||01-21-2011 02:06 PM
Front Axle Replacement
I know repair stuff has a different forum, however, if anyone does much off roading an axle replacement is a real possibility. So I thought I would share my experience since I am not a mechanic and completed the job myself. First off, my drivers side axle on my 96 Ram was snapped in half at the universal joint. I was told the ball joints would have to be disconnected, a puller would be needed to remove the hub, etc. In this case, I did not need a puller and didn't touch the ball joints. Steps taken:
Raise vehicle, remove tire/wheel, remove brake caliper and hang out of the way with a strap (not the brake line), remove the rotor, at this point spray the axle nut and the three hub bolts with PB blaster, remove the cotter pin from the axle nut, remove the axle nut with an impact wrench 1 11/16" socket (I used an 1 3/4"), remove the three 14 mm (12 point) hub bolts from the back of the hub, remove the hub and dust shield (if the hub is seized to the axle shaft a puller may be needed or an impact hammer), slide the old axle out, inspect the axle housing and clean all the rust from the brackets, etc., now grease the new axle, if the seal is ok just slide it into the axle housing (watch out for the seal), apply antiseize to the hub and reinstall it, put everything back together. I removed the diff cover prior to working on it to inspect the gears. I reinstalled it using black RTV sealant and filled with 3 quarts of recommended fluid. I took pictures but cannot load them for some reason. If any mechanics have advice for the future, that would be great. I cleaned everything good and removed all rust while I had it apart, not sure if this is necessary but made me feel better anyway. So far no leaks from the old seal.