The projects that Davin works on change pretty regularly—and often quite quickly. However, nothing changes quite as quickly as this week’s project, the Frankland quick-change rear end for the ’37 Ford race car. It’s all cleaned up and ready for assembly, but where does that washer go?
There are a couple tricks to keeping all the various parts and pieces of your project in a tidy order, but sometimes the world conspires against you and those information-packed pieces of paper go missing when the times comes for reassembly. Such was the case for Davin and the rear axle for the ’37 Ford. The Frankland Quick Change unit is fairly simple on the surface, but it still needs to go together correctly in order to work properly and last like it should. Luckily, Davin has a pretty good memory.
The first step is pressing bearings and races into place. Heat is Davin’s best friend when it comes to this step. The bearings go in the toaster oven to heat up, and thus expand ever so slightly, which allows them to just slide into place and cool to a perfect press fit. No hammers needed. Commenters have been telling him about using the opposite technique for the races, so Davin put the shop freezer to work. Unfortunately, the shrinkage was not enough to make the bearing race fall into place, so a little pressure from the press was in order.
From there it is all about setup and preload. The roller bearings in a differential like this Frankland need to be set correctly to ensure a good long life. The trick is to tighten the pinion nut a bit, then use a torque wrench to measure the rotational drag. It is a bit of a touch, but this spec can be found for most rebuildable rear axles. That was also the “proper” spot for the one washer’s location, which Davin had forgotten. The witness marks on the washer aligned with how it would be assembled there, so there it goes.
The final assembly of the axles and hubs is going to wait until after the heavy unit is final installed in the car. To see that and the remaining steps required to get the Ford back to the starting line, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel for weekly Redline Updates.
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