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Sovereign Axle Tube End Play

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I was under the 75th today for spring maintenance.  Noticed this:


Looks like there's about 1/4" axle tube end play.  That seems too much to me - can't be good for the seal. 


I've never had a tranny apart but I've read numerous posts about tranny repairs on this site.  So.....

I'm thinking all I have to do is loosen the set screws on the axle collar on the left side and pull the axle to the left and retighten the set screws.  Is this correct?  I haven't found any "end play" specs, so I'm thinking "snug" is good.  Any guidance?

Thanks in advance for your help.


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The adjustment you mentioned above is for side play between the axle shaft and the axle tube. The picture shows end play in the axle tube. The only way to fix this is to tear the transaxle apart and re-shim the axle tube side play internally. Remove the transaxle and make a table with a hole to put the LH axle tube in and down and remove cover, re-shim. Will need new gasket and I would also replace both seals.

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Jacked the tractor up and took the wheels off for a good look.

Greg, the axle ends are flush with the outer surface of the collars.

And Bill725 is correct that the adjustment I mentioned is for axle/axle tube play, not axle tube/gear case play.

The good news is the end play is about 1/8", which is half of my original estimate.

Here's the IPL of the hydro tranny:


There are no "shims" shown and none mentioned in the Large Frame Repair Manuel.  Closest thing to shims are part #11, washers (4 total).  It appears to me, that those washers, large washer #29 (which according to the Repair Manual goes over retaining ring #25), and spacers #46 & 12 around drive gear #13 set the axle tube end play by taking up the space between the case halves.  I guess you could add another washer or "automotive/truck differential shims" as mentioned by TimJr to lessen the play. 

Since it's only an 1/8" end play and it's been running this way for 20 years, I'm not going to mess with it.  Hopefully it won't fail. 

I do wonder if it had this much end play from day 1 or something changed - like wear on the inside of the case where the washers butt against the case.  Or a washer broke or has become thinner from constant force/rubbing like some of the washer did in my B-110 PTO.  I doubt a washer broke, because if it did, I would think it would wind up jamming between gears.

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When I tore into a 5010 transmission about a year ago, I found similar washers to help take up the extra space.  I got the tractor cheap because it wouldn't move anymore.  I was just looking for the engine, so didn't really care about the tranny, but always trying to seize an opportunity to learn, I finished taking it apart (P.O. had already pulled the case bolts, and made a real mess of things), to see what I could find.  By my nearest estimation, the shifter fork detents wore out, and were preventing the thing from going into gear...but I also noticed that the washers and case halves were Galled pretty badly.  Could be that the gears were not in full mesh anymore, which caused the forks to wear, etc.  I ended up saving the gears and internals but scrapping the rest.  

I realize its a different animal, but you might want to tear into it, and see whats going on...Or at least have a back-up ready to go in!






Edited by Mike_H

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I blew up my drive belt this weekend, and while I was replacing that, I noticed a bright silver band on the RH side Axle.  I thought that it was unusual to have such a clean part of the tractor showing in a "dirty" area.  I put my hands on the two side plates, and the whole chassis shifts back and forth on the axles.  Bill, is that what you noticed as well?  I can't imagine that its correct, but maybe it is?  



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Thanks for the comments with pics.  And I agree the "spacer" washers or case maybe wearing.  Here's a pic of what was left of the better washer in my B-110 hanging PTO that had a lot of side play:


And what you describe is exactly what I saw.  The pic I posted to start this thread is also the right side (as sitting in tractor).  And if you shift the axle tube/axle assembly to the left, the "silver band" moves to the left side.   

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On 6/20/2017 at 0:11 PM, OrangeMetalGuy said:

Mike, are the side plates tight all around?  Maybe they are loose also which may compound the problem.

Sorry, just saw this.  Haven't been on much lately.  Thanks for the suggestion.  The side plates are all tight.  The entire assembly slides back and forth on the axles.  Its a little weird.  

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