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How difficult is it to do the rear wheel bearings in a 9 inch rear? I have a thumping noise coming from the rear, and brakes rubbing sometimes, I have isolated it to the rear wheel bearings (after replacing all of the drum brake parts) I read the book on it, just undo the 5 bolts holding the bearing retainer, and pull out the axel with a slide hammer type thing. Is it really that easy?
 

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Yep. If you don't have a slide hammer, just loosely bolt a spare wheel to the hub and use it to jerk the axle out of the rear. You'll have to hammer or chisel the old bearing off, being careful not to damage the race. You'll need a press to get the new bearing on, although I have heard of guys getting them on without one, (not something I'd want to try...)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was just gonna take the whole axel out, and take it to my local shop, they can press the new one on, and im sure they could get the old one off too. How long would you estimate it to take the axel out?
 

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Shouldn't take too long ,just pull off wheel and brake drum,there is a hole in your axle flange to allow you to put a socket and extension through ,undo the 4 nuts off the studs and yank the axle.If everything isn't all rusty and you have a puller you should be able to do it in about half an hour.
 

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Take your axel to a shop and have them press the old one off and the new one on, most of the parts houses around here do that sort of thing for about 15 bucks (not including the price of the bearing), you will be glad you did, and as mentioned, replace the oil seal in the housing,
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yah, I was planning on just taking em out and giving them to the shop to just pull the old bearing off and put the new one on. There is a real cool shop here, they can get almost any part, and have a full machine shop too. Only thing that sucks, they have weird hours on weekends, closes at 3 on saturday, and is closed on sunday. Guess im gonna have to wait till monday. Thanks for all the tips, hopefully it wont give me as much problems as the brakes have.
 

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I agree. Definitely have a shop do it. It sounds easy in theory but they can really get stuck, especailly when they go bad -- lots of heat. A shop had to cut mine off with a torch when they went.

As far as wierd hours, you should come out to Kansas sometime. The UPS office os open 3pm-6pm on week days only. You can't buy alcohol on Sundays and there is only one place in town you can get a haircut on the weekends. You really have to think ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yuck, I remeber when I was in nebraska once, everything was closed by like 6 or so. Around here most things are open till 8 or 9, and open till 7 on weekends. Just for comparison, how did you wheel bearings sound when they went? Mine are making a clunking sound that goes faster as you go faster, it started out soft, but kept getting louder, so I decided to take things apart to see what is up, the brakes were all messed up, so I have replaced them, and now its the same noise, louder, with the brakes grabbing sometimes. I've decided its the wheel bearings, based on the fact that I've checked everything else, and that the driver side axle has like 1/8" play up and down, and side to side, compared to the passenger side which has none, it just turns. Did your's sound similar or was it way different?
 

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What your describing sounds more like a broken axle or possibly a problem in the center section (carrier/third member) of the rear end. The good news is that Ford rear ends are very simple to open and you can't mess anything up (aside from gear settings). Nothing is that expensive either.

A quick test you can do is to jack the car up so that both rear wheels are off the ground. Then turn one wheel by hand. If you have an open rear end the opposite tire should turn the oppposite direction (if you have a locking unit the opposite tire should turn the same direction.) Turn each one back and forth a few times and make sure the other turns as described. If it doesn't turn smoothly and at an equal rate (or has grinding noises), I'd be concerned that something is broken (axle or third member).

The next step would be to lower the car, loosen the lug nuts, jack the car up and take the tires off. Remove the brake drums, then remove 4 axle-phlange retaining bolts with a deep socket 5/8 or 7/16 (large or small bearing) wrench. You can turn the axle to move the hole over the bolt you need to take off. Once those are out the axle can be pulled straight out. (Try not to drag it across the rubber inner oil seal inside the housing.) If you have to, turn the brake drum around and put it on the axle bolts, then lightly thread a few lug nuts on and pull the brake drum to use it like an axle puller. If the axles look good, it's time to chase the rear end. Remove the two u-bolts holding the driveshaft to the rear end, then remove all the nuts aroung the front of the third member. You may need pliers to pull off the copper washers if everything is still original down there. Once the axles are both out and bolts removed, crack the seal on the rear end by lifting it up and be prepared to catch about 3 quarts of gear oil. Look for any metal shavings. Remove (it's heavy) the carrier and inspect the third member and gears, if the unit was broken it would be obvious. If there is damage, you can take the part to a mechanic if you don't know how to do gears and you saved yourself about 1 hour labor.

perhaps this is redundant from the other posts but I hope this helps. There are many other people here that know much for than me but I have worked on my share or rear ends. Let me know if you have any other questions.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The wheels do rotate opposite, like they should, and everything seems ok. The side with the up and down play is also leaking gear oil too. It literally smelled like gear oil when I pulled the drum off. Hopefully it isnt a problem with the carrier, that would really suck, I need my car runnin as soon as possible to get to school and all.
 

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Hopefully it is just a bearing, when you said a "clunking" noise that sounded bad. The gear oil is leaking becasue of a damaged inner oil seal, it presses into the axle housing just behind the wheel bearing. It's thin metal and needs to be pried out. A new one is $5 and just needs to be pressed/gently tapped into place. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok final update, I have fixed the problem (kinda). It was a wheel bearing, all messed up. It ended up spinning on the axle, and damaged the axle. The shop was able to press on a new bearing, but no gaurantee on how long it would last. I got it all back in, no problems getting it on or off. Anyone out there have an extra driver side axle for a 71 torino gt with 2" wide drums? I could really use one about now. I am gonna change it out, but until then I'm gonna go with what I got. Brakes working good, no more noise, hope it lasts for a bit.
 
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