Disabling bad front diff

Markrock37

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I have a 2002 Jeep Liberty, banged it up a bit this year. I still drive it to work every day but now the front diff is toast. I'd like to disable it since it's just a work ****** so I don't need the 4wd. I know how to remove the front driveshaft, but is there an easy way to remove the cv joints without taking the spindle apart? I know I'll need the outer cv knuckle for the wheel bearing. Can I just cut the cv shaft with a Sawzall and disassemble at the knuckle? Does it come apart at that point?
 

Johnny O

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I have a 2002 Jeep Liberty, banged it up a bit this year. I still drive it to work every day but now the front diff is toast. I'd like to disable it since it's just a work ****** so I don't need the 4wd. I know how to remove the front driveshaft, but is there an easy way to remove the cv joints without taking the spindle apart? I know I'll need the outer cv knuckle for the wheel bearing. Can I just cut the cv shaft with a Sawzall and disassemble at the knuckle? Does it come apart at that point?
The cv joints are on the shaft ends. A little penetrating oil and elbow grease and they will pop out of the cups.
 

JMichael2006

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So if I just cut the boot they will come apart?
The axles unbolt without to much trouble at the diff and hub. The bearing is bolted to the knuckle, you unbolt the shaft and slide it out of the bearing.
 
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02blue

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This^^^
You just need to remove the two axle shafts, no need to disassemble the shaft itself. One issue, even after removing the spindle nut and freeing it from the hub, may be trying to get the spindle end CV section out. Clevis clearance may be an issue and you may need to remove/partially detach the clevis. This may be a problem even if you don't want to save the axle shafts and just cut the center portion and remove the pieces from the spindle and diff.

Like Johnny O and JMichael2006 said, the CVs are on the shaft ends and the shaft ends are splined and passes through the hub assembly which is bolted to the knuckle. Remove the spindle bolt on each side and slide the half shafts out of the bearing/knuckle assembly and pop out of the diff (I think it's a C-Clip holding it in there on the 2002s).
 

Johnny O

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So if I just cut the boot they will come apart?
No, they are just held in by the bolts. Tight fit. Just takes effort to pull them. Super easy to do. Once the front prop shaft is pulled, you are done.
 

Markrock37

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I get the prop shaft guys. That's easy. I'd really like to remove the drive axles (cv joints) without having to undo the clevis or ball joints. And you can't just pull the spindle out, you need at least a stub in there to keep the bearing from coming apart. I do not plan on keeping these axles, if I get a new diff I will replace those as well.
 

JRB

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I get the prop shaft guys. That's easy. I'd really like to remove the drive axles (cv joints) without having to undo the clevis or ball joints. And you can't just pull the spindle out, you need at least a stub in there to keep the bearing from coming apart. I do not plan on keeping these axles, if I get a new diff I will replace those as well.

I know some wheel bearings can separate, but my passenger is oem, drivers is china something, and both are holding up 13 months so far without axles in them. Didn't plan to go this long before getting it back together, but you know how that sometimes goes. I'm glad mine has held up, and I read before doing it that others have had luck with this as well.
 

02blue

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I get the prop shaft guys. That's easy. I'd really like to remove the drive axles (cv joints) without having to undo the clevis or ball joints. And you can't just pull the spindle out, you need at least a stub in there to keep the bearing from coming apart. I do not plan on keeping these axles, if I get a new diff I will replace those as well.
the bearing should not come apart without the axle spindle present. they're independent of each other. JRB is proof of concept.
 

J.C.

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I get the prop shaft guys. That's easy. I'd really like to remove the drive axles (cv joints) without having to undo the clevis or ball joints. And you can't just pull the spindle out, you need at least a stub in there to keep the bearing from coming apart. I do not plan on keeping these axles, if I get a new diff I will replace those as well.
Trying to cut the ends is a rough way to remove the CV shafts and my cause vibrations???

Disconnecting the lower ball joints etc will make a much better job.
 

tommudd

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Man just read through this, so many bad thoughts
wonder what he finally did
 
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