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Technical Ford 9"...How easy is it to reinstall axles?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by crusin55, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. crusin55
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 205

    crusin55
    Member

    I have a Ford 9", Open Carrier, 28" Spline in my '34 Ford. I had to use a slide hammer to get the axles out. It took about 3 good hits to get them to pop out. These axles have a sealed bearing with a bearing retainer.

    To put them back in, I slid them in as far as they would go and then I had to use a piece of 2"x4" on the end of the axle and tap them in further with a 5# maul. I realize that being a sealed bearing fitting into the end of the axle machined area I would have to use something to tap them into place.

    QUESTIONS:
    1. Is this normal?
    2. On one side, it went in too far and the bearing retainer was rubbing against the Oil Seal and scuffed it all up causing a noise.
    3. I popped both axles back out and put a 1/8" washer between the axle housing and backing plate after allowing the bearing to extend past the axle housing about 1/8". According to a well know 3-rd member rebuild shop out West, they say it is normal for 9" axle bearings to hang out 1/8" past the axle housing.
    4. How do you know how far to drive them in?
    5. This is my big concern..........Can you drive them in too far and ruin the carrier bearings?

    Thank you for your input!!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,405

    squirrel
    Member

    drive the seal in further, or get the proper thickness bearing lock ring. You should not have to install washers behind the backing plate, or do other monkey business like that.

    Sometimes they slide in easily, some times they're more difficult. Most of the 9" housings we mess with are at least 30 years old, one of mine is closer to 60. things get bent, distorted, corroded, etc over time.

    you wont ruin the carrier bearings, and unless the axle is too long it should not hit anything if you drive it in all the way the wheel bearing will let it go in.
     
    afaulk, Hnstray and Atwater Mike like this.
  3. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    Morrisman
    Member
    from England

    The bearing appears to stick out 1/8" because the brake back plate goes right over there, as far as I remember. (I have a disc conversion on mine, nobody had any drum brakes when I built it up) The bearing should be driven all the way to the back of the housing, or it will not be clamped when you tighten the retainer.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  4. On my '59, the oil seal goes into the housing tube, which bottoms on a shoulder, end of that story. The actual bearing/axle assembly went right in, little effort. Make sure that where the bearing sits in the housing is antiseptically clean.
     
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  5. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247

    oj
    Member

    You say you have a sealed bearing, then you won't have the seal inside the tube that you say the bearing retainer (wedding ring) hit. That seal was used for the cone type bearings, they are 2pc and not sealed. Your bearing is the seal, you won't use one inside the tube,
    If it is hard going in then likely the axle tube bent, very common, is the car hard to push? bent axle tube will make a car harder to push around. If not overly bad I'd just have caution not to shear or distort the 'O' ring on the ontside of the sealed bearing.
    The bearing sticks out and acts as a 'register' for the backingplate/axle retainer, if you look inside them there is usually a machined lip to locate & align the axle in the exact center, the bolts just hold it on.
     
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,405

    squirrel
    Member

    The bearings are sealed, to keep the grease in. The axle tube is sealed, to keep the gear oil in the housing, and away from the wheel bearing. There are indeed two seals on most older 9" rear ends with ball bearing wheel bearings.
     
    david buczynski likes this.
  7. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 436

    onetrickpony
    Member
    from Texas

    No, no, and no. The ball bearing is sealed and uses a seal inside the axle housing to keep the gear oil inside the housing. There is no need for it to hit the bearing because the bearing is factory packed with grease. The tapered roller bearings are lubed by the gear oil and should not have an inner seal. They come with an outer seal to keep the oil inside the housing after it lubes the bearing.

    That said, there are two different retainers used to hold the bearing on the axle. The one for the ball bearing is about 3/8 to 1/2 inch wide and should not hit the inner seal when the bearing is all the way into the cup. The one for the roller bearing is 3/4 to 1 inch wide and it would probable hit the seal if one were there but it should not be there.

    My experience has been that if the housing end is clean and lightly lubed, the axle should slide almost all the way into the housing without any major force, just a light tap or two. If you can drive the axle far enough into the housing for the bearing retainer to hit the seal, something is not right. It sounds like you have the wrong axle/bearing/retainer/seal combo somewhere.
     
    26 roadster likes this.
  8. If you had used a # 10 mual,.
    Ya would have had enough force with , one smack.
     
    afaulk likes this.
  9. Sometimes you have to wrap 'em sometimes you don't. Two things to think about one is to make sure that the splines are lined up before you start beating on them and the other is if the axle tags the cross shaft. If the axle is the right length it should not tag the cross shaft.

    More often then not the axle bearings that I use are pressed on the axle and slide in and out of the housing with the axle so it is easy to tell if I am deep enough, when the bearing seats I am good. I have yet to tear an old one down that didn't take a slide hammer or a piece of chain about 6' long to get the axles out. Even when we were racing and made gear changes a lot it seems like the axles always needed a little persuasion to come out of the housing.
     
  10. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247

    oj
    Member

    [​IMG]
    Heres is a picture of a sealed 9" ford axle bearing. There is no seal inside the tube. There is no grease.
     
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,405

    squirrel
    Member

    Yeah, that's a picture of a bearing, and it might be one that is used in some Ford rear ends...although it looks like one that is not OEM, but rather an aftermarket part, with a larger ID than the Ford part. Like what I have in the Summers Bros. rear in my 55. (edit: http://www.moserengineering.com/oth...d-and-olds-pontiac-ball-bearing-1-771-id.html )

    But the original Ford design uses a seal in the end of the axle tube. From the 69 ford truck shop manual:

    seal.jpg

    and the replacement bearing that you can buy from an auto parts store:

    bearing.jpg

    this is the setup I have in the 57 ford wagon 9" rear in my Chevy II.

