View Full Version : Rear Axle: Rear Axle End Play Question

07-01-2012, 04:17 PM
I'm repacking the outer bearings on my '62 Champ truck's rear axle. It is a Dana 44 without twin trac. I repacked the driver's side bearing and re-installed the axle shaft and backing place. I did the same to the passenger side making sure all the axle shims went back on. I went to check the end play and there wasn't any. I made sure all the shims went back on but the shaft was tight. I added .013" of additional shims and it is still tight. Am I forgetting something? I've done this many times on my cars with no issue. I can add more shims to get the end play to spec but I'm worried there might be something else wrong.

Should I keep adding shims or is there something else I should look for?


07-01-2012, 04:42 PM
You might try tapping on the end of the axle with a plastic hammer or a dead blow hammer, or a lead hammer, or a regular hammer with a piece of wood between the hammer and the axle to make sure both axles are fully seated. Then see how much end play you have.

Did the axles slip smoothly into the differential without a struggle?

07-01-2012, 04:49 PM

I did tap the axles with a rawhide mallet and it didn't change the end play. Both axles slide in smoothly. I'm wondering if it was this tight when I started.

07-01-2012, 08:08 PM
When you add extra shims, remember that you have to loosen the bearing race on that side so that the actual play is set by the shims and the backing plate being fastened down. I always give the axle a good tug and shove when checking end play.

07-01-2012, 08:37 PM
Neil good evening.

I don't know if this would help but sometimes when you repack bearings
you may get a little too much grease in, which sometimes causes a hydraulic effect.
Try spinning wheels over a few revolutions and resetting and play, I do that on my front wheels
after repacking them, after driving a few miles I had to recheck the nut on the front wheels has
they seemed to become a loose. You never know it might help.

nibbs53 ( Patrick.)

55 56 PREZ 4D
07-01-2012, 10:54 PM
Did you drive the drivers side bearing cup all the way into the axle housing ? Or did you drive it part way in and then use the backing plate to pull it in the rest of the way ?
When I repacked one of my rearends I installed the cup all the way in and had the same problem. Couldn't even come close to having endplay.
Pulled the cup back out past the end of the axle housing and then bolted the backing plate up. Went to the passenger side reused the existing shims bolted the backing plate up and had correct end play.
I reused the existing bearings, cups and shims, didn't remove the bearings from the axles.

07-01-2012, 10:57 PM
You should not have to tap the left axle into place, because rapping the right one solidly will move them both as required.

07-02-2012, 05:51 PM
I did install the driver's side bearing race flush with the axle. I did pull the passenger side race out a bit after adding shims and let the steel reinforcing plate push it back in. I'll try pulling the driver's side race out a bit and let the backing plate set it. I'll let you know how it goes, Thanks.

07-05-2012, 05:19 PM
I usually do both axles at the same time but I didn't this time. I didn't have enough room to pull the passenger's side axle since the truck was close to one side of the garage. I had finished the driver's side, turned the truck around and did the passenger's side. I think the issue was due to having the driver's side on the ground before setting the end play. Once I jacked the driver's side up I had end play. I pulled some shims until I got it to .004". All seems to be OK now.

07-05-2012, 05:27 PM

It never occurred to me during this whole discussion that one wheel was still on the ground. I was thinking that both wheels were off the ground, which is how I always do it. Glad you caught that. It's amazing what can be missed without seeing the actual car, and also how much of the meaning is lost in the translation when communicating by written word only.

Glad you got it fixed.

Thank you very much for telling us the solution.


07-05-2012, 05:32 PM
Thanks for your help!!