rear axle bearing installation help needed


Bigger Hammer
Jan 29, 2010
Eagle, Idaho
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1959
I have a question about how far to seat the race/ bearing into the rear axle tube. Eric B has a great write up on the axle service ( included below), but it is not clear on the bearing race question. He states " it should not go in flush", does that mean it should stick out past the axle tube or be inserted further into the tube, or does it seat itself when you tight the nut on the axle after the drum is installed?

We used new bearings, will the number of shims change??

I am a bit fuzzy on the details and don't want to ruin the bearings. Thanks for any help>

[Eric B]
install new inner axle seal.
Replace axle shaft or bearings on axle depending on the failure point.
Re-install axle into tube. (carefull not to damage new seal)
Make sure outter bearing is pre-lubed. Get outter race lined up onto axle tube. ( I had to use old race ) Gently tap bearing/race back into tube. Should not go in flush.
Will have a little play in/out on axle shaft. [/quote]
I know it was a bit fuzzy there.....

I kept the original shims I pulled out and ordered 2 sets of new shims, I matched the original shim thickness on both sides and assembled, "too tight" had to pull back apart and add more shims to each side till I got it just right. I had roughly 1/32 to 1/16 of an inch play on both sides before I was able to get it all back together and keep the rear diff. spinning freely.

My axle nut helped seat the drum on to the axle and tighten things up.

Hope that clarified a little bit.