I have a persistent leak at the ball housing collar. I don't drive the truck much anymore and its easier for me to check the transmission oil and replace it if its low than to pull the ball housing apart to replace the seal. But it would be nice to not have oil drops on the floor.
When I bought my 53 the PO had apparently stuffed the collar with some sort of liquid gasket and it never leaked. Of course there may have been a seal in the collar as well. I was thinking of trying the same idea, just sliding the collar back and packing it with some Fel-Pro "make-a-gasket" material. Or even plumbers packing they use on faucet seats. I used the Fel-Pro product on my differential cover years ago and its not leaking.
I do know that its not the torque tube seal causing the leak because I did install an Okie assembly years ago and I always check my differential fluid to see if the trans oil is bypassing the seal.
Any ideas or comments.
I'd attach a big cookie sheet or a pizza pan to the floor with double stick tape and use a layer of newspaper or rags to catch the drips. Unless you're losing enough oil to nasty up the frame, sometimes it's simpler to deal with the drips than go to a lot of effort fixing a minor seep leak.
The collar was originally sealed using a thick cork gasket squeezed between 2 large washers. Doing that would naturally entail opening the ujoint ball, disassembling the u joint and dropping the torque tube to slide the parts on. The cork gasket is easy to find but the washers may be hard to find. There is a rubber O ring (National #327) that has been mentioned in these forums as a suitable substitute for the cork gasket that may work for the scenario you're thinking of trying. Cut the O ring, slip into place and use a bit of sealant where you cut it. Just a thought.
We used to make our own O rings by using the correct diameter rubber cord and a dot of Super Glue to join the ends. The same process could be used on that torque tube nut seal if necessary to prevent having to dismantle everything. Square O ring material is also available instead of round stuff if you do a little internet searching or you have an industrial gasket and seal supplier in your area.
I have both the cork and the rubber gaskets and at least 2 steel washers. The idea of cutting the gasket is something I never thought about and I like it. I guess I would have to cut one of the steel washers as well. The other could stay in place.
I have a spare ball housing and collar so I could use those as "Polish blueprints". I just do not want to dismantle the unit for as Jerry says, a few drops.
Since the gasket fits between the steel washers, why would you need to cut one of them? Just slide the nut and one of the washers back on the torque tube and put the cut gasket between the washers. I'd definitely look into using a nitrile O ring or something more durable than cork as an upgrade to the original gasket material. Super glue will also join cork, if you decide to stay with the original material. The cork can be made more pliable by steaming it or soaking in hot water before installing. That's a trick we used to use to reclaim dried-out cork valve cover gaskets from old gasket sets.
I was thinking that as the collar won't slip off the torque tube and I have to cut the gasket to go around the TT then I would have to cut the steel washer - the rear most one. The one at the front end of the collar would not need to come off so I would leave it intact. And I do not know about the "nut". Maybe I am missing something here. Might see it differently once I have it apart.
I went through my gasket collection and found the Fel-Pro "Universal Joint Set" . Their number is ES72843. The kit consists 4 retainer shims, the rubber collars/packing for the join between the ball housing and the rear of the transmission and the threaded collar.
OK - - - -we're talking about a different seal. Back where the collar meets the tube there's a round threaded nut that squeezes a cork packing down against the torque tube to seal the lubricant as the tube slides in and out of the ball assembly. That's usually where the leak originates. Apparently you're talking about some type of larger diameter seal between the ball and the back of the transmission?
No I was talking about the knurled collar at the rear end of the ball housing assembly. By a nut do you mean the threaded/knurled collar? That has the cork/rubber seal with a thin steel washer on either side of the seal and is threaded onto the ball housing. This is what I am talking about and I guess my initial posting did not specify exactly.
Just about anything with female threads is what I call a "nut".
Helpful links to get on the same page.Parts illustration
Everything from shims to the left are the same on manual trans. truck, except manual trans. ball collar & shims > are 4 bolt holesTorque Tube oil leak
THREADBall Housing Parts
Your situation sounds exactly like mine. I had a leak at the ball, but more of a leak at the rear of the "tube" where the collar threads on. I had a gasket set and thought I would just slide the collar back, remove the old seal, slice the new seal, put it around the shaft, apply a drop of super-glue and tighten everything back up. I spent several hours trying to do that and gave up. When I unscrewed the collar and slid it back, I never could get the two washers and old seal to come out of it. I tried pushing all sorts of thing screwdrivers up into it with no luck. I even cut some sheet metal and made sort of a pusher to slide up into that groove and push those washers and seal out. No luck. So, I ended up having to remove the entire u-joint (trunnion) to be able to slide that collar off. I'm glad I did because I discovered that my u-joint is scarred up pretty good, so I'll be replacing that. I did all this today, and this is a first for me on this type of truck. I'm learning as I go.