Driveshaft Carrier Bearing R+R

expcourier

expeditious
So I was getting a loud whine underneath the vehicle and decided to replace the carrier bearing. I hope the photos and write ups give you the confidence to do this yourself. It is really not that difficult and with a couple of inexpensive tools from Harbor Freight and some elbow grease "YOU CAN DO IT"

First I marked the driveshaft position on the axle and differential as well as the transmission output shaft, just use a crayon. I'm not sure that this was necessary but why not put it back the way it came out.

Second remove the front hanger called the retaining bracket using an 18mm socket.

Vehicle on ramps one side to allow easier access to driveshaft.
 

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expcourier

expeditious
Then loosen the bolts to the carrier bearing assembly using the same 18mm socket.

Keep in mind that there will be a bracket for the emergency brake cable and the fuel return line to the cooling coils may be in the way as it was in my vehicle.
 

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expcourier

expeditious
Remove bolts holding the driveshaft to the differential and transmission output shaft using a 15mm socket. Note the yellow crayon mark on both driveshaft and diff.
 

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expcourier

expeditious
Finish loosening the bolts holding the carrier bearing and remove the driveshaft assembly to your workshop.

Remove clamps holding plastic boot in place being careful not to destroy them in the process. One of the clamps that came with my kit was not the right size and I had to reuse the clamps.

You may be able to slide the boot off the shaft without loosening the clamps.
 

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expcourier

expeditious
Separate the two pieces of driveshaft and put the one with the carrier bearing in a vise.

Remove circlip holding top protective bearing cover in place using snap ring pliers.

I picked up this cheapo set from Harbor Freight Tools for $12.99.
 

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expcourier

expeditious
Now to remove the bearing. I purchased this Puller, Bearing Separator also from Harbor Freight for $39.99. It sure beats the Miller tools price and comes with the bridge.

In order to use this puller however you will need to cut away the rubber bushing around the bearing to allow for the bridge to be used.
 

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expcourier

expeditious
Using Puller with heavy steel to block the driveshaft splines to pull bearing.

When bearing reaches your piece of steel, add a socket of a smaller dimension than the bearing to allow for the bearing to ride up the socket for complete removal.
 

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expcourier

expeditious
Place new washer on shaft, place protective cap on shaft, place bearing on shaft, place protective cover on top of bearing.

Using rubber mallet and tap bearing into place until it reaches the top of shaft and your mallet will do no more. Now put the old protective covers on top of the new covers and finish tapping it down until it seats on top of the washer. You'll know it's far enough when the slot for the new circlip is visible on the shaft.
 

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expcourier

expeditious
Place new circlip on shaft concave side up, grease splines of shaft, slide the clamps over the boot and close them, if you don't have the special tool to open and close them, you will be able to slide the boot with the closed clamps over the shaft. Reinstall the driveshaft in reverse order of the way you took it out. When reinstalling, don't forget to put the e brake cable back in the clip.

Good luck, IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!
 

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maxextz

Rollin Rollin Rollin.....
great writeup and pictures.:thumbup:
must check the condition of mine now.whats your mileage?
 
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expcourier

expeditious
Mileage on this van is 240K miles or 386242km.

The old bearing was very noisy while spinning in my hand after removal and I had symptoms of a drivetrain whine from speeds between 30 and 55 mph.

What originally tipped me off was while driving by jersey barriers with the windows open and hearing the reflection of the noise off the cement dividers.

During the next 10K miles, the noise continued to grow louder as I debated whether or not I had the nerve to tackle the repair.

FWIW, My other van had 530K miles and never developed a drivetrain whine.
 

owner

Well-known member
This reminds me. Eric (user Eric Experience) and I re-greased the centre bearing in mine and he wanted me to upload some photos of the rig he made to inject grease into the bearing. Re-greasing totally cured the whine I was getting.

This is how we got it all apart after removing the shaft from the van...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7520261/20120223_144001.jpg
Axle1Capture.JPG
and
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7520261/20120223_145000.jpg
Axle2Capture.JPG

These are the 3 components used for re-greasing. There is a grease nipple not shown on the back side of the alloy piece. Then a nylon back piece, and a wing-nut to secure it either side of the carrier bearing housing.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7520261/20120223_150020.jpg
Axle3Capture.JPG

The two pieces clamp onto either side of the carrier bearing housing and form a seal...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7520261/20120223_150113.jpg
Axle4Capture.JPG

Then you just pump in fresh grease. The new grease goes in through the bearing races forcing out the old grease, and then hits the nylon back piece then comes back out through the middle of the bearing and out around the edge of the alloy front piece, Thats when you know its good to go.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7520261/20120223_150137.jpg
Axle5Capture.JPG

There are 2 centre bearings on my LWB 316, but only the rearmost one was noisy on mine (@370km). The front one is very close to the gearbox so it probably gets shielded from crap a lot more than the rearmost one.
 