    The bearing is sealed to keep the grease in the bearing. The seal in the end of the axle tube keeps the gear oil in the housing.

    If you want to see a common application of the sealed bearing with no seal in the axle tube, look at 55-64 Chevy full size cars. I have to change yet another one of those stupid things in my brother's 58 wagon this week. They suck...there's no seal to keep oil in the housing, away from the bearing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  12. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,361

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

    [​IMG]
    Sure looks like there's a seal on the axle to me. Of course this isn't one of those fancy 9 inchers with the o-ringed bearings.
     
  13. crusin55
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 205

    crusin55
    Member

    I fully understand what you are saying about the sealed bearing and how it looks. But....as ONETRICKPONY stated in his post above there is an Inner Oil Seal inside the housing. I had to pop mine out and replace them with new ones.
    I'm pretty sure my problem, on the driver's side, with the bearing retainer hitting the oil seal is that I did not properly seat the seal all the way into the housing. I will pop it in further.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,405

    squirrel
    Member

    That'll do it.
     
  15. If the housing is dead-nuts straight and clean, the axles should just push in/pull out by hand. But very few are... a slight amount of mis-alignment is acceptable. If it takes multiple big whacks to seat the axle (more than 2-3), then the housing is bent too much and shortened bearing life can be expected (5K miles or less); I learned this one the hard way. The only fix is to have the bearing ends cut off and rewelded on straight. Some Ford housings will bend/warp pretty easily, so if you're doing mods to one (narrowing, welding on brackets) it usually pays to have the ends installed/welded with a fixture after all other mods are done.

    I installed an aftermarket sway bar on a OT car after having the housing narrowed. Freshly installed, the axles slid right in by hand. But the sway bar mounted to the housing with the links to the body (not the other way around which is how Ford mounts their bars) and heavy cornering warped the housing. After having the housing straightened for the second time, we figured out the problem.
     
  16. If I may, Are the 8" ford rears similar?
     
  17. Yep..... although I've never seen the tapered bearings used in a 8", only the 9"...
     
  18. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 436

    onetrickpony
    Member
    from Texas

    The 5 lug 8 inch is identical to the small bearing 9 inch with sealed ball bearings. I've never had any of the 4 lug ones apart.
     
  19. Buckster
    Joined: May 3, 2010
    Posts: 228

    Buckster
    Member

    There is an old engineering rule of thumb in bearing application. It says"the race that rotates gets the press fit" On your application the axles should slide into place with a minimum of interference. As a countercheck, turn the axles by hand. If there is resistance in one particular area your bearing is in a bind.
     
  20. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,165

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    Aftermarket bearings install by Moser use the OEM seal in the housing and an oring on the outer race to seal the housing also . Check for this oring it could just be as simple as a little lube on the oring and it will go completely home in the housing
     
  21. crusin55
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 205

    crusin55
    Member

    Not using Moser bearings with "O" Ring seal. I'm using NAPA...BRG RW207CCRA bearings. They appear to be a very tight fit.
     
  22. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,405

    squirrel
    Member

    Did you clean up the housing bore with sandpaper to remove rust scale, etc?
     
  23. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 436

    onetrickpony
    Member
    from Texas

    OJ, there are applications, like Squirrel said, where a sealed ball bearing does not use the internal seal but not from the factory. Aftermarket, larger diameter axles usually omit the inner seal because it just would not work with the thicker axle. They also use the outer o-ring around the bearing to contain the gear oil and the seals on the bearing themselves are different, more robust. I had a set of 35 spline Mark Williams axles in one of my drag cars that used the setup.

    But when using OEM type parts, all 8 and 9 inch axles with ball bearings should have an inner seal.
     
    pat59 likes this.
  24. crusin55
    Joined: Jun 12, 2006
    Posts: 205

    crusin55
    Member

    All is good.........I used a piece of Emery Cloth, cleaned it good with Brake Kleen on a rag. Put the axles in and they slid all the way in with no pounding (just a little grunt). Thanks to all for you input!!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  25. I always do that, wash it out with a little solvent too. I like them real clean and never had to fight with one going back in. The ones in my Ford, took a little tugging (flip the drum on backwards, lugs on loose, makes a handy puller).
     
  26. david buczynski
    Joined: Jun 12, 2015
    Posts: 46

    david buczynski

    I just Bought a new housing and axles from 9 inch factory, and there is a seal the goes in first to keep the gear lube in the housing and the bearing is sealed, mine also has a o ring on it. Per the instructions it states that the bearing will stick out around 1/8 of in inch if installed properly.
     
  27. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    Morrisman
    Member
    from England

    I replaced my bearings with some from Speedway, and I just this week found out the 'wedding ring' is twice as wide as a stock Ford one. Also there is an O ring around the outside of the main bearing, so I'm assuming the idea is you don't install the inner axle tube seal, as it won't fit with that wider wedding ring. So I left them out.

    However, mine leaked oil from one end, so I machined 3/16" off the width of the ring and installed a seal in the housing. Not driven it yet, but hopefully it'll keep the oil in this time. I can't imagine where or how the oil gets by the double seals on the bearing, but it gets through somehow.
    And I did put gasket sealant on the shaft before I drove the bearing on.
     

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