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replace rear axle bearing?


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So this morning I was adjusting the rear brakes on my Hardbody / 720 / D21 truck, and I found oil on the brake shoes - coming from the axle. The truck has done about 250 000miles now, and lately it's pulled a 2.5 ton trailer, so I guess I had it coming. Has anyone done this job? I assume I must replace the oil seal and bearing behind it? According to the Haynes manual - which is not clear - I must use a slide hammer to pull the axle shaft out, then take it to a machine shop to have a new bearing pressed on? I haven't worked on an axle like this before. I'm wondering how the axle stays in if it can be pulled out with a slide hammer.. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks

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no slide hammer required. look behind the brakes. there is 4 large nuts. i believe 19mm. take those loose, disconnect brake lines, e-brake cables. and slide axle and brakes off. then, stand the axle up on the lug studs. pull the brake assembly off straight up. there will be your bearing and races. the seal will be on the axle itself. your sure its not wheel cylinder seepage?

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You may still have to 'tap' it lightly to drive the axle outwards but I've done several and without too much trouble. Block of wood and a BFH. If it is oil and not a leaking brake cylinder (check the front brake reservoir on the master cylinder) there's no reason to suspect the axle bearing is bad too. Probably just the axle seal and they are easy enough to do yourself.


When the axle is removed there maybe a copper shim pack that fits over the 4 studs between the backing plate and the axle tube. Don't loose those when removing.


If oil has contaminated the grease around the axle bearing I would suggest removing it all and re-packing new grease in there.

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Unfortunately? Nah..replacing a wheel bearing, now that's a bitch. My 620 needed one on a trip out to Ontario years ago. Got one $30! but no one would risk trying to press one on. Tried 5 places, time, borrowed car yadda yadda yadda. Then it dawned on ne... took it to the Nissan dealer and the guy said bring it back late Thursday. Picked it up the next day for $50 (beer money for the weekend for him for the weekend)

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An old mechanic once told me that when a seal leaks around a rotating shaft, it's usually because of extra movement of the shaft - runout? That's why I assume the bearing will also need replacing... and of course, Murphy's Law...

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