Spankrjs 1985 Spring Special CJ-7

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Kind of a mock up, but this is what it looks like when it is all bolted up:

20191201_133930.jpg

Ideally, if you are just swapping in bearings, and have not changed either axle shaft, you can use the same shim stack. Well, at least to get started. I switched from the original Timken bearings to SKF bearings. Now, all bearings should be the same, or pretty damn close. When I used the original shim stack, I was too tight, had to add a thin shim to get some play.

So, install your shim stack/brake backing plate "dry". Torque it down. Then, hit the end of each axle shaft (nuts on the threads to protect them) with a big hammer. This will seat both bearing races against their brake backing plates. Now, when you check "end play", you are measuring the "play" in between the bearings and their races. Too tight, the bearing will burn up. Too loose, the bearing will be damaged.

So, both side bolted down, hit each axle with a big hammer. Set up the dial indicator, driver side. Axle pushed in all the way:

20191201_140252.jpg

And then pulled outward all the way:

20191201_140259.jpg

I am at 4 thousandths, the "tight" end of the "4-8 thousandths" range. I am happy with this. New bearings, and no sealant in between all the shims/brake backing plate.

Sealant will slightly increase your "end play", especially if you use RTV or some other thick stuff. Again, I used this stuff:

20191201_145621.jpg

I put a very, very thin coat on the shims and brake backing plate. Bolted it all back together, torqued it, re-checked end play, I am close to 4.5 thousandths. I am leaving it alone.

Driver side assembled, this time I remembered the dust shield. I also installed all the drum brake parts on both sides, super easy with no wheel hubs in the way!

20191201_163059.jpg

There you go, that's how you set up the bearings on the stock two piece axles. If you are really experienced, you can skip the dial indicator. I don't trust myself that much. You can feel the "play", but it is not excessive. Since the thrust block "floats" from side to side on the cross shaft, and both axles shafts are bottomed out against it, if you push the passenger side shaft in all the way, the driver side axle slides outward, and vice versa. So, I guess in a perfect world, that 4 thousandths play is split between the two bearing assemblies. You can check end play on both sides if you want, it will be the same.

Now, this setup does require that your brake backing plates are flat. I have seen them where they are bent outward, this will not work. Also, if the thrust block wears excessively, then the axles won't be "connected", and you will have too much inward "float" on each side. If all your parts are in good shape, it should work out fine.

Like I said in the opening, if any shafts/hubs would have been damaged, I would have swapped in one piece axles. Since my parts are in good shape, and this Jeep won't be thrashed, have big tires installed, or have a V8 swapped in, I should be fine :fingerscrossed:

Personally, I love my Warn full float axle kits. Instead of a single bearing on each side, you have two bearings to support the weight/load on each side, just like the front wheel hubs. It is also much easier to set the bearing end play on each wheel hub, just like the stock front wheel hubs. And, you don't need a press to install the bearings, so you can actually service the bearings. With stock two piece axles, or one piece axles, no way to repack the bearings, without destroying the outer wheel seals, and probably the bearings, too.

That's it for the bearing/axle shaft install. The next part will deal where most of the grief from this system comes from - the wheel hub to axle shaft interface.
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
Awesome write up Raymond. I have a lot of your pic-heavy "how-to's" bookmarked on my desktop.

Have you done a similar write up on installing one piece that I missed? I have stock 2 piece in my green 85 and have some one piece axles that I got in an assortment of parts that I need to install at some point.
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Awesome write up Raymond. I have a lot of your pic-heavy "how-to's" bookmarked on my desktop.

Have you done a similar write up on installing one piece that I missed? I have stock 2 piece in my green 85 and have some one piece axles that I got in an assortment of parts that I need to install at some point.
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from when I installed any 1 Piece axle kits. It's been awhile since I have installed any.

I have only ever installed the Moser axles. Pretty easy install, the biggest issue is setting the bearing "stick out" amount. You have to install the axle bearings spacers, then slide the bearings in, check the amount of bearing "stick out". If the bearings stick out too far, you have to machine down the bearing spacer things.

On two Moser kits, IIRC, no problem with the "stick out" amount. On the Moser axles we installed in JeepAddict's white Jambo, I remember we had to machine down the spacers. His "neighbor" had a lathe and turned them down for us.

On two of the three Moser kits I installed, the differential thrust block had to be removed. I would plan on pulling the thrust block out first, just to be safe.
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
I figured I'd drive the Jeep till it had an issue and would upgrade then. The axles I got are Superior (Foote) but they're just the shafts. I'll have to buy bearings for them.
 
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