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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2001, 10:30 AM
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Unhappy HELP: Cobra's 1st Tow

Needless to say, I'm out for this weekend's festivities... and maybe the season. Whilst hitting second gear with a bit of bravado yesterday, CRACK.... Reevvvv. Ummm, off to the side of the road I go, broken axle...

I was planning to pull the differential this winter (Ford 9" I think)to work on some pesky leaks, and check it out generally. Well, that time is now I guess.

Any recommendations on a good rear end shop in Seattle area?
Oh... some guy named "ICE" showed up for the tow. He was too cool and really knew his stuff, safely towed with no damage. Check 'em out.
Regrets,

Zderf
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2001, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: HELP: Cobra's 1st Tow

Zderf;

That is nothing short of devastating!

Check out NW Differential (I think that's the name?) in Totem Lake just North of the Ford dealership. Iv'e heard good things about them.

Get down there quick and you can salvage part of the season. Good time to consider an ARB locker or new gears if you've been thinking about it?

Best Regards,
Todd
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Old 08-25-2001, 05:56 PM
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Thumbs up Ten Roger

I tried NW Differentail today, but no answer.. Ummm bidnezz must be good if they can take Saturdays off. I'll call them Monday. Did talk with Joe Green's just for kicks... they are offering up a high side price of $1200 for new shafts and possible planitary's if damaged due to fodder. YIKES!!!!

Oh, the wife is really on me now... "That damn Money Pit is at it again, eh?" (There goes my new leather seats I had planned for this winter.)

Anyway, the diff is coming out tomorrow, cuz I gotta make the Dyno and Snohomish next month!!!!

Zderf

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Old 08-26-2001, 04:38 PM
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Question What's the diff??

Or should that be "Where's the diff?"

Anyway, she's out and in the back of the Sport Trac ready for a visit to either NW Differential in Totem Lake or Randy's Ring and Pinion in Everett tomorrow. Since I've confimred that this unit is an "Open" differential, I've mostly decided to install a Detroit "Truetrac" or a Powertrax "No-Slip Traction System" as opposed to a full "locker".

It is possible that I can have the unit back by Friday and be ready to enjoy the weekend as originally planned (albiet quite a few dollars poorer).

More to follow on which supplier gets the nod, and what the final outcome is.

Thanks....

Zderf

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Old 08-26-2001, 07:00 PM
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Zderf,

May I speak with a little experience here? Go with the tru-trac, you will absolutely love it! BUT, if you have been running around with a "true" open-rear end, boy are you going to get a surprise!

All good!

DV
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Old 08-27-2001, 04:47 PM
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Unhappy P/O Strikes Again...

Oh My God. The findings are in from Northwest Differential.

Crime Lab Report: It is a Ford 9" open differential with 3.50 gears, not the 3.73 I was told. All internal gears have rust spots from the time spent in a junk yard, most likely under a 1974 to 1976 full size Bronco. It was narrowed and reassembled with the old tired ring and pinion, side spider gears, and other used assorted items. The axles splines were 28 not 31, and may not have been properly hardened after being modified for the narrowing. There were no inner axle seals, just gobs of RTV.

Damage Report: Everything is Wheat Toast. The side spider gears may have started failing some time ago. A couple teeth were missing on the ring and pinion. The drive axle spline was sheared off.

Corrective Action Report: New everthing (sans housing), Detroit TruTrac, 31 tooth spline axles (custom built), and assorted materials. Puke up only $1650 and I'm back in business. Oh, they plan to have it done for me on Thursday as well.... its a big weekend I may have to spend with Rich since the spouse is going to boot me out on this one for sure.

Geeze this is a hoot. This car is going to make the next owner feel real good. No bad-mouthing this P/O.

NEXT.......
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Old 08-27-2001, 09:58 PM
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Ouch! Well, look at the bright side...after this, you'll have rebuilt all the expensive stuff. Feel better?

Fred, you're welcome to move in (temporarily). The only place long enough for you to sleep on would be my workbench. I could move the old Jeep outside and you could move the Cobra and yourself into the garage. Pat's gonna have to come over and feed you though.

