Rear axle spline change

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    Hi everyone,

    What year did the number of splines change on the Pierce eights and twelves? I know that the ’31 part number is unique to that year and all years that followed use the same shaft. How many splines are on the ’31 axle? (No I don’t want to pull mine apart to look!)




    No, all the late style axle shafts are not the same. We have had 4 diffrent ones on the shelf at the same time. Length overall and spline length vary from year to year and 8 to 12, some will cross over and some won’t. 29 and 30 were the early style, 8 spline if I remembor correctly. 31 has a longer shaft with a short spline. There are some other issues from 32 and later, but I am out of town and do not have my notes. It may be a worm or hypoid issue. Ed



    From my Parts Books –

    P/n 700398 is used on ALL ’32 – ’35 8’s and 12’s, worm AND hypoid,

    and I’m pretty sure (no parts book) on ALL ’36-’38). They are 10-spline.

    P/n 123862 is used on all ’30s (and probably ’29s).

    P/n 744147 is used on all ’31s.




    Hi Bob, Thats the same info we have, but found diffrent axles in the rears, possibly a aftermarket application. We also noticed that the shafts will swap out but the diameter of the shafts can be diffrent! The good news is that they all fit from both sides. I will post some photos in the next few days. Ed


    So, from all this I gather that ’32 is the beginning of 10 spline axles?



    No, my 31 has a 10 spline and is a one year only shaft. It’s overall 3/4 of an inch longer than the 32 and later, but with a shorter spline section by about 1 inch. The 31 is overall the oddball. Be sure to check for cracks. I would say that more than half of the used shafts ahve cracks in them. Bob’s post is correct, but we have found some off brand shafts that look diffrent but in most cases work. Ed


    Thanks to everyone for the information.



    Here are some photos.




    The shafts are lined up even with the flange on the outside ends. The top shaft is a factory 32-33 V-12, the middle shaft is a 36-38 V-12, the bottom is a 31 aftermarket 1930’s NOS shaft. Look close as there are differences in them. Ed


    And of course you old timers know how to check if an axle is cracked (at a swap meet or somewhere where you are not close to a magnaflux unit):

    Hold the axle up by two fingers under the bearing flange, hit the spline end with a hammer, and see how long the axle rings. If a P-A size axle rings for about 30 seconds (hold your ear close, to note when the ringing completely dies out), it has no cracks. About half that time (depending where the crack is) means it has a crack.




    Any ideas as to what I have? My 1933 1247 came with an extra rear axle that the last owner found in a 1932 Pierce Arrow in a field in the 1950’s. It was wrapped in paper and burlap and grease? Like it may have come from the factory. It is ten spline with 1 1/2 inch diam. at the splines and 33 inches long. There are two bearings in place on it. Looks like the middle shaft in Ed’s photo’s Thanks Doug Vogel


    Hi Doug, I am on the road and can’t check on it for a few days. Ed

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