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Old April 24th, 2011, 03:40 AM   #1
Paintballpsyco236
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Default Importance of changing axle bearings...

Getting my first TJ sometime next week (hopefully Tuesday) and planning on doing the ZJ disk brake swap after I have had it for a couple weeks. It is a 2001 Sahara and has the Dana 44 with drums. My plan is to have everything I need ready to go and to get it done in a day. I have been reading and re-reading the writeup from stu-offroad and thus far see only one possible issue I could run into...

I mainly want to do this for better brakes, and since I have a ZJ in my yard at present for parts (will be listing for same soon) I figure I have it at my disposal, free time and it is relatively cheap to do...

In his writeup he suggests changing the axle bearings while it is all apart. I have no issues with this as the guy my brother works for has a press at his shop in town I could use to press in the new ones no problem. Now my issue is this. I am VERY short on cash at the moment and am not sure if I will be able to buy all the parts to do the bearings and seals and such at the same time as the lines and backing plates.

So here is my question: How imperative is it that I replace these bearings when it is torn apart? If they look to be in good shape, can I just leave them on and re-use them?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Paint
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Old April 24th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paintballpsyco236 View Post
Getting my first TJ sometime next week (hopefully Tuesday) and planning on doing the ZJ disk brake swap after I have had it for a couple weeks. It is a 2001 Sahara and has the Dana 44 with drums. My plan is to have everything I need ready to go and to get it done in a day. I have been reading and re-reading the writeup from stu-offroad and thus far see only one possible issue I could run into...

I mainly want to do this for better brakes, and since I have a ZJ in my yard at present for parts (will be listing for same soon) I figure I have it at my disposal, free time and it is relatively cheap to do...

In his writeup he suggests changing the axle bearings while it is all apart. I have no issues with this as the guy my brother works for has a press at his shop in town I could use to press in the new ones no problem. Now my issue is this. I am VERY short on cash at the moment and am not sure if I will be able to buy all the parts to do the bearings and seals and such at the same time as the lines and backing plates.

So here is my question: How imperative is it that I replace these bearings when it is torn apart? If they look to be in good shape, can I just leave them on and re-use them?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Paint
Bearings are cheap if you already have the axles out I would replace them rather than 2 months down the line have them go bad and then have to spend additional money on a diff gasket and fluid to do the same job.

If they are not making any noise right now and you do not plan on taking the axles out and/or draining/changing fluid I would just run them as is.

Best advice I can give you that I have learned the hard way is only use Timken Bearings...stay away from parts store crap like Duralast!
http://www.justdifferentials.com/ind...oducts_id=2556
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Old April 24th, 2011, 08:50 AM   #3
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Inspect them, if still good clean them out & re pack them. Although repacking tapered rollers on the axle is not real fun.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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IIRC, these D44's have a wedding ring pressed on after you press the bearing on. To put the retaining plate on you must remove the bearing and the wedding ring. I would NOT reuse the wedding ring, I would replace them both while you have it apart.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #5
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Bearings are cheap if you already have the axles out I would replace them rather than 2 months down the line have them go bad and then have to spend additional money on a diff gasket and fluid to do the same job.

If they are not making any noise right now and you do not plan on taking the axles out and/or draining/changing fluid I would just run them as is.

Best advice I can give you that I have learned the hard way is only use Timken Bearings...stay away from parts store crap like Duralast!
http://www.justdifferentials.com/ind...oducts_id=2556
I am just talking about the axle bearings, not the differential bearings. I figure that would be the best option as well but it seems it would be $110-120 for the bearings, the bearings rings (mentioned a bit further down here) and the new oil seals.

As far as I can tell there is no noise right now. I only drove it down a dirt toad and back to the house for a test drive but noticed no problems. It belongs (for a short time more) to a friend of mine who moved to Alaska. She always took great care of it with fluid changes and maintenance and such and never had any problems. It has sat behind her uncles barn for about a year so once I get it all cleaned up and such I am going to be driving it for at least a couple of weeks to make sure there aren't any other problems that need addressing before I start making any changes to it such as K&N drop in filter, cutting out the cat and the brake conversion. No noises and I am honestly not expecting any issues with it so...

