Now after reading some posts on the subject I'm thinking I have committed a sin. I did not touch the bearings and am using the same shims. In my manual the torque value for the yoke nut to the hub is 100 foot pounds if I am reading this properly. Is it acceptable to just retorque the nut to this value or am I better to get rebuilt hubs before just hoping that this will be okay. At 100 foot pounds the hub did not rotate well and I backed it off to around 60 foot pounds. It spins okay at this value, not too loose and not too tight. I have 67000 miles on the car.
Thanks in advance for the wisdom. Feel a bit dumb over doing this but done is done.
BTW you're not the first one to remove the yoke to get the axle stub out of the trailing arm. The hole in the arm is sometimes too small, but if you angle the yoke and axle in the hole and jiggle and wiggle it it will come out and go back in.
The stub axle should NOT BIND at 100 ft. lbs. of torque. Difficult to say why you have this problem.
I've rebuilt about eight axle stubs with a slip spindle like davemoto uses to select the shims. The collars were cut crudely by the factory and I've had to true some or they can compress up to a few thousands when the yoke nut is torqued to 100ft. lbs.
The factory tolerance was too great (to minimize rejections). For maximum mileage the vertical play of the axle in the housing should be 0.002 to 0.003". Less or more and the bearing life will be reduced. When rebuilt properly the axle stub bearing should last about 80,000 miles without any attention unless the grease seal fails, which is rare.
In the process of rebuilding my and friends axles I've run across some really poorly done rebuilds. A proper rebuild requires skills and tools most do not have.
Steve Goodman at Rear Engine Specialists in Colorado is the person that educated me and I'd suggest sending him your axle stubs for a rebuild.