replacing pinion and carrier bearings - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 78 Old 08-20-2014, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
Stumpfarming
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replacing pinion and carrier bearings

Given that a pinion and carrier are installed via the repeated use of "dumby" bearings to determine the correct shims to use prior to pressing on the "real bearings"............ Is it fair to assume that I can simply replace my existing carrier/pinion bearings by just removing the old bearings/races and pressing on the new new ones, as long as I use my original carrier with the original shims in their original positions?

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post #2 of 78 Old 08-20-2014, 06:22 PM
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Yep. But how do you plan on getting them off? If you cut them off, you had better be super careful not to knick the shims or damage them in any way.

You can also just install the same thickness of shims and replace them too. I got a replacement shim pack assortment for my last regear job for about $7.00 on Amazon. You must have a very good mic though to measure out the shims. Be careful how you measure as the indentation on the shims caused by the bearings being pressed on will throw off your measurement.

Everything has to be OCD cleaned; one piece of grit or sand can mess you up if it gets in between the shims.

How are you pressing the bearings on? A press is nice but I don't have one. I usually throw the carrier in the freezer for a few hours while i mess with something else. When I'm ready to install bearings and everything is good, I use an old inner race turned backwards and tap them on evenly with a 3lb hammer. Piece of 2x4 works too but be carefull not to fragment the wood into the bearings.

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post #3 of 78 Old 08-20-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! Rebuilding my Dana 30 and will be installing a spartan locker. Carrier bearings look to be in good shape, but thought it might be worth replacing while I have the carrier out. I am weighing the risks of cutting off the old bearings. I'd likely run the carrier into town and have a shop press the new bearings on for me, though I like your freezer idea. How about putting the bearings in the oven on low setting for a few minutes too?
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post #4 of 78 Old 08-20-2014, 06:43 PM
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I wouldn't heat up the bearings. the material is going to swell or expand, not grow a larger inside diameter. If anything the inside diameter might close up a bit as the metal swells? outside air temp bearings and cold shafts & carriers has always worked for me.

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post #5 of 78 Old 08-20-2014, 06:45 PM
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Side note: I miss the fishing up there. It's about time to start slammin' Humpies isn't it?

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post #6 of 78 Old 08-21-2014, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumpfarming View Post
....... How about putting the bearings in the oven on low setting for a few minutes too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CutterN55 View Post
I wouldn't heat up the bearings. the material is going to swell or expand, not grow a larger inside diameter. If anything the inside diameter might close up a bit as the metal swells? outside air temp bearings and cold shafts & carriers has always worked for me.
Negative, it's not the best method but it definitely does work. I've placed bearings on a steel plate and run a torch (rose bud Oxy/Acet or MAP) around the inside of the inner race for 30 seconds to a minute and they all have dropped right into place. Again, it's not how I prefer to do them but sometimes you have to work with what you got.

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post #7 of 78 Old 08-21-2014, 07:55 AM
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do it, just be careful. I'd love to have a true bearing heater.
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post #8 of 78 Old 08-21-2014, 08:27 AM
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The old timers trick on heating up bearings (and yes the commercial bearing supply houses sell bearing heaters and it is accepted practice)

Put the bearing on an incandescent light bulb and go eat lunch by the time you make it back the bearing is 200 or so degrees and will drop into most press fit situations.
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post #9 of 78 Old 08-21-2014, 08:33 AM
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'Dummy' bearings are used when you are setting up from scratch.
I don't know anyone that uses 'Dummies' when they are replacing existing bearings, the shims will get you so close you don't need 'Dummies' since you are likely to be in tolerance with maybe one adjustment.

A tip here, Buy bearings that are the same brand as what you have now.
That will probably be Timken, and Timken is VERY good at what they do, so the bearing sets will be a very tight tolerance, one set will be almost identical to the next set...

When I did my last Dana 30 I think I had to pull the bearings and move a 0.002" shim, so if I remember right, I only had to pull the carrier bearings once, and that's not a huge issue to use the new bearings.
Just remember to lube the bearing 'Snout' before you press them on so they will come back off without galling.

You *Should* find 'Notches' in the carrier for a bearing puller so you don't screw up the bearings...
Don't know what carrier you are using, but the factory carriers have notches for a puller cast into them.

Pinion preload is another story...

Since you are using a 'Prevailing Torque' nut on the pinion shaft,
DO NOT use the 'Prevailing Torque' nut while setting up!
That will gall the crap out of the pinion threads with repeated install and removal!

Find and use a 'Common' nut for your set up, it's worth the hunt and saves your pinion threads!

