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Old 03-08-2020, 12:33 AM #1
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PLEASE HELP Rear Axle Shaft won't slide back in after bearing replacement HELP!

So I did the driver side rear wheel bearing in my truck today. I jacked up one side, removed the axle shaft and took it to the machine shop to get pressed. Everything was going smooth.

Now when trying to reinstall it, I can get it in all the way except for about 1/2 of an inch. I can get to where I can spin the other tire by spinning this one but it will not seat all the way.

I've tried cleaning the splines with a wire brush, filing them a bit in case the axle mushroomed during the press work and still nothing.

I've taken it out and in so many times and can't get anything to work. Not sure what else to try.

I really need to get the truck back up and running before work on Monday. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:35 AM #2
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Have you tried to rotate the axle a bit while pushing?
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:11 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungryeddy View Post
So I did the driver side rear wheel bearing in my truck today. I jacked up one side, removed the axle shaft and took it to the machine shop to get pressed. Everything was going smooth.

Now when trying to reinstall it, I can get it in all the way except for about 1/2 of an inch. I can get to where I can spin the other tire by spinning this one but it will not seat all the way.

I've tried cleaning the splines with a wire brush, filing them a bit in case the axle mushroomed during the press work and still nothing.

I've taken it out and in so many times and can't get anything to work. Not sure what else to try.

I really need to get the truck back up and running before work on Monday. Any help will be appreciated.
Sounds like you're getting the splines engauged if you can spin the opposite wheel.

Are you sure the ABS tone ring is pressed on to the correct location?
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:32 PM #4
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I just pulled out the passenger side and slid it into the side i'm working on and it works just fine.


I took the one I was working on and put it into the passenger side and it is not going in again.

At this point I'm thinking the shop dropped the shaft or hit it on the floor and mushroomed it just enough to not let it go into the 3rd member. Might have to go pick up a junk unit and get it rebuilt (again)
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:02 PM #5
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look at the splines closelly if there is a deformity you can correct it with a small file.
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:06 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungryeddy View Post
I just pulled out the passenger side and slid it into the side i'm working on and it works just fine.


I took the one I was working on and put it into the passenger side and it is not going in again.

At this point I'm thinking the shop dropped the shaft or hit it on the floor and mushroomed it just enough to not let it go into the 3rd member. Might have to go pick up a junk unit and get it rebuilt (again)
You should be able to see the mushrooming on the shaft if that is the case. Very possible.
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:57 PM #7
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You have a locker? If it is clutch type it is possible that the clutch plates are not in line. (Had this problem on a 1970 AMC Javelin) As you insert the problem shaft have someone slowly rotate the opposite wheel and as happened in my case, as the splines start to realign it will start to go into place, a spline at a time. At least I think that is what was happening in my case.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:13 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungryeddy View Post
I just pulled out the passenger side and slid it into the side i'm working on and it works just fine.


I took the one I was working on and put it into the passenger side and it is not going in again.

At this point I'm thinking the shop dropped the shaft or hit it on the floor and mushroomed it just enough to not let it go into the 3rd member. Might have to go pick up a junk unit and get it rebuilt (again)
If the splines were the problem they would have to be visibly damaged to not go in like that if the other side will go in no problem. Maybe the bearing isn't pressed into the housing all the way. Do you have a dial caliper to compare the axle shaft thickness at the spline. Compare axle length, something is hitting.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:23 PM #9
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I had a coworker try to slid an axle shaft on a Nissan in after a new bearing. The new bearing had the outer race on it, and the outer race of the old bearing was in axle housing. That is just about 1/2". Something to look at.
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Old 03-14-2020, 08:05 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungryeddy View Post
I just pulled out the passenger side and slid it into the side i'm working on and it works just fine.


I took the one I was working on and put it into the passenger side and it is not going in again.

At this point I'm thinking the shop dropped the shaft or hit it on the floor and mushroomed it just enough to not let it go into the 3rd member. Might have to go pick up a junk unit and get it rebuilt (again)
This tells you it's something with the axle, not the housing.

Pull both axles out and stand them up side by side on your bench, and carefully compare them. I still think you have something out of place on the offending axle: a bearing, retainer, or ABS tone ring that's out of position.

As others have said, if the spines were damaged, you could see that from across the room.
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Old 03-14-2020, 12:56 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvpierce View Post
This tells you it's something with the axle, not the housing.

Pull both axles out and stand them up side by side on your bench, and carefully compare them. I still think you have something out of place on the offending axle: a bearing, retainer, or ABS tone ring that's out of position.

As others have said, if the spines were damaged, you could see that from across the room.


^^^^^^

and then take back to the shop...both of them...and say...see how it is supposed to be ?
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Old 03-14-2020, 05:03 PM #12
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I think what @MaineRunna is a very distinct possibility. Try popping the end of the axle shaft into a piece of wood on the ground to seat the bearing fully into the bearing case. The end of the axle tube has a flange that fits into the bearing case and sandwiches the bearing outer race between the end of axle tube and the bearing case. If the bearing isn't fully seated in the case, it can cause the gap you're experiencing. If you're not careful with the insertion of that bearing though, it's possible to get it cocked into the bearing case and bound up. The bearing fit into the bearing case is not a press fit at all. You can literally insert it with your hands, but if you get it going in a little crooked and then apply force, you can get it stuck. I'm suspecting this is what happened with the machine shop doing the work for you. You'll have to slam the axle into the ground fairly forcefully but you'll most likely get it to seat after a few attempts. Just make sure you don't miss the wood you have on the ground and slam the end of your axle shaft into the concrete. Good Luck!
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Old 08-14-2022, 07:44 PM #13
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Hey, wondering how this ended up! I'm having the same issue except that if I rotate the bolts slightly to the right then it will slide all the way in. However, then I cannot fastens the unit to the axle housing. Any other thoughts?
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Old 08-14-2022, 07:56 PM #14
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Hey, wondering how this ended up! I'm having the same issue except that if I rotate the bolts slightly to the right then it will slide all the way in. However, then I cannot fastens the unit to the axle housing. Any other thoughts?
Does spinning the axle shaft while holding the axle bearing carrier help it go all the way in?
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Old 08-29-2022, 06:45 PM #15
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Had a shop replace the bearing on right rear axle (only), after which it would not go back in at all past the spline, so about 1.5" short of the axle tube mounting plate. Tested the other axle; it would go in/out both sides. Right axle would not slide into either side. Even though the splines looked fine, finally a micrometer and "feel" revealed the spline end had mushroomed just slightly. Thankfully, the shop owned up, apologized and machined the spline enough to allow installation, though still had to nudge it in with wood block and mallet. Frustrating experience thinking I just wasn't setting it in correctly...
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