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987687

Axle REALLY tight going through new wheel bearing.

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So I put a new wheel bearing in the front of my 89GL.

Getting the axle through was REALLLLY tight. Like serious amazing abuse needed.

The new bearings went in pretty well, and all that. But why is the axle so amazingly tight?

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Interferance(sp?) fit, should be normal, you can hit the axle shaft with some crocus cloth to clean it up a little if you are worried, but it sounds like it's already in there.

 

If it spins nice and easy once it's bolted up I wouldn't worry.

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I've had them going in tight before. But this was ridiculous.

It's a pretty new axle too, only 2000 miles maybe. So it was nice and shiny.

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Ive had it so i had to remove the hub and pull the axle through a ways with the center nut...then bolt the hub on again and pull it the rest of the way through. Some are just tighter than others i guess. The other side went in smooth.

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I have had axles that would NOT go on. Eventually, I pulled it out to take it back, and the bearing went with it. NAPA sent it to the shop next door to be pulled off (I wanted my bearing back!) and apparently, it was tough work even with a press.

 

I ran into another that was almost as tight. It went on, but it took a lot of abuse to do it. Getting it off was near impossible, and the threads were totally mangled. I to hammer steel on steel to get it moving, any wood block would just get turned into splinters.

 

Both these axles were rebuilt ones, with new outer CV joints made by NTN.

 

In the future, I am taking an old bearing with me when I get axles, and if it doesn't slide on in the store, they can keep it. If it says NTN, they can certainly keep it.

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I had the same prob with the paint on the remans. It was just thick enough to get in the way completely.

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We've been using an eight pound slide hammer with a big castle nut welded on the end. Just screw it on the end of the axle and give it a couple good whack's. Works great.

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In the future, I am taking an old bearing with me when I get axles, and if it doesn't slide on in the store, they can keep it. If it says NTN, they can certainly keep it.

 

The bearing should NOT just slide on. The fit between a 6207 and an EA outer CV joint is called a net-zero fit. These will almost never fit without some amount of resistance.

 

NTN is the OEM manufacturer of all Subaru CV components - both past and present. They (IMO) make the best quality joint money can buy.

 

There are so many things wrong with the methods and comments in this thread by almost every poster that, in my opinion, it should simply be discarded and a proper guide written on how to replace bearings and axles. I'll make this really simple - DONT BEAT ON BEARINGS AND AXLES WITH HAMMERS! That includes slide hammers. If you would like to not be repairing this stuff again in the short term you should really leave it to the pro's that know how to treat bearings or you should learn the ins and outs of bearing fitment and how to PROPERLY deal with them.

 

GD

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GD, my thought is a rebuilder got a bad lot of CV joints from NTN, ones that were out of spec.

 

I have replaced axles that required some persuasion to get through the bearings, but when the spindle won't go far enough into the hub carrier to get the nut on to draw it through, there is something wrong. And when the same axle pulls the bearing out of the hub carrier, and it takes serious force on a press to get the bearing off, there is really something wrong. I believe Hatchsub's method is the standard one for installing an axle with the hub carrier still mounted? It is what I have used in the past, when necessary.

 

Original Subaru axles with NTN components wouldn't scare me, but a new NTN joint on a rebuilt axle is not quite the same.

 

I have used axles from the same source that had a light slide fit between bearing and spindle, like the majority of FWD cars. They go together a lot more easily, and seem to work fine. It is the boots that go first, then the joint has a short lifespan after that.

Edited by robm

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The bearing should NOT just slide on. The fit between a 6207 and an EA outer CV joint is called a net-zero fit. These will almost never fit without some amount of resistance.

 

NTN is the OEM manufacturer of all Subaru CV components - both past and present. They (IMO) make the best quality joint money can buy.

 

There are so many things wrong with the methods and comments in this thread by almost every poster that, in my opinion, it should simply be discarded and a proper guide written on how to replace bearings and axles. I'll make this really simple - DONT BEAT ON BEARINGS AND AXLES WITH HAMMERS! That includes slide hammers. If you would like to not be repairing this stuff again in the short term you should really leave it to the pro's that know how to treat bearings or you should learn the ins and outs of bearing fitment and how to PROPERLY deal with them.

 

GD

 

I didn't beat on anything with hammers, I made a series of die type things so I could use the nut to pull the axle through the bearings, but it was waaay tighter than I'd have liked.

I didn't beat on the bearings to install them either, I found out that a 2" sched 40 PVC adapter fit the outer race perfectly. They went in pretty smooth with that.

 

But in this case, how would you have put the axle through? Just used a different one? What is the proper way?

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First and foremost you have to *inspect* all your mating surfaces. Rolled edges, burrs, and gouges in the metal need to be filed down smooth.

 

The axle nut threads need to be checked - dressed properly with a thread file or die if needed.

 

I have installed hundreds of these EA axles - probably multiple of every brand and reman under the sun. I push the axle into the back of the knuckle and I get the nut started on the end - then I use two 12" pry-bars to pull it through the bearings. When I run out of purchase I thread the nut on farther. When that's not enough I put the cone washer on upside down, followed by the spring washer and then the nut - but the time I finish with that combo it's far enough through to slide on the hub and use that to finish it off. No tools are ever used that can cause an impact between races and balls.

 

I have NEVER had a fitment issue.

