! Back on its wheels!!! Like my yellow hubcaps? Obviously, we don't take anything too seriously around here.

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I thought this photo of my son is appropriate. So long ago I brought my first GPW home and then took it apart; something my young son was clearly NOT happy about! I figure I owe him at least ONE jeep and today, we are just a little bit closer.

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Cheers,
TJ
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby Hambone » April 10th, 2018, 6:16 pm

That's the same face I make when my wife tells me I can't buy a jeep. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 10th, 2018, 7:52 pm

Whoa, Hambone. That's some shallow grave behavior right there!
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 14th, 2018, 11:10 am

I took some time to catch my breath on this project and did a layout of all my new brake parts and a few little housekeeping chores on the MUTT.

New brake lines throughout were always part of the plan for the M38 and I didn't have those yet. I was considering making up my own and while I have the wherewithal, I just don't have the inclination so I found a pretty good deal on an OMIX kit on the internet (and "free shipping" is often the deciding factor, right?). So, those are on the way.

For the old hands, this is going to be a rehash of a time-worn topic but for you new readers who are here looking for inspiration, brakes and being able to stop should be a pretty high on your list of things to do. I admit I wasn't always so circumspect about such things but over the years I have developed a certain methodology to these projects and it usually starts like this -

1. The project needs to be mobile, chiefly owing to the lack of space I have around here and the obvious convenience of it. So, in the beginning I focus on axles, meaning things like bearings and bearing cups and tires (no matter what their condition) that actually hold air, which does not include tires that need to be aired up every five minutes. Anything that can make my project into a smooth roller is number one on my list of things to do. Suspension can usually wait unless it's a serious problem, otherwise I let that go till later unless it's convenient to address it. By way of example, if I have an axle off the truck, it would be an excellent time to deal with whatever was holding that axle in place, right?

2. Then, I like to work on brakes because even if you're not necessarily having to work on those axles, you're going to be down there snooping around. Brakes are really a good place to put your money. Not only is it important to you that your vehicle be able to stop, especially since it's going to be you behind the wheel, but it is also a place where you can see a return on your money no matter where you are on your build. By that, I mean if you get in a bind and have to sell your beloved project (and there is no dishonor in it because we have all been to see that particular elephant) having a solid brake system on it can be a huge selling point.

Beyond all that, you can go in whatever direction makes the most sense depending upon the condition of your vehicle.

Hope this helps you out!

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 15th, 2018, 2:50 pm

Here it is, Sunday morning and everyone kept late hours last night except for me so I'm up and have to keep quiet while everyone else sleeps.

Made a cup of coffee and went out to look over the Willys. We are waiting for brake parts and while I'm not yet ready to go off in another direction on this project, I decided I had better have a closer look at the steering which we haven't gotten into in-depth yet but I DO know it's really sloppy.

There is a lot of slop in the steering but closer inspection reveals that minimal input on the steering wheel develops an almost immediate reaction from the sector shaft which can be detected at the nut that secures the pitman arm. I also noticed when the slop ran out and things began to move the pitman arm was kicking out (deflecting, rather than transmitting that energy straight to the drag link.)

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One might also describe the pitman arm's initial movement as wobbling.

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So, I loosened the nut and eased the pitman arm off by putting a small screw driver behind it. Sloppy as it was, the pitman arm came right off.

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Cleaned up the splines to have a better look. I know. Not the best focus.

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Here we find quite a bit of gunk built up on the side of the pitman arm which is an indicator of a potential leak at the steering box, but who really knows at this point. It really has nothing to do with the wobbling but it is something I'll keep in mind.

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I don't know what is "normal" but I don't like the look of those splines out at the end. The fact is, this pitman arm has gotten too far onto the splines, beyond where it should have stopped. The problem isn't necessarily with the pitman arm but with the output shaft as I will show you later.

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Furthermore, those splines should be cut nice and straight. If you look carefully you'll see they're rather belled out (high in the middle and low on the ends) which is no surprise. That, right there, is what is allowing that pitman arm to kick out.

