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 Axle fun and games

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convert2diesel



Posts : 948
Join date : 2009-01-05
Age : 67
Location : Manotick, Ontario

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PostSubject: Axle fun and games   Axle fun and games Icon_minitimeSun Jul 07, 2013 2:22 am

Further to my issues with the Caddy last week, I now discover that the rear wheel bearings and axles I installed when I changed out my gears only lasted less than 10,000 miles.  This is not the first time I have run into this problem with these rear ends.  The issue here is that the aftermarket does not make a replacement for the Caddy.  The axles are unique to the these cars (4 circuit ABS and traction control) with the reluctor rings behind the wheel flanges as opposed to inside the diff.  That means factory axles or no ABS.  Not an option.

We have lived with this POS rear end now for 40 years. What intellectual cul-de-sac thought it was a good idea to use the outer surface of the axle shaft as the inner race for the bearing.  Lose the bearing and it cuts a groove in the axle affraid.  20 bucks for the bearing and 250 for the axle.  No light bulbs turning on here.  The worst of it is, their still using this rear end on the new trucks.  Did they not get the memo? Put any load on this arrangement and the bearings go south.

Surely at some point someone out there has come up with a PERMANENT fix for this without having to replace the axle.  SKF used to have a stainless steel repair sleeve but have since discontinued it due to legal issues confused BCA has what is called an inner race listed (LM501314) for this axle but the Summit listing is somewhat ambiguous so I don't know if it will work.  Looks like it should but can't find any dimensions for the product, including on the BCA site so can't be sure.

A repair bearing (off-set) is not an option.  Even if they work, the axle has still been compromised and I can't trust it with the trailer weight on it.  Either way I have already invested over a grand into this axle, what with the three sets of used axles of which two were garbage (why do people store these things outside?) and the gear change so investing another 6 or 7 hundred into this is not high on my want list.

Any gems of wisdom and or assistance would be appreciated.  Anyone out there have a good set of axles for this car with good bearing surfaces?

Bill
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toomanytoyz

toomanytoyz

Posts : 3233
Join date : 2008-11-04
Age : 43
Location : Sandown, NH USA

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PostSubject: Re: Axle fun and games   Axle fun and games Icon_minitimeSun Jul 07, 2013 8:04 am

Do the newer trucks have 4 channel abs? Swap in a truck rear? Widths must be close and you could probably make it work. Smile
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

Posts : 5235
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Axle fun and games   Axle fun and games Icon_minitimeSun Jul 07, 2013 9:26 am

Have you checked with Moser? They may be able to install the tone rings on axles for you. The make custom axles for the wagons. You may have to send them your old axles for the tone rings.
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jayoldschool

jayoldschool

Posts : 2548
Join date : 2009-06-14

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PostSubject: Re: Axle fun and games   Axle fun and games Icon_minitimeSun Jul 07, 2013 11:59 am

I checked, and moser does have a end for the GM rear that takes the Ford bearing (eliminates C clips, too). $95/ea.This would require custom axles, I believe.
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convert2diesel



Posts : 948
Join date : 2009-01-05
Age : 67
Location : Manotick, Ontario

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PostSubject: Re: Axle fun and games   Axle fun and games Icon_minitimeSun Jul 07, 2013 2:56 pm

Oddly enough, I just found that "Toms Axles" list a number for the 93-94 Fleetwood with ABS cheers Will phone them tomorrow to verify.  Anyone have any experience with them?  The axles are listed as made by K.A.  Never heard of them but they are apparently made in the USA.  I guess the question is are they WELL made in the USA?

Bill:  If the Toms thing doesn't work out I will take your advise and do some cross checking.  You may very well be right.  The 30 1/2 inch length seems to be the sticking point.

Jay and Fred:  Checked the Moser site and they want almost 700 bucks for the entire kit including axles.  That plus I still have to modify my housing.  Would really prefer to find a cheaper way out.  They only want $250 for both sedan axles without the tone ring so might inquire if they can press ones on and if the dimensions remain good.

Thanks guys.  This should get me going.

Bill
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sherlock9c1



Posts : 2120
Join date : 2009-05-28
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Axle fun and games   Axle fun and games Icon_minitimeSun Jul 07, 2013 5:14 pm

If your existing equipment only lasted 10k, I'd be chasing lubrication issues first. You filled the rear axle until oil came out of the hole, right? I only say that because I've got stock axles with 154k and 170k whose races are fine.


Can you swap to a Caprice axle and ABS unit and go 3-channel instead of 4-channel?
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convert2diesel



Posts : 948
Join date : 2009-01-05
Age : 67
Location : Manotick, Ontario

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PostSubject: Re: Axle fun and games   Axle fun and games Icon_minitimeSun Jul 07, 2013 6:05 pm

sherlock9c1 wrote:
If your existing equipment only lasted 10k, I'd be chasing lubrication issues first.  You filled the rear axle until oil came out of the hole, right?   I only say that because I've got stock axles with 154k and 170k whose races are fine.


Can you swap to a Caprice axle and ABS unit and go 3-channel instead of 4-channel?

No lube issues that are obvious.  Actually changed the oil before I left and yes it was pouring out the plug.  The replacement axles were used (no idea of how used) but the surfaces seemed fine.  Had the machine shop polish them just to be sure but it is possible that they had work hardened over the years.  Another concern was the bearing to surface tolerances.  They went in loose (upper end of specs) and I was unable to get an oversized bearing at the time. Between age, polishing and bearing variance it is probably just too loose.  Was checking for heat all the way home (every hour or so) and found no issues so suspect the current setup is tolerable but it still needs to get replaced.

If I can start with new and get my bearing supplier to "fit" the bearing I should be alright.

Using the Caprice axle is an option but in that case I would just disable both the ABS and the traction control.  Survived 35 winters up here without ABS so don't have an issue in that department.  Just that the current system works so well, it would be a shame.  Still remains as a last resort.  

If the current axles are still clean, with no grooving, I may even try the BCA inner race thing if it is indeed designed for these axles. Stainless steel makes for a better bearing surface than hardened steel.

Thanks

Bill
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