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Old 12/06/08, 10:07 AM   #1
Hurk
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Best way to clean axel housing?

I picked up a D 44 with factory 4.56 gears for my 69. The housing had sat for a long time with no axels in it. The inner tubes are full of crud and are pretty nasty . The only thing thats not removed at this time is the third member . I have all new parts for the rebuild (chromolly axels, disk brakes new hubs, bearings, etc..) What is the best way to clean the inside of the housing?
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Old 12/06/08, 10:12 AM   #2
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Yank the 3rd member out and take the housing to the car wash and give it a good blasting. If necessary use an oil/grease solvent like Citrol to cut the grease, then wash it again.
The dirt is just stuck to the grease but will come out pretty easy once it's stripped down.

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Old 12/06/08, 10:17 AM   #3
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If it has sat for long without the axles, you can't know what has crawled into it.
Best way? Pull the carrier out, swab and pressure wash. That will give you a chance to replace the the inner seals.

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Old 12/06/08, 10:20 AM   #4
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Thanks..
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Old 12/06/08, 10:24 AM   #5
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Car wash won't get it, Not enough heat.
Get a buddies steam cleaner and some mineral spirits (paint thinner) you need the steam to cut the grease and get it into suspension with the mineral spirits. That will leave it squweeky clean. Have a blast

Do a job big or small do it right or not at all. Once the job has begun, do not stop till it's done,,, Or till the wife takes the visa card away
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Old 12/06/08, 10:24 AM   #6
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Inside the tubes, long rod of all thread and a large fender washer. Use it as a rake to scrape the crud out.

You should still pull the cover and look inside. IF in doubt take it apart (keep track of everything and it's orientation, reference marks as needed), clean and reassamble. Sucks to trash $100's in parts due to lack of a few dollars and a little time preparing it.

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Old 12/06/08, 10:32 AM   #7
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I was thinking about an arb air locker would that not give me new pinion and carrier bearings too?
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Old 12/06/08, 10:34 AM   #8
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A car wash will clean it just fine. A steam cleaner will do it better.

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Old 12/06/08, 11:05 AM   #9
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My FW were a mess the car wash laughed at the crud, I like the scraper method. The key is mineral spirits w/Heat

Do a job big or small do it right or not at all. Once the job has begun, do not stop till it's done,,, Or till the wife takes the visa card away
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Old 12/06/08, 12:10 PM   #10
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I also bought a 44 in the same shape. After taking the gears and carrier out I figured I might as well change the ball joints. With no knuckles on the housing it JUST fit in my machinist's hot tank he uses for cleaning engine blocks, heads etc. A quick hand wash with soap and water when it came out and it was clean enough to eat off of.
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Old 12/06/08, 12:27 PM   #11
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Yeah this ain't brain surgery. Think of it like this: the stubborn stuff in the housing is the paraffins and asphaltine residues that came with the rear end grease and has now stuck to the metal. Think of it as wax and asphalt.
This stuff is usually (but not always) heat soluble but is more often chemical soluble.
In layman's terms this means chemicals will remove it better than heat and water. Water alone is the worst choice but with heat (hot water or steam) it will usually do some good.
The very best method would be some magic machine that sprays solvents at high pressure like a car wash, but heats it to steam cleaner temperatures. I sometimes am guilty of overcomplicating simple tasks. Anything that will cut the grease will work just dandy.
Heck, I bet you could pull a kitten through the axle tube with a rope and it would act much like swabbing your shotgun barrel with patches...

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Old 12/06/08, 12:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncobowsher View Post
Inside the tubes, long rod of all thread and a large fender washer. Use it as a rake to scrape the crud out.
x2

Alltread to the center diff, add the washer there and pull out. Then scrape back and forth.
Next step soap & hot water.

After is clean as your getting it, paint the inside with oil base paint. (Not the diff, the tubes) Think Farm implement paint.

My basic notes on Dana 44 and other Dana axles -> http://77cj.littlekeylime.com/web_rs44.html
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Old 12/06/08, 06:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyflyer View Post
I bet you could pull a kitten through the axle tube with a rope and it would act much like swabbing your shotgun barrel with patches...
Best Idea yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyflyer View Post
I bet you could pull a kitten through the axle tube with a rope and it would act much like swabbing your shotgun barrel with patches...
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Old 12/06/08, 06:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bronco Brian View Post
Best Idea yet
agreed.

second best idea:

get a 3 or 4 foot long 1/4" rod from lowes cheap metal selection. grap a 3 inch wire wheel. weld it to the end of the rod. attach to drill. punch it through the tube. get real busy and it will get real clean...
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Old 12/06/08, 11:06 PM   #15
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3rd best idea, get two kittens and do both axle tubes at once.

Hearing protection is highly encouraged for the two kitten method.
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