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Thread: Different axle widths

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  1. #1
    Junior Member soutdere's Avatar
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    Different axle widths

    I recently bought my fist Willy’s truck. 1952. I had noticed that the front axle width appeared narrower than the rear axle width. Tires are all the same size. Using a tape measure, I measured from the outside of the tires on both the front and rear axles and found that the width was 8 inches wider on the rear axle. That surprised me. Is this normal for these trucks? The rear axle is a clamshell style diff.

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    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Axle Widths and Differential

    Quote Originally Posted by soutdere View Post
    I recently bought my fist Willy’s truck. 1952. I had noticed that the front axle width appeared narrower than the rear axle width. Tires are all the same size. Is this normal for these trucks? The rear axle is a clamshell style diff.
    Jeep trucks did have different front and rear tread widths. The front tread is specified as 56" and the rear 63 1/2". There is your 8-inch difference.

    The "clam shell" differential is technically a "spiral bevel gear' differential - also called a Timken rear end. Willys used the Timken and Dana differentials seemingly interchangeably. The Timken unit is sometimes called a heavy duty differential, but the trucks were rated the same regardless of Timken or Dana differentials.

    A suggestion - take it apart and inspect it. There could be really bad ju-ju hiding in there, as the picture illustrates. Bolt heads and bearing bits and pieces really do a job on spiral and bevel gears.

    Good luck - let us know what you're finding.
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