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A Childhood Dream Realized...My Very Own T70ES

panzer t70

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#181 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 24, 2016 - 08:40 PM

What better way to start a Sunday than having the entire hardware aisle of Tractor Supply to myself. I dropped the kids of at their church and headed off for an hour of quiet contemplation at my own little temple; a non-denominational sort of place where fasteners of every size, shape, and color are welcome.

I filled bag after bag with artifacts and, after picking the kids up on the way home, I was ready for the best Sunday ever.

You see, aside from being fanatical about all things mechanical, I've also got a touch of OCD. My idea of Heaven is a huge warehouse...like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark...an immense dusty structure that goes on forever with that orangish/yellowish glow that you can only get with incandescent lighting. In the middle of that expansive space, is a mountain of hardware...30 ft tall and 50 ft wide...like Aladdin's cave, but without all the gaudy jewelry and lamps...just good old fashioned hardware of every shape and size...nuts, bolts, washers, screws, hooks, pins, wingnuts, dowel pins, rivets...stainless, zinc plated, Grade 8, titanium, aluminum...truss head, button head, socket head cap, hex head...metric and SAE...just the combined contents of every old timey hardware store in America.

Along one side of the warehouse...a wall of individual drawers...ten thousand of them stretching as far as you can see.

In the middle of the great hall sits a table...the sturdy steel kind that filled American factories in the 50's...and a stool.

On the table...a label making machine, a set of dial calipers, a metal rule, a magnifying lamp, and a bottle of Mountain Dew that never runs out.

My Heaven...measuring, categorizing, and sorting hardware for all of eternity...just picking up a piece and inspecting it...1/4-28 threads...2" long...SHCS...stainless...then finding the exact bin to place it in...making a new bin whenever necessary...shifting all ten thousand drawers one position to the right whenever I discover a new category...having all of eternity to get it just right.

Yup, that's my twisted version of heaven.

So you can imagine what kind of joy $75 of mixed hardware, an empty bin unit, and some calipers brought me today.

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Mine is a special kind of crazy.
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#182 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 24, 2016 - 08:50 PM

However, there was some actual Panzer activity; the reason that I was out buying hardware in the first place.

With the seals in place, it was time to fill the axle housing with 90# and get the axle shafts installed.

I started by reading an old Panzer T70 manual that indicated the correct amount of oil for Old Blue; 3 pints or 48 oz or 3/4" below the fill hole.

Not wanting to push 48 ounces of 90# through that tiny little fill hole, I decided to take advantage of the fact that the axle shafts were not installed. I cut up a plastic soda bottle to aid my efforts and I measured out the requisite amount of oil.

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Keeping in mind that I only drained 34 ounces out of the axle in the first place, I stopped frequently and shined a flash light into the axle tube to estimate the fill level against the location of the fill hole.

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I called it good after adding about 36 ounces.
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#183 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 24, 2016 - 09:00 PM

Next step was grease the roller bearings...an exceedingly messy, manual process...one of a few that merit the use of latex gloves. I worked that grease into every available space...handling the shaft vigorously with greasy dexterity befitting an adult movie star...glad that nobody was watching this weird display of mechanical erotica...

Once I managed to make myself uncomfortable with the process, I knew I had done a thorough job.

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Edited by Hondarider, January 25, 2016 - 12:46 PM.

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#184 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 03:42 PM

Once the bearings were packed with grease, I inserted the axle shafts into the tubes and mated the splined end with the differential carrier. The shafts slid in with no issues and stopped once the shaft was fully seated into the carrier. From there, I installed the outer bearing race into the axle flange and gently tapped it in a 12:00-6:00-9:00-3:00 pattern until it was tight against the rollers.

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You'll notice that the outer race still extends beyond the axle flange by 1/8" or so.

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This is where the shims come into play. If you were to install the backing plate onto the axle flange at this point, without shims, all of the applied force would press the outer race into the rollers and the bearing would lock up solid. The key is add just the right amount of spacer to keep the bearing races tight, but not too tight. The spacers are stacked up and then the grease seal goes on top of them. This picture is actually 2 spacers and a grease seal sandwiched together.

