Removing Rear Axle Splines
Hello to all, Several weeks ago there was alot of conversation and some great tips on pulling the rear hubs. Well I am in the same situation, but we cannot get the rear axle shaft out to press the hub off. The axle does spins freely but will not slide out. Are there any tricks to this? Thanks for any help. - Skip Smith, XK 150 DHC
Hello to all, Not to long ago I started the thread about removal of a rear splined hub. After hearing everyone's thoughts and recalling the problems I had when I did this job before, I decided to remove the hub and axle as a unit and then attempt to separate the two later. My problem now is that I can not get the axle/hub out. I have removed the bolts securing the hub seal and from looking at my parts book, there should be nothing else holding the axle in the axle tube. I do not see anything pinning the axle at the differential end. I have removed the axle shaft nut but that should be meaningless because that only holds the hub to the axle and I am trying to take them out as a unit. I also have released the nuts holding the brake rotor to the hub but that again should be meaningless since that has no effect on retaining the axle in its axle tube. Am I missing something??? Is it just the friction of the axle bearing in the axle tube that is holding the axle in at this point??? I am about to put some hydraulic pressure on it at this point, but before I do I want to make sure there isn't some mystery part which I will break. This is a Salisbury differential in my xk-150. I will appreciate your help. - Don Sime
That's how I balance motorcycle tires. They come with an axle and bearings built in. - Mike Eck
Hi, Don - A slide hammer fastened to either a J-hok or to a gear puller should break l the friction fit of the axle splines in the differential spider gear, allowing the axle/hub assembly to slide out. Moderately light impulse pressure should do it; if hydraulic pressure is needed, something else may be wrong (in the differential). Best of luck! Be careful! - Larry Schear, Twin Cam, Inc.
Hello to Skip Smith and others, Having started the hub removal discussions a few weeks ago, I better offer my help. I have removed the rear hubs both ways: striking the hub with a heavy hammer until it pops off the axle and removing the axle/hub as a unit and having the hub pressed off. In either case, you need to apply a lot of force to do the job. Make sure you have removed the five bolts that hold the outer hub seal to the differential tube. They can be difficult because the hub and brake rotor are in the way. Once you have those bolts out, you only need to apply enough brut force to get it loose. The problem is the tight fit of the outer race of the bearing that fits into the differential tube. I had wanted to get some kind of hydraulic jack behind the rotor to force it out, but was never able to figure out how to do it. Instead, I used an old knock-off that I struck with a 2 1/2 pound hammer several times. It will slightly dent the edge of the back side of the knock-off so don't use your new chrome ones (if you have any). Also be sure not to strike the ears of the knock-off because it will break them off. Of course, that will give you an old knock off that you can now hit with abandon. In striking the hub you will probably hit the splines from time to time. This should not be a problem since the splines are ruined and you are going to through the hub away. If you want to save the hub, you will need to protect the splines somehow or be very accurate in swinging the hammer. In the last three weeks I have removed the splined hubs from both left and right rear axles. The first one I beat on the knock-off and the whole axle came out. I then took to to a shop where they pressed it off without trouble. On the second axle I again beat on the knock-off and the hub eventually popped off and the axle remained securely in the differential tube. There is no easy way to do this job. It takes brute force and you will have to swing hard to get it off. You are working in a small space and trying to exert as much force as possible. I wish I could figure a better way, but I don't think there is one. Good luck and let us know how it comes out. I now have another interesting thought. The hub that came off was, while not good enough for road work, good enough to hold a wheel to spin it. Therefore, I bought a used axle, and have put the hub on it and will now mount that axle horizontally somehow(the details have not been worked out yet.) If the bearings are greased enough, I should be able to spin it either manually or by hooking it up to an electric motor. I will then be able to judge the out-of-round and hopefully adjust the spokes to correct this and maybe even do a balancing of the wheel. If it spins freely, it should always stop with the heaviest part at the bottom. By marking this and doing it a few times, I can then pick a spot directly across the wheel and put a weight on it. Does this sound like it will work? Has anyone tried this before? Also, to Skip, If you do get the axle out, you may want to change the bearings. Don't order any yet. They are Timken bearings and my first set cost me $29.00 (USD) from X-K Unlimited. For the next set, I took the Timken numbers down to a local bearing shop and they sold me the same bearing for about $10.00 less. I will get the numbers when I am home this weekend and send them on to you. Best Regards. - Don Sime, 1958 xk 150 fhc