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Here, we see the placement of the steering box, relative to the master cylinder. There is no part of this Willys that hasn't been messed with at one time or another. From this brief inspection I now know that at the very least, this steering box will require a new sector shaft and prudence dictates the replacement of the pitman arm as well. So, if we're going that far into this steering box, the intelligent thing to do is get a full rebuild kit - bearings, bushings, seals - the works. It's an easy job and as I said before, good steering on any vehicle is a lot of value added. any money that goes into improving steering is money well spent.

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Now, removing the steering box at this point is ridiculously easy. We've no engine and transmission in the way and there's a large gaping hole in the floor so the steering wheel doesn't have to come off and there will be no finagling to do to get it out. BUT - now is a very good time to wrestle with this steering wheel hub nut because everything is bolted up and it's right where it's easy to get at.

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I knew this was going to be a booger from day one and I have been laying on the PB Blaster now and again since we brought this truck home. I also know that this is a standard fine-thread nut (righty-tighty, lefty-loosy). I've turned the steering wheel hard over and put a big wrench on it and it won't budge. I could put an impact wrench on it but the problem with that is, this part of the steering column is rather fragile, everything may be entirely rust-welded together and forcing it may very well destroy the threaded end. There are simply too many unknowns, so, I am fully invested in the notion that it is best to cut that nut off rather than strong-arm it.

Now my experience with fine threads is that rust usually gets no further than the first one or two turns of thread and while it's enough to hang things up, one or two turns really ain't much. But we are dealing with a steering wheel that is, in my opinion, still salvageable and putting heat on there just isn't a very good idea. In fact, I dare say it's NEVER a good idea to heat that area up with a torch, owing to the fragile nature of the threaded end of the steering column (which is also all the more fragile because it is hollow and rusty on the inside.) But before I start cutting the nut....

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I'm going to start removing the bit that the horn button hooks onto. I'm doing this with a cutting disc which allows a great deal of control and with a light touch, it removes a small amount of material at a time. Friction creates a pretty fair amount of heat the this heat is going to end up EXACTLY where I want it. Maybe I'll get lucky!

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Stepping back to take a sip of coffee and wait for the air compressor to catch up. These old Willys are very attractive in their own way.

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No rush and nicely done. Far better than wailing away with a hammer and brute force, eh?

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Immediate and positive results! The heat from the friction broke the rust-bond. Look at that rust!

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There's plenty of evidence this isn't the first time someone has attempted to remove this steering wheel. I think more dosing with PB Blaster is in order.

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What you are seeing here is the top face of the actual hub and not a washer.

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There's that nice large hole we'll be using to take the whole thing out for a rebuild.

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If you look at this photo closely, you'll see I was right about the rust. Almost all of it is in the first turn of the threads.

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Cheers,
TJ
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 17th, 2018, 2:37 pm

Most of you have long experience with these old trucks so what I'm about to post will be old news so what follows is really for some of you who might be new to all of this -

On the topic of removing the steering wheel. First of all, you aren't going to get that steering wheel off by wobbling it off. The tolerances between the steering wheel and the steering shaft are extremely fine. When everything is in good shape there is no wriggle room - thus, the steering wheel must be drawn off in a straight line. If your steering wheel DOES wobble, all bets are off and you're going to be replacing steering wheel and the shaft altogether.

I've read some of the many posts on this site detailing other people's efforts to remove steering wheels and everyone seems to agree that it is usually a real man's job to get 'em off, owing to the nature of these vehicles. These trucks are often left out in the weather with no top and the horn button cup rotted out. It's just the perfect set of circumstances to make things hard for the guy who wants or needs to have that steering wheel removed.

On steering columns such as are found on these old trucks, ones that are a hollow shaft with a threaded end it is quite possible to ruin that threaded end when using a puller. Why? Because the shaft is relieved (meaning cut back) to the thickness of a pipe, then threads are cut into that. Because this pipe-thread area is thin, extreme pressure placed upon that area can actually compress the turns in the thread upon each other, like an accordion.

