Originally Posted by mercedesme2
I have seen some oil/ grease on the inside of the tire rim, had it looked at and was told it was the Axle seal...
There are about 6 bolts holding it on, do I dare try changing this out myself? Should I do both sides ?
This is on a 1992 Bounder with a ford set up...looks simple, but then looks can be confusing at times.
The only issue is getting the rear end up in the air to get the tire off.
Thanks for any insight.
Below are some pics of what the operation will look like. To me, it was simple job. And NO, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO BOTH SIDES. Just because one leaks, that does NOT MEAN the other is quick to follow. I've done axle and hub seals for years and only done one. In many cases, the other one NEVER, EVER leaked. I just did it (all be it about 6-8 months ago) on our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT and, it of course, has the 255-80R 22.5 tires so, yep, they're a bit heavy.
And, while you've admitted that you will not be doing the job, in the future, with just a bit of coaching, you can do this job without any issues. Everyone has a hard time using the leveling jacks for doing this job. Well, that's certainly up to them. I used them for this type of work all the time. But, that's only part of the work. Yes, getting the lug nuts off on the bigger rigs can be a pain without the proper tools. I've purchased a Torque multiplier from E-bay that works flawlessly. I can sit on my a$$ and break free, with one arm, all of those 450 ft. lb. lug nuts.
Now, when it comes to removing the large tires and wheels to get them out of the way, yep, I've got a "Wheel dolly" for that. It's a must for that kind of work. It makes handling those 140 lb. aluminum/tire wheel combos and the 167 lb. Steel wheel/tire combos, real easy to handle and maneuver out of the way.
As for the axle, a regular 1/2" drive impact gun did mine very easily. Then the axle came right out. And, to those that think there's always an axle gasket, NOPE, not all the time. I have none on mine as well as ALL the fire trucks I assisted working on, also did not have any. Silicone is all that was used.
Now, for the hub nut, yep, that's seriously large nut. If I recall, it was around 3" or so inches in diameter. And, there's TWO of them. One locks the bearing in place and one locks that nut in place along with a very special lock plate/washer in between.
As has been stated, there are some with drum brakes and some with drums. Our Itasca is drum. And that drum is seriously heavy. So, for that, I've got an answer too. I use a "motorcycle" jack for that. It works so darn slick for that purpose, it's like it was designed for it. It rolls right under that drum and I put a spacer in there the difference in diameter so the drum will not tilt when removing it. I slide that drum right off. Piece of cake.
Now, here comes the fun part. Getting that seal out of there is not too bad. But, when all the parts are cleaned and inspected (inside bearing)for damage and or wear, and are approved for re-use, then they're re-installed and a new seal is needed. That seal on mine was/is about 5 1/8" in. in diameter. Installing it so that it's not tweaked is no easy task. I had to make a seal driver to install it. And by the way, you asked where you'd get the seal. On just about all seals like that, there's a part number right on them. In the old days, and, even lately, there's also a designation "C/R" too. That used to stand for "Chicago Rawhide" but, I have no idea if it still does or not. I just took that part number and put it on ebay and ZAP, that seal popped right up and, for a lot less than I could get it locally. It ended up being almost $50.00 locally, and that was with a discount.
On E-bay, it was about $30.00, including shipping. I ordered one for the other side, just in case, it starts leaking in the future, if it ever does.
With that home made seal driver, I was able to insert that seal evenly and accurately. Then, it was a simple task of reversing the process of re-assembly. The anti-lock brake rotor ring was cleaned and inspected as well as the sensor, and the brakes were inspected. All was good. Then, I slid the drum back on and installed and torqued both hub nuts and the special lock ring in the center of the two.
The axle end was cleaned with Lacquer thinner and re-coated with a bead of Silicone. I inserted the axle and the bolts. I torqued those to specs. Then, the re-installation of the tires and wheels. Again, with the use of that dolly, it made it very easy to handle those tires and wheels. I installed all the 33MM lug nuts and torqued them to 450 ft. lbs. DONE.
Now, some of you have stated that the job "Should" be left to a professional. Well, In one way, I agree, in another, it's not a very complicated job. But, if you've not done ANYTHING like this before, on any size vehicle/truck etc. you'd either be better off paying to get it done or, get someone with good experience to ASSIST in the job, from start to finish.