Jeep Wagoneer/Commando/Cherokee 1984-1998

Axle Shaft, Bearing and Seal

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Removal & Installation



Dana 44 and AMC 79/16in. Models

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

An arbor press is necessary for this procedure.

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Use a slide hammer to remove the axle shaft

  1. Remove the wheel and tire and brake drum/disc assembly.
  2.  


CAUTION
Brake linings may contain asbestos. Asbestos is a known cancer-causing agent. When working on brakes, remember that the dust which accumulates on the brake parts and/or in the drum may contain asbestos. Always wear a protective face covering, such as a painter's mask, when working on the brakes. NEVER blow the dust from the brakes or drum! There are solvents made for the purpose of cleaning brake parts. Use them!

  1. Remove the nuts that attach the outer seal retainer (and brake backing plate) to the axle shaft tube. Discard the nuts.
  2.  

Remove the axle shaft from the housing with an axle puller attached to a slide hammer.

  1. Discard the inner axle seal. Position the axle shaft in a vise.
  2.  
  3. Remove the retaining ring by drilling a 1 / 4 in. (6mm) hole about 3 / 4 of the way through the ring, then using a cold chisel over the hole, split the ring.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Splitting the retaining ring

  1. Remove the bearing with an arbor press, discard the seal and remove the retainer plate.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Clean and then apply a thin coating of wheel bearing lubricant to the bearing and seal contact surfaces. Apply wheel bearing lubricant to the lips of the replacement inner and outer seals.
  2.  
  3. Install the inner seal with the open end of the seal facing inward. Ensure it is completely seated.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Installing an inner seal in the axle tube

It is helpful to cool the axle shaft before pressing on the bearing and retainer. Leave the bearing and retainer at room temperature.

  1. Install the retainer plate and the outer seal on the shaft. Ensure the open end of the seal faces toward the axle shaft bearing.
  2.  
  3. Pack the replacement bearing with wheel bearing lubricant and position on the axle shaft. Press into place.
  4.  
  5. Press a replacement bearing retainer on the axle shaft against the bearing.
  6.  
  7. Install the axle into the axle tube. Position and align the seal retainer and brake support plate and install replacement attaching nuts. Tighten nuts to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install brake assembly wheels and tires. Lower vehicle.
  10.  

Except Dana 44 and AMC 79/16in. Models

See Figures 4 through 13



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Fig. Fig. 4: Using a small box wrench loosen the pinion gear mate shaft lock screw ...



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Fig. Fig. 5: ... then remove the lock screw ...



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Fig. Fig. 6: ... and carefully pull out the pinion gear mate shaft



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Fig. Fig. 7: Notice how the axle shafts are retained in the housing with C-clips



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Fig. Fig. 8: To remove the C-clip to free the axle shaft, simply move the shaft inward toward the center of the differential from the outside ...



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Fig. Fig. 9: ... this will give enough room to remove the clip from out of the differential gear assembly



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Fig. Fig. 10: Using a pair of long needle nose pliers, remove the C-clip from the axle shaft ...



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Fig. Fig. 11: ... then carefully pull the axle shaft out of the housing



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Fig. Fig. 12: After removing the shaft, examine the axle bearings and seal for damage or excessive wear and replace if necessary



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Fig. Fig. 13: After removing the shaft, examine it for damage or excessive wear. If it is equipped with ABS, inspect the tone ring for damage

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  2.  


CAUTION
Brake linings may contain asbestos. Asbestos is a known cancer-causing agent. When working on brakes, remember that the dust which accumulates on the brake parts and/or in the drum may contain asbestos. Always wear a protective face covering, such as a painter's mask, when working on the brakes. NEVER blow the dust from the brakes or drum! There are solvents made for the purpose of cleaning brake parts. Use them!

  1. Remove the wheels and brake assemblies.
  2.  

Refer to Brakes for the proper procedures concerning brake removal.

  1. Loosen the differential housing cover and drain the lubricant. Remove the housing cover.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the differential so the pinion gear mate shaft lock screw is accessible. Remove the lock screw and the pinion gear mate shaft.
  4.  
  5. Move the axle shafts inward and remove the C-clip lock from the recessed groove in the axle shaft.
  6.  
  7. Remove the axle shaft from the case.
  8.  
  9. Remove the axle shaft seal and bearing using removal tool set 6310.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Wipe the bearing bore and axle shaft tube clean.
  2.  
  3. Install the bearing using tools C-4171 and 6436. Seat the bearing against the shoulder in the axle tube.
  4.  
  5. Install the replacement axle shaft seal with tool 6437 and C-4171. When the installation tool face contacts the axle tube, the seal is at the correct depth.
  6.  
  7. Lubricate the bearing bore and the seal lip. Insert the axle shaft into the tube and engage its splines with the differential.
  8.  
  9. Install the C-clip locks and force the axles outward to seat them.
  10.  
  11. Insert the differential pinion gear mate shaft into the case and through the thrust washers and the pinion gears. Align the hole in the shaft with the lock screw hole. Install the lock screw and tighten to 14 ft. lbs.
  12.  
  13. Apply an 1 / 8 in. (3mm) bead of RTV to the differential cover after cleaning the differential and cover with solvent.
  14.  
  15. Install the cover and tighten bolts to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Install the brake assemblies and wheels.
  18.  

For Trac-Lok differentials, a special limited slip additive is needed.

  1. Fill the differential with lubricant. Lower the vehicle and test for proper operation.
  2.  
  3. For vehicles equipped with Trac-Lok differentials, drive the vehicle and make 10 to 12 slow, figure-eight turns to pump lubricant through the clutch discs.
  4.  

 
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