Bob's Resource Website (2007)

Rear Axle Bearing Maintenance

///////When I have the axle out for 'spring cleaning' and new bushings, is it a tricky chore to remove the bearings for inspection?Thanks! (TomNoller SDC Forum Nov 07)/////////
      I believe 1956 was the last year that Dana put those plugged holes in the rear of the axle housing to insert a zerk to grease the rear wheel bearings. I think too many people OVERDID IT, getting grease into the brakes! They also removed the drain plug in the bottom of the Diff. case, more likely both were co$t savings! It is easy to remove the bearing race from the axle housing, after removing the backing plate, just put the drum on with the nut and give it a "bump" and it's apart! You can check the bearing for wear, replace the inner seals and throughly pack the bearings with wheel bearing grease. In our wet climate you might want to use the blue, water resistant boat trailer grease! (Studerich / SDC forum - Nov 07)
Well, I finally got a round tuit and began the rear brake disassembly, down to the backing plates off. Right side done, then over to the driver's side and in popping the drum off, the left axle literally jumped out of it's housing, spitting the race on the floor. Dang, that was easy! No slide hammer needed on that side...which is fine, cuz I don't have one. My next question is, that bearing looks like friction holds it in place. I don't see a snap ring. How should I gently nudge it off to repack? Or should I replace it? ('63 Daytona 6) Is that seal still available? Thanks! (TomNoller / SDC Forum - Nov 07)
      You can't gently nudge the bearing off, it is pressed on. You pack the bearing with it on the axle. Visually check the bearing and race for wear and pitting, than just work grease into the bearing with your fingers.It is a little teadeous howeverGrease seals are readily available from Stude vendors. (41Frank / SDC Forum - Nov 07)
      I take a piece of brass, stand axle up and drive on inner race. They come off pretty easy. Usually takes a couple of hits. You can, just leave it on and clean it up. I would clean cup and cone and visually look for pits or rough spots. If none, soak with oil, put cup against cone, apply pressure while turning and feel for roughness. Should be smooth. (Leyrret / SDC Forum - Nov 07)
      ....on that loose (maybe) race that popped out too easy ....maybe it did. It's possible that someone "spun" a bearing/race at one point in the R/A life and the race will not "set" in the axle tube. You could see spiral grooves in the outer edges of the tube end maybe not. You should need to tap the race into the tube end with a soft hammer or hammer/woodblock combo with some effort. If you can rotate the race in the've got a challenge ahead of you. Best bet is to replace the R/A if nearby and cheap......You could try to "swage" the tube end with a point punch, but chances are it won't hold...I've heard of putting a shim sliver around the race but never heard of outcome.....if on the other hand your race (maybe a new one) requires some tapping to set it into the tube end...forget this...GL ( JackB / SDC forum - Nov 07)
I ordered a set of two bearings and races from my local NAPA and seals too. After 45 years and torn down this far, why not replace 'em with fresh. Got that marine grease Rich recommends and when the stuff comes in, I'll have my machine shop guy press the new ones in. Then I'm going to attend to a neglected axle on my '60 Lark and do the same. I sure appreciate everyone's advice, as I'd never have tackled such a job without it! (TomNoller / SDC Forum - Nov 07)