Suzuki Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker 1986-1998 Repair Guide

Rear Axle Shaft, Bearing, and Seal

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Samurai Models

See Figure 1

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Drain the rear differential assembly.
  2.  
  3. Make sure the rear parking brake is released.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rear wheels and remove the rear brake drums from the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the parking brake cables from the levers. Remove the parking brake lever stop plates.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect and plug the brake lines to the wheel cylinders.
  10.  
  11. Remove the backing plate mounting bolts.
  12.  
  13. Using a slide hammer, remove the rear axles with the backing plates attached.
  14.  
  15. Using a suitable prying tool, remove the axle seal from the housing.
  16.  
  17. If the axle, axle bearing, or backing plate is being replaced, support the axle in a vise with additional support under the shaft next to the bearing.
  18.  


CAUTION
Eye protection must be worn during the following 3 steps. Failure to do so could cause injury.

  1. With the axle shaft supported properly, grind the top and bottom of the axle bearing retainer. This will enable it to be removed without damaging the axle shaft.
  2.  
  3. Using a chisel, break the retainer and remove the retainer from the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Using a press or suitable bearing puller, remove the axle shaft bearing from the axle shaft.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: A puller, such as the one shown, must be used to pull the bearing off of the axle shaft

  1. Remove the backing plate from the axle shaft.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Using a seal driver, install the new seal with the lip facing the housing to the same depth as the old seal.
  2.  
  3. Install the backing plate on the axle shaft and using a press, install the bearing and the retainer on the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Install the axle shaft in the housing.
  6.  
  7. Install the backing plate mounting bolts and torque them to 159-248 inch lbs. (18-28 Nm). Connect the brake lines to the wheel cylinders.
  8.  
  9. Install the parking brake lever stop plates and connect the brake cables to the parking brake lever.
  10.  
  11. Install the rear brake drums and install the rear wheels.
  12.  
  13. Adjust the brakes and bleed the brake hydraulic system.
  14.  
  15. Refill the rear differential and safely lower the vehicle.
  16.  

Sidekick, Tracker, Sidekick Sport and X-90 Models

See Figures 2 through 14

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear wheels and remove the rear brake drums from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Drain the gear oil from the rear axle housing.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: To pull the axle shaft out of the rear housing, it may be necessary to use a slide hammer and adapter, as shown



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: If removing both of the rear axle shafts from the housing, be sure to mark the shafts so that they can be reinstalled in their original positions-if you mix the shafts up, measure their length

  1. Remove the rear brake return springs.
  2.  

If both axles are being removed mark the axles left and right. The axles are different lengths and must be installed in the correct position.

  1. Remove the rear wheel bearing retainer nuts from the rear axle housing.
  2.  
  3. Using an axle puller remove the axle shaft from the housing.
  4.  


WARNING
Do not remove the backing plate with the axle; this may cause damage to the inner seal.

  1. If the axle, axle bearing or seal is being replaced, support the axle in a vise with additional support under the shaft next to the bearing.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Use an angle grinder to shave the rear axle shaft bearing retainer ring as shown (shaded areas) ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: ... then use a chisel and hammer to break the retainer ring in half



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the axle shaft bearing by pressing it off, as shown



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Once the axle shaft is removed from the housing, the inner oil seal should be pried out of the housing-whenever the axle shaft is removed, the oil seal should be replaced with a new one


CAUTION
Eye protection must be worn during rear axle bearing and seal removal. Failure to do so could cause injury.

  1. With the axle shaft supported properly, grind the top and bottom of the axle bearing retainer until they are flat. DO NOT grind the axle, component failure could result.
  2.  
  3. Using a chisel and hammer, finish removing the retainer from the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Using a press or suitable bearing puller, remove the axle shaft bearing from the axle shaft.
  6.  
  7. Using a prying tool, remove the seal from the axle housing.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Using a seal driver, install the new seal with the lip facing the housing to the same depth as the old seal.
  2.  
  3. Apply grease to the axle shaft inner oil seal lip.
  4.  
  5. Install the new bearing and the retainer on the axle shaft using a suitable press.
  6.  
  7. Apply a bead of sealant on the outer face of the bearing retainer.
  8.  
  9. Install the axle shaft into the rear axle housing and replace the rear wheel bearing retaining nuts, tighten to 159-248 inch lbs. (18-28 Nm). When sliding the axle shaft into the housing, be careful not to damage the inner oil seal.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Use a seal driver to press the new inner oil seal into the housing, as shown



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Use an appropriately-sized seal driver to press the new oil seal into the bearing retainer-be sure to apply a small amount of grease to its outside circumference before installation



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Slide the bearing retainer onto the axle shaft so that the retainer studs point away from the axle flange



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Press the axle bearing and bearing retainer ring onto the axle shaft, as shown-be sure not to damage the outside face of the retainer ring

  1. Install the rear brake return springs.
  2.  
  3. Replace the rear brake drums and replace the rear tires on the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Refill the rear axle housing with the proper gear oil and safely lower the vehicle.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Apply grease to the axle shaft inner oil seal lip, as shown



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Apply a bead of sealant to the bearing retainer ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: ... then slide the axle shaft into the housing-tighten the bearing retainer stud nuts to 159-248 inch lbs. (18-28 Nm)

 
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