How to Change a Carrier Bearing Without a Press

by Don Bowman

If a carrier bearing fails in a differential, metal shavings from the bearing usually will have contaminated the oil in the housing. You should remove the axles and thoroughly clean the differential housing to eliminate all traces of shavings. It does not take much in the way of metal shavings or pieces to ruin a differential. The metal will have infiltrated not only the new bearings but also the pinion gears and clutches if the differential is a limited slip. A good, strong magnet is a handy tool to remove any residue.

Step 1

Cut the bearing cage with the cutoff tool. Remove all the bearings and the cage. Carefully cut a groove in the inner race that is pressed on the carrier; be careful not to cut into the carrier.

Step 2

Place the chisel in the groove made by the cutoff tool, and strike it with the large hammer to break the inner race. The inner race will either break immediately or become loose enough to fall off.

Step 3

Place the opposite end of the carrier on the two-by-four block of wood. Install the new bearing on the carrier as far as possible by hand, and make sure it is perfectly straight.

Step 4

Drive the bearing the rest of the way on with the pipe (which should be the same diameter as the race of the bearing) and the large hammer. Hammer it down until it is fully seated on the inner flange.

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