Both integral and removable carrier type axles are used. The axle type and ratio are stamped on a plate attached to a rear housing cover bolt. Axle types also indicate whether the axle shafts are retained by C-locks. To properly identify a C-lock axle, drain the lubricant, remove the rear cover and look for the C-lock on the end of the axle shaft in the differential side gear bore. If the axle has no cover (solid housing) it is not a C-lock. If the second letter of the axle model code is F, it is a Traction-Lok axle. Always refer to the axle tag code and ratio when ordering parts.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Bearings must be pressed on and off the shaft with an arbor press. Unless you have access to one, it is inadvisable to attempt any repair work on the axle shaft bearing assemblies.Flange Type
- Jack up and safely support the rear of the car.
- Remove the wheel, tire, and brake drum. On vehicles equipped with rear disc brakes, remove the caliper, retainer, nuts and rotor. New anchor plate bolts will be needed for reassembly.
- Remove the nuts holding the retainer plate to the backing plate, or the axle shaft retainer bolts from the housing. Disconnect the brake line if equipped with drum brakes.
- Remove the retainer and install nuts, finger-tight, to prevent the brake backing plate from being dislodged.
- Pull out the axle shaft and bearing assembly, using a slide hammer. On models with a tapered roller bearing, the tapered cup will normally remain in the axle housing when the shaft is removed. The cup must be removed from the housing to prevent seal damage when the shaft is reinstalled. The cup can be removed with a slide hammer and an expanding puller.
- Using a chisel, nick the bearing retainer in 3 or 4 places. The retainer does not have to be cut, but merely collapsed sufficiently, to allow the bearing retainer to be slid from the shaft.
- Press off the bearing.
- Press the new bearing into position. With tapered bearings, place the lubricated seal and bearing on the axle shaft (cup rib ring facing the flange). Make sure that the seal is the correct length. Disc brake seal rims are black, and drum brake seal rims are gray. Press the bearing and seal onto the shaft.
- Press on the new retainer.
Do not attempt to press the bearing and the retainer on at the same time.
- On ball bearing-equipped models, replace the seal by removing the seal from the housing with an expanding cone type puller and a slide hammer. The seal must be replaced whenever the shaft is removed. Wipe a small amount of sealer onto the outer edge of the new seal before installation; do not put sealer on the sealing lip. Press the seal into the housing with a seal installation tool.
- Assemble the shaft and bearing in the housing, being sure that the bearing is seated properly in the housing. On ball bearing models, be careful not to damage the seal with the shaft. With tapered bearings, first install the tapered cup on the bearing, and lubricate the outer diameter of the cup and the seal with axle lube. Then install the shaft and bearing assembly into the housing.
- Install the retainer, drum or rotor and caliper, wheel and tire. Bleed the brakes.
- Lower the vehicle.
See Figures 1 through 15
- Jack up and safely support the rear of the car.
- Remove the wheel and tire from the brake drum.
- Place a drain pan under the housing and drain the lubricant by loosening the housing cover.
- Remove the lock securing the brake drum to the axle shaft flange and remove the drum.
- Remove the housing cover and gasket, if used.
- Position jackstands under the rear frame member and lower the axle housing. This is done to give easy access to the inside of the differential.
- Working through the opening in the differential case, remove the side gear pinion shaft lockbolt and the side gear pinion shaft.
- Push the axle shaft inward and remove the C-lock from the inner end of the axle shaft. Temporarily replace the shaft and lockbolt to retain the differential gears in position.
- Remove the axle shaft from the housing. Be sure the seal is not damaged by the splines on the axle shaft.
- Using a Wheel Bearing and Seal Replacer (Tool T85L-1225-AH or equivalent) and a slide hammer, remove the bearing and oil seal as a unit from the housing. Position the tool behind the bearing, so that its tangs engage the bearing outer race, and dislodge the bearing and seal.
- Separate the bearing from the seal, and inspect the bearing.
Two types of bearings are used on some axles, one requiring a press fit and the other a loose fit. A loose fitting bearing does not necessarily indicate excessive wear.
- Inspect the axle shaft housing and axle shaft for burrs or other irregularities. Replace any worn or damaged parts. A light yellow color on the bearing journal of the axle shaft is normal, and does not require replacement of the axle shaft. Slight pitting and wear is also normal.
- Lightly coat the wheel bearing rollers with axle lubricant. Using Wheel Bearing Installer Tool T78P-1225-A or equivalent, lightly tap the wheel bearing into the housing bore, until the bearing seats firmly against the shoulder.
- Wipe all lubricant from the oil seal bore, before installing the seal.
- Inspect the original seals for wear. If necessary, these may be replaced with new seals, which are prepacked with lubricant and do not require soaking.
Although the right and left side seals may be identical, there are many different types of seals which have been used on rear axle assembles. It is advisable, therefore, to have one or both of the old seals with you when you are purchasing new ones. If the seals are color coded for side identification, do not interchange them from side to side.
- Using a Wheel Seal Installer (Tool T78P-1177-A or equivalent), gently tap the axle shaft seal into position. If this tool is not available, a wooden block may be substituted.
- Remove the lockbolt and pinion shaft. Carefully slide the axle shaft into place. Be careful that you do not damage the seal with the splined end of the axle shaft. Engage the splined end of the shaft with the differential side gears.
- Install the axle shaft C-lock on the inner end of the axle shaft and seat the C-lock in the counterbore of the differential side gear.
- Rotate the differential pinion gears until the differential pinion shaft can be installed. Install the differential pinion shaft lockbolt. Tighten to 15-22 ft. lbs. (20-30 Nm).
- Install the brake drum on the axle shaft flange.
- Install the wheel and tire on the brake drum and tighten the attaching nuts.
- Clean the gasket surface of the rear housing and install a new cover gasket and the housing cover. Some models do not use a paper gasket. On these models, apply a bead of silicone sealer on the gasket surface. The bead should run inside the bolt holes. Tighten the bolts in a cross-wise pattern to ensure uniform draw against the cover.
- Raise the rear axle so that it is in the running position. Remove the filler plug and add enough specified lubricant to bring the level to 1 / 2 in. (12.7mm) below the filler hole. Tighten the filler plug.
- Lower the vehicle.