Maybe I'll try out your new direct line tomorrow.

Rich
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Old 08-27-2001, 11:34 PM
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Aren't surprises like that fun? (sarcastic tone)

Last year, the rear diffy on my SUV started to go. The former owner had claimed he hadn't towed much with it, but given the sherman-tank-towing-capable trailer hitch he had on the back I should have known better.

Anyway, I go get the ring and pinion gear changed on the differential. Garage orders the stock gear (spider-sense tingling yet?) and replaces it.

I pick up the truck, drive it around for a week, then go skiing. Weather takes a turn for the worse, I put it into four-wheel drive.

Well, the former owner never told me that he changed the gearing from stock to something else, and well, you can imagine how it drove in the snow with the front and back wheels spinning at different speeds. I just thought the roads were REAL slippy.

Then I eventually get onto pavement, the diffy's working like hell, and it heats up till it's smoking.

Then I had to get it rebuilt again.

Anyhow, I sympathize!

K
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Old 08-29-2001, 10:11 AM
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Default On the road again?

Fred,
Sounds like you're close to being on the road. You got that fixed in a hurry. I thought I saw you driving through Woodinville last friday afternoon. You must have broken down between Towne Center and Cottage Lake.
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Old 08-30-2001, 05:02 PM
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Arrow 400+ HP

Any questions about what 400 HP can do to a 1.5" shaft, gimme a call, or hava look.

YIKES!!!

Zderf
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Old 09-04-2001, 05:50 PM
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Thumbs up Closure... Awesome Ending!

I am pleased to give praise to this company and thank Todd for his recommendation...

Northwest Differentials (NWD)
11914 124th Ave NE Kirkland, WA
(425) 827-2868
Dan (Owner)

This is a story of customer service that simply does not happen to me but perhaps once every 30 or 35 years. I'll summarize briefly, with the goal of sending anyone needing rear differential help to these folks. They deserve it for the care they take, and you deserve it for the good money spent to upgrade or repair your differential.

NWD agreed to see if they could pull my differential together in 4 working days as needed to meet a scheduled series of events I had planned with the Cobra. I had serious doubts that this could be accomplished since the axles had to be custom built and sent from California. All of the other needed components were only a day or two out. On day 3 I called NWD to seek status on the job. They had everything but the axles in house and the unit preassembled ready and waiting for same. If the axles arrived the next day, they would have the assembly ready for me to pick up and reinstall. I received the call on day 4 that the unit was done. I was ecstatic. Mission accomplished.

With the differential re-installed, the only remaining item was to attach the disk brake calipers using the last 4 bolts left in the parts box. They would not install. 2 hours of measuring suggested that each axle had grown in length by 3/8". This was simply not going to work for many reasons.

I called NWD the next morning (Friday before Labor Day weekend) to advise them of the problem. They could not believe their ears. We discussed things a bit and I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be using the Cobra for my planned weekend events. Dan (the owner) was planning to leave by noon for a commitment with his family, which further removed any recovery in my mind, not to mention that the axle manufacturer was in California.

Now for the real service. At 9:30am that morning 2 of Dan's employees arrived to have a look. They removed the axles and returned to their shop to investigate the problem. I left to pick up guests at the airport, still thinking this was not going to come together. At 2:00pm they returned to re-install the axles that they had machined to correct an error that was made in the initial measurements and specifications given to the manufacture. Uh oh, it wasn't enough. I still had 3/16" too much length. The technician (all of which are total professionals) finally realized that the axle flange was about 1/16" larger in diameter than my old axle thus not allowing the disk to fully seat. Out come the axles again, and off he went to the machine shop he went, returning at 4:30pm. Another install and things worked perfect. It was 5:15pm.

All the while, Dan was on the cell phone with his technicians from the family outing he had joined that afternoon. When I called today to thank him for the unreal effort they put forth to save my weekend whilst ruining his outing on Friday, he said he would not have slept knowing they might have ruined my weekend plan. Is this America?