I do have to remove the axles for the swap so they are coming out. And as for the bearings, I have not had the greatest luck with outer "autozone like" products so I would only be using Timken, much better stuff lol.

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Inspect them, if still good clean them out & re pack them. Although repacking tapered rollers on the axle is not real fun.
That is what I am hoping for. For me right not it is just too expensive to do. I need the brake lines with hard and soft lines/hoses and their clips which from Quadratec are ~$60 shipped and the backing plates which are either $8.75 or $12.75 from the dealer. Apparently there is a difference of them on weather or not there is a trac-lock differential. Plus I need new longer wheel studs for the axle shafts... This is all assuming all the ZJ parts (e-brake I mean here) are in good enough shape to reuse. The extra cost right now is just a bit too much for me for the bearings, rings and seals on top of all this other stuff which is why I am concerned as to how important it really would be to replace them while it is all torn down.

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IIRC, these D44's have a wedding ring pressed on after you press the bearing on. To put the retaining plate on you must remove the bearing and the wedding ring. I would NOT reuse the wedding ring, I would replace them both while you have it apart.
They do have a ring pressed on them on the end of the bearing and unfortunately it is not possible to save it. It has to be drilled and cracked to remove it. In Stu's writeup he opens the retaining plate and caliper bracket up a bit to allow the bearing seal and such to slide through.

I was going to post a link to that part of his writeup, as I did so, I read through the axle overhaul link also on his site and saw I DO have to replace them... Just my luck lol.

I guess thanks anyways for the assistance everyone, guess I will just have to wait a bit longer to do this conversion till I can afford the bearings as well... Best of luck with everything and thanks again.

Paint
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Old April 24th, 2011, 06:50 PM   #6
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Why upgrade the brakes so early?
Set the parts aside until you need to do the brakes or go larger tires and need the upgrade.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #7
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Why upgrade the brakes so early?
Set the parts aside until you need to do the brakes or go larger tires and need the upgrade.
That is probably what is going to happen honestly lol. I would just like better brakes that is really all. Also the reason I am going to drive it awhile though aside from checking for other problems. I am not sure when they were last replaced also so... I will probably wait till the next brake change though and get it all done at one time.

This rig isn't going to be built anytime soon. It will get built a little though after my XJ is done and I have something else to drive. This TJ is going to be my daily driver to replace my car right now. Thanks again,

Paint
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Old April 24th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #8
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I would love to know how the hell you put that retaining plate on with the seal with out removing the bearing and wedding ring. And you can get those bearings at bearing service for about $10-$15 each. Just take one of the bearings off and write down the numbers on the journal and go pick up some bearings from Bearing Service or your local bearing supplier.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 07:06 AM   #9
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looks like you have some re-reading to do because it sounds like you are a bit off on your plan. You do not open up the retaining plate to slide the bearing and seal through. You open up the BACKING plate and caliper bracket.

You also do NOT need new hard lines. As for soft lines, they are a few bucks at the part store. You said you have the ZJ axle, take those soft lines. They will have the bracket on them you need to secure the line to the spring bucket. Just drill a hole and bolt it to the bucket. You can either cut and reflare your hard line to make them shorter, or just bend them a bit.

You can reuse the wedding ring on the axle. Some people choose not to, but I have had no problems reusing mine if you get it off properly. A good bearing spreader and a press will make easy work of this.

Make sure you open the backing plate and caliper bracket up far enough to clear the seal easily and not just the bearing. You will damage a seal and need to replace it if so.

If you have the ZJ there, take the parking brake cables while you are at it.

The only thing you would really need to buy for this swap would be longer studs (unless you are on steel wheels, then the studs will be long enough) and the TJ specific RETAINING plate for disk brakes. Oh and some of those fine threat 3/8 bolts to replace the retaining plate studs.

And to Disturban, if the bearing are bad in 2 months, you just pull the caliper and the 4 retaining plate bolts and slide the shaft out. No lost of fluids. It's NOT a c-clip axle. Really no lost in anything but time and this is one of the easiest things to take apart.

