Half Shaft Replacement|
Before reading this page you might want to have a look at the HalfShafts page
    Horror stories keep coming up about T-series folks who have experienced the frustration of letting out the clutch and getting nowhere fast due to the sudden breakage of a 50 year old half shaft.  One way to avoid this is to take the step of replacing the ancient half shafts with modern ones.  Fortunately, modern half shafts are available from a few sources.  I know of none better than those available from Dave Clark.  (I have no financial interest in items from Dave, I'm just a very impressed customer.)
In the past year I acquired a pair of half shafts and two distance washers and hub bearings.  For a nominal charge I had the spacers and bearings pressed onto the new shafts by a local machine shop.  I also acquired two new hub oil seals.  With these in hand, plus my copy of the Workshop Manual, I went at it after stopping to borrow a slide hammer.
One decision that needs to be made early on is whether to set up to tackle both sides at once, or just one at a time.  Part of that is an issue of space.  You need about three feet of space on either side.  I opted to do one side at a time..  Keep in mind that the axle nut is torqued to something on the order of 150 ft.lbs.  You're going to need to keep the tire from rotating when you put your wrench on the axle nut.  I suggest that you want to set the hand brake, put the gearbox in first gear and leave the wheels on the ground.  Now remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts .
Remove the cotter pin from the axle nut and put a 3/4" breaker bar on a 1.25" socket and go to it .  BTW, they're right hand threads.
Now adjust the brake shoe adjusters to their minimum, i.e., all the way counter clockwise and remove the brake drum.  Before you go any farther it's time to uncouple the hand brake linkage from behind the brake backing plate. 
At this point you have an option of unscrewing, and removing, the brake line.  Or, you can leave the line connected and remove the clamp securing the brake line to the rear axle housing.  I opted to leave the line in place.
Now remove the four bolts and nuts that hold the backing plate to the axle housing. and move the backing plate .
Now get ready to pull out the old half shaft.  The workshop manual talks about a factory slide hammer tool.  I found that the slide hammer that I borrowed from a neighborhood garage.  There was no way to adapt it to pull on the end of the half shaft.  If you take a good look at the brake drum you'll see that, with the oil seal collar removed, the brake drum can slide very nicely on the splines and has a good bit of mass.  It makes a very handy slide hammer when the axle nut is only screwed onto the shaft by a few threads.  Another slide hammer substitute is a regular hammer, preferably a 3 pound mason's hammer.  A couple of thumps on the rim of the brake drum is all it took to dislodge the shaft from the differential .  Next step is remove the old half shaft complete with bearing and washer.
As 'they' say, reassembly is just the reverse of disassembly.
 (Images in folder \TechStuff\HalfShafts)


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