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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so about 3500 miles ago I did gears and replaced all the bearings and seals in the process. Recently I broke the shift fork in my trans case so had to disassemble for repair. While doing that I noticed my spider gears were worn. No biggie since I didn't replace em before and decided on a lunchbox locker... All that seems normal til the axles were removed. The new ford racing axle bearings that were just installed have worn grooves in my axle shafts... In 3500 miles! Something obviously wasn't jivin. I had no bearing issues before and elected to replace em as preventive maintenance since I had axles out. Anybody else had this issue? I guess I'm gonna replace both axles and bearings again. I see summit has some high strength axles that come with bearings. I'd really like to know what went wrong:banghead
 

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You didn't mention if you removed the axle when you did the gear work, assuming you did. I don't know what the pinion angle should be on a 5" lift, but I suggest looking at that as an explanation for the wear problems you mention.
 

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I don't see how bearings could have worn grooves into the axle shaft.

Are you talking about the wheel bearings at the end of the axle tubes? Or are you talking about the carrier bearings?

Do you have any pics?
 

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He must be talking about the wheel bearings. They are the only ones that ride on them. I have had problems like that because of the big rubber. I went to a full float kit. But if I had to do it again, I would get set of Superduty axles and be done with it. (I'm talking SAS)

You can get a set of repair bearings. They ride in a different place. (A little further out.) that way you can use your axles some more. Also, being further out, the tires have less leverage to bend the axles. But eventually they will tare up your axles too. That is one of the design flaws of the 8.8
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The grooves r worn into the axle shaft. Axles were fine before I replaced the bearings. Carrier bearings r fine the strange wear has occurred at the hub end on the axles. I don't wheel it hard. Mostly highway and dirt road cruises. Like I said only 3500 miles since bearings were installed. I am baffled. 35" tires and my driving style is far from abusive. Procomps and aluminum rims too so nuttin heavy goin on. I guess I'm gonna do new axles and axle bearings all at once. Considering upgrade stronger axles
 

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Two questions:
1. Did you use the correct bearings?
2. Were said bearings greased and spinning freely?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes and yes.. Bearings themselves feel fine now. Free and smooth but apparently the shafts have been slipping inside the bearing... All work was done by a trusted and certified mech. I had him do it all cuz I needed gears setup anyway so he did both front and rear and all bearings we exposed in the process.. He is as baffled as I am. When I get some pics I'll post em up
 

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Two questions:
1. Did you use the correct bearings?
2. Were said bearings greased and spinning freely?
This brings up a question. The bearings get their lube from the diff oil. The fill plug is just abit higher than the bottom of housing tube. If you are running low, it really doesn't hurt the ring/pinion. But it doesn't have to get very low before the oil stops going down the housing tubes. Also when you fill it, you need to fill it to the plug and wait for a few minutes. It will go down some because the thick oil takes some time to go through the carrier bearings and out the tubes. The bearings shouldn't really be "packed" with grease. (A little won't hurt)

I highly recumend full synthetic gear lube. I was involved in some very controlled tests on a tranny and it does make a differnce to gears. (Not sure about bearings.)

35" tires are big enough to cause problems on the 8.8. That's what I was running back when I had the trouble. (Aluminum wheels) I don't think better axles shafts are the answer because I believe the surface of the axle can never be made as hard as a bearing race. Even if it was, the axle flexes right there. So that will cause micro cracks. So a better axle shaft will take more torque, but that's not where you are having trouble.

Like I said, this is a design flaw in the 8.8. It's stupid replacing the shafts every time the bearings are shot. There are some good points to the 8.8. This is not one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies.. Priced axles at napa today and looks like after quick searchin the web that hardened axles r about as cheap when purchased n a kit with bearings. At this point I'm new gears and a new locker invested into the 8.8 so I'll prob pull the trigger on some kinda axles over the wknd.
 

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1996 EB w/5.8 TOO much lift, 44" Mudders & 5:43-5:38's
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Never had much luck keeping 8.8's together in a Bronco. Just seems like one issue after another, wish they never stopped using the 9".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Went with the axles above and a spartan locker... It's a clunkin and a poppin... May be goin back to open diff
 

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The only thing that I can think of is that the bearings you used were defective somehow. As for the clunking, it can only be your locker.
See this. http://www.ringpinion.com/b2c/SpartanLocker.aspx
"Spartan Lockers are recommended to lighter vehicles or vehicles with tires shorter than 32"."

I would recommend using a factory Traction-Lok LS differential instead of a locker. Not as many pieces and have a high reliability rate.
 

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That Sparten looks just like a Lockrite I have in my front diff. It works fine there, but I wouldn't want it in the rear. I have a Powertrax No-slip in the rear. It is a so called "soft locker". It works great as a locker and has much better on road manners.

I can not recumend the factory Limited slip. It wares out in six months and becomes a open diff. I've heard of guys putting an extra clutch disc in them and making them work and last better. (Have never tried it) But I did rebuild one with new clutches, and as I said it worked for about six months.

I've heard good things about the "Tru-trac" limited slip. It lasts better than the factory, but I don't think you can rebuild it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I too Cldnt justify the switch to ls for a very minimal traction gain. Mainly tried the spRtan cuz spider gears needed replacing anyway. It works perfectly offroad and is really only annoying in parking lots and tight places. No biggie. I read the reviews and knew the chances I wldnt like it when I bought it but now I know. I'll keep it a bit longer but will likely switch back to open when I feel like foolin w it one day soon.

Axles look as though they had a repair bearing at on time? Doesn't look like such a new problem maybe to me I just don't see how the guy who did the work wldnt have noticed it 4000 miles ago when we did gears n bearings etc. same w spider gears. Wld a rather replaced it all at once
 
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