Knuckle centering tool-Is it necessary?

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Apr 21, 2011
Batesville, Arkansas
Here's what I've got. 1967 40 series. Taking out the ball and claw front axle and swapping in a 1978ish axle housing and mini truck inners, birfs, knuckles, and disc brakes. Everything has been pieced together so obviously there was never an option to properly mark the shim packs and put things back together the way they came apart. So do I need to try to beg, borrow, or steal the uber rare centering tool or is it really a necessary step in the assembly? I have Marlin's heavy duty inner axle seals and I've read somewhere that when using this seal, things don't have to be centered perfectly.

Thanks in advance for any input.
There are some threads in the 60 forum discussing how to center the axle without the SST.
I've got one to loan.
I drink Coors Light
When I rebuilt the axle in my '78 40 using '79+ knuckles I didn't use the tool. I had no idea how to get a hold of one back then. That was at least a decade before Marlin's seals were available so I just set the preload with a liltle spring scale and then divided the shims evenly top and bottom. I have a little seepage on one side but still haven't bothered to change the seal. With locking hubs most of the time the inner axle isn't turning anyway. Maybe I just got lucky.

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