When removing rear wishbones from my rear axle, it had lock washers against the rearward nut where the wishbone attaches to the front of the driveshaft tube. This made it very difficult to get clearance to get the wishbones out, and of course the same thing going back. When looking at Steve's video of his rear axle rebuild, he has the lockwashers on the front nuts making it easy to reinstall. My question is are these lockwashers even supposed to be on there originally, and are they even necessary since the front nuts are castellated nuts?
Some years didn't use them,but I believe they should go on the rear nut to prevent it from backing off.
On my 26/27 rear axles I can't get the wishbones in or out without pulling the driveshaft or splitting the axle housings?
The factory way is the best way, [Para. 621 in Ford Service] to assemble the radius rods to the torque tube prior to inserting the pinion gear in the rear end.
Run the first hex nut down to the end of the threads on the radius rod, then place the lock washer. That hex nut is the 'lock nut'. When the radius rod is inserted into the driveshaft coupling end, place the outer castle nut, run it only to where the cotter pin can be inserted and fasten the pin.
Then when you assemble the radius rods to the backing plates, and you place the pinion housing with the ring housing still partially loose, and fasten the pinion bearing , you can then fasten the radius rods tight, and bring up snug the hex nut against the lock washer to fasten it all up..
The other way is much harder to do. If you try to force the rods in place, after the driveshaft in in the axle housing, you will bend them, probably why so many radius rods are found with a bow in the middle
The lock washers go against the back nut. The procedure is to just snug the front nuts evenly, then tighten the rear ones.
Another case of simultaneous typing.
The reason I had the washers on the front in the video is that I didn't know any better at the time, and put them back as I found them. Dan and Mike have it right.