Changed out rear axle shaft and rear bearings

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by KJ604, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. KJ604

    KJ604 Full Access Member

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    Pic #1 Old axle pulled out, ready to pull the bearing out
    #2 New bearing and seal pressed in
    #3 Shiny new axle installed
    #4 Shot of diff with the cover off, the head of the pinion shaft bolt can be seen
    #5 Closer shot of the diff, the c-clip on the end of the drivers side axle can be seen

    So I swapped out the bent axle the other weekend. I ordered the dorman kit off of rock auto. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=2478124&cc=1430900&jnid=460&jpid=2 The Kit comes with axle, studs, nuts, bearing and seal. The axle I have no problems with, the bearing was complete garbage. The cage cracked while I was trying to install it. So I threw the seal away too. The kit is still a good price for just the axle, studs, and nuts, but plan on buying a bearing separately. I swapped the bent axle out and put a new bearing and seal on both sides.

    Took me a good 4 hours in my driveway, but this was my first time even putting this jeep on jackstands. I was not moving fast.

    Start blocking the front wheels and jacking up the rear end and removing the wheels. Remove the caliper by removing the 2 bolts, compressing the retention clip and rolling the caliper upwards. Mine needed some persuading. The rotor should then slide off, but if its stuck on just leave it for now and you can pull it and the axle out as one piece later. Once youre at this point, unbolt the diff cover and drain the diff. The pinion shaft bolt can be seen in pic #4 just to the right of the pinion shaft, both are circled. This runs through the center of the diff and holds the axles in place. Remove the bolt and then rotate the diff until the pinion shaft slides out. Once you pull the pinion shaft out then go push inward on the hub of the axle you want to remove. It will slide inward and then when you look in the diff you will be able to see the c-clip that holds the axle in place. You need to get that c-clip off, it should just slide off but i had to wiggle the axle a bit to get mine off. Once that clip is off the axle will slide right out.

    Now to remove the old bearing and seal you need a slide hammer and a rear wheel bearing puller. I ordered both off of amazon for $100, and i got a set of 3 different sized pullers. Hammer the old bearing out with the puller, then install the new bearing. I used a 1-3/4" socket to tap my new bearings into place. Make sure the bearing is going in square to the housing and evenly all the way around. For the seal I used a rubber mallet on the metal flange of the seal and gently tapped it into place.

    Installing the new axle is the reverse of removal. Slide it all the way in, get the c-clip on the end, and while youre holding the cclip in place slide the axle outward and it will lock the c-clip in place. Re-install the pinion shaft. Clean up all surfaces and use Red or Black RTV to make a new gasket. Refill the diff to the bottom of the filler hole. Make sure to add LSD additive if you have Trac-lock. Put the breaks and the wheels back on.

    Not a difficult job at all. I didnt know how the calipers work and mine were rusted on so it took me a minute to figure out how to get them off. And I found cleaning the old gasket off of the top side of the diff was akward because youre tight to the gas tank. Everything else is straight forward and simple. :favorites13:
     

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  2. TwoBobsKJ

    TwoBobsKJ Full Access Member

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    Well done! :waytogo:

    One addition if I may... The pinion bolt has a tendency to break (not only on Chrysler axles but those from GM and Ford too) so its a good idea to have an extra on hand before starting this job. Thankfully yours didn't break - I did this project on a Saturday and late morning I started to take off the pinion bolt and it twisted apart. Thankfully a parts department at a Jeep dealership left the bolt at the sales cashier so I was able to finish the job.

    Now you're ready to tackle installation of a rear locker :party52:

    Bob
     
  3. M38 Bob

    M38 Bob Full Access Member

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    2B, curious how you got the broken part out? Usually the bolt breaks leaving one thread attached to the remaining pin. Makes for an interesting process removing it.

    Bob
     
  4. TwoBobsKJ

    TwoBobsKJ Full Access Member

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    Shoulda heard my vocabulary when it happened :favorites68:

    You're right, there was a portion of the last thread in the diff case. I tried a reverse drill extractor and it started to turn the stud - and I was fortunate to be able to hook on to the ridge that remained of the thread with a small drill bit to back it out of the threads. Then got a magnet to pull it the rest of the way out.

