Dana 44 Axle Bearing - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2001, 04:09 PM
glennCJ7
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Dana 44 Axle Bearing

Just replaced all the bearings in a dana 44 from a 72 Scout to be installed in an 82 CJ7. All went well until I installed drums and noticed excessive (so it seems to me) endplay in the right axle, the left is firm. I looked at some manuals but haven't seen any spec for this and as it determines axle bearing preload(?) it would be fairly important. Does any know this spec and how the adjustment would be done (shims behind the cup,etc)? Any info would be appreciated.

Glenn

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2001, 06:11 PM
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Re: Dana 44 Axle Bearing

Check for a bent seal/bearing retaining plate, it likely has been pounded out over time and isn't pressing tight against the seal.
As I understand it there isn't any preload or end play adjustment. The cone part of the bearing is built with a machined ring around the outer edge. That ring pushes up tight against the cup part of the bearing which sets the preload. The metal outer part of the seal is what holds the bearing in place and the retaining plate is what holds the seal in. If the retaining plate is cup'ed then the bearing and seal will slide in the hole and you've got excess end play.

The scout axle I have, which is still in pieces had the same problem. The retaining plate on the one side was bent like a coffee sauser. The plates aren't very thick and also had a lot of rust pits which also weakened it. I couldn't find anyone with an original new part, but there are a number of people selling universal parts, which are shaped like a U, so you don't have to press off the bearing to get the new plate on. However, the universal part I got had a slighty larger opening in the middle and it was slightly offset. This reduced the actual contact area on the outer part of the seal. I didn't like the idea of having so little metal holding in my axles so I ended up machining new plates which had the right size opening and were made of thicker and stronger steel.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2001, 07:30 PM
glennCJ7
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Re: Dana 44 Axle Bearing

Thanks for the post Max, I have all ready looked at it and it seemed pretty flat to me. I'm going to disassemble it and check the seal.

thanks
Glenn

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2001, 07:52 PM
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Re: Dana 44 Axle Bearing

I'm checking through my factory IHC manuals (volume 1) for a possible solution. I may have something shortly. Being a '72, are these grease lubed?

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2001, 10:07 PM
glennCJ7
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Re: Dana 44 Axle Bearing

Yes grease bearings, I was thinking about installing grease nipples and relief valves when I have time.

Glenn

post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2001, 11:30 PM
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Re: Dana 44 Axle Bearing

Sorry it took so long to respond, been responding to other e-mails and posts.

OK, so I'm here looking over the manuals. I'm going to quote a few passages from the manual, it's easier than paraphrasing, they're in order, but there may be more stuff inbetween.

"<font color=blue>Bearing cup or outer race is a loose fit in axle housing.

Bearings are grease lubed at assembly. Early production axles use inboard seals to keep differential lube from outer bearings. Late production axles however, use a different housing that does not require the inboard seal.</font color=blue>

<font color=red>IMPORTANT: If axle has an inboard seal, be sure seal is returned to its position if removed. </font color=red>

<font color=blue>The wheel bearing is held on axle shaft by press fit cone plus the press fit or retainer ring. The bearing cup and rib ring are clamped together in axle housing through the outboard seal by retainer plate. The outboard seal wipes on rotating axle shaft and at the same time provides a static seal preventing the escape of lubricant between the housing and seal outside diameter.

It should be noted that seal serves as a spacer in the clamp-up of bearing in axle housing. It is through specific manufacturing tolerances that axle shaft end play is controlled. It follows then, that correct components and assembly procedures must be used during the rebuild to ensure proper shaft end play. <font color=red>*There is no adjustment for axle shaft end play on either side of axle housing.*</font color=red>

Insert backing plate mounting bolts and tighten nuts finger tight. Working through the access holes in axle shaft flange, alternately tighten nuts to approximately 15 ft-lbs. Nuts should be tightened so that seal and wheel bearing are drawn square and tight against their respective seats.</font color=blue>"

I also have a section on "Adjusting Ring Type", but don't think you'd have that as it's pretty intense compared to the standard bearing setup. You'd know you had one if you've already taken it apart.

That's about it, there is a lot more, but just standard dis-assembly/assembly stuff. If I had the scanner running I'd scan it and send it to you, so you'd have it. I should have it working in a week, when I get the new OS for the computer. Sounds like maybe the parts are wrong. causing it to be assembled with too much play?

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2001, 05:08 PM
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Re: Dana 44 Axle Bearing

Thanks for the info JEEPN. The retainer is original and in good shape, new bearings and seals same on both sides. The inner seal was seated correctly but I did find some rust behind the backing plate, after a through cleaning of all surfaces there still was some play I even cuped the retainer inward a little but still had play. So I had to shim it, after three attempts I settled on .030" of pinion shims (a perfect fit) between the retainer and seal. It took up almost all of the play some just bearly detectable by hand, since the bearing is made together it should be OK.

Again thanks for the info and good Jeepn.
Glenn

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