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Technical 1956 Chevy Axle Removal

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dooley, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,104


    I've always just turned the brake drum around, screwed on at least 3 nuts a few threads and used it as a slide hammer. I guess I've been lucky, they always came right out.
    I agree with tacking the axle/bearing. If the reassembly uses the safety collar, I tack it to the axle. If it's just a bearing, I just put three little tacks on the axle itself to keep the bearing from sliding off.
    The last time I got lazy and had the bearings replaced, they didn't tack them and sure enough the axle came out, the new Coker WW tire hit the fender and self destructed. I had my '31 Tudor behind me on the trailer at the time. Luckily, I got it whoa'd down and off the highway without incident, but it cost me a tow, a tire (twice) and a bunch of time. I'd rather tack 'em.
    jnaki likes this.
  2. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,777


    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  3. First, the bearing is designed to be pressed on the axle AND there is a locking ring that holds the bearing from the inside of the axle. You maybe thinking of the "C" clip style retainers that can break and allow the axle to slip.

    Second, I wouldn't weld on the axle. If you are lucky it might actually work, but IMO you will not get enough penetration to hold anything in place. And the axle and bearing are going to be different metals/heat treatment and not likely to be compatable for welding.
  4. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,777


    Your have your opinion. I have my facts, doing it this way for over 30 years.
  5. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,890

    from Missouri

    I have never spot welded one but I take my time installing the bearing and retainer.
  6. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,671

    Atwater Mike

    Wellll...Me too. But, sometimes folks just can't wait for a store with a press to open the next day...that's what happened to my son.
    It was on a Sunday, son Rich was visiting with his '63-12 Galaxie, had an axle bearing that was 'noisy', so had picked up a replacement bearing. It got worse on Sunday morning, and he had 120 mile long drive home. So, we pulled the right rear axle. I had my tools at home, so I split the retaining collar with a hammer and chisel, and drove the bearing off with a split collar, 2 6" x 8" blocks, and a 6 lb. sledge and 3" dia. brass drift!
    Axle was in good shape, but we didn't have a press...So, a 30" piece of 1.5" galvanized water pipe served as a driving sleeve to 'tap' the bearing on, likewise the collar. Hard drive, was nice and tight.
    Should have tacked collar in 3 places, but welder was at the shop, locked up on Sunday. (with the press!)
    The car had a narrow '57 nine inch rear, with wide Americans and oversize street tires.
    Rich drove it home, and back and forth to work, just fine.
    A few months later, he sold the Galaxie to me. I drove it daily, lovely car...low gears, 3.90s.
    My youngest daughter, Amy, was with me, she was 5 then...(precocious) I was on Santa Fe, parallel to the rail tracks...I heard, "Thump!" and felt the rear get 'squirrelly' so I turned right on Highway 59,
    slowing down slightly, touched the brake and NOTHING! Clear to the floor. But seemed to slow a little more...Ebrake was inop, power to the drivetrain, either...(I had shifted into low range by now, (Cruiso) ) Car was slowing now, going up the ramp for the R.R. crossing, almost stopped. I told Amy, "Stay right there, (her seat belt was still fastened) Don't move!"
    I had jumped out, (5 mph) and was holding the car back, now right at the tracks, it stopped...started rolling back. No traffic, not on my side...I steered the Galaxie back, and parallel with the road, got it out of the lane and into the hard shoulder, where there was a tire laying there...steered it til it hit the tire with my right rear. WHEW!!!
    Amy was watching the whole thing, from her passenger seat. "Some Emergency brake..." She really said that.
    Walked around to see...the tire was scraped off slightly at the sidewall, against the fender.
    A voice called out, there was a familiar face in a light blue primed '55 Chevy Cameo.
    "I know you...Need some help?"
    Rich Roberts (Turlock Swap Meet purveyor) smiled and said he'd take us home...I was grateful.

    When home, I phoned 'Stevador' at Yosemite Towing. He'd pick the car up, and deliver it to my house. I asked him to discreetly come in on the west side entrance, so the wiseass Chevy guys didn't see it on the hook? "Oh, sure, Mike. Count on me to be discreet..."
    30 minutes later, I hear this LOUD horn going off, (emergency vehicle klaxon) BRRRRT-BRRRRRT
    I go out front, the horn is sounding all the way around the block. Then it gets louder...Ol' Stevador's yellow wrecker appears, towing my lame Galaxie, ass up, for all to see!
    He turned it around in front, and backed it into the drive...Laughing like the dickens, he got out and said, "Guess they all know now..." I laughed, but not loud...
    Axle bearing and collar worked their way out, mainly by the 'shock' pounding them on? Probably.
    Even pressing them on maybe would have failed? Likely, from the heat induced by the previous bearing failure.
    Welding the collar (3 tacks) would have prevented this? I believe it would have.
    When I built 8,000 RPM 356 Porsches, I would align/side play adjust/torque con rods. THEN spot weld caps to rods. (never had another rod failure after)
    THREE TACKS in the axle. Good fix.
  7. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,740

    from Buffalo NY

    Rear differential is out
    Gears look fine. Pinion bearing is toast....ring and pinion is 37/10 or 370
    New differential has 41/11 gear set or 373
    So I know I have a good spare if needed
  8. dorf
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,087

    from ohio

    axel bearings have to be pressed on and off . get and old rim and big hammer for removal .
  9. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,740

    from Buffalo NY

    20180406_160758.jpg 20180406_160801.jpg Both axles bearings off and new ones on
  10. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,740

    from Buffalo NY

    So, new pumpkin is in, by myself under the car, by hand, laying on my back....still got it at 50 lol

    Axles are in too...all new bolts/washers etc. Just need to fill the rear end up and get the brakes back on.
    thanks to all.. hopefully I didn't screw anything up!
    Bowtie Coupe likes this.

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