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-=Axle Warning=-

Blue Bowtie
10-19-2010, 07:40 AM
If you are replacing a front half-axle you NEED to check the spline length and overall shaft end length carefully. There was recently an axle replaced in a '98 Silverado and within 200 miles the brake on that side failed, the bearing had failed, and the wheel was about ready to leave the vehicle. The axle was installed correctly and other parts were assembled to the factory instructions. The problem arose from taking for granted that the axle was correct when it came out of the box, even after a quick comparative examination.

It was bolted to the knuckle, pulled through the bearing, and the nut was run down tight. It was torqued properly, but just tight not in the correct area. Upon subsequent inspection the axle moved just a bit in and out, almost undetectably. It's that close - Just loose enough to destroy the bearing. The splined portion of the axle was a bit too long, allowing the nut to bottom out before properly loading the bearing.

The next day another another axle was ordered. It turned out that ALL the axles they had (the next 4 that they had brought out) were too long in the snout by 1/8 inch. That means every one of those axles made by that company in that lot are faulty, and not one would hold a bearing after installation. Another axle ordered another from a different vendor fit and worked perfectly. Fortunately the knuckle was not damaged.

The axle manufacturer (brand) and parts supplier's (national chain) names are unimportant. What is important is that you check your repair parts and don't assume the offshore components are correct.

10-19-2010, 08:34 AM
Thank you for the heads up.

10-19-2010, 06:38 PM
Yikes, great info for any car/truck, never had this happen, I would have missed that especially just 1/8" difference!!

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