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Replacing axle seals - 70 Ford 2000

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Replacing axle seals - 70 Ford 2000 Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thought you might be interested---
I have a 1970 Ford 2000 with collars on the axles. I researched how to remove the collars and bearing to replace the outer seal (and inner seal) because oil has been leaking onto the brake shoes for many years and the tractor will barely stop.
I have an copy of the service manual. It recommends a method to replace the collars with or without a special extraction tool (which I could not locate).
Following the manual"s instructions, I drilled a hole in the collar slightly to the outside edge of the collar at a more than 10 degree angle -- the angle was needed to avoid the drill chuck hitting the axle as the drill entered the collar. I started with a 1/4 inch drill and moved up in steps to 1/2 inch. The drills need to be sharp and I used cutting fluid to assist. The drills bottom on the bearing race without damage to the race. You might pack the outside of the collar with tissue to avoid getting chips into the bearing. I put a second hole in the collar across from the first using the same process. Then, I used a metal chisel to cut into the remaining metal outside and inside of the hole in order to spread the collar -- I did not make it through to the bearing, but noticed that I was able to tap the collar and it would turn on the axle - thought that would be good enough. I have included a picture of the two collars I removed.
I then built a special collar and bearing extractor from steel I had around the farm. See the picture. The base is 1/2 steel with holes for bolting it to the 9 bolts on the bearing housing. The sides were 1/2 x 3 steel (I first tried steel fence posts but they failed). The top is a solid 3x3 piece of steel about 8 1/2 inches long. I tried a piece of 2 x2 hollow tubing but it bent. The overall length allows a 12 ton hydraulic jack to fit between the top of the fixture and the differential end of the axle.
I put the axle in a big vise on its side and stabilized the jack with a work bench and wooden blocks. The end of the axle slides out backwards.
When I jacked the fixture (I was very concerned about being safe), the base plate started to bend. (You might want to use a 3/4 inch plate or carefully place gussets -- you needed to be able to get the nuts on and off). Even with all of the drilling and chiseling, the collar and bearing were not coming off. I then heated the collar in place with a gas welding tip which has a small 3/4 inch flame. I tried to avoid overheating because I wanted to save the bearing and reuse it if possible. When I was ready to give up, the collar moved and I was able to jack the axle through it -- it is tight for several inches.
Once the collar and bearing are loose, everything falls apart nicely. You can tap out the old outer seal which was hard to the touch -- 33 years old, clean everything and replace it. The bearing and race were fine. The inner seal is in the end of the rear axle on the tractor.
Outer seal is 86531244; inner seal is 81823109. The seals are different for axles with locking nuts rather than collars.
I polished with 400 grit sandpaper the bearing race in the area that gets pressed on the axle because the bearing on one axle was really tight.
I used two 2 inch steel pipe couplers with an inside diameter in excess of 2 1/8 inches and one of the old collars and a steel fence driver (long steel tube with a heavy closed end) to reset the bearing after I packed it with grease. The extra pieces were needed because the fence driver wasn"t quite long enough. You can pick your own bearing driver, but 2 inch ID water pipe is too small. I also packed the pieces with paper towels because the driver was releasing grit and dirt on my newly packed bearing. See the third picture. I checked to make sure the bearing had bottomed by tapping it with a drift punch. By the way, the old collar makes a nice installation tool, as well, for seating the outer seal in the bearing housing. It is the right size.
I haven"t put the collar on yet, but plan to heat it with a rosebud tip for my acetylene touch. I understand that you can drop it down the shaft and it will bottom by itself, although I will tap it down to make sure. If this goes well, I plan to squeeze additional grease into the bearing cavity through the gap around the outside of the collar.
When reinstalling the axle, I plan to check the axle bearing free play and will remove one of the shims if I find that the bearing is loose. I have wondered if the outer seal might have been stretched by a floppy bearing but don"t think so. The old seal was round and uniform but hard as a rock. The inner seal and outer seal should keep the grease in the housing,the differential oil out of the housing, and the brake shoes free of oil.
I am having trouble posting the pictures. Was my first attempt to post a message. Will follow up with pictures if they do not appear.
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R Willis

Joined: 25 Sep 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Western North Carolina

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:22 am    Post subject: Re: Replacing axle seals - 70 Ford 2000 Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sounds like a lot of work. My 1973 Ford 2000 seals leak also. I would attempt it myself but I don't have a garage to work out of, just the barn with a the dirt floor. I had back surgery last December and if I stay bent over for any period of time my back just kills me. They have been leaking since I got the tractor 3 years ago but I have yet to have to add any fluid. I may try and make it through this winter and tackle it next summer. Wonder what a local shop would charge to do the job for me. I did notice my shops sign was $60 an hour labor rate...
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Replacing axle seals - 70 Ford 2000 Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Relative to the last reply, the main reason I replaced the seals was that the brake shoes were so oily that I couldn't stop the tractor when I needed. I suppose that you could spray the shoes with brake cleaner regularly rather than replace the seals. Additionally, I would expect the shop labor to exceed 8 hours if they had experience and the right tools. I had over 8 hours of helper time from friends and family.
Also, for completeness, when I checked the free play of the axles in and out, I had an interesting result. With one axle in, the free play was over 1/4 inch. I found from the manual that you need both axles in place and the spec is 4 to 12 thousandths measured on one (either) side. I used a chisel to wedge one side out then measured the other side with a vernier caliber at a convenient spot moving the shaft in and out by hand. With the original shims in both sides and a few bolts snugged down, it was over 50 thousandths. I removed one shim from one side. It was 30 thousandths thick. The free play was now about 20 thousandths and I decided to stop. You should be able to buy different shim thicknesses, but I didn't have them. When I moved the wedge chisel to the other side, and did the measurement on the far side, it was the same.
The tractor has been working well since then. I also use the brakes to reduce the turn radius when mowing.
One last note: I would not expect to use that puller assembly again. Anyone who might want it can contact me and have it for the cost of shipping (no guarantees that you will be successful using it). It probably weighs 40-50 lbs. I would like to have leased the professional tool but couldn't locate one.
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Tractor Guru

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 17123
Location: Sanford,NC

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:27 am    Post subject: Re: Replacing axle seals - 70 Ford 2000 Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We like pix,,, Just reply to you post about 10 times with something like update and then try again to post your pix...

I made the puller for a 9N and have the puller parts made for a hundred series but have not welded it together yet... I did a in-house guess at the 9N puller but took my measurements to a machine shop for the hundred series plate. It took him about 30 min to draw up a CNC program and machine the bolt pattern and center hole for the plate. I used 1/2" plate...

All I needed was the center machined out I already had located the centers but he did not listen to what I wanted... It was well worth the time and money to watch him perform the work on a CNC Bridgeport and then place it in a CNC machine and machine the center...

Last edited by Hobo,NC on Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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