Therefore, great care must be taken to protect those threads and that can be done in several ways but the most logical way would be to ensure that the threads receive as much support as possible by surrounding them with the retaining nut. So, we will thread that nut back on nearly all the way after doping it up with a good lubricant. It should be threaded almost all the way back on leaving a very small gap below it, allowing a small space for the steering wheel hub to be drawn up into and the top face of the nut just a bit above the top of the threads to protect them. Getting a steering wheel to break free actually happens with very little upward movement and once that is accomplished the final efforts of the removal usually don't require any great pressure from a puller. But for the initial pull, the more threads you have engaged in the nut, the safer you are.

Also, if you are new to using a puller, there must be something for the puller to center upon and whatever that something is, it must rest upon the nut you're using to keep the threads from collapsing. The threaded part of your puller should never be pressing against any actual part of the steering shaft.

Before you make the effort, it is also important to know that this is a job that might take some time to accomplish. So, if you are renting a puller, you should know that this may be a job that takes more time than a loaner may allow. It may also take some finesse and by that I mean it may require great patience which also equates to extra time. This is one of those jobs where it may be best that you put suitable pressure on the part with your puller and walk away and let time and gentle variances in temperature throughout the day work their magic.

There are several little tricks that can be added to the mix that may help a steering wheel let go. Lubrication, temperature variables between parts and vibration.

Lubrication may or may not help. These tolerances are such that very little lubrication can migrate into the fit between shaft and hub. That said, lubrication after the moment when things break loose certainly can't hurt.

Temperature variables have been employed and discussed extensively in other posts on this site and others and they have been used with some success.

What never seems to make it into print is giving consideration to shocking the part. Remember the old trick of getting a ball joint or a tie rod end to let go by striking it simultaneously from both sides? Obviously you can't hit those hard enough to deform anything but the shock vibration set up by that works miracles on parts with interference fits.

If you have an old steering wheel like mine, one that's going to need a refinish no matter what, there is really nothing preventing you from carefully drilling two holes through the resin on either side of the steering wheel hub; holes big enough for a good sized punch or bolt or something similar to rest against the actual metal of the steering wheel hub. Then, with a puller putting stress on the steering wheel, a simultaneous strike on those punches from opposite sides is a very effective way to shock the hub right where it counts.

Fixing the holes in the resin is a simple matter of filling and sanding. So, I may use this method on this truck if the steering wheel resists coming off. However this goes, you will see the process in a future update.

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on May 7th, 2018, 8:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.
m3a1
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 17th, 2018, 5:27 pm

Ok, after I posted my last post I was thinking some of you were probably quietly saying to yourself, "HEY! This guy is nuts, talking about drilling holes in steering wheels and improvising stuff" So, for those of you who are from Missouri (the Show Me state) I decided if this steering wheel was giving me any resistance at all, I would go that route and show you.

But first, let's talk about a couple of other things. The biggest problem with pulling a steering wheel (meaning one that is not cooperating) is that there is really no way to tell when you almost have it. Thus, many people just cross their fingers and keep cranking down on that puller until they meet with success, or until they ruin something and I will admit, today I felt the call to crank that puppy down just....one....more.....turn, just as I always do. Happily, I've learned to resist that urge and that is something you must learn to do as well. Resist the urge to strong arm things!

Second, the old adage, There is more than one way to skin a cat is very true and with what you are about to see is something that may have you rolling your eyes at first. The rig I set up admittedly looked like a freak show but it worked quite well, it had a little give built into it and it did the job. Yes, it would have been easy to trot down to O'Reilly's, borrow the perfect tool but that would have been too easy and we wouldn't have learned anything and I wouldn't have had much to write about. Boring! ...and no fun at all.

Besides, some of you live out in the middle of no where and may not have certain resources available to you. I'm a pack rat by nature and you will see that I am using several ratchet strap hooks that I found here and there along the interstate. I also used an old gear because it was very stout and the disc on top of that is from a 75mm artillery shell; a piece I picked up on an old firing range. About that piece - first, artillery shells are made from very high quality steel that is as hard as woodpecker lips and this piece happens to have a very nice bit the middle that was perfect for centering the puller and keeping it there.

