Hey guys, first off I wanna say thanks to SFair and all the other members of the website for ALL your help and resources. I love the site. Anyway, so after months of reading up on these forums, i think im ready to tackle this like a bear! I'm about to start this cycle of changing the bevel gear bearing and was wondering two things: first can a better bearing be replaced with the ball bearing I'm replacing to prevent future wear of the bearing. I'm thinking like a closed off bearing, but of the same dimensions. And second, what types of tools are needed to change the bearing?
Your best bet is a service manual for this job as there are some gear adjustments "that must be checked and adjusted if necessary". I cannot stress this enough as there is the possibility of gear noise and short life it these steps are skipped.
You must use the EXACT replacement number (including suffixes) if you do not go OEM to obtain the required bearing tolerance. SKF does make both standard and a slightly better quality if you so choose.
Using a sealed bearing...hmmm, do not know if that is an ideal option or not if one is available in the specification range.
My best guess as to why this bearing fails is sustained highway or high speed running. The washer that is beside the open face of the bearing then acts as an oil slinger and the bearing starves for oil. Then the fun begins.
As an add, examine the gear set closely because if they show any abnormal wear, then it may be a better move to just replace the bevel gear case as an assembly rather than trying to repair/adjust your present one. The parts get quite expensive and a new one will have all of the adjustments done!
You have the choice of removing engine and leaving final drive in place, or removing final drive, removing motor mounts and whatever else is necessary, jiggle engine around in place to remove bevel gear case.
Do not forget to service drive shaft as recommended is shop manual.