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expcourier

expeditious
I forgot to add the important bit about aligning the marks on the shafts near the bearing when reassembling.

The following is the workshop manual description.
 

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Clark2

New member
Your timing on this tutorial was perfect! Two days ago I started to remove the driveshaft and I ran into a few questions so I decided to put if off for a couple days. This answered all my questions.
 

incognito

incognito
Mileage on this van is 240K miles or 386242km.

The old bearing was very noisy while spinning in my hand after removal and I had symptoms of a drivetrain whine from speeds between 30 and 55 mph.

What originally tipped me off was while driving by jersey barriers with the windows open and hearing the reflection of the noise off the cement dividers.

During the next 10K miles, the noise continued to grow louder as I debated whether or not I had the nerve to tackle the repair.

FWIW, My other van had 530K miles and never developed a drivetrain whine.
Hy,
mine 158 2003 has a grrr noise with some vibration between 15-45 mph but only when release throttle, no such noise when driven at constant speed or 60-70 mph.i was wondering if it might be driveshaft related. again i have it only i take my foot off the throttle pedal.
have safe travels
incognito
 

expcourier

expeditious
Thread Update:

It turned out that the carrier bearing was not the culprit as originally thought. Although the bearing was noisy on removal, the real noise was coming from the pinion bearings and possibly the carrier bearings in the rear axle.

After looking into parts from dealer (expensive !! ) and a rear axle assembly ($4500.00....holy crap...). I instead looked at my 2002 organ donor and asked myself whether or not I felt I could switch it out myself.

Well the answer was that I could and did use my rear axle with 530k miles on it from my old van and the toughest part was removing the axle from my rusty NE vehicle.

It was great to "practice" on the donor vehicle without being committed to the repair on the working vehicle.

I wound up switching out the axle shafts from my non rusty van because the backing plates were destroyed by rust and the speed sensors were impossible for me to remove.

I would recommend that anytime you service your brakes that you remove and regrease the speed sensors to avoid having them frozen in their bores.

The rear axle has been replaced and my truck is quiet again, I am thankful indeed.

I'm going to hazard a guess and say that because the van was owned previously by a locksmith who drove the van loaded caused a premature failure of the pinion bearings, (possibly just the driver's heavy foot), but that's an uneducated guess.
 

expcourier

expeditious
I also wanted to add that after replacing the rear axle assembly that not only was the noise cured but I also saw an increase of 2.5 to 3 mpg. I always thought that the high roof on the van was causing my drop in mpg from my former low roof. I was amazed that the bad gears in the rear end were causing so much drag.

I figure I wasted $600 or 150 gallons of fuel over the last 25k miles while the rear end got worse and worse.

:cheers:to quiet spintering.
 

A.Hayes

New member
Hy,
mine 158 2003 has a grrr noise with some vibration between 15-45 mph but only when release throttle, no such noise when driven at constant speed or 60-70 mph.i was wondering if it might be driveshaft related. again i have it only i take my foot off the throttle pedal.
have safe travels
incognito
Not to hijack this thread, but I have had this same vibration on decel only for several years now. Seems to come and go a bit, and I've noticed it more in recent warm weather. I have low levels of "normal" RSN, but as incognito noted, this is only when the throttle is released, and seems kind of like the Sprinter version of a big rig engine braking. I have wondered if it's more of a torque converter/tranny thing, or driveshaft and rear end issue.
When I had the van at Upscale a while back, I had them take a quick look. Nothing visually conclusive, and since it's really mostly an annoyance, I opted out of a more involved (i.e., more expensive) diagnostic that would have required disassembling things. That was probably a year or more ago, and the condition doesn't seem to have gotten worse, but defintely still there. Any input is appreciated.
 

dublina

Member
Thanks for th, "write up". Excellent. Pictures and instruction are so clear. Just completed my own bearing change using the thread. Went like a dream.

Thanks again for taking the time to upload.
 

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