End play on rear axle shafts


Hi guys
Have just had my 1998 Fourtrak TDX checked over by a mechanic, he is not that familiar with fourtraks but he noticed excessive end play on both rear axle shafts about 10mm, also an oil leak on the nearside shaft. When asked how much to repair, he resorted to the sharp intake of breath technique. Has anybody any idea what the amount of play should be and how expensive to put right? thanks

Hi MateWhat did the mecha

Hi Mate

What did the mechanic do to check the 'end play' on the shafts..
I'm not sure what you mean by 'end play'
If there is movement of the rear wheel when pushed and pulled about it is more likely to be shot wheel bearings.

I changed both inner and outer bearings on one of my half shafts...also had oil leak like yourself....changed the seals at the same time as doing the bearings...it was not a diffucult job to pull the shaft out of the axle housing...but you do need a puller...you can hire these or do as I did and make one yourself...I will take a pic of the one I made and post a link to it if you want...so you can see how easy it is to knock one up.

Once you have the half shaft pulled (dont forget you need to strip down the rear brake assembly in order to pull the shaft...but its all pretty straight forward..

The inner bearing and oil seal is held in by a retainer ring which needs to be ground off with an angle grinder...you have to be careful not to grind in to the shaft itself.

New bearings,oil seals and retainer can be got from Milners offroad..very reasonable prices too.

Once the new inner bearing and seal is in place the retainer ring needs to be heated up (on a cooker ring)and quickly slid along the half shaft before it cools down and contracts to its tight fit..or get a local engineering firm to press it on for you.

This job is not diffucult to do yourself and you will save a fortune.

If you have a manual it takes you through the job step by step with illustrations to keep you right.

If you need any more help with this just ask ...

Have a go your self...its a cinch !!!

here are links to pics of puller made from a couple of bits of holed metal,old sledge hammer head,bit of copper tubing and length of threaded bar..







what the mechanic did

Hi Mike
He had the wheel and brake drum off and was moving the wheel shaft in and out

Hmmm...there will be a bit of

Hmmm...there will be a bit of play...you can pull and push on the shaft...can't remember just how much play there is..but as long as the shaft is securley popped into the diff housing everything should be ok...I would be inclined to pull the shaft out to check condition of shaft and splined end that fits into crown and pinion gear..it takes a hefty bit of 'thump'with the sledge hammer head to get mine out...and the same hefty thump to whack em back in.
What makes him think the play is excessive. ?....as long as the shaft is firmly seated in the differential housing things should be fine.
As I say there will be 'play'

Rear axle

Thanks guys
Will investigate and let you know. Not sure if i can be let loose with a sledge hammer !

Definitely wheel bearing

Classic symptoms of failure of rear wheel bearing. Your oil leak is a result of the shaft moving and the inner seal allowing the diff oil from the axle tube into the hub assembly. There is a hole and slot arrangement inside the hub to allow the oil to drain out if this happens - make sure it is not blocked when you dismantle the hub otherwise the leaking oil can contaminate the brake shoes. You will be lucky if this hasn't happened already. Otherwise, follow the great advice given above and have a go at DIY. Its only a matter of nuts and bolts really.