REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
On 6 3 / 4 inch rears, bearings should be pressed on and off the shaft with an arbor press. Unless you have access to one, it is inadvisable to attempt to perform any repair work on the axle shaft and bearing assemblies.6 3 / 4 Inch Ring Gear Axle
- Remove the wheel, tire, and brake drum.
- Remove the nuts holding the axle retainer plate to the backing plate.
- Remove the retainer and install the nuts, finger-tight, to prevent the brake backing plate from being dislodged.
- Pull out the axle shaft and bearing assembly, using a slide hammer.
If a slide hammer is not available, the axle can sometimes be pried out using prybars on opposing sides of the hub.
If end-play is found to be excessive, the bearing should be replaced. Shimming the bearing is not recommended, as this ignores end-play of the bearing itself and could result to improper seating of the bearing.
- Using a chisel, nick the bearing retainer in three or four places. The retainer does not have to be cut, merely collapsed sufficiently, to allow the bearing retainer to be slid from the shaft.
- Press off the bearing and install the new one by pressing it into position.
- Press on the new retainer.
Do not attempt to press the bearing and the retainer on at the same time.
- Assemble the shaft and bearing in the housing, being sure that the bearing is seated properly in the housing.
- Install the retainer, drum, wheel, and tire.
- Raise and safely support the rear of the vehicle on jackstands.
- Remove the wheels and tires from the brake drums.
- Place a drain pan under the housing and drain the lubricant by loosening the housing cover.
- Remove the nuts securing the brake drums to the axle shaft flanges and remove the drums.
- Remove the housing cover and gasket, if used.
- Position jackstands under the rear frame member and lower the axle housing. This is done to provice easy access to the inside of the differential.
- Working through the opening in the differential case, remove the side gear pinion shaft lockbolt and the side gear pinion shaft.
- Push the axle shafts inward and remove the C-locks from the inner end of the axle shafts. Temporarily replace the shaft and lockbolt to retain the differential gears in position.
- Remove the axle shafts with a slide hammer. Be sure the seal is not damaged by the splines on the axle shaft.
- Remove the bearing and oil seal from the housing. Both the seal and bearing can be removed with a slide hammer. Two types of bearings are used on some axles, one requiring a press fit and the other a loose fit. A loose fitting bearing does not necessarily indicate excessive wear.
- Inspect the axle shaft housing and axle shafts for burrs or other irregularities. Replace any worn or damaged parts. A light yellow color on the bearing journal of the axle shaft is normal, and does not require replacement of the axle shaft. Slight pitting and wear is also normal.
- Lightly coat the wheel bearing rollers with axle lubricant. Install the bearings in the axle housing until the bearing seats firmly against the shoulder.
- Wipe all lubricant from the oil seal bore, before installing the seal.
- Inspect the original seals for wear. If necessary, these may be replaced with new seals, which are prepacked with lubricant and do not require soaking.
- Install the oil seal.
Installation of the seal without the proper tool can cause distortion and seal leakage.
- Remove the lockbolt and pinion shaft. Carefully slide the axle shafts into place. Be careful that you do not damage the seal with the splined end of the axle shaft. Engage the splined end of the shaft with the differential side gears.
- Install the axle shaft C-locks on the inner end of the axle shafts and seat the C-locks in the counterbore of the differential side gears.
- Rotate the differential pinion gears until the differential pinion shaft can be installed. Install the differential pinion shaft lockbolt. Tighten it to 15-22 ft. lbs.
- Install the brake drum on the axle shaft flange.
- Install the wheel and tire on the brake drum and tighten the attaching nuts.
- Clean the gasket surface of the rear housing and apply a bead of silicone sealer on the gasket surface. The bead should run inside of the bolt holes. Install the cover.
- Raise the rear axle so that it is in its normal position. Add the amount of specified lubricant to bring the lubricant level to 1 1 / 4 in. below the filler hole.