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In other applications, the bearing pressure is adjustable...you might tighten a nut to 10ft-lbs to seat the bearing and then back off a quarter turn before locking the castle nut with a cotter pin. This is the first time I've encountered this shim arrangement. Be careful to preserve yours if you ever pull it apart, I haven't been able to locate these shims ANYWHERE!
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#185 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 04:03 PM

Bearings, shims, and grease seal in place...ready for the brake backing plate to be installed. The 50 year old grease seal is not a perfectly tight fit to the shaft, but I suspect it'll get the job done at the low RPMs the tractor operates at.

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#186 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 04:16 PM

So excited...I was ready to finally bolt up the backing plates and get one step closer to installing wheels. Unfortunately, that's when I remembered that I had completely ignored the backing plate bolts. They are special bolts with keyed heads and 3/8-24 fine threads...no chance of finding replacements at Tractor Supply.

So I started off by chasing the threads of each bolt with a die and a little cutting fluid...taking my time and using very little force.

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Then, once the threads were clean and serviceable, I dropped them in the ultrasonic cleaner with some Purple Power degreaser for an hour or so.

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A little wire brush action and they're just like new...it's 1962 all over again

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These slide in from the backside of the flange. The flat side prevents them from spinning when you tighten the nut. I love old hardware. Everything about these bolts screams out quality.

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#187 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 04:19 PM

After blowing $1100 on painted parts, it would be a real shame if I started bolting on bare hardware and it rusts while sitting in my garage. Rustoleum to the rescue and a little cure time by the fire.

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#188 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 04:26 PM

Killing time while the ultrasonic cleaner did its thing...I grabbed a tiny 45 degree file and chased the threads on the axles until the nuts would spin on and off with nothing more than finger strength. I hoped that the old man would appreciate it...

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#189 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 04:30 PM

With the paint drying by the fire, I set about to tackling this uncooperative little beasty. As it turns out, a bicycle grip designed for a round handlebar doesn't really like being forced onto a flat bar. After numerous heating cycles (taking great care not to melt or discolor the rubber), significant hand cramping, and a lot of force...Voila!

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#190 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 04:40 PM

I'm at a tough spot. I've got all of these beautiful painted parts that are just begging to be installed, but I have not even touched the engine yet. Since the engine was the last thing to come out of the frame, it would be reasonable to expect that it should go back in first. So I'm struggling...trying to decide what things I can reassemble while I wait for the motor manual and the forthcoming rebuild. I don't want to install things just to remove them later, but I've got the fever to see this thing back together. I'm spending a lot of time just looking at it and thinking. I feel like I could probably put everything except for the hood, gas tank, steering column, and steering wheel in place...leaving room to drop in the motor later.

I did put on that giant sprocket though...it sure is pretty.

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#191 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 04:44 PM

Test fitting the backing plates. I can't wait to get these bolted up so I can mount the drums and the wheels. Having it on 4 wheels is a big milestone for me.

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#192 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 04:50 PM

Looks good. The reassembly is going quick. I enjoy following your progress.

#193 Hondarider OFFLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 05:01 PM

Thank you sir! Right now I'm trying to source some truss head, slotted, 3/8-16 x 1/2 stainless screws and some nylon washers to mount the fenders. I'm hoping Fastenal will take care of me.

#194 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 05:33 PM

That looks real good!



#195 classic ONLINE  

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Posted January 25, 2016 - 10:15 PM

Wow! You are doing a great job on the restoration! The outer axle seals are available for these rear ends from a few sources in case you wanted to replace them. The inner axle seals failing cause most of the problems with these rear ends. As long as the inner seals are good, you will be fine. I came across an old Desoto shop manual when I replaced the outer axle bearings in the rear on my Gard'n Mast'r tractor. There are tolerance settings for the axle end play, but that's not too critical as long as the rear end doesn't see highway speeds. As long as there's no drag or excessive slop in the axle, it will be fine. Again, nice job!
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