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I pulled the 3rd member this week only to find the driver side drum shoes and everything else covered in crap. When I pulled the two shafts the passenger side came out with the bearing and races, on the driver's side (the leaky side) the race is still in the tube. The bearings look good and seem to roll smooth. Do I need a new seal, new race, new bearings? I am lost here and I can't really afford to start throw parts at it till I get the right one. I can post some pictures if that would help. Thanks.
 

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The seal rides on the axle shaft behind the bearing and retainer. In order to replace the seal, you've got to destroy the retainer and press off the bearing, so you may have to replace the whole deal. My Haynes manual had decent instructions-- you drill and split the retainer to remove it, then you have to press off the bearing. The new seal, bearing and retainer press on the axle, and the old race can be pried out of the housing using the axle shaft.

When you pull the bearing/seal, check the axle shaft to make sure the old seal didn't wear a groove on it, which may cause it to leak.
 

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The tapered 9" bearings will leave the seat in the housing when you pull the axle shaft, others will come out in one piece. Sounds like someone already replaced a bearing at one time.
 

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Just went thru this on the 79 F150, think it's same for the 9" on your 85. You'll need to rent a slide-puller (free from any parts store) to pull the old bearing race out after pulling the axleshaft out of the tube. One side was fairly easy, just took a few slaps. The other was a bear, taking a good 30 minutes and a few choice words. If the whole race comes out with the axleshaft, there could be a problem with the tube being worn. The old seal and bearing will need to be pressed or cut off, along with the retaining ring. Don't confuse the retaining ring with the bearing race. It takes about 30-40 tons to press on the new bearing and retainer, so I had a local shop do it for me. You can buy the new seal and bearing for about $20 from O-Reilly's. When installing the new race, it should go in snug but not have to kill it. that one side that wass hard to remove was also hard to get back together. ther isn't much you can do for a scored or slightly bent tube, just hope that the new seal doesn't leak. JSM84
 

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Bronco Master
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The bearings should be a Timken Set 20 or equivalent. Make sure when you press the new bearings on you do it in two steps. The first step is pressing on the bearing/seal assembly, the second is the collar. Be aware that the collar is tapered, the larger side goes on first.

I tried many methods for removing that collar. The plasma cutter destroyed the shaft. The 3" cutting wheel to make a groove and then a punch to crack it worked well.

While you're at it, why not do a disc brake conversion? Have the axles flanges turned down to fit inside the front rotor while they are out, then the rest of the conversion is easy.

Mitch
 
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