Jeep Wagoneer/Commando/Cherokee 1957-1983 Repair Information

Axle Shaft

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Three different types of shafts have been used: the tapered shaft, the flanged shaft and the full-floating shaft. The differences are obvious. The terms, tapered and flanged, refer to the outer end of the shaft. The tapered shaft has a single retaining nut on the outer end of the axle shaft. The flanged shaft has a mounting flange for the brake drum on the outer end of the shaft and the shaft is held in place by a retaining plate. The full-floating axle is used exclusively on FC-170 DRW, J-300, and 1-ton J-20 trucks. One other important point, some tapered and flanged axles have an inner oil seal fitted in the axle shaft housing, inboard of the bearing; some do not. If your axle does not have one, don't install one when replacing the bearing! Axles with an inner seal rely on chassis lube for bearing lubrication and must be prelubed prior to installation. Axles without an inner seal rely on differential oil to lubricate the bearing.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Tapered Shaft



See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of a rear axle assembly with a tapered shaft



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Fig. Fig. 2: Using a slide hammer-type puller to remove the tapered axle shaft

  1. Jack up the vehicle and remove the hub cap.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel.
  4.  
  5. Remove the axle nut dust cap.
  6.  
  7. Remove the axle shaft cotter pin, castle nut and flat washer.
  8.  
  9. Back off the brake adjustment.
  10.  
  11. Use a puller to remove the wheel hub.
  12.  
  13. Remove the screws attaching the brake dust protector, grease and bearing retainers, brake assembly and shim to the housing.
  14.  
  15. Remove the hydraulic line from the brake assembly.
  16.  
  17. Remove the dust shield and oil seal.
  18.  

If both shafts are being removed, keep the shims separated. Axle shaft end-play is adjusted at the left side only.

  1. Use a puller to remove the axle shaft.
  2.  
  3. Install the axle shaft in the reverse order of removal, using a new grease seal and installing the hub assembly before the woodruff key. Tighten the axle shaft nut to 150 ft. lb. Some axles have and inner oil seal fitted in the axle shaft housing, inboard of the bearing; some do not. If your axle does not have one, don't install one when replacing the bearing! Axles with an inner seal rely on chassis lube for bearing lubrication and must be prelubed prior to installation. Axles without an inner seal rely on differential oil to lubricate the bearing.
  4.  

Should the axle shaft be broken, the inner end can usually be drawn out of the housing with a wire loop after the outer oil seal is removed. However, if the broken end is less than 8 in. long, it usually is necessary to remove the differential assembly.

Flanged Shaft See Figure 3

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Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the rear axle shaft assembley with a flanged axle shaft

  1. Jack up the vehicle and remove the wheels.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake drum spring locknuts and remove the drum.
  4.  
  5. Remove the axle shaft flange cup plug by piercing the center with a sharp tool and prying it out.
  6.  
  7. Using the access hole in the axle shaft flange, remove the nuts which attach the backing plate and retainer to the axle tube flange.
  8.  
  9. Remove the axle shaft from the housing with an axle puller.
  10.  
  11. Install in reverse order of removal. Torque the bearing retainer bolts to 50 ft. lb. in a criss-cross pattern.
  12.  

Some axles have an inner oil seal fitted in the axle shaft housing, inboard of the bearing; some do not. If your axle does not have one, don't install one when replacing the bearing! Axles with an inner seal rely on chassis lube for bearing lubrication and must be prelubed prior to installation. Axles without an inner seal rely on differential oil to lubricate the bearing.

Full-Floating Axle See Figures 4, 5 and 6

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Fig. Fig. 4: Exploded view of the full floating rear axle used on an FC-170 DRW model



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Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the full floating rear axle used in J-series trucks



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Fig. Fig. 6: Pinion nut removal on all axles

It is not necessary to raise the rear wheels in order to remove the rear axle shaft on full-floating rear axles.

  1. Remove the axle flange nuts, lock washers, and split washers retaining the axle shaft flange.
  2.  
  3. Remove the axle shaft from the axle housing.
  4.  
  5. Clean the axle flange mating area on the hub and axle, removing all old gasket material.
  6.  
  7. Install a new flange gasket onto the hub studs.
  8.  
  9. Insert the axle shaft into the housing. It may be necessary to rotate the axle shaft to align the shaft splines with the differential gear splines and the flange attaching holes with the hub studs.
  10.  
  11. Install the split washers, lockwashers, and flange nuts. Tighten the nuts securely.
  12.  

 
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