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How To: Replacing Rear Axle Wheel Bearings

Discussion in 'Transmissions & Transfer Cases' started by gavin, May 3, 2008.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. anotherjoe

    anotherjoe New Member

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    Small o-rings by c-clip. Are they necessary?

    While reinstalling the c-clips onto the end of the axle I accidentally cut the small o-ring. Is the only purpose of this o-ring to keep a slight amount of pressure on the c-clip? Is it safe to run without it?

    Is it anything special? Or could I just use one that's close to it in size? I wasn't sure if it was made out of anything special....like some sort of rubber that doesn't swell in gear lube or something.

    I couldn't even find them in any parts diagrams. No luck at fordparts.com either.
     
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  3. gavin

    gavin Elite Explorer

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    honestly, I don't know what you're talking about :p:

    there were no o-rings of any sort on any of my axle shafts
     
  4. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Mine did have the "O" rings in the clip groove also. I "think" they are there just as a preventative to the clip falling off if one of the axles is rotated during assembly. Like you stated, the ring adds a bit of friction to the clip.

    I do not think it is needed provided you are certain the clip slides in and the cross pin is inserted

    If the cross pin does fail, without the o ring the clip may just fall off resulting in a huge lollipop on the side of the road. Beware of this.
     
  5. my pos mounty

    my pos mounty Well-Known Member

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    Hate to disagree with you gavin, but yes you do. They all do. They keep just a little pressure on the C clip inside the diff. Its in the groove that the C clip sits in.
    To the OP: I would just get a new O-ring that fits the axle shaft. Just make sure its not too thin.

    Its in the pic below, kinda orange looking:


    EDIT: I had trouble with posting pics using my other browser. I have removed this pic and reposted it in Post #109.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  6. gavin

    gavin Elite Explorer

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    [​IMG]

    see any o-rings there? ;)

    I can even double-check both sets of OEM shafts I have sitting in my garage,
    but I never saw nor dealt with any rubber o-rings on either OEM set I pulled from the housing, nor on my replacement Yukon shafts ;)

    and FYI, your pic doesn't appear to showup :p:
    not even the red x so I don't think it's my work's web filtering
     
  7. Scott B.

    Scott B. Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you need them.

    I just bought some for the axle I rebuilt - IIRC, they are size 67 (I will check once I get home.)
     
  8. Maniak

    Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The 8.8 in our '92 X and in that 88 f-150 that we had apart recently did not have any kind of o-ring on them..

    I wonder if that was something added in later years to help get rid of any "slop" in the axle (in/out)

    ~Mark
     
  9. Scott B.

    Scott B. Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the o-rings got chewed up somewhere along the way...
     
  10. my pos mounty

    my pos mounty Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I do see it. I circled it in red for you.
    They have been on both sets of Explorer/Mountaineer axles I have used and all the chevy axles I have done over the years (yeah, I am a reformed Chevy guy).
    First your pic that I shrank and circled the o-ring:
    http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=294&pictureid=3520
    Then my pic from before. I am having trouble posting pics using "google chrome" as my browser. I am doing this in IE 7 so I hope this works.
    http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=286&pictureid=3125
    Mods and anyone else that cares: I am deleting the pic in the previous post.

    EDIT: I am really having a heck of a time posting pics, so I will just post the darn link. That should work.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  11. gavin

    gavin Elite Explorer

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    still no pics :p:

    took a look at the spare set on my garage floor; sure enough, there is a o-ring. I just couldn't see it since it's essentially the same color as the shaft and blends right in.
    Had to get a flat-head screwdriver to "pry" in the slot to feel and see it.

    Never woulda thought it had one, since when I was pulling my shafts, the c-clip literally fell out of the slot.
     
  12. Maniak

    Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    This weekend we will pull the axles out of that 1991. I'll make sure to look.

    It just occurred to me that both the 88 f-150 and the '92 X had someone else in them before me.

    ~Mark
     
  13. anotherjoe

    anotherjoe New Member

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    Thanks for all the input!

    I picked up a set of the o-rings from Ford. The Ford P/N is: E9AZ4A332A, the description is "Axle Shaft Seal". The only place I could find them on Ford's site was under the "Buyer's Guide" section. $2.87 a piece.
     
  14. tweety

    tweety New Member

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    Love this thread!

