At some time in the past the thrust bearing spun in the housing. I have not checked at this point the gap between the housing and bearing. I need suggestions on how to fix. I have done the shim to fix on one housing but is not an easy job to keep shim in place and assemble the rear end. I am thinking sleeve or bearing lock on final assembly but am open to suggestions.
PS because of cost, a different housing is not a real option at this point.
I've used a stiff shim that does't collapse. On one occasion, I glued the shim to the housing. I held it in place while drying with a free ball bearing that I removed later.
What kind of glue did you use? Maybe something like sleeve lock?
You can get a thicker thrust bearing and not use shimms behind the steel washer.
Locktite Bearing Retainer. I've used it on several loose bearings on farm machinery.