So from someone that has done the swop, yes I just cleaned and repacked my bearings (only 40k miles on the jeep though), I reused the wedding ring, I reused the seal (although one of the backing plate was not cut out big enough and cut up my seal).

I didn't have the ZJ for parts so I needed to buy the soft lines, cut and flared the hard lines, and I bough new parking brake cables because I didn't want to half ass bend and clamp the end of the parking brake. You should be able to get these all from your ZJ.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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I would love to know how the hell you put that retaining plate on with the seal with out removing the bearing and wedding ring. And you can get those bearings at bearing service for about $10-$15 each. Just take one of the bearings off and write down the numbers on the journal and go pick up some bearings from Bearing Service or your local bearing supplier.
I wish there was a way but I had found out I can not. There is no way to do that without removing them. I checked a couple places locally and they seem to run about $36 each, plus ring, plus seal. Where is this bearing service center located though? Might be worth a bit of a drive if they are that cheap.

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looks like you have some re-reading to do because it sounds like you are a bit off on your plan. You do not open up the retaining plate to slide the bearing and seal through. You open up the BACKING plate and caliper bracket.

You also do NOT need new hard lines. As for soft lines, they are a few bucks at the part store. You said you have the ZJ axle, take those soft lines. They will have the bracket on them you need to secure the line to the spring bucket. Just drill a hole and bolt it to the bucket. You can either cut and reflare your hard line to make them shorter, or just bend them a bit.

You can reuse the wedding ring on the axle. Some people choose not to, but I have had no problems reusing mine if you get it off properly. A good bearing spreader and a press will make easy work of this.

Make sure you open the backing plate and caliper bracket up far enough to clear the seal easily and not just the bearing. You will damage a seal and need to replace it if so.

If you have the ZJ there, take the parking brake cables while you are at it.

The only thing you would really need to buy for this swap would be longer studs (unless you are on steel wheels, then the studs will be long enough) and the TJ specific RETAINING plate for disk brakes. Oh and some of those fine threat 3/8 bolts to replace the retaining plate studs.

And to Disturban, if the bearing are bad in 2 months, you just pull the caliper and the 4 retaining plate bolts and slide the shaft out. No lost of fluids. It's NOT a c-clip axle. Really no lost in anything but time and this is one of the easiest things to take apart.

So from someone that has done the swop, yes I just cleaned and repacked my bearings (only 40k miles on the jeep though), I reused the wedding ring, I reused the seal (although one of the backing plate was not cut out big enough and cut up my seal).

I didn't have the ZJ for parts so I needed to buy the soft lines, cut and flared the hard lines, and I bough new parking brake cables because I didn't want to half ass bend and clamp the end of the parking brake. You should be able to get these all from your ZJ.
In my second to last post I mentioned that I saw there was no way to get the plate on without removing the bearings. I noticed on the re-read that I am not supposed to open them up so that is what I had meant in that post.

If the ZJ lines are in good shape I will re-use them, but I would still need a mounting point on the axle for them. Through Quadratec they have the hard and soft lines with a mounting clip for $21.99 each side so I may just get those.

If I knew of a way to re-use that ring I would. I guess I will look into how to remove the bearing and ring without destroying them. It would really save me a decent amount of money to be able to save those. That of course assumes they are still in good enough shape to re-use.

Was planning to grab the parking cables though as well, I do want my parking brake lol.

I do also want the longer studs, it isn't steel wheels at present and I am not planning on doing any other modifications than the disk conversion here until my XJ is done. The bolts go for $3.99/lb at my local farm store for grade 8's so cheap enough on those lol. The plates are either $8.75 or $12.75 each depending on if I have trac-lock or not (still not sure) per what the dealer is telling me...

Any tips for how to remove the bearings safely as well as the ring?

That is the plan, to get as much as I possibly can from the ZJ, make use of what I have available to save myself as much money as I possibly can...



Thanks again,

Paint
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Old April 26th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #11
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Those bearings and wedding rings are what keeps your axle shaft in the axle houseing, I would use new ones. And I've never heard of anybody getting the wedding ring off without destroying it until this thread, I do not recomend.
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