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Replacing front half-shafts ... puller a must to protect bearings?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 FlyB0y

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 02:46 PM

I am asking this because I want everyone's oppinions/experiances. It seems that just tapping out the axle shaft from the hub assembly is going to be hard on the bearings, just as tapping a the shaft back through when re-assembling them. If it will make that much differance in the life of a bearing, I will get the special tools to do it better ... if it will make that much differance in the life of the bearing.

#2 edrach

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 02:58 PM

I was lucky enough to find a puller on ebay a few years ago and that's made life easier when replacing an EA81 or EA82 front axle. I've always removed the axle by pounding them out carefully with a sledge hammer. Before I had the puller, I used to pry the axle back in with a collection of large washers and two large screw drivers. Never damaged a wheel bearing that I know of on my Brat which has seen over 6 axles in the 5 years that I've owned it (I've been using used axles for the most part). I do use a lubricant on the axle stub; that does the outer bearing, but not the inner one. In either case, I've never had to replace front bearings on my Brat or any of the two wagons we've owned or my son's '82 Brat. I haven't kept count but I've replaced in excess of two dozen axles over the years on multiple cars.

I am asking this because I want everyone's oppinions/experiances. It seems that just tapping out the axle shaft from the hub assembly is going to be hard on the bearings, just as tapping a the shaft back through when re-assembling them. If it will make that much differance in the life of a bearing, I will get the special tools to do it better ... if it will make that much differance in the life of the bearing.



#3 ballitch

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 03:50 PM

just dont hit it REALLY hard, use a brass hammer or a deadblow hammer. i used a stack of washers with the axlenut and a air impact gun to get my axle back in, worked fine. i suppose you could rent or buy a puller, and use the axlenut with the puller to pull your axle back through the bearings.


~Josh~

#4 zyewdall

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 04:11 PM

I've found them pretty easy to get in and out. I use a 2x4 on the end of the axle, then hit that with the sledge to get it out. To get it in, I stuff it in as far as it will go, which is usually enough to get an axle nut on there and draw it the rest of the way through. I grease up the stub before trying to install it.

#5 BobBrumby

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 03:53 AM

I used a piece of wood that was split at one end and hit it out with a hammer. I used cause it was the first thing I layed my hands on that fit. But I found that as I hit it took some of the force of the blow of the hammer as the wood crumpled. Just pulled it back in with the axle nut. Bearings are fine now and ill do the same thing next time I change an axle.

#6 Mr. Carb

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:18 AM

To get the axle out, I just put the center nut on backwords, but not all the way, just most of the way, then take a claw hammer to it and tap it out. Knocks it out with ease. When putting the new one in, I greese up the bearings and the shaft, and it pretty much slides right in. Sometimes it'll hang on the outer bearing, then it just takes some severe negotionation to get it all the way through, Usally when I get it far enough out to thread the center nut on, I'll just use a breaker bar to pull it through by tightening the center nut. I've only lost one wheel bearing in a cv axle replacement, and that was due to the center nut threads on the axle being cross threaded (used axle) and the metal shavings from the cone washer got into the bearings and screwed them over.

#7 torxxx

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 01:19 PM

you guys use hammers to take the axle out??!?!?! OMG.... just kiddin

I use a big roll pin punch in that indent in the end of the axle. Even with REALLY bad wheel bearings, I never really had to pound one out to the point that it would screw up a bearing. Hell I go through bearings every year anyways. Damn Copper River Delta Silt chews up the dust seals.

#8 Snowman

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:04 PM

The best trick I've found for getting the axle back through is a piece of aluminum pipe the same size as the inner bearing race. Hold the pipe against the bearing and beat on it with a hammer, and it will drive the hub assembly over the axle in no time, without putting any stress on the wheel bearings. Whatever you do, NEVER pound on the hub assembly or the outer bearing race, as that will put a massive shock load on the bearings, possibly damaging them and shortening their life.For removal, I generally give the axle a nice whack with a deadblow hammer.




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