Saturday, January 12, 2013

Still working on the truck - Axle shaft removal

Ok, so the day before yesterday, I got the snap-ring off of the axle shaft. Yesterday, I managed to get the hub off, and then I spent the rest of the night trying to get the axle shaft out. According to the forums, it should just come right out, since there should only be a single seal holding it in. Of course, the Chilton book I have is completely useless. I don't think they realize that the hub design changed around 2005, so their instructions are for a different design.

I think I know what is going on based on what I have read at the forums, but I need to post over there to make sure. Because what it LOOKS like at first glance is that there isn't a way for the axle to come out of the knuckle at all, or that there isn't a way to get the seal off of the axle. There is a metal ring (A) around the back of the axle (B). This ring is sloped inward to the axle, but it isn't on the other side of the truck. I think it has deformed from me banging on the axle. It is stopped against a lip on the axle, so it can't go off that direction. C looks to be the back of a rubber seal, and is loose. I can see it move against the knuckle as I wiggle the axle. D was covering it and fell off.

From the front of the knuckle, the axle is E, and I'm 90% positive that part really is "the axle". It looks like F is also part of it. It doesn't make sense for it to be part of the seal, since it is separate from the rubber (G). You can see the gap at H. So if the rubber is behind this part of the axle, and G isn't moving, it would seem that it can't be the same seal as C, and that the seal at G can't possibly come off the axle in this direction.

But on looking at it more closely, F seems to have a seam on the inside edge. I think that either there are two seals, one on the front of the knuckle-to-axle junction and one on the back of the knuckle-to-axle junction, or it is one seal that has completely broken in half. Either way, I think F is supposed to be part of the seal, and is pressed onto the axle. Or it could be pressed on after the seal just to hold the seal in place or protect it from the hub bearing or something. I think G is not a permanent part of the knuckle, but is the front of the seal I am supposed to be removing and has bonded itself to the knuckle. C is the back of the same seal and has separated from G completely. I need to get G out of the way to get the entire axle out, then I can pound off F, which will let all of the other pieces come loose.

I'll post these pictures over in The Diesel Stop forums and see what people there say.

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