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Old 04-27-2019, 01:52 PM   #1
leon bee
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Default 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

My car is going to be on the road soon! 50 Coupe which sat in the woods for decades, been about clear through it except the rear end. Been a car guy forever, but have kinda stayed out of differential/rear axle except for maybe the pinion seal.

These rear axle bearings were "permanently lubricated and sealed" 70 years ago. I haven't found the pertinent old posts yet, but have read the green book and looked around a little. I need to replace those rear seals as I'm getting a little leakage out the ends.

So, other than just feel of the axle bearings, I'm wondering what is the conventional Ford wisdom regarding these bearings? I'm aiming to make the car kind of a daily driver. Thanks a lot!
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
cas3
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

you have to pull the axles out to get at the seals, so while the axle is out, you can spin the bearing and see how it feels. myself, i would just replace them while its apart for peace of mind. try to find some real nos bearings too. how about pictures?
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:12 PM   #3
leon bee
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

Thanks, cas. I think I will go and look for some. In the book it shows a removal tool for the retaining ring, I wonder how that works?
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

The removal process depends on the tools at hand. A cold chisel is called out in the OEM manuals for retaining ring removal. The rings are like a swaging ring in that they are relatively soft and easier to remove than a person might think.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

I couldn't tell from the book if you reused the ring if you have that tool. And I couldn't even hardly speculate how it works from the illustration.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

if your not familiar with van pelts web site, he may have better drawings to get a clear picture. http://www.vanpeltsales.com/
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

I spend quite a bit of time on the VP site, it's a real treasure. Haven't spent an awful lot of money with him, but some, and I will again.
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

I got a new axle bearing from C&G Ford parts for my 52 Merc. It came with the new spacer. I had a local guy with all the machine shop equipment replace it for me. Huge press made it look easy. I think he applied some heat to the spacer at some point in the process.
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:08 AM   #9
leon bee
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

Looking at my book again, I guess the retaining ring is always sacrificed and replaced? I'll replace it if I replace a bearing, but I just like to know. Thanks!

And if anyone knows, is that removal tool shown in the green book some kind of splitter?
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

A good sharp chisel with the other side of the lock ring on a hard surface it will split. If the bearings are good and smooth and the seals for the bearings (on both sides of the bearing itself)are good, If NOS are not available I would certainly leave the ones that already there. Good bearings will not hold the grease if the seals are bad, the grease leaks around the bearings. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

If it sat in the woods for decades I would definitely replace the bearings. Moisture can form inside the bearing (rust) just from severe temperature changes. Do it now rather than have to do it on the road.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

[QUOTE] And if anyone knows, is that removal tool shown in the green book some kind of splitter?

What "Green Book" are you referring to?
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:36 PM   #13
leon bee
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

A reprint of the official 49-50-51 Ford car service manual. It's green.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

If your doing bearing I would just line up a automotive shop that can do bearings in a press. They will pop off the retainers, the bearings are pressed on to afaik. Last ones I did from a 78 Bronco at home with 13 ton press really tested the press.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:17 AM   #15
Frank Miller
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

I just did one on a 20 ton harbor freight press. I cut both the bearing and the retainer ring off with a cutoff wheel. Cut almost through and break off the rest with a chisel. They pressed on easy enough but make sure you press on the inner race. I got timken bearings from Rock Auto. They have the seals too. I do not have part numbers handy.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:00 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

I did the ones on my ‘51 just like Frank explains above. A blunt chisel in the slot you cut with a cutoff wheel, support the under the axle and a good whack with a hammer......Mark
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

When I got my '50 Ford that had been setting 26 yrs with 74,00 miles on the odometer, the first thing I did was replace all the wheel brgs. I have driven it around 40,000 miles since then, cross country 2 times and in all lower 48 states at least once, including Quebec, with no problems.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

any rear wheel bearing I ever replaced came with a retainer ring.
and yes a good press makes it a whole lot easier
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:31 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

I've done them many times without a press, but I'll admit it's not the best method. Slice with a cutoff wheel and chisel retainers and bearings off and drive the new ones on with a hammer and brass drift a little bit at a time. You can also use the old sliced bearing and a long pipe to serve as a driver. Someday I'll get a press if I can find a place to put one.

Even if you could remove the retainers without damage, you don't want to reuse them because they will be stretched and won't hold well.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:07 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1950 Car Permanently Lubricated/Sealed Bearings

I still pound a few bearings on with an old chisel that I modified with a blunt and slightly angled driving end. A person just has to be careful for the shaft. The bearings are pretty tough. A long piece of pipe might also work if it will fit over the splines. A person has to add something to the wheel lug stud end though to keep them from taking any load from the pounding. Weld a cap on the pipe to pound on. I have a few tools like that. It works surprisingly well.
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