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Lost Rear Bearing Shim Washers


Matthew Abate

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I just got my rear hubs back from the shop and the guy threw out all my old bears "because they were shot." I got the distance bearings, usually referred to as spacers here, back but he only saved one of the four copper shim washers.

They are part number 43211-N3400 and go between the bearings and either end of the distance bearing.

Any chance someone has a line on these? I need three. Looks like this:

Image1510423145.536146.thumb.jpg.054befd5683e2435f8077d66ba075e1d.jpg

 

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These are not shims. If they were in your old axles between the spacer and cap, it was done wrong and you now know the reason your bearings failed.

They are noice reduction devices. Really. They stopped being used on the 280's. As long as you have the right spacer that came from the axles, you are good to go. "Most" spacers are stamped "B". The FSM shows you the assembly and length specs of each of the spacers (A, B and C).

Edited by zKars
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I was going to say what zKars said.  Nissan has a TSB about their discontinuation.  It's shown in the back of Humble's Restore book.

Best to mic the hub and the spacers anyway to be sure they aren't worn or haven't been switched in the past.  Kind of like "blueprinting" your hubs.

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Hmmm. Okay. I'll mic the distance bearing and the copper service file washer later (loaned my micrometer to my father in law).

However, I did find another copper washer. It was between the seal and the bearing, which is weird, because as far as I can tell these hubs have never been disassembled before now. The nuts were still peened. So one was where kCars mentioned above and one was where the exploded diagram of the hub says it goes between the bearing and the distance bearing.

Or am I confusing parts? I'm looking at #14 in the diagram:

IMG_6951.JPG

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Not sure what washers are shown in that diagram.  Here's the TSB's summarized from Humble's book, and the 1972 diagram showing no washers at the distance piece, but a thin washer at the bearing.  Between the companion flange and the inner bearing race.  The 1970 diagram doesn't show any washers, last picture.

image.png

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Confusing and contradictory. The parts breakdown clearly shows two washers P/N 43211-N3400 used on each side of the distance piece, but I think it's a documentation error.

On page RA-9 of the 73 FSM, they make a vague reference to the "bearing washer" in step 7 when they say to "Remove the distance piece, companion flange, and bearing washer." At that stage of disassembly, they have already removed the large staked (caulked) retaining nut and pulled the stub axle out of the housing, so it's clearly not talking about the hardened washer under the staked over retaining nut. That's a different washer.

And there's no way you need two of those things on each side... Makes no sense at all.

Also note that in later versions of the documentation, they stopped referring to that bearing washer, thereby supporting the belief that it was dropped from later cars.

I think the documentation is wrong and there was only one per side, and the correct location is not what is shown in the parts breakdown pic. I think it should be between the inner bearing and the companion flange. I also think the "from 7308" usage dating should be a "to 7308" (not from, but to) if that washer was used up to sometime at the end of the 240 cars. 

The distance piece was selected at the factory based on the width of the counterbored faces that support the outer bearing races. Seems they couldn't quite control the machining tolerance well enough there, so they resorted to characterizing the assembly using different length supports between the inner races so there wouldn't be too much side load on the bearings. I think a washer in there would completely defeat the distance piece selection and end up with way too much side load on the bearings.

Anyway, I think there should only be two of them per car. And (like others) I didn't have any of those on my 280.

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My car, a '73 240Z, did not have any copper washers in-between the bearings and the distance collar (piece?). How would a soft part in that location help? It seems like a mistake to me because it would crush when tightening the lock nut and/or over time.

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Here's a snap-shot of the actual TSB from the compiled volume that the "Canadian formerly known as Blue" uploaded.  It's in the Manuals section but should be in Service Bulletins. 

You'd have to know what type of noise they were trying to reduce, to know why they chose a copper washer to serve the purpose.  They say metallic.  Could be a clank, or a clunk, or a high frequency noise.  I'm going to guess it was clank-related.

 

 

image.png

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Okay, so it looks like I can reuse the two I have provided they aren't worn too much, or I can leave them out.