    Hey guys, just completed this job this weekend. Only took me 7 hours or so...but then again had to replace all brake pads, parking brake shoes and hardware and occasionally take breaks to log in here to check torque specs etc...
    My lock bolt came out in one piece (I was dreading removing this) Hardest part for me was removing the filler plug (which I did prior to anything else) The 3/8 extension did not want to go all the way in, and I was afraid of somehow stripping it...but after 45 mins or so of trying to get the extension to bottom out in the plug... I just gave it a turn and hoped for the best. It turned easily...also since my ABS light was on I decided to replace the differential sensor..(however that didnt fix anything) Love this write-up and big props to the creator and also "my pos mounty" for additional help and photos.
     
  15. EricM9104

    EricM9104 Member

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    Don't know if this was mentioned or not, but remove your spare tire too! Gives ya a little more room to work.
    Now to finish doing my wheel bearings tomorrow, lol.
    Had the carrier pin bolt start to round off... Took a torch to it and it's off now. Getting replaced with a new one for sure.
     
  16. sarahsdaddy

    sarahsdaddy New Member

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    Okay, I'm thinking I have multiple problems. When I bought my 2000 Ex six months ago (fortunately got it cheap) it had a bit of a thumping/throbbing sound coming from what I'm sure is the front end. The previous owner said it preceded the new tires and his mechanic couldn't find the problem, and when I rotated the tires the sound didn't move. Both front tires are solid in the various movement tests though I've read the bearings could still be bad. The sound doesn't change when steering one way or the other. I see the procedure to replace isn't too bad but hate to replace the wrong one.

    I've also had what I thought was a lot of tire noise from the no-name tires he put on it shortly before I bought it. So many threads here say that apparent tire noise is actually likely bearings. I thought it was all-around but now it seems it is more (or all) the rear area. When I was replacing the shocks I realized the left rear tire can move in and out a bit, and the right rear may have a smidgen of in/out movement - tough to tell. I've heard testing for up and down and side to side movement, but in and out? Can I assume the rear bearings are bad? I'd do them both at the same time even if just one. The pity is I changed the rear dif fluid with Amsoil shortly after purchase and will need to dump it.

    Lastly, I'm a little confused on the warnings early in the thread. It says after removing that bolt not to spin the axles. But don't the axles get moved in and out during the bearing replacement? Are the axles something different than the shafts? Isn't it highly likely they are going to rotate at least a little? What am I missing here?
     
  17. my pos mounty

    my pos mounty Well-Known Member

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    Can't really be sure about what is going on in the front, other than to say that you should try to isolate which side is making the noise and replace that side wheelbearing/hub.

    In/out movement of the axle shafts in the rear housing is very common and is usually nothing to be concerned about. The axle shafts are held in place by the circlips. To get the circlip off you need to remove the cross-pin as the cross-pin keeps the shafts from sliding in enough to have the circlip fall off. The circlip-to-sidegear clearance is not all that tight, resulting in the in/out movement you have. This movement does not point to bad axle bearings.
    If you detect up/down movement in the axle, then that most certainly does point to bad axle bearings.
    (NOTE: you can see the circlip on the end of the axle shaft in the pics in post numbers 105, 109 AND 110. Its just outwards of the orange o-ring)

    The warning not to spin the the axle shaft is a little on the cautious side. You can spin the axle and move the carrier at the same time if you are careful about it and keep an eye on your spider gears. If you don't watch what you are doing, you could spin the spider gears out of the carrier.
    The key is to be aware of this and turn the axles accordingly.
    If you end up spinning the spider gears out of the carrier, I would suggest getting a new set of them and replacing them. They wear in a certain pattern and if they have fallen out and were not put back in exactly the same orientation, they will wear quickly.
    (NOTE: The pics in posts 105, 109 AND 110 show an s-spring, but that will only be in the Limited slip differential and will not be present in an open differentail.)
     
  18. alty79

    alty79 New Member

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    Would this procedure be the same for a 2001 explorer sport?
     
  19. gavin

    gavin Elite Explorer

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    yup, sure is.

    the process is pretty much the same with any semi-float solid rear axle :biggthump
     
  20. alty79

    alty79 New Member

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    thanks man, had a whining noise coming from the rear of mine and saw the right rear was leaking a little bit of gear oil. not enough to mark the ground but enough to have dirt stick to the backing plate behind the rotor. so a quick and inexpensive change of the seal and bearing seems to be in the cards. how full should the rear be of fluid whe i am done?
     
  21. gavin

    gavin Elite Explorer

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    I think the manual states something like 1/8" below the fill plug, but most people just fill it up until it starts flowing out of the fill plug.
     

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