Most people seem to be afraid of the dorman axle kits. I needed a cheaper option than OEM. I also had a hard time finding any details about them, thats why I am posting this.
I found a 20% off + free SH coupon for Autozone. I got the 630-205 Dorman kits for $99+tax shipped to my door. I needed both sides, so $400+ for OEM was not an option for me.
Each kit came with a bearing, seal, 5 new lugnuts (wrong type for my p71 center caps tho), and the axle with the studs installed. There was also a stamped ring for the ABS, so nothing to swap from the old axles.
Side note - The axles did not have an o-ring where the c-clip goes. I did my homework on this and it is not necessary to reinstall that. It is just there to make the install at the factory easier.
Some reviews online mentioned that the dorman axles do not have a center hub. The ones I got did. The axles looked exactly like the Ford ones I took out of the car. Yes, they were stamped made in India. My only complaint on the axle is that around where the studs were installed there were some metal filings. I found those by cutting my hand on one as I was installing the axle...
The bearings were identical to the ones I took out. The side was stamped USA. They were an exacy copy of the OEM Ford ones I removed.
The Dorman seals looked a little different than the Ford ones. Similar design though and I am hoping that they don't leak on me. I will update this thread if they do.
Also here are some details about what my car was doing, in case anyone is still reading...
So, my passenger side axle had been making grinding sounds for a long time. I started to notice it barely making noise a year ago. It got louder over the last few weeks so I knew they were probably done.
Symptoms - Definite noise on passenger side. With the car jacked up there was up and down play in the rear passenger wheel. Driving past a wall with the back window down and you could easily hear that side making noise. There was no change in the noise if I was turning left or right. Some people have said that you might hear it more when changing lanes on the hwy but I never noticed it like that.
When I took out the axle it had about a 1/16in deep groove where the bearing chewed into it. The bearings themselves were also shot. My drivers side axle which was quiet and had no play was also in the early stages of starting to fail. So I decided to just replace both.
I found no play in the carrier/pinion bearings. Hopefully I did not do any damage to them. Most of the metal filings were in the axle tubes and close to the bearings. Time will tell if I am ok there.
For cleaning the metal out of the axle tubes I took the rag + broomstick idea to the next level. I put magnets on the broomstick. Then rolled a microfiber rag on the end so it was flat like a paper towel roll. To hold that in place I wrapped a strip of wire from some romex wiring around the rag. Basically making it a giant bore cleaning brush that I could keep changing out with new rags. I just kept spraying that with brake cleaner. It worked really well and did not take long at all.
My car rides soo much smoother now. My test drive after getting everything together was like driving a different car. I am curious how much this was hurting my mileage. I have been averaging 18-21 with mostly hwy.
I used Mobil 1 75W-90 synthetic. It has the friction modifier in it so I did not add any. Yes, I want the extra 0.5% mpg.
Starting mileage for the Dorman axles is 170,500 miles. Will see how long they last!!