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Hey folks, long time admirer, fairly new owner here (~1 year). Trying to do as much of the work myself as possible but seem to be stuck.

I have a '66 GTO with a 10-bolt safe-t-track rear end. I am trying to finish up a bearing replacement and cannot seem to get the drivers side axle inserted fully. Passenger side went in smooth as silk. Drivers side seems to hit something solid right before the bearings get to the end of the housing. So close that at first I thought it was just a tight fit for the bearing but on closer inspection, it is getting stopped just before the bearing gets to the housing. The spines are engaged at the other end of the axle...but it sure feels like I hit something solid. I assume that I am missing something obvious, but hoping you can help!

I hope this makes sense... thanks in advance.
 

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Hey folks, long time admirer, fairly new owner here (~1 year). Trying to do as much of the work myself as possible but seem to be stuck.

I have a '66 GTO with a 10-bolt safe-t-track rear end. I am trying to finish up a bearing replacement and cannot seem to get the drivers side axle inserted fully. Passenger side went in smooth as silk. Drivers side seems to hit something solid right before the bearings get to the end of the housing. So close that at first I thought it was just a tight fit for the bearing but on closer inspection, it is getting stopped just before the bearing gets to the housing. The spines are engaged at the other end of the axle...but it sure feels like I hit something solid. I assume that I am missing something obvious, but hoping you can help!

I hope this makes sense... thanks in advance.
Is it the exact same axles you took out from the 10-bolt?
 

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Yes, same axles. I even tried swapping them (left to right). They both slide in fine on the passenger side. Both stop at the exact same spot on the drivers side.
 

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Yes, same axles. I even tried swapping them (left to right). They both slide in fine on the passenger side. Both stop at the exact same spot on the drivers side.
OK, thought maybe a replacement axle. Seeing you did the swap from one side to the other and it worked.........

At this point, I would pull the cover and look inside. It is possible that something broke and has now dropped down and gotten lodged inside. If me, I would make sure no busted parts/pieces that could now lodge into the gears and grenade the rear end. A little extra time may save you the cost of a rear end replacement. Easy enough job to do, just drain the fluid out first and go from there.

Then report back. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nothing seems out of place (image attached), but there doesn't seem to be a method to access or even see the ends of the axle without pulling gears.
 

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Nothing seems out of place (image attached), but there doesn't seem to be a method to access or even see the ends of the axle without pulling gears.

How much are you talking about where it will not seat?

Take the axle back to the shop that pressed on the bearings and mic the OD of the bearing to make sure it is not oversized for some reasons - who knows today on quality anymore.

Have you tried bolting up the bearing retainer and drawing it in?

Maybe a shim behind the spider gear has dropped down?

Can you get some light into the case and look down the axle tube?

Check the axle tube ends for burrs or damage on the inside.

Pop the axle with a rubber mallet, it may need some persuasion?

Maybe rotate the driveshaft while someone tries to insert the axle.

I'm just throwing ideas out blindly. Never had any problems with the few I pulled to replace bearings. You know it's going to be something silly once you get it figured out. :yesnod:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Jim, much appreciated. I will run through some of these things this week. I am sure you are right... whatever it is will be a complete "duh" moment. Oh well...whenever i figure it out I will be sure to report back.

Cheers
 

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Update... so I still haven't figured it out yet. I actually had my local mechanic stop by and take a look and he is stumped as well. I may need him to pull the differential next (not something I am comfortable doing on my own). Just for reference, I have attached 2 different screen shots. Both are looking down the axle housing. For the one on the left, nothing jumped out at me. I thought I might see something out of alignment...but it looks complete symmetrical. The one on the right I had put white lithium grease on the end of the axle to see where it is hitting. You can see where it hits on one of those rings. For the life of me I cannot figure out why it is happening.
 

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