Compare the failure to any added information in
the service manual and your knowledge of the
Determine the cause of the part failure. This
helps in assuring that the problems do NOT
Perform all repairs following the manufacturers
recommendations and specifications.
When an axle bearing is faulty, it must be removed
from the axle or housing carefully and a new one
installed. Depending on the type of axle configuration
determines how the bearing is to be removed and
replaced. Always refer to the manufacturer's service
manual for instructions for the removal and
installation of the bearing.
The procedures we will discuss are for a
semifloating axle with the bearing and collar pressed
on. With the axle removed from the vehicle, proceed as
Procedures for axle removal may be found
in the service manual for the applicable
1. Carefully cut off the collar with a grinder and a
2. With the collar off, place the axle in a
hydraulic press. The driving tool should be
positioned so that it contacts the inner bearing
race. Use the press to push the axle through the
3. To install the new bearing, slide the bearing onto
the axle. Make sure that the bearing is facing the
right direction. Some bearings have a chamfered
edge on the inner bearing race, which must face
the axle flange.
4. Applying force on the inner bearing race, press
the bearing into place by pressing the axle back
through the bearing. Then press the collar or
retaining ring onto the axle.
Wear eye and face protection when
grinding or chiseling the collar from the axle.
Small metal particles may fly into your eyes
causing eye damage.
NEVER press on the outer race; bearing
damage or explosion will result.
Wear face and eye protection when
pressing a bearing on or off the axle shaft. The
tremendous pressure used can cause the
bearing to shatter and fly into your face with
Do NOT attempt to press the bearing and
collar on at the same time. Bearing and collar
damage can result.
Axle Seal Service
Rear axle lubricant leaks can occur at numerous
spots, such as the pinion gear seal, carrier or inspection
cover gaskets, and at the two axle seals. The leak will
show up as a darkened, oily, dirty area below the pinion
gear, carrier, or on the inside of the wheel and brake
Always make sure that a possible axle seal leak is
not a brake fluid leak. Touch and smell the wet area to
determine the type of leak.
Anytime the axle is removed for service, it is wise
to install a new axle seal. This action ensures that the
seal between the axle and axle seal is tight. The axle
seal is normally force-fitted in the end of the axle
To remove a housing mounted seal, use a slide
hammer puller equipped with a hooknose. Place the
hook on the metal part of the seal. With an outward jerk
on the puller slide, pop out the seal. If a slide hammer
puller is not available, a large screwdriver will also
Do NOT use a cutting torch to remove the
collar and bearing. The heat will weaken and
damage the axle.
Be careful not to scratch the bearing bore
in the axle housing.