Had to flip the hubs on the rear axles in order to mount my new wheels and tires, and decided that would be a good time to service all the hubs and brakes. One of the wheel seals had failed and made a bit of a mess. Spent a LOT of time cleaning-up the axles/hubs/brakes with brake cleaner, wire brushes and a wire wheel on a 4.5" angle grinder. Was the first time I used the service manuals and I found them to be very easy to follow. They spell out every little detail, to the point where it's almost funny. But I guess that says something about who they expected to be servicing these vehicles...
What a mess. The front axle was covered in grime, but I've been really lucky - haven't had to deal with a single rusted/seized bolt or anything like that. Seems like this truck was really well-maintained. Think it has a lot to do with the fact that there is anti-seize on just about every piece of hardware on this truck. Has got me in the habit of using it more religiously myself.
The bearings in both of the rear axles were in great shape, but the bearing races on the front axle had these weird chatter-marks. Posted some pics on steelsoldiers and then installed new wheel bearings and brake pads. That purple grease is Amsoil synthetic grease. Also replaced all the wheel cylinders with new parts while I was in there. Installed a set of those silicone boots. Hope they hold-up better than the zipper-boots. Planning on installing some sort of boot-guards.
The hubsteps work on the front and rear axles (stock axles/driveflanges) Pointless on Mah Deuce, but I think they might be useful on a cargo truck or a tractor.
Figured out how to make a few improvements while I was making my new wheels.
1) The way my original hubsteps were designed, the wheels were kind of hard to slide over the hubsteps and onto the hubs.
2) The original hubsteps didn't stick out any further than the front driveflanges, which kept everything nice and tight, but the steps were a little too small to be very useful.
3) The teeth on the original hubsteps were not very sharp, and I found my feet slipping off them occasionally.
So I redesigned them. The single biggest and most improvement is that the new hubsteps should make the wheels a LOT easier to put on and take off. Should be an easy one-man job now. You just slide the wheel over the hubstep and then slide the wheels up the spokes, right onto the hubs. I also added a 1/8" tall lip to stop the wheels from falling off the hub when one person is trying to wrestle a wheel/tire on/off. I also made the new hubsteps a 1/2" wider, so there's a larger platform to stand on. And you can see, the teeth are also a lot sharper on the new version.
So here's how they went together:
Start by fitting each of the spokes into the slots in the inner step-ring
Then position the inner step ring and all the spokes on top of the bolt ring (the steps are keyed to the bolt-ring)
Then set the outer step ring down top of all the spokes (the steps are keyed to the outer step-ring)
Here's a picture of a new-style hubstep next to the old-style hubstep. Note that the new hubstep sticks out just a little bit further, and the spokes make nice ramps to help slide the wheels up onto the hubs.
Was planning on selling these, but ran into problems with the vendor that was supposed to do the laser-cutting for me, and found another shop to produce them for me yet. If anybody can recommend a good laser-shop I'd appreciate it.
After finishing up the axles and brakes, figured I to complete the Lube Order before I put that 35lb bucket of Amsoil grease away. Then took one look at the all the zerk fittings under mah deuce and decided it would have to wait a few days (while I looked into getting a pneumatic greasegun). Ended up ordering a Lincoln Model 1162 and it rocks! Little bit messy to fill, but couldn't figure out any way around that. Made greasing all the zerks on this vehicle a breeze. Just hold the trigger down and it's full-auto, but it does have a variable-speed trigger so it's not just on/off.
Recruited one of my not-so-mechanically-inclined friends to help me with this maintenance, and that's when I started to appreciate the way the military service manuals are written. Printed out the section from the manual that he needed, loaded-up the greasegun, and turned him loose. He completed the whole job without having to ask me a single question, and I don't know if this guy has ever even changed a flat tire. Whole point is, these vehicles are NOT difficult to work on, and the manuals are almost idiot-proof.
Went through the rest of the rig and replaced all the fluids with Amsoil products. The plan is to take regular oil samples, but to see just how long I can go between oil changes without blowing-up my brand new 5-ton multifuel engine. Hoping this Spinner II Model 960 centrifuge lives up to expectations. CLick here to see how it works. They make some really bold claims about reducing engine wear and extending the time between oil changes, but unlike so many things, this actually makes a lot of sense. Centrifuges have been proven to be very effective in all sorts of different applications and I like that there are no consumable oil filter elements to change/replace. Just clean out the bowl and put it back together.
Know more or less where and how I'm going to mount this centrifuge, but have not made the mount yet because there are several other accessories that I'm going to need to mount in the same area, so it doesn't make much sense to install anything until I can install everything.
Drained the transmission and refilled that. Last thing left to do was put new fluid in the transfer-case. Figures that this is where I would run into problems. This is what I saw. Actually heard it first, draining fluid and thunk! thunk! thunk! chunks of metal falling into the drain-pan. There was a lot of it, and it didn't look good. Funny thing is, it never missed a beat. I didn't even know anything was wrong with it. Truck ran great. But it was a sprag-operated transfer-case, which isn't as desirable as the air-shifted transfer-cases they put in the newer deuces. So I was planning on upgrading eventually anyway. No big deal that I ended up having to do it sooner than later.
Posted-up on steelsoldiers.com that I was looking for an air-shift transfer-case and located one almost right away. I was all the way up in Portland, but the price was reasonable and it included one of the hard-to-find transfer-case PTO units.
Swapping transfer-cases was pretty straightforward. Parts are a lot bigger and heavier than what I was used to working on, but no more difficult. Sandblasted and painted the new transfer-case, installed new seals, and got it reinstalled without much trouble (except for the rain).
The oil-line for the PTO unit had been slightly damaged somewhere along the line, probably during removal or transportations. Making a new one shouldn't have had to be such a pain in the ass, but I couldn't find these compression fittings anywhere and there wasn't enough room to remove the fitting without taking the parking brake drum off first. Took me a little while, but it turned out nice.
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