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Powermax Drop Housing Bearing Replacement

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A funny thing happened today on my 4041. My welder friend came to weld the bucket teeth on the backhoe and to do so, we set the stabilizers to lift the dipper and bucket to a comfortable level for welding. With the rear wheels off the ground we noticed one wheel wobbled and had about 3/16" end play. Ha! Bearings! I removed the drop housing and yes, the outboard bearing was shot. Went to my trusty Simplicity dealer and got the new bearings, races & seal. The plot thickened when I went to reassemble the axle assembly. I found that if the bull gear is put on backwards, it will not slide down the axle shaft far enough to hold the tapered bearings snugly in their cups. In fact, I believe that the gear was installed backwards before. That would explain why there was endplay in the axle before I opened it up. There is no reference to the bullgear position in the Powermax repair manual. Also, the repair manual says to torque the locknut to 1-2 ft-lbs. No-Way! I had to give her all I had to torque the locknut down to snug it up to the washer and the gear. It also says to snug it up to get about 12in-lbs of rolling torque in the housing. That I believe! Powermax_Paul

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