Uh Oh…….. That’s not a good noise.

We started the car 4 times on January 6, 2017. Each time the engine ran very fast and I was unable to adjust the carburetor to slow the RPMs down to anything approaching an idle. On start number 3, I started to hear a faint rapping noise. On start number 4, it was a very noticeable knock… I shut the engine down immediately and and knew that we had something bad going on. It was simply a question of “how bad.”

So, for the time being I chose to ignore what had happened with the engine and my Dad & I concentrated on the differential which we knew had some issues. In retrospect, it was probably a good thing we didn’t have a “happy” engine, because if we might have tried to DRIVE the car. That would have been – not good. It seems that
when we opened up the back of the differential the ring gear was on the RIGHT side and not the left side. I noted this discrepancy back on my July 8, 2016 Post.

Differential housing – ring gear on wrong side.

In any case, the ring gear was installed on the wrong side. We eventually determined that someone (Phillip Dickey? or kids at a Portage High School shop class?) flipped the entire torque tube / drive shaft / ring & pinion assembly — upside down. Was this a prank or were they trying to get a different wear pattern on the gears? I think we may never know. The result was that the thrust bearing adjustment door was on the bottom of the torque tube instead of the top and the ring gear was on the right side. So why would this matter……… well, in doing a little research, I now understand that the gearing in differentials is dependent upon whether the engine turns clockwise or counter clockwise. This, in turn, (sorry – for the pun) will dictate which side of the pinion gear the ring gear is placed so the car has 3 speeds forward and one in reverse. OR…. if you flip the ring gear to the other side, 3 speeds in reverse and one speed forward. YIKES! That could have been a very unpleasant discovery. My Dad & I confirmed this problem by jacking up the rear wheels and manually cranking the engine over while running through the gears. Sure enough 1st, 2nd & 3rd gear ALL IN REVERSE. “Reverse” gear rotated the wheels forward.

My Dad & I worked on the differential (man it is heavy) and managed to get the carrier & ring gear flipped around to the left side, but we had yet to discover that the torque tube was installed upside down. This meant that when we flipped the carrier over to the other side of its mounts, we were actually installing it on the wrong side. Oh dear.
The gears didn’t want to adjust and it was obviously not happy. It would require more work to get it to something approximating “properly adjusted”.

Craig & Vince wrestling with the differential.

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