REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 through 20
- Block the front wheels, then loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheel that is being removed.
- Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands.
- Remove the wheel, then remove the rear brake caliper and rotor.
- If equipped, remove the anti-lock brake speed sensor.
- Clean all dirt from the area of the axle housing cover. Drain the axle lubricant by removing the housing cover. For details, please refer to the Fluid and Lubricant information in General Information & Maintenance of this repair guide.
- Remove the differential pinion shaft lockbolt and pinion shaft.
- Push the flanged end of the axle shaft toward the center of the vehicle (to create the necessary play and free the C-lock), then remove the C-lock from the button end of the axle shaft.
- Slowly withdraw the axle shaft from the housing, being careful not to damage the oil seal (unless you are replacing it anyway).
- If the seal is being replaced (or if you damaged it on the way out) insert a wheel bearing and seal replacement tool, such as T85L-1225-AH or equivalent, in the bore and position it behind the bearing so the tangs on the tool engage the bearing outer race. Remove the bearing and seal as a unit, using an impact slide hammer.
If only the seal is being replaced, use a seal removal tool to pry ONLY THE SEAL from the axle housing.
- If removed, lubricate the new bearing with rear axle lubricant. Install the bearing into the housing bore with a bearing installer.
- If removed, install a new axle seal using a seal installer. Essentially, the installation tool is a driver of the right diameter; a smooth socket or piece of pipe can also be used as a driver, just be careful not to damage the seal.
Check for the presence of an axle shaft O-ring on the spline end of the shaft; install one if none is found.
- Carefully slide the axle shaft STRAIGHT into the axle housing, without damaging the bearing or seal assembly. Start the splines into the side gear and push firmly until the shaft splines engage. It may be necessary to rotate the axle slightly to align the splines.
- Install the C-lock, then pull outward slightly on the axle shaft and make sure the C-lock seats in the counterbore of the differential side gear.
- Insert the differential pinion shaft through the case and pinion gears, aligning the hole in the shaft with the lockbolt hole. Apply a suitable locking compound to the lockbolt and insert it through the case and pinion shaft. Tighten the lockbolt to 15-30 ft. lbs. (20-41 Nm).
- Cover the inside of the differential case with a shop rag and clean the machined surface of the carrier and cover. Remove the shop rag.
- Carefully clean the gasket mating surfaces of the cover and axle housing of any remaining gasket or sealer. A putty knife is a good tool to use for this. You may want to cover the differential gears using a rag or piece of plastic to prevent contaminating them with dirt or pieces of the old gasket.
- Install the rear cover using a new gasket and sealant. Tighten the retaining bolts using a crosswise pattern.
Make sure the vehicle is level before attempting to add fluid to the rear axle or an incorrect fluid level will result. You may have to lift all four corners of the vehicle and support it using 4 jackstands in order to do this.
- Refill the rear axle housing using the proper grade and quantity of lubricant as detailed in General Information & Maintenance . Install the filler plug.
- If removed, install the anti-lock speed sensor and tighten the retaining bolt to 40-60 inch lbs. (5-7 Nm).
- Install the brake caliper and rotor.
- Install the wheel, then remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.