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my new 63 town wagon

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  • my new 63 town wagon

    After wanting a power wagon town wagon for many years I was finally able to pick up my first one. I have a lot of work to do to get it all fixed up but my first priority will be getting it drivable again. My biggest problem is when I am driving down the road and get to about 40MPH there is a horrible vibration from the front end. I have never worked on a closed knuckle axle before, but when I take the top and bottom of the tire there is about an inch of movement each way, towards and away from the truck. is this going to be a problem in the brass cone and small bearing inside the knuckle? thanks in advance for any information!

    Brandon

  • #2
    Congratulatons ! I'm new here also. I'll be following your thread . I picked mine up with a broken knuckle so may be able to help when I get it apart

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    • #3
      Thanks! Ill be following your also can't wait to see pictures. I just got in from pulling the drivers side of the front axle apart. The small bearing on the bottom was toast, it had more dirt packed into it then grease, bent cage and flat spots on the bering. My big worry now is the axle housing itself. The cup that holds the bering has some big gouges in it. What is everyone thoughts, should I keep trying to find the parts and continue with this axle or am I looking at swapping it out?

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      • #4
        I was just thinking would there be a bearing cup on this? I didn't get a chance to look because the wind picked up and I didn't want any more dirt in there!

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        • #5
          You are looking at the bearing cup if that's what's in the picture. They don't use cones anymore just real bearings with races. I've rebuilt a few and it's not that hard to replace the bearing race. Pay close attention to the cap screws that hold the steering arm to the knuckle as these see a lot of abuse. The threads get stripped out or have on several I've done. Clean everything out well, get new seals and bearings to rebuild your axle. The rebuild will eliminate the death wobble you've experienced. Check tie rod ends and the drag link for wear too. Check Rockauto.com for good parts for less $$$.
          Ron in Indiana

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          • #6
            Thanks for the info Ron. So I just use the same bering and race that would be used on the lower part instead of the brass cone that was in there? I will start trying to locate the parts tonight then! Also what do use inside the knuckle around the U-joint, just extra bering grease and how much?
            Thanks in advance for any information

            Brandon

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            • #7
              yes I used bearings top and bottom. There are a number of different theories on what grease to use in the knuckle. I use cornhead grease I get from a John Deere dealer. It's a semi fluid grease that turns liquid once under heat but returns to it's semi paste form when cooled. This helps slow or stop leaking past the knuckle seal wiper gasket you get with 140 gear lube. I usually pump one tube in the knuckle housing. If you can't get cornhead grease use SAE 140 gear oil. You'll want to pack the new bearings with axle grease.
              Ron in Indiana

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              • #8
                Shims

                Read up on knuckle rebuilds, it's important to get the drag right. The bearings and races are available on Ebay fairly cheap. I got a set of shims from a jeep guy, D44's are pretty much standard.

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                • #9
                  Leon is correct on reading the service manual but I've found it difficult to get the preload with bearing vs the cone due to the lower rolling resistance of the bearings top and bottom. We tried to set one up using a scale per the directions and could not get that high a reading with bearings no matter how many shims we used. We did the best we could and went by feel in the end. No death wobble.
                  Ron in Indiana

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                  • #10
                    Looks like a pretty nice Town Wagon you picked up there. Where about you located? Have you read about the rally they have in Iowa in June? I went there last year for my first time and recommend anyone who enjoys Power Wagons/Town Wagons should go check it out. I'm fairly new here myself and am addicted to Town Wagons, got 4 of them right now.

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