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Rear axle shim source needed


johnworden1
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John,

        If you can't find them, they would probably be easy to make using some steel shim stock. They aren't very thick so they could be cut with tin snips. or they can be cut and drilled between 2 pieces of 1/4 in. plywood. I would have thought that they would be available from the parts houses!

Edited by jpage (see edit history)
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You can also buy "arbor shims" from the likes of Grainger. They come in various sizes and thicknesses.

 

I just made mine from shim stock. Far cheaper. The shim stock was $15 for a sheet and I made two from it. I think a packet of 10 (all one size) will work out cheaper for you in the US, but you first need to assemble (leave out the seal) and measure the end float to work out what you need.

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6 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

You can also buy "arbor shims" from the likes of Grainger. They come in various sizes and thicknesses.

 

I just made mine from shim stock. Far cheaper. The shim stock was $15 for a sheet and I made two from it. I think a packet of 10 (all one size) will work out cheaper for you in the US, but you first need to assemble (leave out the seal) and measure the end float to work out what you need.

I can't seem to adjust one axle shaft end play without affecting the opposite side end play. Is there a trick to it?  My manual gives the allowable measurement and instructs to adjust end play with shims but does not say how to do it. I have both sides within specs. but can't even them out.   Thanks.   John

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That seems odd. What does the Instruction Book or Shop Manual say?

 

I thought I had it right on the left side. I took it for a drive. When I came back I checked: no end clearance! I had to add another 0.004"! My end float spec. was 0.002-0.003". Actually, thinking about it, I adjusted it then tweaked the backing plate mounting nuts one more time.

 

Make sure your measuring gauge is attached to the brake backing plate, not the floor or anything else. When you pull and push the axle, it can more the whole lot a tiny amount. Mine did!

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My Motors manual calls for .003 to .008 axle end play with equal readings at both sides to center the thrust block. There is no step by step instruction. I have both sides within specs. measured with a dial indicator now but not equal. I will probably shim tight on the side with the most end play and loose on the other thinking that there may be slight changes to the end play as the miles traveled accumulate and the new bearings seat. I don't like the imprecision of it. 

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Do the round shims have the five (5) holes and a flat along the outer diameter ?

Does your shaft use a  a single tapered Timken axle shaft bearing?

Then the shims you need are probably the same as passenger car shims... and came in .003/  .005/ .010../.030"

 

Do as mentioned above.... mount the indicator firmly to the backing plate.

 

Make sure after installing both axles and backing plates to use a heavy brass hammer and rap the end of each axle shaft a couple times to force the bearing races tight and straight against the backing plates (this makes sure the bearing race (cup) tension is relieved and the race is 100% tight and straight against the backing plate.

 

Then rotate/ push and pull the axle shafts very firmly a few times to squish the grease out of the rollers to make accurate dial indicator measurements.

 

You should be able the push and pull on each axle shaft and feel a  small amount of end play with  a couple starter shims installed on each side. Say .010 to .015" on each side to start.

You usually need  fives and tens maybe even thirty's (Shims) to get the correct amount of end play. .003 to .008". If you had the original shims and kept then where they were on the rear axle all this would be very quick and easy!

 

So now Measure axle shaft end play with the dial indicator... you need to push and pull very firmly to get accurate readings...... readings should be  the same both sides regardless if say one side has a different number of shims or thickness of shims.

When you push in on one axle you are also pushing the differential square steel centering block that forces the other side axle and bearing against it's race. That's why both axle end play readings are always the same as long as you first seat the bearing races and work the new grease out of the bearing rollers and races for accurate end play readings.

 

Also you should try to keep the same thickness of shims on each side... this is to keep the centering block roughly centered in the differential.

Don't have .030" on one side and .005" on the other. Ten or fifteen thousandth's difference is probably fine.

If you have a large assortment of various thickness shims at hand this whole process is easy!

 

So you need to find a bunch of shims... hopefully off a parts car!

.

Rear Axle C39 Blake's Rebuild (15) (Large).JPG

Edited by c49er (see edit history)
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Thanks guys for the help.

Today I was able to get .003 end play one side and .007 the other which is just within tolerance. The manual says to have equal shim thickness both sides. As of today I need a .036 shim both sides. I have 2  .030 shims and will most likely make the rest.   

John

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Your uneven end play side to side is not right.

You might not have read my post.... not that I know anything...I do these all the time in my work.

Just painting the backside of the backing plate with HQ automotive paint can change measurements by .005" or more.

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I've read all the posts and thank you all for them.

I will measure everything again today to confirm that the measurements fall within those listed in the Motors Manual. The manual also specifies equal shim thickness which I have gained. 

If all is good I will fit the shims and  backing plates and measure end play again.    John

 

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