And one last thing: I found one between the seal and the bearing, which sounds like the right place. The other one was stuck to the end of the distance bearing with grease, which sounds like the wrong place. Notice they are using two different part numbers (4100 vs 3400).

Glad I'm overhauling all this now that I'm finding discrepancies.

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Well the confusion (for me anyway) just keeps getting deeper... Part number 43211-N3400 shows up on the parts breakdown pic needing four per car (one on each end of the distance piece).

But part number 43211-E4100 (the one called out for on that TSB) shows up used on the R180 differential, two per car. I didn't see 43211-E4100 called out for in a corner application other than on that TSB, just inside the R180.

Just keeps getting weirder and more confusing.

Matthew, Just to be sure there isn't something catastrophic about to happen... Before you press the wheel bearings back together, you should measure the length of the distance pieces and also measure the distance between the bearing seating counterbore surfaces inside the rear strut housings. Those measurements will tell you if there should be any washers needed on the ends of the distance pieces.

Based on the lack of clear documentation, I would check those dimensions just to be sure. Something is really fishy....

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One of the first things I heard when I got on these forums was that there are many mistakes in the documentation.  Translation errors and such.  

The TSB and FSM descriptions of the processes seem to make it pretty clear though, don't they, that the washer in question goes outside of the distance piece area?  The only questionable thing is the image with the part numbers.  There are no words describing washers or shims between the bearing races.  Just that one drawing.  FSM's 1970-1978 all support no washers between the races.  And describe measuring and verifying.

Is that drawing from the microfiche CD, or is it from some other non-Nissan source?

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I thought you said that you found one stuck in the grease, and couldn't remember how they came apart?  Regardless, Nissan, the company, has no record or documentation describing anything between the bearing races except the distance piece.  Seems like there's only one path forward though, when putting it back together.  I think that the diagram is just wrong and that's all there is to the bigger picture.

This puzzle is more about where the diagram originated.  And maybe about where those washers were in your car, but if your guy threw all the pieces in a box, who knows?

Or, somebody did measure the distance piece in the past and decided it needed to be thicker, so they stuck a washer in there.  There are letters on the hub and the distance piece.  Do they match?  that would be a clue.  No tools necessary.

Looks like carpartsmanual is the source.  I've often wondered where they got their information.

 

http://www.carpartsmanual.com/datsun/Z-1969-1978/axle/rear-axle-drive-shaft

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The use of any washer in the hub assembly that would affect the bearing preload is suspect considering there was a grading and matching process of the hub and collar used during the original manufacture. The use of washers (shims, really) would require the distance collar to be intentionally short and the bearing preload would be set-up using shims. In this case the shims would need to be hardened, precision ground, and available in a suitable array of thickness to allow proper set-up of the assembly. Since Nissan does not offer such shims nor mention them in the service manual it seems reasonable to assume the presence of the copper washers in Matthew's car are there in error and should be left out of the assembly. As The Captain already advised, the collar and hub should be measured and proper set-up verified before final assembly.

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Actually, the complete procedure is well written and detailed in the FSM.  Mentioned, obliquely, in Posts 2, 3, 4, and CO's.  Just saying, the FSM procedure is actually an easy, informative, and pleasant read.  Some interesting observations - the bearings aren't really peloaded (like a tapered roller bearing might be ) even though they call it preload and actually have a torque measurement.  Plus they have a torque measurement AND an end-play spec.  Not sure that either of those is correct for a ball bearing, of this type. (Edit - and they don't tell you what to do if just one of the specs is off.  Grease the seal?) It's a set of balls riding in two races.  The distance piece is spec'ed to match the inner race separation distance to the out race separation distance (controlled by the hub casting), which should be the important part.  Getting those two races aligned.  It seems like Nissan might be allowing for the inner axle to expand a bit or they are setting the balls up to ride on the edge of the race.  The distance piece (inner race) is closer together than the outer races.

