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1955 Brockway 155W Continental to Cummins


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One of the first things I need to do was change the gears in the truck  Almost since I bought the truck, my Dad and I had always talked about finding a taller set of gears to see if it would help the truck move along a little better.  Right now the truck has 6.71/9.13’s and based on several 155W specs sheets I have collected,  5.43/7.39’s and 6.14/8.36’s were also available.  So I put a quick spreadsheet together a numbers of years ago to compare the ratios and  5.43’s would lower my RPM’s from about 2150 to 1800 at 55 mph.  


When I started looking for gears a while back, I hit a number of roadblocks since I didn’t have enough information.  To make matters worse, the specs list the rears as both 20501 and 20503 and I was not able to find these numbers anywhere in any of Eaton’s older literature.  A few guys asked for the casting number (28656) and I was able to find a set in Toledo OH but they wanted $1500...  ouch...  Then about 3 years ago I found a rear out of a 257 that came with a 180 Cummins.  The casting number matched my rear (28656) so I bought the rear and set if off to the side.  On a side note, I do have a spec sheet for the H257T and it only list the only available rear ratio as 5.43/7.39 but they call the rear an R454.


When I decided on the Cummins upgrade a few months ago, I figured I would change the gears first just to see how they worked with the Continental.  If I remember correctly, I talked to the owner of the Green Apple Express 257 a few years ago and he said he replaced his gears with 5.43’s and it made a world of difference driving the truck with the 572 Continental.  So I decided to pull the pumpkin from the rear and get it ready to install in the truck.  But that was easier said than done...  I had the rear sitting on a drop deck trailer on the far side of yard and at the time I wasn’t able to bring the trailer over to the garage to lift the pumpkin out with the fork lift.


So we wound up using the cherry picker and my 4 wheeler along with a utility cart, in the rain I might add, to get the pumpkin in the garage...



More to follow...

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Then using some 2x6’s and some extra heavy duty casters I had, I made a quick ‘box’ to be able to move the pumpkin around.  Besides, I would need something to move or store the 6.71’s when I removed them...



Then with some ‘help’ from Maddie I was able to roll the pumpkin outside...


And get everything cleaned up...


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After everything was cleaned up, I realized the ratio was actually stamped on the carrier.  Before I thought the only way to identify the ration was by looking at the head if the pinion when the number of ring and pinion teeth were stamped.  Here is a quick sketch of where the numbers are on the carrier...   When I called around everyone asked for the casting number, 28656, which refers to a ribbed carrier.


The following day was supposed to be warm so I dug out all of the paint supplies and figured I would shoot the rear outside.  But I wanted to clean the inside one more time before paint.  Also, when I originally pulled the carrier, the back lash felt good and the ring gear looked good.  So I lifted it up in the air one more time to check the back lash with a dial indicator.  As I was rotating the ring gear I was looking up towards the pinion (which is sort of buried in the carrier) and caught a glimpse of something that looked BAD.  At that point I decided to pull the pinion cage to get a closer look...


Damn...  I still can’t believe that I didn’t feel this in the back lash but these things happen.  I also didn’t see any chuck in the bottom of the housing (and I wasn’t really looking either...) since it was raining pretty good and we were trying to get out of the weather.  Should I have looked at it better before I cleaned it?   Sure, but hey these things happen...

So at that point I started looking for another set of gears.  But at least this time I had more information, like the Eaton number on the ring gear, 41962.  After a quick Google search of this number, I found a set of gears in Toledo OH (same place that had the carrier years back).  They listed the ring gear as 41962 and the pinion as 48820.  This is when I posted a wanted ad on the message board hear and well as on a few groups on FB.

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After a further Google search I found the ring and pinion number listed on Weller’s Truck website.  They have a great catalog online...


But for the ring gear I had, it was listed for an Eaton 19201 rear (and 19501 if its locked in low range...)  The only difference here is that my carrier has 16 spine axles instead of 22.  Weller did not have 5.43’s in their inventory but they were very helpful when I talked to them.


I did get several suggestions on locating gears.  I called a few local places along with Pat at Demo’s but he only had 6.14’s.  Then a guy on FB referred me to Tommy John’s Truck Parts in Wortsburo, NY .  John didn’t have any gears but he referred me to A&A Truck Parts in Freehold, NJ and sure enough he had a set in an International pumpkin.  For some reason International used 10 hole pumpkins instead of the 12 hole, but the gears are the same.  So after a handful of conversations, I made a trip to Freehold which I was able to do during one of my New Brunswick trips for work.  I did get some strange looks when I pulled in the yard with a  rental car and popped the truck open :)


The first thing I noticed was that the companion flange (yoke) was different.  It’s actually a Rockwell yoke for a wing bearing, 72N series.  But after I removed the flange from pinion, I realized that the splined parts of the pinions were different diameters.

Damn (again...) 


