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kenmack 02-27-2021 07:40 PM

Front Axle Snap Ring Won't Go
I have replaced my CV axle and the inner and outer wheel bearings including new races. The races seemed to be tapped home to the shoulders upon which they rest. Everything seemed to have been done properly with all parts in proper place, but I cannot get the snap ring back into place as its groove needs about 3/64" more exposure. This is the snap ring that goes on after the auto locking hub's inner brake and washer and just before the rest of the auto locking hub is put on the axle. Thank you.

kenmack 02-27-2021 07:44 PM

I've jacked up the suspension, tightened the bearing lock ring, pulled on the axle, removed, replaced washers and repeated. I'm at a loss now for what to do.

VOTS95 02-27-2021 08:25 PM

Did you compare the new bearings/races with the new ones?

It's been some time since I was in this part of my truck so I might not remember everything. But, when I was reinstalling my new bearings, I couldn't get everything to go back together. It turns out the bearings/races AutoZone sold me were dimensionally different than what came off my truck. I took the old bearings with me and went back to AZ. According to their system, they sold me the correct bearings. They pulled out some different part numbers they had in inventory and we found replacements that matched my old bearings.

Got them installed and everything was back to normal. I sold the truck to a friend and he hasn't had any issues with it.

The lesson I learned there is to compare what they give you to what came off the vehicle before you try to install.


kenmack 02-27-2021 09:01 PM

I kinda did, but not to the degree perhaps necessary. I'll go compare the remaining set with the one I removed. I'll be back in a few minutes.

kenmack 02-27-2021 09:22 PM

The races were identical. Markings on them suggest that they were made by the same Japanese company. The outer bearing was identical, but the inner bearing was 0.053" shorter than the original so it seems there should be more space with the replacement in place than the original bearing.

kenmack 02-28-2021 03:17 AM

I took the knuckle off again and made sure the seals were seated well and then replaced it all. I'm still where I was before. Maybe I gained 1/64", but the snap ring still won't go.

cadillacdude1975 02-28-2021 05:09 AM

I bet the new bearings aren’t seated all the way. Mine was a pain in the ass after i changed the bearings. I had to keep spinning the wheel while loosening and tightening over and over.

kenmack 02-28-2021 05:45 AM

That might be it. The FSM say to tighten the retainer to about 72 ft-lb and then loosen and spin before tightening again. Does this sound like what you advocate?

kenmack 02-28-2021 05:45 AM

Imma hafta look it up again.

cadillacdude1975 02-28-2021 01:16 PM

Yes that sounds about right. It had me second guessing everything i did. I probably took it off and apart 2 or 3 times. Thank God i always order two sets of seals lol

kenmack 02-28-2021 03:38 PM

You are talking about the wheel bearing lock nut/lock ring, and the axle end play adjustment, right?

cadillacdude1975 02-28-2021 05:48 PM

Yeah, after it was all back in and on the hub. Couldn’t get it to seat the first couple of times.

kenmack 03-01-2021 01:37 AM

I replaced the other CV axle today but without doing the bearings and have the same problem again. I didn't get to fiddle with the other side yet as you suggested. Instead, I wanted to do the passenger side before the rains set in. I hoped to get my truck off the jack stands and back into it's parking spot, but I managed to bend the ball joint on the tie rod so that the nut won't go back on far enough.

Reserector 03-01-2021 06:35 PM

I recall there is supposed to be a special washer that goes on the CV stub before the bearing race. It has a chamfer on the inside on ONE SIDE. It is designed to cover the radius on the stub shaft and create a seat for the bearing.
If it is left out, or installed backwards you will have spacing problems.

I remember always having to save them off of my old CV axles whenever I got new ones.

kenmack 03-02-2021 01:27 AM

Yes, that washer is on the back of the knuckle and between the CV axle and the knuckle. I have mine with the chamfer away from the knuckle as it should be. Thank you for you help. Any other ideas?

89'HBV6 03-02-2021 02:15 AM


Originally Posted by kenmack (Post 546167)
Any other ideas?

Bigger hammer? :dathumb: :confused:

Actually, got a MIC? (micrometer)
Did you measure things?
How did they (old/new) measure up?

kenmack 03-02-2021 03:38 AM

I tried to call the maker at the number given in their Rockauto part information, but no one answered or called back.

Reserector 03-02-2021 06:20 PM

Can you hold pressure on the back side of the CV axle where it goes into the spindle while you attempt to put the clip on the front side? I have to do that with my Dana 44. Might require another pair of hands.

kenmack 03-15-2021 01:46 AM

I ordered the thinnest snap ring I could which is the 1.3 mm ring and it got into the groove. The replacement tie end is installed. I think my front drive is finished now. I then started to replace the tension rod bushings which were obviously degraded only to find the frame hole for the rod wallowed out and the rod worn through by about a third. Now I need a new tension rod. I took out the other side and found it in a similar state but not as bad. In fact, I could probably still use the rod. Still, I ordered replacements along with the washers that go against the frame. I'm now wondering if I need to do something about the enlarged hole in the frame. I'm talking about where the back end of the tension rod attaches to the frame with bushings, washers and a nut.

Reserector 03-15-2021 05:47 PM

The enlarged hole is fine because the rod just needs to float within it. The bushings center it. No need to repair that.

I welded up the grooves in my rods and smoothed them off. They worked fine. My reasoning was that if the partially severed rods worked fine, then welding back the missing material could only be better. I was right. ;) Ran them for years before the SAS.

kenmack 03-15-2021 08:47 PM

Thanks for the info. I'm thinking little need be done on the frame holes.

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