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Technical 9 inch ford axle removal problem

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by mwhistle, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. mwhistle
    Joined: Feb 19, 2007
    Posts: 310

    from sacramento

    I'm trying to remove the axles on my 9 inch Ford (1969) rear end (small bear housing) so I can do some rear end work (add posi traction unit). I removed the 4 bolts that hold the axle bearing retainer but the axles won't come out. They won't budge. I suppose I'll have to rent an axle puller from Autozone or O'Reilley. Before I spend the rental money, any other suggestions to remove the axles? Maybe slightly heating the axle housing near the bearings to possibly make the axles a littler easier to remove? Any thoughts or experiences or guidance is appreciated. Thank you.
  2. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,100

    from Missouri

    If you have a heavy log chain you can wrap one end around the axle and take the other end and whip it.
  3. butch
    Joined: Jun 3, 2001
    Posts: 72

    from Michigan

    the old school way I have used is to take a 6" or so heavy chain bolt it though one of the studs on axel and use the chain like a whip and it will pop out or did for me
    czuch likes this.
  4. An axle puller will make the job much easier.
    czuch likes this.
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  5. butch
    Joined: Jun 3, 2001
    Posts: 72

    from Michigan

    like he said
  6. use an axle puller , using one from O'Reilly will cost you nothing
  7. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,971


    If you have a come-a-long. Park another immovable object next to it and hook it up.
  8. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 935


    $20 will get you a slide hammer from Harbor Freight (presently on sale, down from £30)- I know, opinions will vary!
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,954


    I've done a lot of them with a log chain and a lot of them with a slide hammer axle puller. You need that pop to jar it loose. I'm afraid a come along would just pull the vehicle sideways off the stands and isn't going to work well if you have the rear end out in the middle of the shop floor.
  10. Without a puller, you can try getting a length of chain, loop the chain through a spare tire/wheel then bolt the chain to the axle. Roll the tire away from the axle... Renting the puller will be easier... Rent one a few times and you've bought it.

    Two reasons for sticky axles; either rust where the bearing fits into the housing, or a warped housing. Warped housings are more common than you think, particularly if they've been welded on or if you have a sway bar that mounts to the housing or any suspension bits that attach inboard of the OEM pads. The degree of warp can vary, but a good rule of thumb is if you can push or lightly beat the axle back in, it's fine. Clean the housing before reinstalling, if you have to beat the axle in, bearing life will be short (about 5K).

    You don't say what model car the housing is out of, the axle tubes Ford used varied in thickness and some will bend pretty easy. That's why you see Ford housings with reinforcement bracing welded on them, then they're 'straightened' by cutting the ends off and reinstalled with a jig.
    Cirilian likes this.
  11. A puller is best. However bolt a rim to the axle and beat on it from the back side. a couple of taps with a BFH and it will come loose. Don't heat it with a torch that will compromise the metal.
  12. ididntdoit1960
    Joined: Dec 13, 2011
    Posts: 943

    from Western MA

    Im shocked no one has mentioned putting the brake drum on backwards and putting the lug nuts on a turn or two and using the drum as the slide hammer - it works every time for me....
  13. X2
  14. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,026


    I've used a chain with a big hammer when I didn't have access to any other way to do it. Just bolt the chain to the axle and wrap the chain to next to the hammer head, then start swinging, not perfect but it does work.
  15. BadgeZ28
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 1,044

    from Oregon

    I was in the same situation and in a hurry. took a piece of flat iron and drilled two holes to match two studs across from each other . Welded a nut in the middle and put in a piece of all thread. Used a 9" mini spool for the slider.:)
  16. I had to pull the axles on my old 66 lincoln and they were stuck. Tried the brake drum idea...not enough mass to jar the axle loose....bolted up the wheel with loose lugnuts like the brake drum go.
    I used a 3/8th log chain and whipped that mo-fo for what seemed like hours! Finally the axle came out and blew past my knee at about 400 MPH. But it worked. The other side came loose with the first whip of the chain. Go figure.
  17. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,062


    Jack up and put the wheel back on and finger tighten the lug nuts. Use a large rubber mallet on the inside edge of the rim to crack the axle loose. A few big swings. Another simple solution in lieu of a puller. Less chance of sustaining a chain injury.
  18. mwhistle
    Joined: Feb 19, 2007
    Posts: 310

    from sacramento

    Thank you all for your input. I appreciate it very much. I tried the backwards brake drum trick, but couldn't get enough "umph" to make it work. The chain is too unpredictable and potential dangerous. I went out and rented a puller from O'Reilley's. Hope it will work. If not, I'm not sure what I'll do. Thanks again.
  19. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,528


    If you are worried about flying axles Rocky-style, just put a really long bolt in one of the holes. Long enough to let the bearing come free of the housing, but short enough to keep the thing from bouncing off the opposite side wall of your garage.
  20. 3X, backwards brake drum....been doing it for 45 years, never used a puller....
    3340 likes this.
  21. 3340
    Joined: Jun 4, 2010
    Posts: 556


    Get the puller, the chain deal is awfully hard on your hands ☹️the backwards brake drum works ok

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  22. 1

    3 years and 2 months , hope he got it out
    czuch likes this.
  23. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,756

    from vail az

    Just like always. All the help, no follow up or thanks, or "MAH LEG"!!!
    I changed a gal's water pump in the rain once, same thing.
  24. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,213

    from kansas

    And dang !!!! I was getting ready to vote for the chain !!

  25. That's how I do it ^^^^^, you can also use a slide hammer.
  26. You know I came in about 2 days after they tried to get an axle out.
    We tried every damn thing, made all sorts of crap to push them out and after another day I said it's time to send it out. We pulled the housing and put it in the back of the truck.

    The axle shop got it apart and found a bunch of broken stuff and a twisted axle. Took their 30 ton press and a hell of a BANG screech POP to get it out. It ran a 10.01 the weekend before but "didn't feel right"
  27. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,152

    from NKy

    The chain and cement block was my high school axle puller . Not too safe ! The axle slide hammer is your answer . Twisted axle really shouldn’t have been much of an isssue with open carrier

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