Stuck birfield / oil seal questions (1 Viewer)

OhioFJ

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I did.. I can’t detect any problem in the axle. It seems straight by looking down it and rolling it on the garage floor.

I was able to place the axle in the diff outside of the axle housing without much difficulty. My next step is to clean the axle housing and place the back in to see if it’s a bent housing, but Im skeptical that that’s the issue.
 

Blue77FJ40

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If you look closely, you can see every spline has a circular bit of wear on the outboard side, about 1/4" or so from the outboard end (the part that goes into the carrier last), and some of the splines have ridges along their peaks. This could have been enough to hold the inner axle in the carrier's splines. I'd clean out the carrier splines well, and see if there is similar wear there.

I know a small bit of spline damage can hold things up, as I was test fitting my bell for clearance on the birf and the blasted birf wouldn't go on. The inner axle was already in place and I was trying to fit the birf on to it. Turned out, I was damaging the spline ends of the inner axle and had to file away a good bit until the splines went into the birf easily. There's an elocker i the front, so I don't need to use inner snap ring to connect the axle to the birf. I was trying to (unsuccessfully) save the Marlin seal, but wound up replacing it.
 

OhioFJ

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@Blue77FJ40 that’s very observant of you.
I’m going to test mount the diff again and see if things are still problematic.

I can’t see any significant deformation of the axle housing itself
 
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I'd look for spline wear/damage on the inner (female) splines of the carrier side gear, particularly on the outboard parts (ie where the worn/damaged splines of the shaft identified by blue77 would ride). I assume the damage on the gear splines would be the primary culprit since damage on the outboard end axle splines would be free of the gear splines once the axle is pulled outboard much at all. Maybe that's why you were able to pull axle out another inch or so once you removed axle seal - ie that gave you enough wiggle room to free the bind from axle shaft spline damage, but still needed slide hammer to be able to pull it free of bind from gear spline damage on undamaged end of the most inboard axle splines?
 

OhioFJ

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around this one. I was convinced that the axle housing is bent, now I'm not so sure that is the primary issue. It's the long side that's giving me a problem.

I took the entire front end apart. Outside of the housing, I can slide the axle into the side gear without a problem. The splines are ok. The only thing I see that might be abnormal is some play in the side gear; not sure if this is a normal amount of motion or not. Doesn't seem like enough play to cause an issue. Pictures attached.

With the diff in the housing, the axle binds badly against the front of the housing where the oil seal lives. If I wiggle and murmur a prayer I can get it to seat fully and centrally, but it's really fussy. I have to push the axle lightly to get it to sit centrally. I have a new housing coming, maybe that will magically solve this. Any thoughts?

IMG_5719.jpeg
IMG_5720.jpeg
IMG_5717.jpeg
 
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pb4ugo

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Pull the center pin, spiders and side gears. Physically inspect and check the spline fit on the gear and inner axle while loose. Check how the gear fits in the carrier. Check both sides and compare.
 

3_puppies

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looking from across the length of the housing from one side to the other is the long side visually bent rearward?
or with the diff out using a straight edge across the diff mounting flange is there anything obvious?
 

reddingcruiser

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Gee, if you only had an axle alignment bar ;) .

Easy enough to make a simple one if you have access to a lathe, but here's a simpler way to check the alignment based on the pics you provided. You need to be sure: whatever spacers you use are the same height, the straight edge is true, you lay out everything accurately along the centerline of the axle and make your measurements from the same relative position on the bell on each side. The 'A' and 'B' measurements should be almost the same. In your case, if 'B' is less than 'A'
your axle housing is bent.

Axle alignment.jpg
 

OhioFJ

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@reddingcruiser thank you kindly for the diagram.

Indeed its a bent housing. I received the new housing today, put in the diff and the axle slid in no problem. I'm going to take my old housing to a place tomorrow to hopefully see if they can straighten it as it's in better condition overall. If not I'll start sprucing up the new one.

The bend is subtle, hard to detect by eye. The new housing in on the left:

IMG_5726.jpeg


Putting a straightedge on the old housing I can see daylight between the edge and diff interface:
IMG_5729.jpeg


old:
IMG_5730.jpeg


New one is considerably better in this regard:
IMG_5728.jpeg


Interesting how such a subtle bend caused such downstream problems. Thanks again to everyone who has taken a look. Much appreciated.

ari
 
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3_puppies

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WOW, it looks like it is bent from the Ubolts out, that was a very hard hit to bend like that. most likely it tore the ubolts and could have bent the leaf spring.
it was put back together at some point in it's life.
any signs of damage or repair to the frame?
 

OhioFJ

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No frame damage that I have found. Springs look ok but they are aftermarket. Might have been changed after this happened.

1F863FAC-88B7-4AD4-AFCA-2CD55C99EC20.jpeg
 

pjohnson

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Take measurements of your spring and shackle hangers and inspect for non factory welds. Its possible it was a perfect hit to bend the housing a little. I would bet they never disassembled it to find out it was bent.
 

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