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Old 10-03-2022, 02:03 PM   #1
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2019 F-53 Axle Shaft Removal Question

I have a 2019, 26,000# F-53 Chassis with a Dana Spicer 17060S Rear Axle. The other day I noticed that I had a small pool of gear oil on the outer wheel, which I understand to mean the joint between the axle shaft where it bolts to the axle housing is apparently leaking.

This particular axle shaft (Part No. 129440) has 12 bolts retaining it. I researched and from Ford I bought a new gasket (around $4.50) and some gear oil to top off the differential after the gasket and axle shaft was replaced.

It is my understanding that once the nuts are removed from the studs, and maybe after a couple of taps from a dead blow hammer, you should be able to pull the axle shaft from the housing rather easily. Except that is not what I experienced.

First, when attempting to remove the nuts, only three of the 12 nuts came off the studs. For the other nine, the nuts, along with the studs, came out together. It appears that the paint from the factory may have "fused" the nut and studs together. But that wasn't my biggest issue. When I went to remove the axle shaft, it would not budge. Not even a little.

I got my hands on a puller and with a lot of effort, I got the axle shaft to separate from the housing and come out approximately 1/4" - 1/2" but it still did not break free. It felt like it was still connected to something and was under some tension so that is where I stopped.

Frustrated that I couldn't remove the axle shaft, I put everything back together and tightened the nuts back down in a circular pattern, which helped push the axle shaft back in squarely. I torque the nuts down to 63 ft-lbs., which is right in the middle of the range for these 1/2" dia. studs per Dana-Spicer.

Now my question is this: Is what I experienced normal for this particular axle (which I could not find much about on this Forum or Google for that matter) or is there a step (or two) that I did not complete in order to remove the axle shaft? Unfortunately I do not have the Chassis Manual, nor could find one available online. If anyone has a 2019 Chassis Manual, I'd appreciate any assistance you could provide if you could review the axle shaft removal procedure and post it here.

I should point out that none of the 12 nuts were even close to being tight when I first began. They were barely past finger tight which I'm sure was the major cause, if not the cause, of the leak in the first place. Too, once I had torqued the nuts/studs down and did a short test drive, I did not notice any fluid leaks. I even checked back the next day and all was still dry.

Anyway, I am grateful that the leak has stopped for now but before our next trip, I really would like to get the new gasket on there. Your collective wisdom is much appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:20 PM   #2
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There will be torque on the axle if your working on a grade ( hill ).

Chock a bunch of wheels and put in neutral and parking brake off. That will let it come out of the diff. splines.

It's best to seat the studs back into the hub and then thread the nuts on.

Use 2 nuts locked together to hold the stud and then remove the stuck nut. Then use 2 nuts locked together to run the studs into the hub threads with the axle out.
Once studs are all in, replace the gasket and axle and torque.
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Old 10-03-2022, 03:32 PM   #3
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Thanks twinboat!

A little bit more information. I was working on flat, level concrete surface. Rear (passenger) side was up 6" to keep oil leakage to a minimum. Front and rear (driver) wheels were all chocked. Transmission was in neutral and parking brake was on at first, but I did try is without the parking brake as well.

Regarding the studs, I was going to do exactly as you have suggested if everything else had gone to plan. But for expediency, I decided to run them in as-is.

I was concerned that if I got the axle shaft out and since it was under that much tension, I may not be able to get it back in so that is why I stopped.
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Old 10-03-2022, 04:59 PM   #4
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E brake shoes may still have been holding.

There is no reason to tilt the RV more then an inch, the level is that close.

Next time get a the wheel off the ground.
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:35 PM   #5
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Thanks again twinboat!

Okay so for my next attempt, I should (and correct me if I'm wrong or have something out of order):

1. Park on level ground.
2. Chock wheels.
3. Ensure parking brake is not engaged.
4. Place transmission in neutral.
5. Lift axle so wheel (in my case the passenger side) is off the ground approximately one inch.
6. Rear wheel should be free to rotate, forwards and backwards (?)
7. Attempt to remove axle once again.

Anything else?
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75Brickie
Anything else?
If it's no longer leaking, maybe leave it alone?

I'm reminded of the Four Rules of Troubleshooting:

#1 - You can't fix it if it's not broke.

No matter what someone has told you, if your testing finds no faults, look elsewhere. In other words, believe more in yourself than someone else.

#2 - If you mess with something long enough you will break it.

#3 - If something is broke, go find the person who messed with it last.

#4 - NEVER assume there is more than one cause for the problem UNLESS you have overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Once you start down the path of "If this was this way and that is this far out of tolerance..." you are hopelessly lost. Start over from a different angle.


#2 and #3 may be getting ready to come into play here.

Ray
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:03 PM   #7
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2019 F-53 Axle Shaft Removal Question

If it’s not leaking now leave it alone. If it starts leaking again later, do as twinboat said. Axle should slide out easily. I usually throw the gasket away, clean really well and seal with high heat rtv only. Check torque again after some miles, then yearly or so.
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Old 10-04-2022, 05:29 AM   #8
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Make sure the vent hose on the axle is not blocked with mud or spiders. If the vent is plugged, it will build up pressure and leak out the seal.
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Old 10-04-2022, 06:03 AM   #9
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Agree, if not leaking, let it be, BUT that's as long as the studs are all in about the same.

If a nut ran down a stud, leaving it sticking out more then the others, it may not be into enough threads in the hub.

Loose studs will wallow out the holes in the hub and never tighten properly.
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:48 AM   #10
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All great suggestions and tips. Thanks for your time to respond!
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