Front prop shaft seized onto front diff: How to remove?

WheelNut

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Hey everybody,

I am trying to get the steering rack out of my KJ and to do the service manual recommends dropping the front axle. Trouble is the front prop shaft seems to have securely attached itself to the input shaft on the front axle pinion. I've hit it with the little propane torch, penetrating oil and whacked it as hard as I can with my 5Lbs hammer. It hasn't budged a millimetre...What other methods can I try to get this dang thing off?! On top of needing to get the steering rack out I need to remove the prop shaft to rebuild the rear joint as the rubber boot is long gone and she's making some noise now. I had an '02 KJ last year that was thrashed and the prop shaft pretty much just fell off the pinion input shaft no trouble at all. I'm not sure why this one is being such a pain.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

tommudd

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Why are you removing the front diff to remove the steering rack ?
As far as getting the front driveshaft loose, never ran into that or heard of anyone else having issues
 

WheelNut

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Factory service manual states that this is the way to remove the steering rack. Is it possible to remove it another way? Maybe remove the fans?
I got the rack out. I did not get the drive shaft to separate though. I've given up for now. I'll have to fix the drive shaft after I get everything else back together.

Now the axle shafts won't come out of the hubs. I just have no luck working on this thing. Maybe I need a bigger hammer...
 

duderz7

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With knuckles still mounted to ball joints top and bottom whack the end of the axle with a 3-4lb mini sledge. If it won't budge pull the knuckles and get a machine shop to press them out.
 

JRB

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My front prop shaft/cv drive shaft was in there pretty good. Lots of penetrating oil, a dull cold chisel, I was able to tap it out.

I got tired of stepping up heat sources and getting bigger hammers for my axles in the hubs, brought the whole spindle and axle stuck together to a 20t press I have access to.
 

duderz7

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Sure am glad I don't have the rust issues in my area some of you have. Make sure to use anti seize upon reassembly once you get them removed. Chances are if they're as locked up as it sounds you're gonna need wheel bearings too just from the force needed to remove axles.
 

JeepJeepster

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Ive used a deadblow to get my front driveline out.. But there is no rust on my drivetrain, so things come out rather easy.
 

DadOSix

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Hey everybody,

I am trying to get the steering rack out of my KJ and to do the service manual recommends dropping the front axle. Trouble is the front prop shaft seems to have securely attached itself to the input shaft on the front axle pinion. I've hit it with the little propane torch, penetrating oil and whacked it as hard as I can with my 5Lbs hammer. It hasn't budged a millimetre...What other methods can I try to get this dang thing off?! On top of needing to get the steering rack out I need to remove the prop shaft to rebuild the rear joint as the rubber boot is long gone and she's making some noise now. I had an '02 KJ last year that was thrashed and the prop shaft pretty much just fell off the pinion input shaft no trouble at all. I'm not sure why this one is being such a pain.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

xc_hide_links_from_guests_guests_error_hide_media

best part is 3 minutes to about 16 minutes.

several methods to do this, but this guy seems to have it down.

pay attention around 14-16 how he turns and maneuvers that rack.

goes in same as it came out.

if it was me, i’d flip those bolts on the lower axle mount backward and mount em nut-end out.
Good luck!
 

WheelNut

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Thanks for all the tips guys! That video is a good one. Removing the oil filter would definitely have made things much easier in removing the steering rack. Next time I'll do that (Hopefully next time isn't soon!). I just did an oil change a few weeks ago, so I didn't want to dump the engine oil.

As Duderz7 suggested I will just take the knuckles into the shop with the half shafts attached if I can't get them out of the knuckles. Gave 'er a good douse of penetrating oil yesterday, and I will again today, so hopefully they will pop out. Haven't heated them yet either.

Rust around here isn't normally too bad, and this thing is decent underneath, but it is still 16 years old, so the surface rust on the bolts and subframe type bits has definitely built up over the years.

I'm excited to get this thing back on the road soon. New steering rack bushings, new inner and outer tie rods, new upper and lower control arm bushings, new upper and lower ball joints, new sway bar endlinks, new front discs and pads, and new lower shock bushings! I'm really hoping my uneven tire wear goes away and the steering feel is tightened up after all this.
 

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