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Old 08-18-2004, 07:40 PM
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Axle Play Problem

I have an 8 3/4 rearend. I put it together about a year ago and had a constant heavy leak in my drivers side wheel. IT IS NOT A POSI. So today i went and saw that both the passenger wheel and driver wheel axles had too much play in them.

I ended up tightening them until the drivers side had no play, but then the passenger side (the power side) was too too tight. I thought the drivers side was supposed to be tight and passenger a little play.

Anyhow, I ended up driving the car and I had a MAJOR loss in power. I am thinking that the loss in power is from the axles being too too tight, causing the wheels to have trouble spinning.

My question is how much play do you give the axle to where it will get maximum performance with no leaking?

Does the loss in power sound right as far as the axles? I also noticed that a bad vibration problem i used to have has diminished.
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Old 08-18-2004, 09:00 PM
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71GTX,

How did you "get the play out?"

Scholman
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Old 08-18-2004, 10:13 PM
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The tightening device, can't remember what its called, right on the passenger side axle where it meets the backing plate. you can tighten it or loosen it.
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Old 08-19-2004, 05:55 AM
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When you put it together, did you give it new bearings and seals, check the axles for damage or warpage, and adjust axle end play at that time?

End play specs should be in your service manual. My Hanes manual states .008-.018" on step 25, out of 27 steps for an 8 3/4 axle on my old dodge van. You should get a book if you don't have one. If you follow the procedure and don't end up with this endplay number, there is another problem.

There is an inner and outer seal. If the outer seal is leaking, the inner one has failed. The axle must be removed, and a new inner seal installed, and inspect the axle itself, and bearing, before adjusting endplay again.

Improper bearing adjustment will toast the bearings quickly. There is probably already a bearing or axle problem which caused the leak and vibration.

You can remove the axle(s), and take them up to a machine shop for the new bearings and seals to be pressed on, and have them inspect the axles. It doesn't cost that much, and is definitely worth it, to not have a wheel fall off.

An alignment can usually tell you if the rear end housing is bent.

Last edited by yesgo; 08-19-2004 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:47 AM
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I had the axles out about 2 times but never had the bearings replaced. I replaced the inner seals, which is why i don't think they failed.

Another weird thing is that as much as it leaked, i went to refill the oil and it was completely full. But i Know its not brake fluid, so?

I just don't want my bearings to fail on me and i need to fix this play. I will try and loosen up the play and see if its better. But is there another way to figure out if the bearings are bad because I know if they start whining they are. But as loud as the car is its impossible to hear the rear tires.
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:36 PM
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If you replaced the inner seal, and you have grease coming out, the new seal has failed and needs replaced again.

The question is why.

You can do much inspection while the axle is out to replace the seal again. Polish the axle where the seal rides with emory cloth and check for imperfections. Check the axle for straightness, and the bearing for smoothness and rust.

It doesn't take much grease to soak the brakes. Replace the shoes if they have any contamination.

Replace what needs replacing, and follow factory procedures for endplay. If it is not within specs after following procedures, something else is worn or bent. Dont give up until you find it.


(I edited my other post slightly, as somehow I had the inner and outer seals flipped around in my head)

Last edited by yesgo; 08-19-2004 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 08-19-2004, 02:09 PM
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Something is seriously wrong with your axle if you can adjust anything, especially the 'tightness' of the axle, on the outside of the axle tubes. There are no adjustments provided for there. It sure sounds like you are unfamiliar with the design so would be well served by taking it to a mechanic and ask for a lesson on how they work. While there, ask him to troubleshoot it. His fee will be a good investment in your continuing education.
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Old 08-20-2004, 04:11 AM
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I agree a professional should be involved, Willys, but I must disagree with your statement that there is no adjustment, because there is.

The Chrysler 8 3/4 has an axle shaft adjuster ring on the right side axle to adjust endplay, and should be adjusted anytime one or both axles is removed.

There is a picture of one at the bottom here:
http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/80918/

Apparently, it can be replaced with a non-adjustable one, at least with what they were doing. When I was a kid, my dad lost a wheel/axle on his '73 Dart from adjusting it too tightly after replacing a seal. The axleshaft split and the wheel passed him up.
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Old 08-20-2004, 07:53 AM
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Thanx for the education yesgo. Never saw one of those doohickies before. Frankly, I stick to Hotchkiss rear ends whenever possible. I have a Salisbury on my '53 Chevy pickup which came on the truck and is 6-lug so no reason to change.

Incidentally I have all my custom axles made by Moser. They made a set of street axles for my 8" narrowed, '56 Olds rear w/ Buick aluminum brake drums under the Willys. They were perfect and the price was amazingly reasonable.
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:21 PM
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I completely understand your advice in taking it to a professional. However, I am just starting out, I know a good amount about the rear end, I'm going away to college, and the funds just aren't there. Mopars are soooo expensive when trying to restore, and I found the pit. But I definitely don't want a wheel falling off. And when I did take my car to a professional once, he absolutely screwed everything up, didn't want to ever do it again.

But I'll think about it before something does go wrong. I mean the car was driving awesome before I tweaked with it. I guess thats how they are.

Oh, by the way... I know how you said if oil started leaking my inner seal failed. But, when I tightened the play and drove it about 100 miles, it doesn't leak.

Oh well, thanks for your guys' help. I'll look into it.
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