So, here's my rig. Very few turns are left on that puller but what's there is more than enough to do the job. The puller is set up for as straight a pull as I can get with the hooks nicely in line with the draw point of the puller. The hooks are not quite directly in line below the draw point owing to the their size and the size of the steering wheel spokes which flare closer to the hub. Still, it's a very pretty line and almost parallel to the line of the steering column. The closer you can get to that line, the better off you are.

DO take the time to get this set-up right. It will pay big dividends.

Image

In the following photo, the original retaining nut for the steering wheel has been threaded on to a depth where none of the threads of the steering column are directly exposed to anything and the nut is about 1/16' above the hub of the steering wheel. That's all the movement we're looking for at this point. The large circumferential crack existed on this steering wheel before we began.

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Here you will see I've drilled a 3/8" hole and there will be another drilled on the other side. I went with 3/8" because a bolt that big is big enough to take a good whack with a hammer and transmit that energy straight to the hub without risk of bending. The large cracks were already there. When contemplating whether or not to drill holes in your steering wheel, it's not a hard decision to make when the steering wheel is already buggered. Might be a harder decision to make if you have a nice, pretty one, eh? Still, holes such as these are easy to fill with binary plastic resins available at just about any reputable parts store.

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You may notice that the ring at the top of the hook is opening, but only ever so slightly. This will give way before anything breaks and puts my eye out! At least that's the theory. I might just as easily have first taken these over to my welder and welded the loops on the hooks closed but I had a feeling they'd hold up just fine....and they did.

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Gap closed! It took about ten simultaneous strikes on the two opposing bolts and with an audible *POP* that hub slid right up against the retaining nut. Ahh! Sweet success! Shock WORKS and works well.

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As you can see from the number of turns, I applied quite a bit of pressure to that thing before it gave up.

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In rust, we trust!

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I was fully prepared to refinish this steering wheel but quite frankly, I don't like the look of those hub splines. New steering wheels are rather inexpensive and safety is our number one priority. I'll probably just clean this steering wheel up and make a wall hanger out of it, just for giggles. Somebody really beat the tar out of this thing at some point. As you can see from this photo, there is really no sense in hammering on the lower regions of the steering wheel. It's just plastic. Also, take note of the diameter of the hub as compared to the diameter of the steering column's outer tube. There is simply no way to get force up against the hub from below.

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Here's the top. No, that's not a washer. That's the top of the hub.

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Take a good look at those lower threads. Those lower threads are not important to us. Now I know y'all wanna get right in there and tidy everything up to absolute cleanliness but, consider this. That retaining nut is never going to be that far down on those threads -and- the pressure from the puller has very likely compressed those threads somewhat because they did not have the support that the top threads had with the nut in place. Give them a cursory clean up but don't worry about being able to run the retaining nut all the way down those threads. It's never going to have to go that far.

Image

What you are looking at is a HUGE NO-NO. If you want to use a steel wire brush on the threads, that's OK -but- don't use that on the splines, particularly at right angles to the cut of the splines. Far better to use a brass wire wheel which is being run in-line with the splines. Use something soft and forgiving and don't ruin those splines!!!

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Notice the interference fit below the splines? that's where a lot of the hang-up is when the steering wheel is bolted up.

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Thanks for looking!
Cheers,
TJ
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Re: M38 - Nothing at all to do with M151s

Postby m3a1 » April 20th, 2018, 8:48 pm

The brake line kit came yesterday.

Keeping in mind the last problem I had with mail order (remember the bearing cup substituted for a bearing and concealed in the bearing box?) I dutifully checked the whole order and found I was missing two minor pieces. I called the guys, politely discussed it and they were very good Joes and all about making it right. I realize mistakes can and will be made and their professionalism will ensure I do business with them again.

Their picker just missed a few little retaining clips and since I wasn't really ready to jump in on this installation just yet, no time lost. The provider is sending some replacement pieces along. I'll soon be removing that steering box and it'll be like Christmas...we'll all get to see what's inside! Yay!

Cheers,
TJ
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