The rear wheel bearings arrived in the mail today, just four days after I ordered them. Classic Alfa delivers really fast on smaller items. The larger items tend to get stuck in customs, something Richard Norris apparently is painfully aware of. With the bearings came new oil seals for the axle tubes, which was a nice surprise. I had actually forgotten all about these oil seals, but now I got to replace them as well. I took an oblong, square piece of wood and chipped away the corners to use as a driver, and the removal was done with a brake pad puller. After that was done, I mounted the new bearings on the shafts. I didn’t have a long PVC tube handy, so I used the inner race from the old bearing and hammered the new bearing in place with a flat piece of wood; two strokes on one side and two more strokes 180 degrees from the first two. In the end, I used a flashlight/torch to check that the bearing had seated properly.
Note: the left and right handbrake assembly plates aren’t interchangeable. Firstly because of the left/right threading on the wheel studs, secondly because of the draining groove in the bearing seat which must face down when the axle is mounted, and third because the caliper mounting ears should face backwards. The drain groove is clearly visible in the fourth picture.
After the threaded ring nuts were back on the shaft, I used some universal, non-hardening sealant (Biltema # 36-2404) and sealed the back of the handbrake shoe retaining pins. The workshop manual suggests using Minnesota EC 5305 sealing compund to avoid foreign matters entering the handbrake assembly, but that particular sealant probably isn’t on the market anymore. I wonder if you lose concours points over this? 😛
The Classic Alfa GB035 oil seal didn’t fit the Montreal differential. I called up Richard Norris and he told me had the right oil seal in stock. Probably a slip-up by someone since I asked before ordering if the seal would fit. I’m sending it back to have it replaced. The correct oil seal has a 48 mm inner diameter, an 80 mm outer diameter and a 12 mm depth. I managed to ruin the part number when removing the seal, but the manufacturer’s name is Goetze. I’ll see if I can patch the seal back together and make out the number. By the way, SKF has a nice manual mounting guide for rotary shaft seals.
Update: the oil seal is a Goetze 827 SRD 48-80-12 and has Montreal part number 184.108.40.2067.01 (TAV. 57). According to Bruce Taylor, the 48-80-12 is difficult to find and is usually replaced with a 48-80-10 seal driven flush with the differential housing. Here’s how the original 12 mm seal looks like behind the slinger: