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Old 04/05/12, 12:33 PM   #1
RIbronco
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Changing rear axle bearings, without a press

...anyone done this successfully?

I ran a few searches but didn't see a response specifically to this. The only part really documented, is using a grinder and chisel to remove the press on retaining ring. There isn't much information for the bearing removal or installation without a press.

Measuring the new parts, the bearing has a 0.003" larger ID than the retaining ring, so I'm hoping its not as difficult to remove / install. Also, due to the bearing's seals and grease, I'd be limited in the heat that can be applied. The retaining ring can be easily be heated to 400F or so.

My plan is to put the bearing and retaining ring in an older toaster oven, and the axle ends in a bucket of ice water (possibly the freezer [I'm single ]). This method worked well when rebuilding the D20, where the parts just slid together by hand, with no need for a hammer.

My concerns are that the press interference fit is different and the hot part / cold part method will not work. Or, I cannot heat the bearing up enough for it to properly expand, before I damage the seals or grease.

Rust is just a form of weight reduction....right?
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Old 04/05/12, 02:27 PM   #2
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Cut the old retainer and bear with a grinder or whatever you can. You can use a piece of tubing to "hammer" the new stuff on. Just make sure the tubing is the same size as the inner race. Do one at a time or mark where the old bearing is
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Old 04/05/12, 05:24 PM   #3
bad 68
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You can cut the old one off with a die grinder. once you cut half way through put a decent sized chisel in the grove and give it a few good blows with a decent sized hammer.

But really your just waisting your time becuse the new one really needs to be pressed on and the guy that presses the new one on can press the old one off first. Unless your posting this stuck beside a trail some where I would get acess to a press and do it the easy and right way.
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Old 04/05/12, 06:02 PM   #4
RIbronco
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The goal is to do the bearing and seal replacement, in my garage, without a press. I'd actually prefer not to use any impact force on the installation either.
At the moment, bringing it to a place with a press would require me to get a ride from one of my neighbors. This isn't a terrible thing, and I'm sure one of them would be happy to help me out, but I try to be self sufficient when I can.

Thanks for the tips guys, keep 'em coming!

Rust is just a form of weight reduction....right?
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Old 04/05/12, 06:05 PM   #5
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people been putting on bearings for years with out presses. in fact the maching shop i used to use pressed on most of the way and seated the last bit with a hammer. you can also use the heat metheod and heat the bearing and just drop it on.

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Old 04/05/12, 06:11 PM   #6
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Using a grinder to cut the old off works like a champ

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Old 04/05/12, 06:11 PM   #7
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Hi,
Do it once and do it right. Spend a few bucks and go the the machine shop. Do you really want to be somewhere and have the bearing fail? Then you'll have to take it all apart and do it all over again.

So you're thinking, what if it fails, big deal right?

Last year someone driving from Fab Fords to Arizona had a bearing fail and if memory serves me, on a Sunday night the axle caught on fire on the highway somewhere on the way home.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04/05/12, 06:15 PM   #8
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Get a $100 12ton Harbor Freight press. You'll find you use it ALL the time especially when your buds know you have one!

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Old 04/05/12, 06:37 PM   #9
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Wipe the axle down good and place it in the chest/upright freezer for several hours.

Turn the oven on low. Place the bearing on a cookie sheet. About 30 minutes in the oven.

Once these two steps are done, make sure you have all the pieces in place and drop the bearing in place. It wouldn't hurt to holesaw a correct size hole in a block of wood as a driving surface to seat the bearing if you need to.

I do second the opinion of the HF press, I have found lots of uses for mine.

1967 Body over 1971.5 Frame and running gear, 3.5" lift, all stock except what's not
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Old 04/05/12, 06:41 PM   #10
RIbronco
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^ Normally I would buy a press, but I'm moving, in a few weeks, and will be going from a house with a large 2 car garage, to no garage and street parking. I'm trying to get a bunch of maintenance done before the move and most of my stuff, ultimately, going into storage. I was planning on having the axle shafts chillin' while installing new parking break cables.

Rust is just a form of weight reduction....right?
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Old 04/05/12, 08:50 PM   #11
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I know Steve from AWS would press them on for you if you could get it there. I would bet if you asked him you could do it at all at his shop. You could do it at my shop but I'm a lot further away.

1972, EFI'ed 357W, C6, 208/205, ARBed D60, Shaved 14 bolt, 4:10's, stretched custom 3 link front and rear, hydroboost, 4wheel disks, 40" Creepy Crawlers on DIU 17's & 39.5" TSL's on H1's, BUILT NOT BOUGHT -My Build Thread- -My Videos-
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Old 04/05/12, 10:06 PM   #12
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i read that someone said heat the bearing, the bearing has grease packed in it correct? i can't remember so heating that may not be a good idea. just buy a press from harbor, use it and take it back. lol dirty but hey its prob only good for a few uses anyway its made in chine.

It's like giving a bunch of monkeys a hand gun and expecting good things to happen.
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Old 04/05/12, 10:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1970mule View Post
i read that someone said heat the bearing, the bearing has grease packed in it correct? i can't remember so heating that may not be a good idea. just buy a press from harbor, use it and take it back. lol dirty but hey its prob only good for a few uses anyway its made in chine.
so when it cools down pack some more in it

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Old 04/05/12, 10:27 PM   #14
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My dad took his to a shop to have it pressed on but the press wasnt tall enough, in the end the ended up pounding it on with a pipe anyways.

If women cant find you handsom they should at least find you handy!
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Old 04/06/12, 07:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapman1971 View Post
so when it cools down pack some more in it
The bearings are sealed and lubed for life, so the only way to put more grease into it would be to remove the seals or puncture them with a syringe. Either way you just signed the death warrant for that bearing.

Hot/Cold and make it happen. The grease should be good to 240 degrees F...seals probably at least 200 degrees F. I would have a piece of DOM/pipe cut and ready in case it needed some persuasion to seat fully, but what's the worst case scenario assuming you don't damage the bearing? The bearing doesn't fully seat and you need to find someone with a press?

Alternatively, I can think of a few different ways to make a press using all-thread, a collar and a couple of steel plates, but that sounds like a lot of work just to install an axle bearing.

Did you know that 95% of all statistics are made up on the spot?
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