I Do This For The Glory
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Nobleboro, Maine
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Re: swapping an axle shaft on the trail??
Well, getting the bearing off isn't a problem, it's getting it back on. Just use a clamp style bearing puller with long threaded rod, or chain (mine has long chains with bolts to hold the chain), to remove the bearing. On the D44's with the bearing retainer, you'll have to cut off the retainer first.
Getting them back on is another problem. You don't want to be pounding on the new bearing with a pipe (over the axle, like a reverse slide hammer), you want to seat the bearing with a smooth fluid movement. I have been thinking about this for some time now as it's always a concern of mine when wheeling hard.
The best thing I have come up with is to use a pipe, larger than the axle diameter but the right size to put the bearing on. Then use a hi-lift jack to jack it into place, using the clamp on the top. I have never done this but theoretically it could be done. I have pressed bearings onto countless shafts, and it usually takes about 500 to 750 lbs pressure on the press to get the bearing to move, which the hi-lift could easily do. The trick would be getting it to go on smoothly and not bind or mess up the shaft. I have some spare shafts laying around, I'll have to give it a try and get back to you.