Change Your Halfshaft Bearing
(from the “Vanman”)

Here is my article on,”how to change your halfshaft bearing” and in the now popular phrase “here’s one I made earlier”. Right before we start, the boring bit.Warning – Using air tools can be extremely dangerous and unless you are 100% confident in what you are doing, I would suggest that you leave this to a suitably qualified person. The normal procedure for removing bearings is to use bearing removers and a press to push them back on. This is nothing more than my DIY way of doing it, as I don’t own any suitable pullers or press tools. I have used this technique for many years now and have never experienced any problems.

You’ll possibly need one of these. This is a slide hammer or halfshaft puller. This is one I made from a scrap halfshaft, removing the old bearing, welding a stop on the left end. I had a large sliding weight machined for me… the big bit in the middle…, then a large stop welded on the end to which the weight is banged into to draw out the shaft. The other way to draw out the shaft is to use an OLD road wheel bolt it onto the wheel studs as normal then hit the inner rim with a hammer outwards.

Photograph No 1

“Weapons of choice”. The top tool is an AIR CUT OFF tool. The disc is extremely thin and is ideal for this job as you can get into awkward spaces. The lower tool is an air chisel. Extremely powerful and noisy. It can exert much pressure without having to swing a large hammer around. I would strongly recommend the use of ear defenders when using either of these tools, or when the wife comes in the workshop to moan about the noise.

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Step one: After removing hubcap & slacking off wheel nuts only but not removing, jack up the side of vehicle to which shaft you want to remove. Place an axle stand on the jacking point to stop any chance of vehicle dropping onto yourself (or others) whilst working on it.

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Step two: Remove wheel, undo brake drum retaining screw and remove drum. It may be necessary to slacken the shoes off slightly by using the square peg adjuster on the rear of back plate. Through the holes in halfshaft (see pic) undo and remove the four nuts (early models) or bolts (later models) that retain the halfshaft to the axle casing.

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Step three: Attach the halfshaft puller to the halfshaft in axle. I used the normal wheel nuts to do this but with the flat edge on puller to avoid any damage to nut seats. Then draw the slide hammer backwards against the stop repeatedly until the shaft comes out. You can use the OLD road wheel method I mentioned earlier.

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Step four: Before withdrawing shaft place a container underneath to catch any oil that may come out from hole. You need to be careful here that oil does not drip onto brake linings or that will be another job to do before reassembly.

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Step five: Place shaft securely in a vice

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Step six: Using the air cut off tool, very carefully cut through the retaining ring. I didn’t need to cut fully through, just enough to weaken it, so it can be pushed off with the air chisel.
It’s important you do not cut into the shaft. If you do you can seriously damage or weaken the shaft beyond repair.

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Step seven: Cut through the outer ring of the main bearing using the cut off tool.

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Step eight: It was not too much trouble to then remove the outer ring and all the ball bearings etc with a chisel.
Note – Always use gloves and safety goggles as the bits of bearing can shatter.
You should then be able to slide the shaft retaining plate off from the shaft.

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Step nine: Once again use the cut off tool and lightly cut across the inner bearing race. Once again you may find it is not necessary to cut all the way through, but far enough to weaken the race so it can be removed by chisel.
Don’t forget any damage to shaft can render it as scrap- use extreme care on this operation.

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Step ten: The shaft with all of the retaining ring and bearing removed. It is a good idea to hang on to the old inner bearing race and collar. You will see why in a moment.

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Step eleven: Weld the old inner bearing race to a large piece of scaffold or similar type tube. It needs to be quite thick walled with a bit of weight behind it. This is one I made earlier!!!!! (several years ago hence the rust)

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Step twelve: Place the shaft onto something solid like a vice. Pieces of wood won’t do as they absorb impact as do bricks etc.Put shaft retaining plate back on, -the right way round! Then carefully slide new bearing down shaft. Make sure it sits squarely on shaft. Using the OLD retaining collar as a buffer, slide the scaffold pole/tube up and down onto bearing and carefully drift it into the fully home position. Repeat the procedure with the NEW retaining collar. Drift it down with the scaffold pole/tube until it cannot go any further. Note that the bearing must be fully home against the machined shoulder on the shaft. The retaining collar likewise must be fully home against the bearing. They are designed to be very tight interference fits so therefore they will both be quite tight to put on. Should they be loose for any reason, do not attempt to use them in this condition. Seek expert mechanical advice.

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Step thirteen: Finished …almost. Refit the shaft in reverse order of the steps one to four. Tighten the axle shaft retaining nuts to 15 to 18 lbs ft.

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So there you have it. I cannot stress enough that care must be taken not to cut into the shaft at all. This could serious weaken it and could possibly fail whilst in service. This method does work for both types of bearing. The later 1966 model Anglia’s had wider bearings, similar to the Escorts, but they still fit on in the same way. If ordering new bearings please check which type you have. The one used in the photo’s is an early type, pre mid 66.
Please also note the bearings are not interchangeable, i.e. you cant put later bearings into earlier axle and vice versa.

Advice as always from me, The “Vanman” or the other tech advisors,
phone numbers in the Who’s Who at the front of the Club Magazine.

Article © Copyright 2009 – the “Vanman”


Warning – The Health and Safety bit

Please note your health may be at risk if you do not take sensible safety precautions. Never work under an unsupported vehicle, do not take shortcuts. If you feel that the task is beyond your capabilities, then employ the services of a trained professional. The Ford Anglia 105E Owners Club nor the author cannot be held responsible for any accidents or injury arising from advice given on this webpage. Safety advice can be obtained from the RoSPA. The advice and opinions given are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the Ford Anglia 105E Owners Club.