Originally Posted by RockyClymer
Dude, your axle housing is not shot, but your mechanic should be.
The ring is just to hold the axle straight so it fits through the seal without damaging it during installation.
Find another mechanic that is qualified quick...you are being ripped off.
What you describe is on the front axle. The rear axle has the seal already on the axle shaft when it's installed into the housing, so no alignment ring like the front.
Regarding the loose fitting "ring", are you referring to the bearing outer race?
It isn't a tight fit in the housing.
Here is what the service manual says about the outer race's fit in the housing:
"NOTE: Axle bearing race is a slip fit in the axle tube."