"Rear Axle Seal Repair"

        Good news on the '36 coupe-the pistons have been made and are back home, the crank is being turned and balanced, and the engine compartment has been cleaned and painted.  The firewall now correctly matches the body color.

        Our project this month was on our '48 Packard Custom 8.  I noticed a puddle of fluid at the left rear tire.  At first it looked like brake fluid, but it turned out to be rear end grease, so the seal had to be replaced.  This car has both inner and outer seals.  The inner seal goes on the axel first, and is behind the bearing instead of in front of it.

        We first jacked up the car by the spring shackle and placed our jack stand under the frame.  This allows the jack to be lowered, bringing the axle down so that the wheel bolts can be removed.  After removing the wheel, we removed the cotter pin, nit and washer, then put on the drum puller to remove the brake drum, which is on a tapered shaft axle, making removal slow and painstaking.

        With the brake drum off, the brake backing plate can be unbolted and pushed back, then the seal cover plate and outer seal can be removed.  The axle can be pulled using a slide puller.  The bearings are pressed on the axle, and should be packed while the axle is out.  With the axle out, the inner seal can now be pulled using a slide puller.  To install the new seal, we used a hammer and seal installer of the correct size and then reinstalled the axle, bearings and shims (the shims are metal and are used to keep the bearing tight. Our car has two-and the book indicates that up to four can be used).  Then the outer seal goes in and is covered with the seal plate, with gaskets front and back, and seal protector plate.  We then tightened up the brake backing plate (brake shoe plate) using new lock washers on the 6 bolts.  This holds bearings and axle in place.

        We then put on the brake drum and felt washer, steel washer and nut, and cotter pin.  After the wheel and fender skirt were put on, the job was finished.  The current national number on the inner seal is 41090 and the outer number is 473473.  See you next month with more on the '36.  Keep'em driving!