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Old July 24th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #1
itselliott
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Default '03 Ram front unit bearing

I have a bad U-Joint at the right front axle

The truck is on jacks, the 4 unit bearing bolts are removed along with the center axle nut and caliper & bracket.

The unit bearing(housing) is rusted in place. This is the whole problem and needs to come out!!
I am soaking with Kroil at this time

The only possibility that "I" see, is getting some sacrificial bolts and wailing on them from the inside in an attempt to drive the unit bearing loose to access the axle shafts.

Any input from someone thats been here???


Thanks
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Old July 24th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #2
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Those suck to get out, I used a chisel and prybar to get those out.

Lots of hammering, try not to damage the knuckle too bad.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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OTC make a real nice puller.
I wish I had one


We used a torch
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Old July 24th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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Fawk!

I was going to make my self a puller tonite, but figured that any puller would seperate the bearing by pulling it out of the hub..........

Concept was to use the lugnuts to fasten a plate across 4 lugs and use a 3/4-16 bolt to push off on the center(axle stub shaft) but I don't think that would work...

thoughts on that??

I'd like to NOT have to replace the bearing

Last edited by itselliott; November 2nd, 2009 at 09:35 PM.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #5
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added pic
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Old July 24th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #6
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They suck. Do a search on unit bearing removal for some tricks. I tried a puller and it just pulled the bearing apart. After beating on the part in the knuckle I finally sliced it with a thin cutoff wheel. Not sure which did more the slice or the heat from the cut. Have fun.

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Old July 26th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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So what happened, did you get them out? Any good carnage? Any better ideas?
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Old July 26th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #8
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i work at a cdj dealer and we use a round chunk of solid steel about 1.75" dia and 2" long, and put it in the knuckle, then you turn it to the side you're trying to remove with the vehicle running, so the power steering does all the work, and if you keep enough pressure on it, it should press it out
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Old July 26th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #9
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After heating the rotor( with a torch) around the lugs and the face surface I still could not even get the rotor removed. So I'm currently pondering my situation. Glad that I quit drinking years ago.
Tried the power steering assist.....only once tho, got worried about damage to the "c" of the axle shaft.
I may cut the ball joints and just pull the knuckle with all still attached and press out the unit bearing on the bench.

The dealer quoted $700 for the job without new rotors or unit bearings.....I think that they would HAVE TO upsell the job to over $1800 when they trash the unit bearings.

Anyone have a complete axle for sale?

Best I can find for cost: bearings $205 ea
Rotors $90 ea
U joints $48 ea
Ball Joints $130 for all

Maybe a new truck should be in the options list

BTW, did not use the puller ...figured that I'd just split the unit bearing by using it.

Last edited by itselliott; July 26th, 2009 at 11:38 PM.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 11:49 PM   #10
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Sacrificial bolts and heat on the knuckle worked well on my XJ unit bearings.

Just need to be sure you have a sufficient amount of distance into the threads on the bearing or it tears them up pretty good.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 11:49 PM   #11
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If you replace the unit bearing, drill it for a zerk.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #12
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itselliott, dealers suck. A guy went in for ujoints under warranty and they told him the ujoints were covered but if they trashed the unit bearings during removal it was going to be on his dime! WTF??

I too gave the power steering one easy try and decided I did not want to risk damaging the weak Dodge box and wondered what extra wear and tear it causes to all the other steering parts and ball joints.

How many miles are on your bearings? You could use this opportunity to upgrade to a Dynatrac freespin hub kit, though it is pricey. Stay away from the EMS kit because it is garbage. Solid makes kits as well.

If your rotor is still good and you figure the unit bearing is going to get trashed (very likely) then use a puller and if the bearing comes apart, so be it. Then you can remove the rotor more easily on the bench. Btw $90 sounds a bit high for a front rotor. Try Rockauto.com

If I still had unit bearings and had to do it again I would get longer bolts, use them to push the bearing apart by tightening the bolts to push it apart (adding spacers between the bolt ends and the hub face if necessary). Once separated then I'd use a simple puller made from welded up angle iron to remove the rest of the bearing housing from the knuckle (like the one in this thread: http://www.turbodieselregister.com/f...s-learned.html). No beating with BFHs, no prying on the knuckle, no stressed steering parts or ball joints and if one was careful the unit bearing could be cleaned and reassembled.

Quote:
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If you replace the unit bearing, drill it for a zerk.
Huh? Why? Where?
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Old July 27th, 2009, 09:00 AM   #13
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BFH, a pry bar and a trusting friend.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #14
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Brods,
Thanks for the input on Dynatrac........but before I put $2k in parts on this Friggin Truck I'll head down to the GM dealer(mind you , I've driven Mopar all my life) This truck got a new engine @ 42K miles after dropping a valve due to spring failure. It now has 55K on it and the Chinese bearings are starting to fail. This, I think, will become China's way of winning a war without ever having to actually declare war.

Current condition: Truck is going to a local shop that knows the current status of the hub. They feel that they can do the job without damage to the unit bearing.

I figure that I will trash the rotor AND unit bearing anyway, so I'll let them have a whack at it(pun intended). I'm just not big enuf to swing a hammer that hard while lying on my back.

If, by luck they do it without any more carnage it's going in the "win" column. We'll see.

XXXJ, About the Zerk.......x2 on the" where"???

Last edited by itselliott; July 27th, 2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 11:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itselliott View Post
Brods,
Thanks for the input on Dynatrac........but before I put $2k in parts on this Friggin Truck I'll head down to the GM dealer(mind you , I've driven Mopar all my life) .........
Since you have ujoints instead of cv joints I am assuming your truck is a 2500 or 3500. In that case the axles and ujoints on your truck are from AAM. Guess who's axle division was spun off to become AAM.


Yep, General Motors.
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Old July 29th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #16
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The carnage will begin this Fri.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #17
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Cut the ball joints today. Still have to get the unit bearing out of the now removed knuckle in order to put it back in. I am looking at tapping the clearance holes in the knuckle to 5/8 -18, then using them to mount a jackplate to push out the bearing.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 01:53 PM   #18
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Ended up torching out the unit bearing............even when completely off the truck, the F>>>>>>>>>>wouldn't let go until I split the bearing housing.

Brods, I definately will look into the Dynatrack conversion if I ever buy a new truck with unit hubs again. It would be worth the $ to take them out as brand new and selling them on E-Bay then installing the conversion!!


BTW, Rock Auto.com.......$195 plus $9.95 shipping

Last edited by itselliott; November 2nd, 2009 at 09:35 PM.
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