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D44 Overhaul


With the bearing now removed, you can now slip the oil seal off of the shaft.  


Note the position of the seal before removing it.  Wouldn't you feel kind of silly if you put the new seal on backwards?  After all of that hard work and then....DOH!

OK....so you have everything taken off.  Time to clean off the axle shafts.  You don't need those metal filings from the drilling and cutting operations.  That would defeat the whole purpose of what we are doing.

The factory manual states that you should verify that the retaining plate (last thing now left on your axle shaft) is not warped.  If it is, you need to replace it.  The manual says to use a suitable straight edge to check the plate for flatness.  I will leave it up to you to determine if your retaining plate is warped or not.

Next, apply a thin coat of multi-purpose grease on the sealing surface of the axle seal.  Neglecting to do this will lead to the early failure of your new seal.  Slide the seal onto the shaft axle with the cavity away from the retaining plate....(ie., the open side of the seal is facing the spline end of the shaft.

Next, lubricate the bearing with wheel bearing grease.  Wipe the excess grease from the outside of the bearing.  In my case, my Timken bearings were pre-greased and ready to install.  I checked them carefully, just to be sure, and they did a good job.

Slide the bearing onto the axle shaft.  You did pay attention to how it looked when you took it off, right?  Don't worry, the Timken bearing comes with some instructions for you to follow if you need to.  The factory manual says to press the bearing on and then press the retainer on. 

I hadn't read the manual for a few days and forgot about pressing the bearing and retainer on using two separate steps.  Instead, I pressed them on together.  From what I can see, it didn't hurt anything and the final results are exactly what I wanted.



Here is how we did it, doing both the bearing and retaining ring at the same time.  We made sure everything was square to the world....the bearing and retraining ring were seated properly and not going on crooked.



There is about a 1/4" of axle shaft left before the bearing will seat against the shoulder.  You could tell when it seated as the press pressure went up significantly.  



This was the last stroke before we called it good.  The pressure went up to 6 tons on the last stroke and you could hear it seat home (don't ask, you had to be there).  I don't think this was one of those jobs you would want to do with a drift punch and a 3 pound hammer!

With the first shaft assembled, Alan and I grabbed the remaining parts and finished up the second one.  I took them back to my place and wrapped them up to keep any dust and dirt out of the bearings.  I used the same plastic wrap that they use to keep boxes on shipping pallets....the heavy duty stuff that sticks to itself, just like Saran Wrap.  Works great for wrapping up the axles.  It protects the splines and keeps the bearings clean (and no greasy mess in your vehicles either).  I had a bunch of lug nuts left over from my old rims.  I put them on the studs so as to protect the threads.  After they were all wrapped up, I shuffled the gear around  in the left compartment of my storage box and made room for them in there.  With luck, I will never use them!




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