REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 and 2
- Raise and support the vehicle safely, making sure the rear suspension hangs freely.
Do not support the vehicle by means of the differential or the transverse leaf springs.
Remove the rear transverse leaf spring from the knuckle as follows:
- Remove 1 rear wheel assembly.
- Install tool J-33432 or equivalent transverse leaf compressor, onto the rear transverse spring and compress the spring.
- Remove the cotter pin, nut, rubber grommets and bolt attaching the spring to the knuckle.
- Carefully release and remove spring compressor.
- Remove the cotter pin, nut and washer from the tie rod outer socket at knuckle. Using a suitable linkage puller, disconnect the outer tie rod from the knuckle.
- Disconnect the spindle rod bracket at the differential carrier.
- Remove the axle shaft universal joint straps at the both the spindle and yoke shaft ends.
- Remove the shaft by supporting the shaft and pushing out on the knuckle assembly.
If necessary, remove rear axle yoke, oil seal and bearing as follows:
- If equipped, remove the upper and lower underbody braces.
- Remove the exhaust assembly.
- Support the rear differential, then remove the differential carrier outer support bolts.
- Remove the carrier cover and drain the gear oil into a suitable container.
- Remove the snapring from the axle shaft yoke and remove the yoke.
- If only replacing the seal, pry the axle shaft yoke seal out using a suitable tool. Be careful not to damage the yoke shaft bearing assembly.
- If the seal cannot be removed in this manner or the bearing assembly is to be replaced as well, remove the differential assembly.
- Using tools J-34171 for the 7.875 inch axle (automatic transmission) or J-35509 for the 8.5 inch axle (manual transmission), and driver handle J-8592 or equivalents, and a hammer, remove the seal and bearing assembly. Discard the seal and bearing.
If removed, install a new rear axle shaft bearing and seal as follows:
- If installing a new bearing, clean the seal bore using a standard metal cleaning solvent.
- Install a new rear axle bearing assembly. Use tools J-34172 for the 7.875 inch axle (automatic transmission) or J-35510 for the 8.5 inch axle (manual transmission) with driver handle J-8592 or equivalents, and a hammer.
- Lubricate bearings with a suitable hypoid lubricant.
- Apply a light coat of hypoid lubricant on the lip of the axle shaft seal.
- Install axle shaft seal using tools J-26938 for 7.875 in. axle or J-35511 for 8.5 in. axle and driver J-8592 or equivalents.
- If removed, install the differential assembly.
- Install the axle yoke shaft and snapring into the differential carrier.
- If a new yoke shaft is installed, yoke shaft end play should be checked and adjusted, if necessary by using snaprings of varying thickness. Endplay should be 0.0005-0.0085 inch (0.013-0.216mm).
- Apply a continuous 1 / 4 inch bead of sealant to the mating surfaces, then install the differential carrier cover, with gasket, to the carrier. Tighten the bolts to specification using the proper torque sequence.
- Install the carrier outer support retaining bolts and tighten to 60 ft. lbs. (80 Nm).
- Remove the differential support and install the exhaust assembly or connect the crossover pipe, as applicable.
- If applicable, install the underbody upper and lower braces.
- Install the axle assembly shaft into the differential and spindle yoke.
- Install the shaft U-joint retainers and tighten the bolts to 26 ft. lbs. (35 Nm).
- Connect the spindle rod bracket to the differential carrier and tighten the spindle rod bracket bolts to 60 ft. lbs. (80 Nm).
- Install the tie rod outer axle socket to the knuckle. Install the washer and nut, tighten the end nut to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm), then replace the cotter pin.
- Using a suitable compression tool, connect the leaf spring to the knuckle and install the bolt, grommets and nut. Tighten the nut and align the slot in the nut with the hole in the bolt, then insert a new cotter pin.
- Lower the vehicle.