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  • Axle end play

    How much end play(in and out of the axle tube ) is normal? ( rear diff) I'm replacing seals and bearings and need some opinions. I'm installing the same shims that came out but it seemed loose to start with. I have less than 1/8 after bolting it back in but it seems like a lot. 82 cj7, amc 20 I think. Thanks.

  • #2
    Hmm, AMC 20...

    First, the axle end play is adjusted on the left side only, so don't mix the shims up when you take it apart.

    1. Measure the thickness of the old shims and start with that thickness of new shims. (they are cheap, so it just doesn't make sense to reuse them.)
    2. Install the shims on both sides and torque the brake backing plates to spec.
    3. Strike the end of each axle shaft with a lead hammer (this makes sure the bearing cups are seated.)
    4. Thread the axle nut onto the left side. (Makes a convenient handle.)
    5. Mount a dial indicator on the break backing plate on the left side, with the indicator on the end of the axle shaft.
    6. Move the axle shaft in and out while measuring end play. End play should be within 0.004-0.008 inches. Add shims to increase end play, remove them to decrease it. Shims should only be added or removed from the Left side.

    Oh, almost forgot. Don't ever try to do just one side. Both wheels and hubs MUST be off and the axle must be supported with jack-stands.

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    • #3
      Ok, Thanks for this info, looks like I'm going to have to take it back apart. It looks like I have more play in the right side than the thickness of the shims I put back in. If I remove all the shims from the right side and there is still too much clearance in the right axle then I'll post more questions. The left side looks close, maybe a little less clearance than it should have. I'll pick up a dial ind. then I'll know. I'm not the first one to pull these axles so I can't say the shims were where they were supposed to be in the first place.

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