The inner and outer bearings were the same for both yokes and the shims and spacers were the same, but the original pinion was 10 spline with 1.750” major diameter while the new one was also 10 splines but with a 1.964” major diameter.  So this added another level to my companion flange dilemma...

Before I realized there was a difference in the pinions, I figured I would re-use the companion flange from the 6.71 pinion.  My original driveshaft used Spicer 1500 series U joints.  These have been obsolete for some time but I was able to locate an NOS pair on eBay a number of years ago.  On a side note, Neapco has started making these joints again.  The Spicer number was 5-115X and the new Neapco number is 3-0055.

Then I considered using the Rockewell 72N flange.  One of my International buddies (Kevin L) had a driveshaft I could use but that would mean I would have to have the driveshaft cut and have new yoke welded on, and then buy a new wing u joint.  But before I went down that path, I figured I would try to locate a companion flange to match my Spicer 1500 joint.  Besides, both u joints were new (well from 2008...)  and the flange the u joint goes into was also new.

After searching online with no luck, I remember Jack Alt have given me a vintage Spicer book years ago.  So I dug that out and was able to find a number that matched was I needed, Spicer #4-1-3841.  



Although the flange was listed for a 1480 or 1550 joint, the dimensions matched my 1500 series flange, with a ground flange diameter of 2 5/8” and a length through the hole at 2 1/4".  Of course this flange has been obsolete for some time, I after a quick Google search  I found that Weller had one in stock in Grand Rapids Michigan.  I called the next day and it was the last one they had, still covered in cosmoline and wrapped in wax paper.  It cost a few bucks but was still cheaper than having the drive shaft cut...


And now I had a nice assortment of companion flanges...  On a side note, the round flange was from the 257 rear.  This took (8) 3/8” bolts and a Spicer 1610 series joint, Spicer number 5-279X.  


More to follow...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick follow up on the difference in the pinions...

When I removed the driveshaft from the 6.71 rear in the truck, I was able to read the pinion number which was 41967.  This was one digit higher than the ring gear, 41966.  So I can assume that the pinion for the 5.43’s was 41961.  But the head of the pinion on original 5.43 was really pitted.  You could make out ‘Eaton’ and 7 and 38 (38/7=5.43) but that was about it.  So when I googled the ring gear number and found Weller’s site, I just assumed the pinion was 48820.  Regardless, it all worked out at the end of the day...

Just for comparison, the new pinion vs. the old...



In the mean time I decided to make a ‘jig’ to help remove the pumpkin from the truck using my 4 wheeler jack.  I’ve used this jack a 1000 times for different things (like installed the fuel tanks, etc.) but never on a 4 wheeler.  So using some flat stock and angle on hand I made something to support the base and the pinion so that I could roll the pumpkin out...




After that was done we drained the oil and then made a few dowels out of some old bolts...


And then we removed the pumpkin...


The jack actually worked pretty well...


To help work on the rear I cut a few other pieces of angle...


And then set the pumpkin on the bench...


More to follow....

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Those jacks work really well for so many things, we use them for putting brake drums and spiders (spoked hubs) on and off axles as they are a handful for me to do these days on my own


I think they are a motorbike jack, not sure though




Edited by mrsmackpaul
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those bike jacks are great and cheap enough to do exactly what he did..  Ive been through a couple of them myself to make tools to get a job done... ie: pulling a back box of an Eaton tranny...  Very cool !!!  jojo

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heres one of my rigs I made 10 + years ago to do a synchro in an eaton.. I was in a bind and had to hurry, so I grabbed a bunch of scrap out of the bin and made this terd..  I have done over 2 dozen of sychro jobs with it since.. I keep thinking about making a prettyer one, but it friggin works.   Just for laugh's.... jojo


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my god jojo....looks like a 6 year old hillbilly put it together to run shine thru the hills with a radio flyer..lol.motorcycle lifts they come in all kinds of handy around here....all kidding aside...it reminds me of  a deal i put together years ago to diassemble an automatic transmission clutch assembly looks like shit but it worked..bob

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yes to all...  I still use it to 'time' back boxes for Eaton and Meritor trannys..  the loose washers are shims..  it is all just scrap...  Mack rear engine mount washers, ole Eaton back box bearing cups, Int. brake shoe anchor pins, Mack air bag top bracket, and the big nut is the tranny output shaft nut...  Looks like junk or modern art, but the darn thing works...  :) jojo

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my first back box puller jack was a motorcycle jack, and I made a frame with a pilot shaft to put clutches in big trucks... It took a little tuning and I had to 'off set' it a bit more so it wouldnt tip over with the clutch on it, but I GOT IT DONE !!   I sold it and dont have a picture to show you... Cool Sh!t....  jojo

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I’m sure it was quite creative coming from you my friend but yes it certainly helps to have the right equipment especially with heavy stuff I put that air starter in when I was only 38 I don’t even think I could take it out of there now at 65 ha ha I don’t think I would have to anyway now it was completely rebuilt when I put it in ,.. Bob

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