    I got very fortunate :emotions34:

    Bob
     
  5. M38 Bob

    M38 Bob Full Access Member

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    What most folks don't realize is that there's enough wear in the holes the large pin throught the spider gears in in that that pin has rocked back and forth enough to break the pin long before you ever put a wrench on it.

    This kit (I've only seen it sold by MATCO tool dealer before googling just now) is the cat's ass for removing them. The two allen head bolts you see pictured have a hole drilled through them, you screw one into the hole against the busted pin, then the really long drill bit pictured will flex enough to run in the drilled allen bolt and drill a hole in the remaining pin. When you get it deep enough the ease-outs in the kit can then be used to remove the remaining piece. Works slick as green grass through a goose!

    Bob

    Sorry, forgot the link;
    Amazon.com: Differential Pinion Shaft Lock Bolt Extractor Kit: Automotive
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  6. CactusJacked

    CactusJacked Full Access Member

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    Bob, I've been beside myself, noticing that the more you write, you seem to have more metaphors than one can shake a stick at! :happy175:
     
  7. M38 Bob

    M38 Bob Full Access Member

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    Got a TWO WEEK suspension from a gun forum a few years back over the "goose" one.:shrug:

    Bob
     
  8. CactusJacked

    CactusJacked Full Access Member

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    They must be some real sticks in the mud. Were you being accused of goose abuse? :emotions34:
     
  9. M38 Bob

    M38 Bob Full Access Member

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    Naw, said everybody would know the word I was inferring. :dancingpoop:

    Bob
     
  10. TwoBobsKJ

    TwoBobsKJ Full Access Member

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    That is a slick kit! If it works like that green grass I think I'll order one up - too bad it's not eligible for Prime :emotions34:

    Bob
     
  11. M38 Bob

    M38 Bob Full Access Member

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    I've had mine for 15+ years, only used it 6-8 times has worked every time.

    Bob
     
  12. KJ604

    KJ604 Full Access Member

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    Thanks for mentioning the bolt TwoBobs, I forgot because mine came out no problem. I did pick up an extra in advance but Im really glad I didnt need it because the dealership gave me the wrong one! The one they gave me had a larger diameter.
     
  13. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    I'm still trying to figure this one out: "I'd bet my arse against 9 green walnuts that ain't what is/was making noise."

    Don't know what the hell it means but I've been trying for days to work it into a conversation. :happy175::happy175::happy175:
     
  14. CactusJacked

    CactusJacked Full Access Member

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    Consider the source, it's not supposed to make sense! :happy175:
     
  15. M38 Bob

    M38 Bob Full Access Member

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    I PM'd him a 3rd grade explanation. I'd be happy to send it to any others as well.:emotions34:

    Bob
     
  16. Scottybones

    Scottybones Full Access Member

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    I'm seeing conflicting info on changing the rear seal. Is there a bearing and seal on the axle as well as in the hub assembly? Should I change both or just the outer one?
    This write up shows the bearing inside the hub, but most of what I'm seeing is to pull the shaft and cut off the bearings and press them back in. Someone please help.
     
  17. renegade 04

    renegade 04 Full Access Member

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    On the rear there is a axle seal and a axle bearing on each side. To replace the bearing you must pull the axle shafts as well as remove the axle seal.
     
  18. Scottybones

    Scottybones Full Access Member

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    Does one fail more than the other, or should I plan on swapping both sets?
     
  19. kejobe

    kejobe Full Access Member

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    If your doing one side, might as well do the other. It's only a wheel and brakes more.
     
  20. Scottybones

    Scottybones Full Access Member

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    So for some background on this project. Started with pads and rotors for the front. Upon inspection on rear, driver side is flinging gear oil all over. Back of the brakes covered, bottom of tire dripping, etc.
    I was planning on doing the rear brakes anyways, but now I have this problem to deal with also.
    I think I may take a chance and only do the outers since its easier than tackling the shaft itself. Does anyone know how prone these seals are to failure and should I be changing both?