M38A1 Dana 44 rear hub removal--tips?

1952 - 1968, M38A1, M170, questions, discussions, regarding anything related to the M38a1 series.
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M38A1 Dana 44 rear hub removal--tips?

Post by mcj115 » Fri Feb 17, 2023 10:03 am

Does anyone have hints on how to properly remove the rear hubs for a D44 on a M38A1? I just removed a set and they did not want to come apart, to the point that the stress of the hub puller bent the flange on the hubs on both sides. I have a spare "parts" axles I want to pull used flanges from rather than ordering new hubs, but I want to avoid bending the hubs on this set.

When I removed the hubs I was hitting the end of the puller and sides of the hub with a mini sledge and also heated it with a handled propane torch. Ultimately I had 30" cheater bar on the screw of the puller, which may have been too much stress on the hub bending it. Are there any secrets to loosen the hub so that I don't bend it?


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Re: M38A1 Dana 44 rear hub removal--tips?

Post by parker007 » Fri Feb 17, 2023 11:06 am

more heat! rose bud on acetylene oxy torch. also cycle the heat a couple times with puler tight. heat, cold water heat. also do you have the correct 3 lug not puller. leave the nut on so it not hurt you when it finally come.

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Re: M38A1 Dana 44 rear hub removal--tips?

Post by egalecov2 » Tue May 23, 2023 6:35 pm

Welcome to the wonderful world of tapered axels. It is not your poor, abused puller but the surface between axel and hub that is your enemy. It needed an anti seize treatment before assembly. First burnish the tapered surface with valve grinding compound (yes, grit) then coat it with a commercial anti-seize compound, then assemble. And yes, I once brought my frozen axel and hub to a machine shop to separate with their bigger than my hydraulic press - no happiness.
Sometimes - a 2/3rds sometimes - this works to break the hub off the axel - use your HD three leg wheel puller, tighten down with a 1/2" impact wrench until the screw stops turning, hit the end of the screw with a couple of accurate hammer blows, then slightly loosen the screw. Sometimes the hub pops off - be weary of the puller coming off quickly with the hub. There is a variation of this technique on UTube.


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Re: M38A1 Dana 44 rear hub removal--tips?

Post by Rebel Walker » Wed May 24, 2023 5:21 am

I've been around as a mechanic since when most vehicles had tapered rear axles. Garages had sets of like acorn nuts used as tools when loosening hubs.

The acorn nuts had different threads to suit different vehicles & were used to replace the axle's nut.
Always loosen off brake adjustments.

When screwed on the acorn nut is bottomed out leaving a gap between the nut & the hub.

With the wheels still on, one jacks up the opposite wheel to the hub being loosened, so as to be off the ground.

Now one really good swing on the acorn nut, with the tyre still on the ground, with a 14# sledge & the hub is loose.
Reverse to loosen the other hub.

So get a grade 8 nut to suit the axle thread weld a piece of plate across one end & angle grind nut's other face so when tighten on the axle & bottomed out there is a gap between the nut & hub. Now you have all that's needed except a jack & hammer with a good swing.

When replacing & tightening hubs remember the key must be replaced on way only otherwise hubs can split.

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