Setting up preload on the pinion is a pain in the butt, since it involves so many pressure/shim surfaces.
Leave the seal OUT until you are ready for final install,
And use something like 'Never-Seize' on the threads of the pinion, even when you use a common nut.
The torque involved here, and the number of times you will have to install/remove that nut some lubrication is required.

A bearing removal collar and long stem puller is required to get that pinion bearing off, and not all collars/pullers are created equal...
I STRONGLY advise against 'Harbor Freight' here...

As for the puller, a cross bar, about one inch square, with a threaded center bolt against the end of the pinion,
And two pass through bolts (one on both ends) to run down to the puller collar works pretty good.
Once you get your bolts EVENLY attached to the puller collar,
Use the center bolt to adjust/pull the bearing if need be.

This will save you some grief since a 'Jaw' puller is VERY hard to manage with all the moving parts that you have to keep lined up to pull the bearing evenly.

Some guys use presses. If you have one, then by all means use it.
If you don't have one, these bearings aren't hard to remove by hand, so it's not required.

What the guys say about a good micrometer is correct,
And so is a good dial indicator to gauge lash.
The more direct 'Push' you can get on the dial indicator (90 degrees to the stem of the indicator) the better reading you will get.

If you have a new carrier, You will have to take that carrier in and out of the case several times, so a case spreader is a good idea, and you will need a dial indicator to know when you have reached the limit of that case...
Yes, you CAN crack a case! It's not common, but you can spring/crack that case if you spread it too far apart.

The biggest issue I see is people getting the carrier caps on the wrong sides, or up side down.
Mark your caps with a 'Dimple', and put that dimple on the 'Top' of the cap.
DO NOT hammer or 'Dimple' on the center part of the cap! Make your 'Dimples' out where the bolt goes in so the area is supported when you hammer on it.
(An electric engraver works also, if you have one.)

Caps are HONED ROUND for the side they are on.
There IS a top and bottom, and there IS a left and right.
You wouldn't mix up main caps in an engine block, so don't mix up caps here...

The second largest problem I see is stripping/galling of the pinion threads...
This is a HUGE deal. You can't do much with threads that have been destroyed, so lubricate and DO NOT use the 'Lock Nut' or 'Prevailing Torque' nut until you final assembly...

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post #10 of 78 Old 08-21-2014, 08:34 AM
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I have a bearing heater at my house. The wife calls it an "oven"..


And here all this time I have been using dummy/test bearings so I could get the bearing on/off without ruining shims or anything.. Silly me..

Pull my finger
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post #11 of 78 Old 08-21-2014, 05:12 PM
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*IF*...
Your 'Dummy' or 'Assembly Spacers' are EXACTLY the same thickness as your new bearings, you are off to the races.

If they aren't, and most aren't exactly the same thickness, you will usually have to pull the new bearings off at least once to get what you want for gear placement/lash.

Since the pinion preload is a real pain... You have to use a dial type torque wrench for rotational torque to determine preload, that little difference is a big deal.

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post #12 of 78 Old 08-22-2014, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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So it sounds like replacing the carrier bearings should be a pretty simple "swap out" as long as I keep the shims in tact and use the same brand of bearing as what was previously installed. (This would be using the original factory carrier after replacing spider gears with a Spartan locker).

It sounds to me like changing the pinion bearing may be a whole different issue in regards to tools needed, setting preload, etc., and I will likely avoid that at all cost. If I find issue with the pinion bearings/seals, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Given that the axle housing is on a work bench, it may be cheaper and less time consuming to pay someone to do it right, rather than make mistakes with the wrong tools.

Thanks guys!
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post #13 of 78 Old 08-27-2014, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
*IF*...
Your 'Dummy' or 'Assembly Spacers' are EXACTLY the same thickness as your new bearings, you are off to the races.

If they aren't, and most aren't exactly the same thickness, you will usually have to pull the new bearings off at least once to get what you want for gear placement/lash.

Since the pinion preload is a real pain... You have to use a dial type torque wrench for rotational torque to determine preload, that little difference is a big deal.
And that's why we check gear patterns.. Just to make sure.. I have yet to have to make a correction after using "dumby' bearings to get the shim stack set..

Pull my finger
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post #14 of 78 Old 08-28-2014, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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I pulled the carrier today. It looks like I will be replacing the carrier bearings. Thinking about cutting them off with a wheel and chisel. any other suggestions?

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post #15 of 78 Old 08-28-2014, 04:45 PM
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That's how I get them off even though I have a press and bearing puller. Just be careful not to nick the carrier with the cutoff wheel.
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