Good use for the old hub, Don, but don't grease the bearings. Use WD-40 or C RC-556 silicone oil instead; this will minimize the friction and allow the least resistance to the wheel's heaviest point drop to the bottom. If you have the usual thick grease on the bearings, the heavy spot will settle somewheres other than at Bottom Dead Center. Good idea, and best of luck! - Larry Schear, Twin Cam, Inc
To Larry Schear and others, Thanks for the suggestion of not using grease but a light oil to lubricate my wheel spinning hub/axle. I was thinking about that as I was driving into work, wondering if I should build a grease fitting into it or whether oil would be better. It certainly makes sense that a light oil would produce a more friction free rotation than grease. I will let you know how it turns out. - Don Sime, Xk-150 fhc
To Skip Smith and all, Now you know why I think removal of a rear spline is one of the toughest jobs there is. The answer to your question is : yes, you will probably need to get someone to cut the hub off. The first one I did several years ago was that way. I took it to a friend who worked in a machine shop and he put it on a lathe and cut if off. Another possible solution: junk both the axle and hub and buy a used axle (I recently bought one for $100 US) and a new hub and put them on.
Do you want so more bad news? You will probably have to junk the wheel also. The wear that occurs in the hub on the axle also causes wear in the hub of the wheel. If you put a worn wheel hub back on a new axle hub, you are only creating the situation for more wear to occur and lead to a replacement again in the future.
Now once you have the hub apart, give some thought to a few other things. You should probably replace the wheel bearings. It is easy to do once the hub has come off. Also take a good look at your brake rotor, (sorry I am thinking 150 with disc brakes, but maybe the drums need to be changed.) If you think it may be warped, now is the only time to change it. You will never want to take the hub off later just to change the brake rotor/brake drum. But wait, this gets more complicated. If you change one of the brake rotors, you will have very uneven braking. The brakes on the side of the new rotor will grab very well and the brakes on the side of the old rotor will not. This produces a definite pull to one side. It's is not anything that can not be handled, but it will be something of which you have to be careful.
Since everything I mention has happened to me, I might as will tell you how I handled it. First the left hub and axle were removed as a unit. Then a new hub ($205 (( all prices US dollars)) from British Auto), and used axle ($100 ). Then a new inner axle seal ($21), hub seal and axle bearing $30 (all from Xk Unlimited). Finally, a new brake rotor ($91 from XK Unlimited).
Then because I knew (from experience again) that the right rotor should be changed, I did that side. This time the tap, tap, tap (really more like bam, bam, bam) on the hub resulted in the hub coming off that axle so I did not need to change axles. I then took a gamble and bought a used axle hub. I know this sounds dangerous, but I at this point all I could see was money flowing out the door. The used hub was $100 and after I got it I was satisfied that the splines were if fact in good shape, but it was probably a foolish thing to do. Also, because I did not remove the axle, I did not change the bearings or seals. Then I bought a another new rotor ($91) and put it all together.
Now I have yet to address the wheel hub issues. One of the wheels will need to be trashed. The other one is marginal so I will probably replace that. By this time I have spent $638 dollars and have yet to purchase new wheels for the car. Since winter has descended upon Chicago, I probably will not make that decision until spring. All in all this has been an expensive and time consuming problem. I have no intentions of ever doing this again. If I do, I think I will sell the car first. I now have the axle and hub that was on the left side which I am mounting horizontally in bearings and hope to be able to spin the wheel and where it will stop with the heavy part of the wheel/tire at the low point. I then can note that location and put a wheel weight on the other side of the heavy point to balance the wheel/tire. So far the results look promising and I will let you know if it works. Best regards - Don Sime,1958 xk-150 fhc
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