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  • MrShift@Edmunds 09/10/08 11:26 am PST

    FRONT DRIVE AXLE REPLACEMENT

    Removal Procedure

    1. Unlock the steering column so that the steering linkage is free to move.
    2. Raise the vehicle. Support the vehicle with suitable safety stands. Refer to Vehicle Lifting.

    3. Remove the two front tire and wheel assembly.
    4. In order to prevent the drive axle from turning, insert a drift through the brake caliper and into one of the rotor vanes.
    5. Remove the axle nut and washer.
    6. Remove the drift from the brake rotor.
    7. Remove the front brake rotors and support the caliper with a piece of wire in order to prevent damage to the brake hose. Refer to Brake Rotor Replacement-Front in Brakes and Traction Control.
    8. Remove the brackets from the upper control arm holding both the ABS wire and the brake hose.
    9. Remove the ABS bracket located on the top of the upper control arm ball joint.
    10. Strap the frame to the hoist in order to prevent movement. Notice: Be careful that the safety stand does not damage or bend any components it may contact.
    11. Position a safety stand under the lower control arm.Support the weight of the steering knuckle assembly and lower control arm with a safety stand
    12. Disengage the wheel drive shaft from the hub by placing a brass drift against the outer end of the drive axle in order to protect the threads. Sharply strike the brass drift with a hammer. Do not attempt to remove the axle at this time.
    13. Support the steering knuckle and assembly with a piece of wire in order to prevent damage to the outer tie rod and ABS wire.
    14. Remove the upper ball joint. Refer to Upper Ball Joint Replacement (ROOD) or Upper Ball Joint Replacement (4WD) in Steering and Suspension.
    15. Remove the lower part of shock absorber. Refer to Shock Absorber Replacement (ROOD) or Shock Absorber Replacement (4WD) in Steering and Suspension. Important: After the lower ball joint is loose from the knuckle, simultaneously push the axle shaft in toward the differential carrier in order to allow room for the knuckle and assembly to be removed.
    16. Remove the lower ball joint. Refer to Lower Ball Joint Replacement (ROOD) or Lower Ball Joint Replacement (4WD) in Steering and Suspension.
    17. Remove the axle from the steering knuckle assembly. Important: Lower the safety stand from the lower control arm in order to relieve the pressure of the torsion bar and in order to allow for clearance. Do not damage the axle seal during removal of the differential carrier shield.
    18. Remove the front differential carrier shield. Refer to Shield Replacement.
    19. Disconnect the left side wheel drive shaft from the differential carrier by placing a block of wood or a brass drift against the tripot housing. Firmly strike the block of wood outward from the case with a hammer. Strike hard enough to overcome the snap ring pressure holding in the shaft.
    20. Disconnect the right side wheel drive shaft from the differential carrier by placing a block of wood or a brass drift against the tripot housing. Firmly strike the block of wood outward from the case with a hammer. Strike hard enough to overcome the snap ring pressure holding in the shaft.
    21. Pull the axle straight out from the differential carrier.
    22. Support the drive axle so as not to tear the boot. Caution: To prevent personal injury and/or component damage, do not allow the weight of the vehicle to load the front wheels, or attempt to operate the vehicle, when the wheel drive shaft(s) or wheel drive shaft nut(s) are removed. To do so may cause the Inner bearing race to separate, resulting in damage to brake and suspension components and loss of vehicle control.
    23. Remove the drive axle.

    Installation Procedure

    Important: Do not lubricate or damage the differential carrier axle seals during installation.


    1. In order to prevent damage to the boot, cover the following components with a shop towel:

      • The shock mounting bracket
      • The lower control arm ball stud
      • All other sharp edges

    1. Install the wheel drive shaft to the differential carrier.
      2.1. With both hands on the tripot housing, align the splines on the shaft with the differential carrier.
      2.2. Center the drive axle into the differential carrier seal.
      2.3. Firmly push the shaft straight into the differential carrier until the snap ring seats into place.
      Notice: Be careful that the safety stand does not damage or bend any components it may contact.
    2. Raise the safety stand to support the weight of the lower control arm. Important: It will be necessary to slightly start the knuckle onto the drive axle while simultaneously guiding the lower ball stud to its proper location on the steering knuckle.
    3. Install the lower ball joint. Refer to Lower Ball Joint Replacement (RWD) or Lower Ball Joint Replacement (4WD) in Steering and Suspension.
    4. Install the lower part of the shock absorber. Refer to Shock Absorber Replacement (RWD) or Shock Absorber Replacement (4WD) in Steering and Suspension.
    5. Install the upper ball joint. Refer to Upper Ball Joint Replacement (RWD) or Upper Ball Joint Replacement (4WD) in Steering and Suspension.
    6. Install the drive axle washer and nut. Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Service Precautions.
    7. Install the wheel drive shaft nut.
      • Tighten the nut to 140 Nm (103 ft. lbs.) .
      • Install the ABS bracket located on the top of the upper control arm ball joint.
      • Install the brackets from the upper control arm holding both the ABS wire and the brake hose.
      • Install the front brake rotors. Refer to Brake Rotor Replacement-Front in Brakes and Traction Control.
      • Install the front differential carrier shield. Refer to Shield Replacement.
      • Remove the strap from the frame.
      • Install the two front tire and wheel assembly.
      • Lower the vehicle.

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