when driveshaft seal-areas corrode

Jon March

Member
i recently shared that i had a shop tap new sleeves onto my pitted driveshaft ends - only to learn a couple things 1) they add friction by compressing the double lips by another 11 thousandths - seems minor, but you can definitely feel the added compression/friction 2) the widest sleeves made are only a couple MM wider than the spacing of the lips on the seals - making it too likely that the lips would ride on & off the sleeve when in use

the surfaces in this area should be 100% virgin clean metal - no pits

Two solutions --
option 1: tap TWO speedi-sleeves side by side onto the driveshaft end, with the seams meeting exactly in between where the seal lips "ride" . In order to know where this location is, you probably have to use a steel ruler & flashlight to measure the exact depth from the "stop" that the stub axle buts against under spring pressure, to the middle of the seal lips you have installed in the tranny.
With luck, your seam between the two speeves will stay between the lips, but youll never really know when its running whats happening down there, and you will have increased friction and wear of the seal from the slightly increased diameter

option 2 - Best:
remove the stub-axle ends from 1/2 of their u-joints Than have them carefully measured for the original correct diameter ....then turned down by 10 thousandths (20-thou total from side to side diameter) ..... then send to a specialty place that does spray-welding or laser cladding to be built up by 20 thousandths on one side (40 thou in diameter)....then carefully cut and lapped /polished back to the original diameter (aprx 35mm).
This eliminates screwing around with speedi sleeves, worrying if the lips on your seals are being cut up by the edges of the sleeves, and the additional wear and friction of the extra stress on you seal lips caused my the slight increase in shaft diameter.

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SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
Old school went threw that back in the 90's
Now I can machine down any Amphicar shaft surface and install new seals with the extra dia. made up in the seal.. easy!
 

Jon March

Member
Gord makes a great option - grind to a slightlysmaller diameter - and install seals with slightly larger I.D. - i imagine they need to be individual seals, positioned back to back - but a little superglue or 3M5200 can turn them into a nice unified "double lip seal replica", Id say!

Gord is a master!
 

mschlem

Amphicar Expert & Former IAOC President
Gord,
Your option sounds like a good fix. Are the seals you use with a smaller ID a common size and easy to source? I'm guessing you have a set amount you take off the driveshafts to match the seal?

Sounds like this fix means we all need to be aware of this potential if working on an unfamiliar car - maybe the driveshafts are turned down and a standard seal won't work.

I like the idea. Anyone else have experience/comments on Gord's solution?

Marc.
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
I guess just like a crankshaft you should stamp on them there undersize!
Sometimes with front and rear wheel hubs the amount taken off is so minimal you can still use std. seals.
Today's seals are much better and usually double lipped.
 

jfriese

Active Member
Hello,

Sorry, but all this talk about turning down the shaft seal area and using some unknown smaller seal is just crazy to me. First of all you are making your car non-standard in a very critical area that later owners won't know about, and secondly if you get this wrong, the downside is a ruined transmission. Buy new drive shafts or use a known fix like Speedi-Sleeves. Anything else is taking a large risk for yourself or the next owners of the car.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

Jon March

Member
There is merit in John Friese's point - the ideal result is a smooth surface that is the original diameter, so that future owners can rely on purchasing the original size 35mm ID seal and know that diameter will fit.

After installing speedi sleeves on my original diameter, but somewhat pitted) shaft ends, I found two problems
1) think as they are, I didnt like the measurably increased friction from the added diameter of the sleeves
2) the widest sleeve sold (13mm) was barely wider than the 11mm spacing between lips - risking the lips riding on and off the sleeve and teraing them up prematurely and breaching the seals so they would need to be double -sleeved side by side - if thats even possible!@# (SKF 99133 @8mm & 99138 @13mm)
And even if possible, calculating where to locate the seam exactly between the two lips is a gamble as well.

That why Marc and I were discussing grinding, re-building with fresh metal, then grinding & polishing back to original diameter -
....no seals edges or seams to possibly screw up the fine edges of the seals.
 

jfriese

Active Member
I think it was determined several post ago that rebuilding with metal and then turning the new metal down to the original diameter was doable but not anywhere near a financially feasible option. New drive shafts would be far cheaper. The increased friction that Jon mentions would be an unnoticeable drop in the ocean as far as the engine was concerned. Also, If I remember correctly, double lipped seals only came on the scene about 10 years ago. Before then, all those rear seals were single lipped. Double lipped seals may be desirable but not absolutely necessary for leak free performance.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

Jon March

Member
JF: not cheaper, actually, i dont think
grind, spray/laser buildup, grind&lap = definitely less than 2 new driveshafts.

That said, if you had another 1100 dollars on top of the 500 or so in time & money to do this, as well as the cost of the delay to do the work, you could have a set of Eddies CV axles shipped to you - which, if you have the money, is a very compelling argument, especially considering could probably sell your old driveshafts to recoup some of the expense....
 

jfriese

Active Member
If you don't want to spend for new driveshafts, then go for the Speedi-Sleeves. If one of the lips gets damaged, by riding the junction, you still have the other one and that puts you back to the way things were years ago. The extra thickness would probably improve the sealing ability of the single seal anyway.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

Jon March

Member
Well, the sleeves to do each axle end are 70 - 140 for all 4...if they can be centered ok (and i dont screw em up)!
we shall see!
 

jfriese

Active Member
However you go, all Amphicars should have a dipstick into the land transmission that is easily accessible from the engine compartment. That way you can easily tell if any water has gotten into the land tranny and stop the corrosion before it starts, thus saving your transmission. I've lobbied several people to get them back into production for a long time now with no success. Now, I'm looking into making them myself so that Amphicar owners can rest easy about their transmission rusting issues.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 
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Jon March

Member
Agreed! - I was able to purchase an unused Vondracek trans dipstick kit recently - I have it new in the box/baggie - i wonder if anyone would like photos?
 

Midwest Amphicar

Worlds Largest Amphicar Destination
Seals.....double lip seals were out of stock. I bought quality singles from supplier. Year or so later re order same brand. Had failures shortly after Name brand manufactured in some other third World country. Smaller springs. Singles will work just try to find heavy duty.
 

jfriese

Active Member
Hi Jon,

Please send me a few detail photos of your new VonDracek dipstick. I'm going to try and get these things back into production. EVERY Amphicar should have the land tranny dipstick.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

Jon March

Member
by the way - what are some warning signs that dipsticks can show? (im aware of level, but clarity/darkness?, smell? water?(doesnt water sink to bottom?)
 

jfriese

Active Member
The main one I care about is not finding bubbles on the dipstick at the end of a day at the lake. If you do, it means water got into the tranny. If you change the gear oil once or twice and run the car until the tranny is good and hot you will save your transmission from the killing rust. Then you can fix whatever allowed the water to get in without suffering a full tranny rebuild.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

jfriese

Active Member
I currently have a new one of these Rob V dipsticks for analysis and hope to track down the original parts suppliers and make them available again. Stay tuned.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 
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