Bearing removal and installation thoughts!

So, I got a bunch of advice about what to do about the bearings on those axle housings, and the consensus is I should replace them.  Then of course, the question is, how the heck do I get them OUT of there?  One suggestion was to take a piece of rod, heat the axle housing, and bang the bearing out with the rod and a hammer… Then to install them, use a piece of threaded rod and some washers to pull the bearing INTO the housing.  Igot so fired up about the installation because folks said “threaded rod”, and I’ve been ITCHING for a reason to use the little el-cheapo tap and die set I bought a couple of months back! I’ve never done anything like tapping a rod (or is it, die-ing a rod, and tapping a nut? Either way, those two phrases are gonna drive the internet search bots nuts, I bet!  )

So, I dug out some 3/8″ rod I’d saved from a couple of old junky lawn chairs I “helped” my dad dispose of the same weekend I stole his tractor (I KNEW it would come in handy!) and a’tapping I went!

But you know, the FIRST thing I tried with this piece of rod was to see whether I could use it, in combination with Mr. Hammer, to take a couple of whacks at seeing how well it would work at popping a bearing out…. Turns out there’s not a heck of a lot of clearance on the inside of these axle housings to put a piece of rod ONTO in order to get any purchase… So I put on my thinking cap… I’d HEARD the phrase “inside bearing puller”, and it occurred to me that it must be some sort of tool that fits INSIDE the shaft hole on a bearing and lets you pull it out that way… Well, couldn’t I use my new best buddy, the bearing separator/puller to drop a piece of, say, threaded rod down inside this axle housing, put a reasonably sized washer on the bottom end of the rod, secured by a couple of nuts (like you said for installing the bearings), then put another nut and washer at the top-side of the rod and (I’d probably have to put the TOP nut and washer on FIRST, then secure the bottom ones) then tighten up the top one until the washer on the bottom pulls the bearing out? Something like this:

That rod is long enough to extend through the axle housing, and threaded far enough up it that I can put a nut and washer at the top of the thread, drop it through the puller frame, and be able to attach another washer and two nuts at the bottom of the rod. Except that I’m short two 3/8″ nuts to complete my proof of concept! DOH!  And where the heck would I get two 3/8″ nuts on New Years’ Eve/New Years’ Day?!? (Not sure my neighbours would appreciate me showing up on their doorsteps at an hour before New Years asking if I can borrow their nuts!  ) Of course, I’d probably still have to heat it, mind you…. And I don’t have a torch or anything…

But, this is my thought… What do you all think?

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