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Thread: Rear axle bearing Remove/Replace thread

  1. #1
    Half Throttle ditch68's Avatar
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    Rear axle bearing Remove/Replace thread

    OK, I'm about 1/2 way through this job...taking a beer break!

    So far, so good. Jacked up the car, got it on good stands and chocked it. Loosened the pumpkin cover, and let it drain....should have been more oil in there!! But it was leaking from the seal, and the cover...more on that later.

    Removed both rear wheels...not so easy. Seems the previous owner sold me the car, but neglected to give me the locking wheel lug key. No problem - took a high quality spark plug deep socket, and a big ball peen hammer...whacked the socket on and spun the lock lugs off. Didn't even damage the socket. (Security lug my ass).


    If your wheel and tire look like this...you have a bad axle seal. Ugh.

    Pulled the pumpkin cover...wait a minute...is the top half of the gasket supposed to be folded over inside the housing and NOT even contacting the top half of the cover? I didn't think so. Hmmmm....wonder why it leaked no matter how many times I retorqued the cover bolts in the last 3 weeks.



    Removed the calipers and rotors. In the differential (Zexel - Torsen), removed the threaded retainer pin, and pulled the retaining block. Pushed the passenger axle in, C-clip dropped out, fished that out.





    Here's the seal...routed out as Amber Lynn's funhole.


    Tried the same on the driver's side, but the axle wouldn't move in OR out besides some slop. I pried and wiggled, and then realized why...the bearing had cut such a groove in the axle that it was difficult to get it past said bearing. Pushed and wiggled, and heard the C-clip drop. Out comes axle #2. Axles are softer steel than bearings, being torsionally abused, and this is a normal wear pattern. There is a sleeve repair bearing kit for this, but I am not sure if my driver's side axle is too trashed for this. I may need to buy a new axle. Crap.



    While I was in there, I inspected my ring and pinion with a Surefire flashlight...well, what do you know. The owner said it had 3.23 gears, but stamped on the ring gear is "3 42" followed by a several digit part number, looks like. Could I have 3.42's? I think so! Bonus! Seemed a little snappy for 3.23's. I am not sure...anyone know how the ring gear is marked? (The Zexel is an SLP SS takeout carrier he said). Gear wear pattern looks good, nothing but soft fluff metal on the magnet - doubtless from the groove cut into the axle.



    Tomorrow, I'm off work, I will take a slide hammer to the seals and bearings, mop out the carrier tubes to get any shavings out of there, and reinstall. I also shot paint on the rotor centers and am painting the pumpkin cover while it's all apart. I would paint the calipers, but I'm too broke to buy the paint kit. Bummer.



    I'll continue tomorrow....I couldn't find a good write up on this job, so I am making one!



    I love doing this shit. Next weekend is R/R of the tranny and replacement of the clutch and slave.

    Jeff (ass deep in gear oil and Budweiser)
    Black '99 Camaro, 3800 L36, Whisper lid, cold air, 5spd, CIA headers/Borla, Zexel Torsen posi, 1LE Driveshaft, LOTS of suspension mods... ...and ANOTHER set of soon to be bald rear Kumhos.

    P


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  3. #2
    Cretaceous and aggravated lo_jack's Avatar
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    Good write up. That is exactly how it goes so far. Glad you have found it to be straightforward.
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  4. #3
    Full Throttle Extreme! hawgs's Avatar
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    Good writeup! When you get it all finished, get with Grimm and he can put it up in the FAQ section and I'll send you a free FTV6 decal.
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  5. #4
    Full Throttle Extreme! Grimm's Avatar
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    Just let me know.
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  6. #5
    Half Throttle ditch68's Avatar
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    Sweet!

    I'm off to Autozone now to get the bearings. More to follow.

    Jeff
    Black '99 Camaro, 3800 L36, Whisper lid, cold air, 5spd, CIA headers/Borla, Zexel Torsen posi, 1LE Driveshaft, LOTS of suspension mods... ...and ANOTHER set of soon to be bald rear Kumhos.

    P


  7. #6
    It goes up AND down!!!! Malice's Avatar
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    +1 for the writeup with pics.

    I'm doing this exact same job on my car on the 27th, and I was kinda in the dark about it. thanks!!!
    2010 Camaro RS/SS LS3 M6 AFe cai, GMPP catback

  8. #7
    Half Throttle ditch68's Avatar
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    OK, here's the rest.

    I got a slide hammer, actually a very complete set with all kinds of attachments for pulling various bearings, etc. That proved to be quite helpful. The old seals and bearings came out with a few good whacks. (Seals first, then bearings). Once I got that done, I mopped out the tubes with a clean rag and one of those grabber things for getting nuts and bolts you drop in odd places.



    The bearings I ended up getting are made by Timken, (part number TRP1563TAV ) and what they are, is a combination bearing and seal, so you don't need to buy the seals - I did at first, and returned them when I realized these were an all-in-one set. They have a longer body, and the rollers are offset to the outside, toward the axle flange, so the rollers ride on a fresh, undamaged surface on the axle. There is an O ring on the outer surface as well. I really should replace my axles, (and will at a later time) but this is a solution for moderate wear to the bearing surface.

    Per Merlin's advice, I popped them in the freezer as soon as I got home to shrink them somewhat and ease installation. Lube them with some gear oil, then whack them in with a chunk of 2x4 and a hammer, working around them and trying to keep everything even. They do stick out a little bit more than the stock seal, which was flush with the tube ends, but it was the same on both sides.