 

Without fail - when someone is doing this job in my shop and starts sniveling about how they can't get the axle installed - it takes me about 45 seconds to pull them through. You just have to perfect your technique.

 

GD

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That's actually exactly what I usually do. I usually take two hammers and put the claw on the nut and yank it through. Two hammers across from each other pull it through nice and evenly. I just sort of figured this out because I needed to think up a way to get it through... I think I have a picture of doing that in my rear wheel bearing thread, actually. But this one was unconditionally tight.

 

Is it acceptable to sand paper down the axle a little to clearance it better to fit through the bearings?

 

At this point I don't care so much about the axle in the car or bearings in the car now, just curious about how to treat bearings in general. I know they're more delicate than people usually make out, and you seem to know A LOT about bearings.

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Bearings are definitely a lot more delicate than people often treat them.

 

I am thankful that I worked in an industrial machinery rebuild and repair shop where bearing installation was a daily, common task. And unlike automotive applications - there was never a pre-packaged, "monkey-safe" option like loaded hubs, etc for the equipment I worked on. I was schooled by the experts and sent to classes and lectures sponsored by bearing companies like F.A.G. on such minutiae as grease compatibility and bearing failure analysis.

 

If you stick to the golden rule at all times you can't go too horribly wrong:

 

Never drop a bearing or cause impact forces to be transmitted through the rolling elements. If you do - discard it immediately. This causes spalling of the races. A bearing is not made of material which is the same hardness all the way through - the outer surfaces that contact and transmit force are very hard. But that is only a few thousandths deep. Under that is a softer material - think of window glass sitting over mud - that is a good analogy for the race surface. Now think of the balls in the bearing as a bowling ball. If you set the bowling ball on the glass (atop the mud) and hit the ball with a sledgehammer.... what do you suppose will happen? Bad things of course - the same things that happen to a bearing that's been dropped or improperly installed. The balls or rollers slam into the race surface and cause the extremely hard race to fracture like a pane of window glass. You can't see this fracture - it is not visible to the eye. But once installed the ball or roller will travel over this area and flex the cracks over and over again till peices of that cracked hard surface begin to pull away and get crushed. Now you have chunks of hard metal IN your grease - grease with hard grit in it has another name - Grinding Compound! Not to mention a pot-hole in the race that just increases in size the more load is put to the bearing. At that point you have complete failure. Allowed to continue it will chew everything to a pulp and eventually just fall to peices and cease to function.

 

There is tons of experience and education that goes into how to select grease, grease compatibility and recognition, setting adjustable preload, bearing ABEC grades, axial and radial load handling ability, monitoring operating temps, vibration analysis, assembly, dissasembly (destructive and non), custom tool making, pre-heating for interferance type fits, using a press on bearings..... and so forth.

 

You could, and many companies have, written enormous volumes on this stuff and as much as I would love to try and pass on what I have learned - I don't have the time or the neccesary memory recall to dredge it up when I'm not "in the moment" of a bearing related job in my shop to do so effectively. I would encourage anyone that wants this type of education to go to a bearing house and ask if they have any extra books laying about published by F.A.G. or possibly Timken, etc. that talk about all this in more detail.

 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder
  • Like 1

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Thanks very much for the post! I screwed up a trailer wheel bearing once by being too harsh putting the race in. I think I used the bearing to drive the race back into the hub... I figured it was all hardened metal, so how could I hurt anything. This is when I learned that bearings aren't made out of unobtanium. Needless to say, I replaced it again a few hundred miles later when it started making noises.

 

:lol:

 

What's funny?

Edited by 987687

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The bearing should NOT just slide on. The fit between a 6207 and an EA outer CV joint is called a net-zero fit. These will almost never fit without some amount of resistance.

 

NTN is the OEM manufacturer of all Subaru CV components - both past and present. They (IMO) make the best quality joint money can buy.

 

There are so many things wrong with the methods and comments in this thread by almost every poster that, in my opinion, it should simply be discarded and a proper guide written on how to replace bearings and axles. I'll make this really simple - DONT BEAT ON BEARINGS AND AXLES WITH HAMMERS! That includes slide hammers. If you would like to not be repairing this stuff again in the short term you should really leave it to the pro's that know how to treat bearings or you should learn the ins and outs of bearing fitment and how to PROPERLY deal with them.

 

GD

We concur.

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I searched and found this thread so i am resurfacing it because i am in the process of replacing the front wheel bearings and i noticed when i got the knuckle off of the lower balljoint, tie rod end, and strut i could slide the knuckle easily on the axle!

 

After taking it completely off and pressing the bearings out, i went back to the axle with my bearings just for fun and they just slid right on without any restriction! I've never seen that before, so nonetheless i am getting new bearings and a new axle tomorrow just thought that was a crazy find.

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A bearing manufacturing company with the acronym F.A.G. They professionally manufacture balls. ....Just sayin'. :popcorn:

  • Like 1

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Well i was able to replace both of the bearings and seals in the front right axle, very thankful for the bearing press my brother let me use! Turns out the axle was worn out where it goes through the bearings, so much that i thought since i've gone this far i better just replace axle. Now it's all back together and working good.

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A bearing manufacturing company with the acronym F.A.G. They professionally manufacture balls. ....Just sayin'. :popcorn:

*Crickets*

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