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Front Axle F-Up! Emergency Help Needed!

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Scamper, Aug 23, 2003.

  1. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Okay, I'm cusing along doing my front axle this morning, and have it all apart and cleaned up. Go to put in the upper knuckle bearing race, and lo and behold, I've seated it fully UPSIDE DOWN. The two little half-moon indents used to drift the old one out are quite flush with the race surface, so I can't just push it out again.

    I've thouht of using a dremmel to increase the depth of the half-moon's slightly, but I don't want to do anything that's going to ruin the axle.

    Any thoughts? Am I the only moron ever to have done this? :'(
     
  2. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Tom,

    I have a front axle housing in my carport. I'll go look at it now and ponder.......I'll be back
     
  3. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Tom,
    This is probably of little help but here goes - If you have a piece of hardwood (like oak) you can use it to pound on the surface of the race to get it out without damage. Next up would be a brass drift. If you can get some dry ice or regular ice (not nearly as good) to pack the race for awhile first it would help. As a last resort which will ruin the race but get it out is to heat the race half way around to red hot with an acetylene torch then douse the race with water. You can then just lift it out but it will be ruined. Without seeing the situation it is tough.
    Bill
     
  4. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Tom,

    It looks like you could do what you are thinking without ruining the housing. If you choose that tack take no more material than absoluetely necessary. Do you have factory diff locks? The reason I ask is if you can't get it out and you do not have locks, the housing I have is a non-lock and I could send it to you in a worst case. I don't think it'll come to that but It's there if we need to do it.

    I think a better angle would be to get a small 2 jaw puller with reverseable jaws and some way to get a small slide hammer on it. What I am thinking is this:

    Wedge the outward facing jaws into the race and use the slide hammer to "knock it out", upward like a dent puller. The taper of the race will keep the puller from coming out. You are going to ruin the race no matter what you attempt so don't waste you energy trying to.

    OK, don't ANYBODY ELSE read this part. You are probably not going to find a dealer today that is open and has another bearing (unless you drive out here) ;) . Go to Checker or Napa or Carquest and ask for a CR BR30304 or BR30304 possible upc#8531104046 You will get a CR (chicago rawhide) or SKF bearing most likely. Not my first choice but any port in a storm. Don't be surprised if it costs more than the oem one.

    Here is a crappy drawing......
     
  5. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Bill,

    Thanks for the suggestions. I've got plenty of oak and other hardwoods...I live in the woods (which seems to be where my mind was when I pounded that race in to begin with :mad:). I take it you mean to cut the wood to the size/shape to fit into the race, but not to go thru it, so that it can be used to push it out?

    I tried to use a brass drift, but as I said, the small cut-outs that were intended for this operation are now flush with the edge of the race, so there's no purchase there. And beging a good dobee, I made sure the race was fully seated.

    I don't have oxy/acet so that's not an option, though I'd not want to do that unless it was the only way out.

    I guess I could try the ice and wood combo. Beats staring at it in disbelief.

    Tom :'(
     
  6. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Dan,

    I've got such a puller and may try that. I may do the dremmel thing first--it wouldn't take more than 0.5mm of extra room to get it out.

    Dman...just can't believe I did that.

    Tom
     
  7. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Tom,
    Just another thought. If you are replacing the bearing anyway, can you get the old bearing in from underneath? Then you could pound on the old bearing with a drift or punch and use it to drive out the race. Another variation of C-Dan's idea is to take something like a long 1/2" bolt with heavy flat washer, put it through an upside socket that is larger than the race, put the threaded end through the race, and put a heavy washer on that hits inside the race and nut. This would make a puller by just cranking the bolt down. I'm assuming you can get to the other side of the race. Just trying to help.
    Bill
     
  8. Rogue

    Rogue

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    Instead of using the dremel on the axle, can you dremel out little notches into the race and push it out from there?

    I know that the race is made of some pretty dang tough stuff, but this seems like an easier thing to do to me without possibly mesing up the axle like you said.

    ???
     
  9. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Bill/Dan,

    I ran into a snag as soon as I tried the ideas discussed: problem is that the lip that holds the race in is just about the same size (if not the exact same size) as the narrow inner diameter of the race...so chunk 'o wood and washers have no way to get in there in the first place.

    But...the good news is that I went ahead with the dremmel and took a bit more metal out of the half-moon. Just enought to get a lip on the race and I was able to drift it out. didn't take too much off, so I don't think it should do any harm. Bad news is that I buggered up the race when the tool went a bit helter-skelter on me as I lifted it out...so I'll need a new race now. That's still a whole lot better than a new axle!