It really is interesting if you dig in to it.  http://www.skf.com/binary/tcm:12-114679/140-710 BIMG 11_2012_tcm_12-114679.pdf

Something that's come up in the past - using the axle nut to pull one of the bearings in to tis seat.  This loads the balls at singular points on the races and should be a no-no.

image.png

This puzzle is really about what came out of M. Abate's car, and why the carpartsmanual diagram is wrong, I think.

Sorry, I love a good technical deep-dig...

Edited by Zed Head
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I have some numbers to report:

The distance bearings / spacers came in at 52.56 mm long. There was a small amount of variance as I went around the diameter of up to .02 mm and this was true of both.

The washers came in at 1.01 mm. The amount of variance around the diameter was .01 mm and from outside edge to inside edge was also .01 mm.

I have to wait for the POR-15 to dry to do the hubs, but the distance from the very outside of the area on the spindle where the outer bearing seats to the very inside of the same for the inside bearing is 86.32mm, although there’s a good chance this is wrong because of the radius at the point where the spindle flares into the wheel hub. I used the edges of the shiny spots where the bearings were as my guides.

I need to fish my bearings out later to add it all up. Hopefully they’ll add up to 32.75mm.

 

—-

 

Caveat: nothing but the bearings is available new so this is pretty much academic at this point. I’ll probably just put them together and cross my fingers.

 

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I don't consider it academic at all. You say you took two of them apart and the washer was in a different place between the two sides. Now that you have measured the length of the distance piece and found them both the same, I consider only the following two possibilities:

1) One of those rear corners was assembled wrong. Very wrong. Or...

2) You were mistaken about the location of the washers upon disassembly, and they were both installed in the same relative position on both sides. Either both in series with the distance pieces, or both between the inboard bearing and the companion flange.

I had originally considered a third possibility that one of the rear knuckles had been machined to have longer distance between the two bearings than the other, but the factory spread from distance pieces (from length "A" to length "C") is 0.2 mm, and there would never ever be a need for a 1.0mm thick washer in there. So unless some repair shop went in there and added metal to the bearing seating surface, I consider this possibility very unlikely.

I think you still need to determine double dog sure where those washers go.

And back to it being academic? It's not. If there IS a measurement mismatch, it's not as bad as you think. It would be a relatively simple procedure to machine replacement distance pieces of the proper length. In fact as a side note, I just went through this a few weeks ago with the cheap-o aftermarket lawn mower blade spindles I purchased. They were incorrect as purchased, and I had to adjust the lengths of the distance pieces between the two bearings. During the process, I accidently cut the second one a thousandth too short (crap!!!) and had to make a completely new replacement.

BTW - I'm all in that the washers go between the inboard bearing and the companion flanges, but it's still prudent to wait for confirmation.   :)

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Regarding my possibly making a mistake, yes, that could have happened, but here is the sequence of events:

First I used a dremmel tool to cut the peened nuts so I could get them off the hubs. They appeared to have never been removed.

I took the assembled struts to a shop to have them pressed apart. They came back disassembled but the inner bearings were still inside the hubs and the outer ones were on the spindles.

Then I took the spindles to a different shop that could follow directions to have the bearings pressed off.

Then I putt everything except the struts in a tub and cleaned the grease off. This is when I noticed I only had one copper washer.

Then I pulled the seals out of the hubs. This is when I found another copper washer.

So from this I found that I had one washer between the bearing and the seal, and another one stuck onto a distance bearing with grease.

From this I assume it was always between the bearings because the first shop didn’t pull it out from under the seal and then put the seal back in. I know this from the dirt that hadn’t been disturbed.

—-

I used the depth gauge on my micrometer to measure from the outside of the inner bearing (it’s still in the hub and will be pressed out when I take it to the shop to have everything reassembled) to the outside of the outer bearing seat. It is 69.48mm.

I still have the new inner bearings coming in the mail so I can’t summarize all of this until I get them. I’ll get more numbers when I have a chance.

—-

Something else I noticed is the outer bearings go in one way only. The inside race is thinker (21.93mm) and offset from the outer race by about 2 or 3 mm. This extra bit protrudes toward the hub. The orange on in the illustration below:

IMG_6961.JPG.b8a99117db4b43135f2400977116cb45.JPG

Note this illustration also has the bearing washers.

