How to install an axle in 56 easy steps

Took all the stuff, including the axle housing to Rob’s place for the axle install. He has a nice 2 1/2 stall garage to work in. I think the kitchen sink is in one of those boxes. 

This took a lot longer than I had estimated. I figured around 4 hours, ended up taking 12. Ran into a couple of hiccups.

A high school friend, Peter, had come over to help but had to leave early. Sam also came over and was a huge help.

Don’t have a lot of photos, but hope to have a time lapse video in a few days.

The finished product:

After using a ProCal to set the final drive gear ratio, took it for a test drive I took this on the way home. Tracks with the GPS. Looks about right!

Here were the few quick easy steps we took to swap the axles:

  1. Put wheel chocks in front/behind front wheels
  2. Support frame on jack stands.
  3. Remove wheels
  4. Drain gear oil.
  5. Support axle on jack stands with cart.
  6. Remove calipers – support with bungee
  7. Remove brake rotors.
  8. Disconnect speed sensor plugs.
  9. Remove rear drive shaft from pinion. Support with bungee
  10. Remove axle flange nuts (4 each side)
  11. Connect slide hammer to lug bolts and remove rear shafts with parking brake assemblies
  12. Plug the housing tube ends with rags.
  13. Disconnect breather hose
  14. Disconnect parking brake cables.
  15. Remove lower shock bolts.
  16. Remove lower track bar bolt.
  17. Remove lower sway bar link bolts.
  18. Remove upper control arm bolts.
  19. Remove lower control arm bolts.
  20. Take disconnected housing off jack stands and on a floor jack to get it out of the way.
  21. Swap spring wedges, retainers and springs to new housing.
  22. Swap bump stops to new housing.
  23. Remove speed sensors from old shafts
  24. Remove parking brake assemblies and dust shields from old housings
  25. Install dust shields and parking brake assemblies on new shafts.
  26. Remove old Rubicon shafts bearing races and replace with new races.
  27. Put High Temp Bearing Grease in new shaft bearings.
  28. Slide new shafts into new housing. Tighten 4 axle nuts
  29. Install speed sensor in new shafts
  30. Slide new housing into place under the Jeep
  31. Install CA bolts – hand tight
  32. Install Track bar bolt – hand tight
  33. Install sway bar bolts
  34. Install lower shock bolts
  35. Connect speed sensor plug
  36. Install parking brake cables
  37. Connect diff breather hose
  38. Install brake drums
  39. Install brake calipers
  40. Remove old diff cover
  41. Clean differential face
  42. Spray out inside of diff with brake cleaner
  43. Install Lube Locker and diff cover
  44. Put new housing on axle cart and slide into place.
  45. Fill new axle with gear oil
  46. Remove axle cart
  47. Jack up Jeep and remove frame jack stands
  48. Set axle housing on jack stands on ground.
  49. Torque CA bolts
  50. Torque TB bolt
  51. Reconnect rear drive shaft
  52. Replace wheels
  53. Lower vehicle to ground
  54. Check axle centering – adjust track bar if necessary
  55. Use ProCal to set gear ratio to 4.88
  56. Drive it.

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