350B steering clutch pilot bearing question

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Jason37756
440 crawler
440 crawler
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:23 am
Location: Tennessee

350B steering clutch pilot bearing question

Post by Jason37756 » Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:39 am

I re installed my final drive today and felt like it slid into place way to easy.

I’m afraid the drive shaft T20731 did not seed into the pilot bearing cup like it should have.

I sometimes install the shaft into transmission first and then install the final drive second to give myself enough space to clear the rail and avoid knocking the throw out bearing out of place.

I see some folks drive the shaft into the final drive first and then install both the shaft and the final together. This way usually requires cutting the rail and welding it afterwards or doing the install with a steep angle.

My question is does the shaft have enough lateral movement to simply slide further into the transmission without seeding the little pilot bearing?

I did start the crawler and the final was able to operate in both forward and reverse without any issues. I left both the sprocket and track off. If the pilot bearing did not seed properly I would expect it to function properly in this situation. But would expect it to cause damage when the full force of the crawler was placed on it.

Thanks

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LeonardL
350 crawler
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:11 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: 350B steering clutch pilot bearing question

Post by LeonardL » Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:31 am

I'm going to be optimistic and say you are probably okay. And let me just say that the correct way to install the final is by putting the shaft in the transmission first. And there are reasons behind that as well. But for your answer, the only way for the shaft or axle to slide back inside the transmission is if you have the other side off as well. The axles or shafts butt up against each other once both final drives are installed.

I know it is always scary when one of these final drives just go right back into place. However this does happen and when you have everything right then they should slide right on. Those pilot bearings are not an interference fit. They should be a slip fit and you shouldn't have to drive the axle into them or drive the bearing onto the shaft.

If you're nervous about it at least you're still in a position where you can slide the final back out and check the bearing. I don't know what procedure you use but I use long 5/8 inch grade eight pilot bolts screwed into the lower set of bolt holes in the final drive. So these are the ones right above those longer half inch bolts.

This allows you to move the final drive in or out squarely with the machine and you don't have to worry about the pilot bearing as much. It is also a great way to be able to recheck things if you're doubtful.

Hope this helps a bit.
40 plus years working on JD 350s, 400Gs, 450s and other equipment both Ag and Construction.

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Jason37756
440 crawler
440 crawler
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:23 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: 350B steering clutch pilot bearing question

Post by Jason37756 » Sun Nov 12, 2023 2:02 pm

Thanks for the response Leonard. I didn’t have the other side off, so based on what you’ve said those axels should be butted up to each other. If there is no room for movement then I’d say I’m good.

I do the install as you mentioned with two 5/8 bolts.

I’ll wait for some more input from anyone who may have experienced this before.

Thanks

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Jason37756
440 crawler
440 crawler
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:23 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: 350B steering clutch pilot bearing question

Post by Jason37756 » Sun Nov 19, 2023 6:22 am

I used 4 5/8 bolts that were 10” long to slide the final back out to visually inspect the shaft. It was fully installed thru the clutches, so I good. Only took 5 minutes.

Maybe this will help someone in the future that experiences the same thing.

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