<VV> Early axle yoke inspection tip?

Larry Forman larry at forman.net
Mon Jul 17 17:36:45 EDT 2006

Yesterday I was rebuilding and replacing the left rear axle and bearing assembly since it was making a little noise.  While I was about to take the tire and wheel off, I turned it with my hands and there was quite a bit of axle rotation slop and then gear backlash.  It was WAY too much to be only differential gear backlash and I looked carefully with the wheel off the ground and sure enough it was mostly axle yoke slop on the axle.

I have had the other (right) side axle yoke fail when I was starting out from a stop and it created a NO-GO condition.  This time, it appeared like there might be a way to use some paint to bridge across the axle yoke to axle interface and let it harden.  Once it is hard, then it might serve as an inspection device where once the axle yoke slips just a little, the paint at the interface would become broken.  Then it is just a simple matter of inspecting this paint every so many miles to know if the axle yoke splines are OK.  

I wonder if anyone else has tried this as a way to foretell an axle yoke that is getting sloppy.

FWIW, the axle yoke I took off had about 10 percent of the axle splines remaining.  It was JUST about to fail!  I checked and the locking bolt was properly tightened.  Fortunately, I made my own heavy duty puller and carry it with me in the Greenbrier all the time.  I have a spare axle yoke bolted to it ready for service and another NOS axle yoke under the rear seat as added insurance.


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