I simply cannot say enough about these folks, and the fact that they care as much about my needs as I do. I should also mention that I find a good recovery from a small stumble to be better than no stumble at all. With that, I urge anyone needing differential work to consider Northwest Differential.

Oh, While I'm back on the road, no heavy stuff for 500 miles. They will then take the thrid member out and inspect it and reassemble with new synthetic gear oil. At no charge I might add.

Thanks for listening....

Zderf
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Old 09-05-2001, 08:22 AM
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Default Right On.

Great to hear you are back on the road. I have had excellent service from NWD too. It's rare to find a company that does it right the first time. Big thumbs up.
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Old 09-05-2001, 06:04 PM
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Zderf,

I looked at you pics of the broken shaft and my blood ran cold. I recently had my rear end out to replace seals etc. and in the process noticed that my left axle (the short one) had a slight twist in the spline. Not the whole axle, just the spline, about 3/32". The other one was straight. I put the thing back together figuring it was NBD. After looking at your pics. I think I will take it real easy until I can get a new axle.

My rear end is a "Torque lock" which works great, but I will defer to DV. Great to know about NWD, they sound like terriffic people.

Where did you get the axles and what did they cost you? Mine are 28 tooth.

Bish

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Old 09-06-2001, 08:17 AM
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Arrow Axles


Bish,

NWD had the axles built for me, I don't recall the name of the CA company. NWD uses them exclusively having tried all other companies in that bidnizz. They were about $450 for the pair, but it was all part of the entire rebuild.

Of particular note on my old axles, they were turned down before the splines were machined (see foto). That is real bad practice, not mentioning the fact that they were not properly heat treated. To top it off, they were 28 tooth instead of 31.

I would recommend that you consider converting to the 31 tooth spline. Even more, you may find it worth the price to take the whole diff assembly to NWD for a complete inspection. You could possibly get off quite cost effectively by doing so before complete failure and subsequent meltdown. (Speaking 1st hand on that one).

Let me know how it goes....

Regards,

Zderf
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Old 09-06-2001, 09:23 AM
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Thumbs up

Zderf,

Thanks for the info. I think I will give NWD a call and see about getting the car in there soon.

On a similar subject in PO blues, I recently upgraded my front brakes from 9" to 11" and in the process gave everthing "up" there a good close inspection. I found the bushing at the botom the the right shock (Carrara) was badly worn. I pulled the bolt out of the sleeve, (the bottom of the shock and the sleeve form a "T") and removed the shock so I could replace the bushing with a snythetic one. When the shock came loose the sleeve fell on the floor. The weld between the shock and the sleeve had broken (some time ago from the look of it) so the only thing holding the shock in place was the spring pressure. Talk about the "Pucker Factor". I freaked and took the left one off...same thing. Pictures passed through my mind of bending the car into some hard corners on the S. Skagit Hwy at speed...not a pretty image. I called Carrera, they told me they no longer make that kind of shock and that I would need to replace with new shocks with "Heim" bushings at the lower end. It appears that the Mustang front end "works" a bit and will break a non frexible shock mount over time. You may want to take a look at the bottom mount on your front shocks. Scared the heck out of me.

Just something else to worry about.

Bish
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Old 09-06-2001, 09:38 AM
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Smile Front Shocks

Bish....YIKES!!! That was a disaster waiting to happen.

I put my car on the KwikLift on a regular basis with a scotch and water in -hand... then spend about 2 hours poking, prodding, torquing, sniffing, licking, and polishing the undercarriage and related suspension components. I swear, these things bring with them an unbelievable amount of surveillance and associated maintenance.

I am pleased to advise that I do not have any Mustang parts... and, that I just replaced all of my shocks and coil overs with new Alden billet aluminum assemblies.

All I have left that I know of now, is a leaking Tremec transmission which is coming out this winter. Oh, a broken emergency brake cable needs replacing as well.

Do tell Dan at NWD that I sent you, and keep me posted.

Regards,

Zderf

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Old 09-06-2001, 11:50 AM
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Zderf,

You may want to check into Mark Williams or Strange axels that are used by drag racers. A little more money, but you won't have that problem again.

Happy slithering
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