Removing rear axle to replace leaking torque tube seal and transmision.

I am starting this tomorrow. Today sprayed penetrating oil on all bolts. My question is what has to be removed and how to do so. I have vehicle on jack stands. Is it best to remove u bolts to remove lower shock and spring together ect? Need any help or advice. Once this is done my 38 is ready for new tires and hit the road. Last time driven was 13 years ago. Also how to remove torsion bar from axle housing.
Thank You, God Bless

Dbull
 

firstofeight

Active Member
I am starting this tomorrow. Today sprayed penetrating oil on all bolts. My question is what has to be removed and how to do so. I have vehicle on jack stands. Is it best to remove u bolts to remove lower shock and spring together ect? Need any help or advice. Once this is done my 38 is ready for new tires and hit the road. Last time driven was 13 years ago. Also how to remove torsion bar from axle housing.
Thank You, God Bless

Dbull

I am not understanding "U" bolts! 1938 should have coil springs. I think. 1937 still had leaf springs in back.

Ben
 
There is a coil spring, which attaches to a plate which has 2 u bolts holding it to the axle housing. The bottom of shock also hooks on to it.
Thanks for your interest in helping.
 

firstofeight

Active Member
Well, see, I learned something new today. I did not know '38s were clamped on . Nor do not know how long they were. The plate on my '50 is welded on. I can tell how to do it on the 50 but seeing there is a difference, I better shut up and let someone else jump in. Good luck.

Ben
 
Update to help others. The shock can and only needs to be unhooked at lower bolt. Take a pry bar and slide it off removing the outer rubber bushing. the sway bar has 2 bolts that hold the bolt at axle, remover nut going thru bar and then the 2 nuts and bolts holding the bolt. Moving to top end of sway bar remove the nut from bolt and upper bolt into frame and 2 bolts that hold the bolt in place. Then the whole bar come off. Disconnect brake line at frame with rubber hose. Disconnect emergency brake cable at rear adjustment then remove clip holding the cable at center of x frame. There will be enough slack to move axle back. The rear already wants to come back about 1 inch with springs still on. I pulled floor mat and top cover over transmission inside vehicle and top 2 bolts from transmission to bell housing. Will see about coil springs in am. Enough for today 92 degrees in garage.
 
I used a ratch strap to pull rear back, left coil spring connected. removed torque ball. For info to other's the plate I was referring to is welded to axle housing. I believe the U bolts would be use to raise or lower vehicle for ride height. Today will see about transmission removal or rest.
 

tom telesco

Active Member
You should be able to pull the rear back far enough to replae the seal. On installing the seal into the torque tube make sure you put it in facing correctly or else it will still leak. This can be found in just about all GM books for cars that had torque tubes.

Tom T.
 
Probably this comes after you've got it all done ("NOW I tell you!) but in case it will help you or someone else, here's the rear axle removal procedure from the 40 Buick Shop Manual, likely similar to your 38.
1` Lift rear end of car with hoist.
2 Disconnect parking brake at equalizer.
3 Disconnect hydraulic brake line at fitting anchored to left channel iron strut.
4 Disconnect rear shock absorber links at lower end.
5 Disconnect rear radius rod at axle end.
6 Disconnect rear chassis springs at lower end. Screw retaining spring at lower end is left-hand thread. Tie lower end of springs to rear bumper with wire to allow working clearance and prevent damage to hydraulic brake lines.
7 Disconnect front end of torque tube from driving ball.
Only seven easy steps, right? How hard can it be?
The transmission section of the manual doesn't cover removal - but the drive shaft spline goes about 2 3/8" into the transmission, and the gearbox input shaft spline goes about 7 1/8" into the bell housing/crankshaft. So to remove the trans with the engine in place is going to be a challenge, I think. It looks to me like the torque tube would have to be back almost as far as the point where the X frame sections meet, in order to have room to pull the trans input shaft all the way out past the bell housing. No doubt there are designs more convenient to the service and repair trades. My engine was out when I waged the (several sessions) battle to separate the trans from the torque tube, and I just outlasted it today. The 40 shop manual says the engine and trans are to be removed as an assembly.
Stephen
 
1938 Shop Manual info on transmission support:
 

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