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Old 08-21-2018, 09:44 AM   #1
WABOOM
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Default Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Hey guys. I am going to need to replace my driver side wheel bearing on my Mercury. Its noisy and has "shake" play. At first I thought it was the differential itself but now I think its the axle bearing.

-Is there anything out of the ordinary I need to know about this job?
- is there a preferred brand or source for the parts that you recommend?
- what tools do I need?

I haven't done a bearing like this before, only a seal. That was on an '87 Crown Victoria. Thank you!
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:54 AM   #2
Mike51Merc
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

The Merc rear axles have the same system as the more modern cars. Remove 4 flange bolts at the brake backing plate and yank the axle out. Probably exactly the same as the '87 Crown Vic.


There are various methods to R&R the bearing and retaining ring. I don't have a press, so I cut a slice in the retaining ring with a cutoff grinder and then hit it with a chisel to split it open. Same for the bearing and inner race. Hit the new ones on with a brass drift in a circular pattern a little at a time.

If you can find somebody with a press, that's probably best.
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Not saying it won't work for you as it has for others; tho, if you tap the retaining ring on with a punch and it goes a little crooked, chances are good it will stretch slightly and not be as tight as it should.

But; there is nothing wrong with doing it home; a long pipe over the axle shaft will put it home true. Neighbor showed me the how and why back in high school a while ago.
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

The Dana 44 is pretty common design when it comes to axles. They are a floating type so the bearing flange just unbolts from the brake backing plate end. If the axle has been in there a while, it might take a slide hammer to pop it back out. The bearing locking collars are usually removed with a chisel. A person should have access to a press for bearing removal unless it's welded itself on from overheating. In worst case, a cutting torch has to be used carefully on that type of removal. A driver pipe of the right diameter & length can be used for installation of new parts.

The OEM part number for the bearing is 8M-1225-B and the retaining ring is 8M-1180. Some sell the two parts as a set and some don't.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Thank you. Is there also a seal? Or does the retainer serve as a seal?
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Theree is also a seal in there also if memory serves me correctly. it's easy to spot when you look in the end of the housing.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

If you have a Merc o matic, you probably have a Spicer 41. Not sure if this is the same as the 44
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

The seal is separate. The OEM part number for the seal is 0M-1177-A. There may be later P/N seals that will also work but it's likely for the 19-spline axles. These axles were used for less time with the 19 spline axle shafts but the later versions are still around.

A lot of the Dana 41 axles for the 1949 & early 50 model Mercs used many of the same parts as the later Dana 44 did but they had a smaller ring gear & differential case. They went to the Dana 44 for more versatility. This included the gearing for the Merc-O-Matic that came along in 1951.

They were mostly used in lighter trucks like the F1s & F100s but there are front axle versions for the 4WD applications and even the independent rear suspension version used in the old Jag XKE cars, Corvette cars, and Dodge Viper cars.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 08-21-2018 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

I bought the bearing and seal for my 52 Merc last year from C&G Ford but I have not got around to installing yet. Mine has some play in it but turns nice and smooth.
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

My experience is you need to cut it off. Find someone with a press to put it on. It only takes a minute. Take a piece of wire and tie the bearing retainer to the axle first. If it falls off or gets put on backwards you'll be buying a new bearing.
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

I'm confused here. Are you saying the 3.3 spicers are all 44 series? I was told mine was a 41? well it's still for sale.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Ron
I think most all of the older Dana/Spicer model 44 rear axles have the "44" casting mark just below the bulls eye at the junction of the axle tube and the differential containment housing on the rear surface. All of them use about the same rear cover too. I don't know about the Dana/Spicer model 41 but they have the more rounded cover cap at the rear so a person can tell that they have the smaller diameter ring gear set up. Ford used them for the 1948 thru early 50 F1 pickups and the 1949 thru early 50 Mercury cars plus the 8BA type station wagons and police cars in that time frame.
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

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Originally Posted by Frank Miller View Post
Take a piece of wire and tie the bearing retainer to the axle first. If it falls off or gets put on backwards you'll be buying a new bearing.
Good advise on the retainer; I've come across a couple retainers with part of the top cut off so they could be cheated back in place.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

I’m in the process of doing new rear axle bearings on my ‘51. I cut the old ones off and got everything cleaned up and I painted the bearing retainers....”Take a piece of wire and tie the bearing retainer to the axle first. If it falls off or gets put on backwards you'll be buying a new bearing.” I have woken up in the middle of the night, dreaming that I forgot to put the retainer on before pressing the bearing on......crazy huh?!?!.... Mark
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Thanks, I'll look for the 44. Just curious.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:39 AM   #16
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

I appreciate the help!
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Just wanted to update this thread I finally got the axle bearing and seal installed. It did have some wobbly play. It made a good difference in the noise but I think I need to also do the differential carrier bearings too. Also the bearing I ordered from C& G was not right for this application. The 8M-1225 wasn't right. Neither was the seal.
The one on the car was 88128-2RS.
I don't know why. I wonder if this rear end is not original to the car?

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Old 05-10-2019, 12:46 AM   #18
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

I wish I understood that about tying the retainer to the axle. What are y'all talking about?
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:35 AM   #19
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Quote:
Originally Posted by leon bee View Post
I wish I understood that about tying the retainer to the axle. What are y'all talking about?
The 4-bolt retainer flange that bolts thru the backing plate to the axle tube. Wiring it on is just so you don’t forget to put it on before pressing on the bearing......if you forget it, pressing the new bearing back off will probably ruin it.......Mark
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: Axle seal and bearing on '51 Merc

Oh, the plate. I thought you were talking about the "wedding ring" retainer. I was a little confused too.
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