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Pressing Axle Hub Into Knuckle


lex4me
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I just got through tearing one side of my axle hub/knuckle apart to replace the bearings and pack everything again on my 91LS. When putting it back together, I used a shop press as indicated in the service manual, but the service manual never indicated what to do about getting the inner race (the one closest to the cap) back in. So...when the axle hub was pulled flush with the edge of the knuckle, I (possibly foolishly) put the inner race on the axle hub and continued with the pressing process to get it back on and pull everything together. Trouble is, I think I may have pressed that race on too tightly, as turning the axle is a bit stiff now. In addition, I have no way of confirming that the inner race is fully seated. The only way to correct this (unless there is some way to pull that inner race back out a bit that I am not thinking of) would be to use a puller in the same manner as I did initially to pull the hub out. This will result in me having to replace my brand new oil seal. Not a big deal, I know. Questions:

Was the proper way to do this to:

1. Begin the pressing process as I did, but press until the outer race is fully seated before adding the inner race.

2. Press the inner race until things are just barely loose.

3. Use the axle nut at torque spec to push the inner race in until it is tight?

Of course, I very well may not have pushed that inner race too far as it is...I suppose that there is no way to know, eh?

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how tight is tight? i had mine done at Napa and well it did come back tighter but after the care was driven for about a month i had to change the brakes and i spun the hub and well it was much smoother and free spinning than that of the old.

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It is tight enough that it will not keep spinning on its own (as the other side that I haven't done yet is), but I can turn it with my pinky. It is very, very smooth, though. It could just be the new grease, certainly. I am used to the american cars on jobs like this, where you turn the axle nut until it is tight and then back it off half of a turn, put your cotter pin in to hold things at that position at go on. It seems that there is no adjustment with this design. I am concerned about excess heat and therefore bearing wear, cruddy fuel economy, and having to tear this whole thing apart again.

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i think thats the way it is supposed to be mine didnt spin freely after the new bearing was put in but like you said it is smooth and could be spun with my pinky.

just put it back together and you will feel a difference. check it like a week or two later and it it will spin like spinners :lol: not really but it will spin more than your old ones and you will be able to tell the difference once you spin it.

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Any ideas on how I can get confirmation that the inner race is truly sealed as it is supposed to be? This whole fiasco got me wondering if it was possible to press the races in too tightly - after all, once metal is touching, it is touching, no? I'm not sure that the pressing in of races can exert enough load against the bearings to cause issues, especially as I think I read that the torque spec on the axle nut is something like 180 foot pounds (way tight). Perhaps the torqueing of the axle nut to spec gives this confirmation?

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