Here are the numbers I have again:

52.56 - distance bearing

21.93 - outer bearing

86.32 - spindle bearing seats (edge to edge)

11.83 - available space on spindle minus distance bearing and outer bearing

16.64 - inner bearing (rough measurement)

5.01 - leftover space inside of hub minus distance bearing, inner bearing, and outer bearing

52.69 - space between outer bearing seat and inner bearing still inside of hub (this measurement gives me hope!)

16.97 - seat inside of hub for outer bearing

1.01 - copper washer

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Well there's still possibility #1 that one of the rear corners was put together wrong. If that were the case, I would assume it would pan out like this:

They pressed the outer bearing onto the stub axle correctly.
They also pressed the inner bearing into the knuckle correctly.

But then they incorrectly put the distance piece AND a washer onto the stub axle before inserting it into the knuckle.

If that's the case, when they tightened the nut, it would draw the stub axle into the knuckle until it bottomed out. That bottoming out is SUPPOSED to occur at the exact same position when the outer race of the outer bearing makes contact with the seating surface machined into the knuckle.

But if they had a 1.0mm thick washer in place, the stub axle will bottom out against the inner bearing 1.0mm BEFORE the outer bearing is fully seated.

Not the end of the world resulting in an immediate spectacular failure, but would probably result in a load on that outer bearing that it wasn't real happy about. Would also result in your wheel being 1.0mm farther out than the other side. Not that you would notice that with your eye though.

As for measuring the distance between the seating surfaces... You could hold a short flat piece of something against one of the seating surfaces and then use a depth measuring tool from the other end to determine the distance? In other words, use one bearing surface as the seat for a depth measuring tool, and then use a temporary (hand held) anvil against the other surface as the stop for the depth measurement.

I'm trying to come up with a direct (instead of calculated) measurement of the counterbores inside the knuckle.

Using the still installed inner bearing is pretty good, but sometimes the inner and outer races are not ground to exactly the same width. Also, you will be pressing the inner race downward which takes up all available play. I would think this could explain your 52.69 measurement above. The one that gives you hope gives me hope as well and adds credence to the "installed incorrectly" theory.

Let me know if that makes sense, and if not, I can whip up a sketch or something.

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Is the topic still "what happened" or "how to put it back together"?  The numbers say "B" hub to me.  Is there a B?

The extended race is described in the part description, if it helps.  It would be on the outside, so the inside portion of the inner and out races would be flush when assembled.

image.png

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A thought on being sure the distance piece is correct for the hub.  Stick the piece in without the axle.  It should be flush with the outer race seat on the other side, within a few thousandths. 

It's kind of a goofy spec. because the ranges overlap.  They seem to want the distance piece to be smaller than the hub but the overlap and wide range makes the opposite possible.  "Blueprinted", the distance piece would be about .0012" smaller than the hub.  Without the perfect tools, a flush feel by finger is probably good.

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 Perhaps I can do the old "picture is worth a 1000 words thing" here.

The copper washer has an ID of 1.05 inch. The ID of both bearings (hence the OD of the place on the axle where they press fit)  is 1.25inch. That copper washer CANNOT be placed both above and below the distance piece to be used as a spacer.

IMG_1827.JPG

Here's me putting it over the smaller 240 splined stubby. I have a "B" distance piece on the axle, and this axle still has a grimy outer bearing on it, so the distance piece sits in its correct location.

IMG_1825.JPG

Here is the copper washer sitting on the upper bearing shoulder. IT CAN'T GET TO THE DISTANCE  PIECE TO ACT LIKE A SPACER. If you have some that will, someone has enlarged the ID of them.

 

IMG_1823.JPG

 

If those spacers on either side of the distance piece in that drawing DO exist as real parts (and they may have at some point) they are NOT these copper noise reduction washers. 

BTW, the 280 stubbies won't even let this copper washer get over their larger splines. 

 

 

Edited by zKars
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