    Next is axle reinstall. Be sure to lube the seals, and then really goo a bunch of gear oil along the whole axle so you don't damage the seals while sliding them in. Try to keep them level, and they slip right into the splines. I did have a little difficulty getting past the new bearing rollers because of the step on the axle, but a little wiggling and a tap set them in.

    Next, back under the car, and with the axle pushed all the way in, put the C-clip back on the axle. (I had my brother help me position the axle while I did the clips and pull them out once I got the clip on - that was the only help I needed for this whole job, and really I could have done it alone - just would have been crawling out from under the car a few more times. Same with the other side. Next, reinstall the retaining block between the axles. There was a little snag here - the block would not go in between the axles. Well, I didn't want to force anything, but when we pushed the axle in and out, I could see the gear on the spline was moving with it - and this is what the block was hitting. In the end, the solution was to attach the slide hammer to the driver's side axle lug bolts, and one little tap seated the gear back, and the block slipped right in.



    Next, reinstall the pin, and back on with the cover - I got the gasket right this time. Note that 2 of the bolts are longer than the rest, be sure they go with the 2 brake line hangers. Fill the pumpkin with gear oil until it runs out the filler hole, and screw in the plug.



    Next, I cleaned the rotors with acetone, and mounted them (they were not worn, and the pads looked good). Put the calipers back on, and then the wheels.



    All done! Time for a test ride. I immediately noticed how QUIET it was!! I didn't realize how bad the noise was until it was gone.

    Checked for leaks after I got back, and all is good to go.

    All in all not a bad job at all, and a much better alternative to paying someone 45+ bucks an hour to do it. I highly recommend either renting or buying a slide hammer. Other than that, no real specialty tools were needed.

    Jeff
    Black '99 Camaro, 3800 L36, Whisper lid, cold air, 5spd, CIA headers/Borla, Zexel Torsen posi, 1LE Driveshaft, LOTS of suspension mods... ...and ANOTHER set of soon to be bald rear Kumhos.

    P


  9. #8
    Half Throttle ditch68's Avatar
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    Ok, updated with pics!

    Jeff
    Black '99 Camaro, 3800 L36, Whisper lid, cold air, 5spd, CIA headers/Borla, Zexel Torsen posi, 1LE Driveshaft, LOTS of suspension mods... ...and ANOTHER set of soon to be bald rear Kumhos.

    P


  10. #9
    (V) (;,,; (V) Sandman's Avatar
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    Sweet, I'll be doing this soon also. My bearings are starting to go bad on both sides. I might be doing this with Malice on the 27th. What were the parts that you needed and about how much did you spend just on parts so I can budget it out for me? New c-clips?
    Justin
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  11. #10
    Half Throttle ditch68's Avatar
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    I spent 24.00 each for the bearings, and that's it - I reused the old C-clips. They looked OK to me. I already had gear oil (by the gallon - I used to have a 1952 Dodge M37 military Power Wagon, I used lots of gear oil for that, and had some left over.)

    My gasket was also in good shape, but that's like 5 bucks.

    If your axles are not worn, the bearing/seal set is about 10 bucks cheaper.

    So, I have about 50 bucks in the job...not bad.
    Black '99 Camaro, 3800 L36, Whisper lid, cold air, 5spd, CIA headers/Borla, Zexel Torsen posi, 1LE Driveshaft, LOTS of suspension mods... ...and ANOTHER set of soon to be bald rear Kumhos.

    P


  12. #11
    Half Throttle
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    how many miles on ur car? how come one axle wore so much more than the other? and how can an axle be that wore down and still work? i dont understand with that much play in it why the bearing didnt come apart
    95 3.4 A4 Camaro

  13. #12
    Half Throttle ditch68's Avatar
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    165,000 miles.

    I don't know either - who knows why one got worse than the other. The bearing actually looked good! They are roller bearings, and the rollers themselves are very hard steel, much more hard than the axles themselves. Where they wear is the roller's contact with the race, allowing the rollers to spin less than perfetly straight in the race, and drive load and so on puts uneven pressure on the axle.

    In this case, I think what happened was once the play got excessive, the seal on that side was really stretched out from the wobbling axle, and loss of lubrication compounded the wear.

    That one axle is junk, I will be replacing it next week.

    Jeff
    Black '99 Camaro, 3800 L36, Whisper lid, cold air, 5spd, CIA headers/Borla, Zexel Torsen posi, 1LE Driveshaft, LOTS of suspension mods... ...and ANOTHER set of soon to be bald rear Kumhos.

    P


  14. #13
    Half Throttle
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    i have 248k on mine, im scared to think what mine look like
    95 3.4 A4 Camaro

  15. #14
    Buzzsaw from Hell! LNorton's Avatar
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    Just so you know, that is a 3.23 ring and pinion. The way it reads is 13-42, which means there are 13 teeth on the pinion and 42 on the ring gear. 42 divided by 13 = 3.23.
    Lee

  16. #15
    Half Throttle ditch68's Avatar
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    Damn - that's why I asked if anyone knows how they are marked. Question answered... I personally did not know.

    I think thats a reasonable coincidence.!

    Bummer...I thought I scored.

    Thanks!

    Jeff
    Black '99 Camaro, 3800 L36, Whisper lid, cold air, 5spd, CIA headers/Borla, Zexel Torsen posi, 1LE Driveshaft, LOTS of suspension mods... ...and ANOTHER set of soon to be bald rear Kumhos.

    P


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