The axle type and ratio are stamped on a plate attached to a rear housing cover bolt. All 1983-88 axles are C-lock type axles. All 1989-96 axles are halfshaft type axles.
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.1983-88 Vehicles
See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4
- Raise and safely support the rear of the vehicle.
- Remove the wheels and tire assembly.
- Remove the brake drum or disc brake caliper, as applicable.
- If equipped, remove the anti-lock speed sensor.
- Clean all dirt from around the axle housing cover. Place a suitable drain pan under the housing cover . Remove the axle housing cover and allow the rear axle lubricant to drain.
- 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 shafts inward and remove the C-locks from the inner end of the axle shafts. Temporarily replace the shaft and lockbolt to retain the differential gears in position.
- Remove the axle shaft from the housing.
- Place Bearing Remover T85L-1225-AH or equivalent, into the axle shaft housing bore and position the tangs behind the axle bearing. Remove the axle bearing and axle seal as an assembly with a slide hammer installed on the bearing removal tool. Be sure the seal is not damaged by the splines on the axle shaft.
Two types of bearings are used on some axles, one with a press fit and the other a slip fit. A loose fitting bearing does not necessarily indicate excessive wear.
- Inspect the axle shaft housing and axle shafts 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. Install the bearings in the axle housing bore using Bearing Installer T78P-1225-A, or equivalent. Make sure the bearing seats firmly against the shoulder in the housing.
- 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. If the seals are dry, apply a suitable wheel bearing grease between the lips of the axle seal.
- Install the axle seal using Seal Installer T78P-1177-A or equivalent.
Installation of the seal without the proper tool can cause distortion and seal leakage. Seals may be color coded for side identification. Do not interchange seals from side to side, if they are coded.
- Remove the lock bolt/pin and pinion shaft. Carefully slide the axle shafts 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-locks on the bottom end of the axle shaft splines and seat the C-lock in the counterbore of the differential side gears by pulling the axle shaft in an outward direction.
- Rotate the differential pinion gears until the differential pinion shaft can be installed. Apply a suitable thread locking compound to the threads on the lock pin and install the lock pin securing the differential pinion shaft. Tighten to 15-30 ft. lbs. (20-41 Nm).
- Check the rear axle housing vent, making sure it is not plugged. A plugged vent can cause excessive pressure to build in the axle housing and leaking seals will result.
- Clean the axle housing cover and the housing mating surface.
- Apply a bead of silicone sealer to the axle housing cover and install the cover and retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts to 18-28 ft. lbs. (24-38 Nm).
Some axle housing covers use a gasket instead of silicone sealer. Use the same type of gasket as removed.
- Add a suitable rear axle lubricant to bring the level to approximately 1 / 2 in. (13mm) below the fill hole. For traction-lock equipped vehicles, a suitable friction modifier must also be added.
- Install the brake drum or disc brake rotor and caliper, as applicable.
- If equipped, install the anti-lock brake sensor.
- Install the wheel and tire assembly.
- If the brake system was opened, bleed the rear brakes.
- Carefully lower the vehicle.
- Road test the vehicle and check for leaks and proper operation.
See Figures 5 and 6
The bearings must be pressed on and off the shaft using an arbor press.
- Raise and safely support the rear of the vehicle with jackstands.
- Remove the wheel, tire, and brake drum. With 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 in the backing plate, or axle shaft retainer bolts from the housing. Disconnect the brake line 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 and install the new one by pressing it 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, drum brake seal rims are grey. 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.
To replace the seal on ball bearing models:
- Remove 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.