    Thanks guys,

    Tom
     
  10. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Rogue,

    I actually tried what I think you're suggesting before I worked on the inside of the knuckle. I made a couple of "slots" on the outside of the race where it sticks above the knuckle using a very small cutoff wheel. Wrecked the race, but I wasn't worried about that at this point. Tried to pry up on those, but no luck--just not enough to grab onto with a round knuckle next to it.. Really stuck in there good. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Tom
     
  11. Rogue

    Rogue

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    I'm glad you got it out anyways. When I did the front axle overhaul it took me a week and a half and a new knuckle, but that is another story... :D
     
  12. MTNRAT

    MTNRAT SILVER Star

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    Thats what I like about this place. Real time advice help and encouragement.
    Sean.
     
  13. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    I really like Bill's last idea with the socket, bolt, and washer. Thats some innovative thinking.
    Having just finished my first FARB, I appreciate the situation that your in, and I hope you don't have to work till 3 in the morning to finish like i did!
    Good luck!
     
  14. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    I have to agree.

    The socket idea beats the puller all to heck.

    Tom I don't know if you will be able to get just a race.
     
  15. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Well, I got the DS all done. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and help. Sean is absolutely right about this board--can't beat the aid an comfort factor here, as well as the clever people. This was the first place I thought to come for help when I discovered my "mistake". In fairness, it was my sharp-eyed son who (following in the tradition of our family) was quick to point out my error :D.

    I'll do the PS tomorrow--just to tired now to continue; time for a cold one or two...and I'll have time to work out the missing race issue. Took about 5 hours to do the DS, including the mistake, so that's not too bad for a first timer I think. The PS should go much quicker now that I'm enlightened.

    Thanks again guys,

    Tom
     
  16. landandsea

    landandsea

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    [quote author=Photoman link=board=2;threadid=4561;start=msg34422#msg34422 date=1061657785]
    get some dry ice or regular ice (not nearly as good) to pack the race for awhile first it would help. As a last resort which will ruin the race but get it out is to heat the race half way around to red hot with an acetylene torch then douse the race with water.
    [/quote]

    Bill, it sounds like you speak from experience. Are there any good stories from the learning curve?

    Ed
     
  17. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Ed,

    Bill has been around heavy equipment since Christ was a corporal. He probably wouldn't know where to start ::) .
     
  18. Scamper

    Scamper

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    Got a Timken for $35; better than bad bearing I suppose. Hope toi see it go another 95K (I'll settle for 60-80K).

    Well, no good deed goes unpunished, so I set out to do the PS this moring. Didn't take long until I got to taking off the 6 bolts on the back of the knuckle and broke one off--frozen solid.

    Tried drilling it out and using extractors, tried heat, you name it, not moving...no luck. So I just drilled it out and tapped a new bolt for it. Not ideal but functional. I was surprised since all the other bolts were easily removed--just this one was a problem.

    Anyway, rest of the job went without event, and the truck is back on the road. Drained and replaced the front diff fluid while I was mucking around up there--I imagine most guys do this too, though I've not seen any mention of it.

    I've used synthetic grease and diff fluid all around, so I'm hoping to stave off future wear and tear. I'll probably replace the rear diff fluid in the next few weeks.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Tom
     
  19. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    And they say the dealer is ALWAYS HIGHER ::)


    Tom, I'm glad you are back togther. the Timkin will be just fine. Was it one of the wiper bolts that broke? They are not very tough and it may have been over-tightened during original assembly.

    Dan.
     
  20. Scamper

    Scamper

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    I think the dealers ARE always higher...unless you're a smart shopper of course :D.

    Yes, the one that broke off was one of the wipers. I don't think it had been overtightened--it was pretty well seized up in there. I spent about an hour trying to get it out, and even when I had it all out but the remaining threads (having drilled it out), I just couldn't pry them loose. So I drilled up a hair and tapped anew.

    But I'll tell you what WAS overtightened--one of the four studs on the bottom of the knuckle that holds in the knuckle bearing (the ones with the large cone washers). After getting that off, I could see where the stud threads were somewhat warn, as if it had been overtighted. It would have had to been during original assembly in Japan since this has never been taken apart before. I wondered if the Japanese also had bad days on Mondays... :p I was able to retorque it properly, but I may replace that stud next time around just to be safe.

    Tom