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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Axle removal/install basics - M20? Need guidance!

Now that both my seals are blown and one bearing is screaming I have decided to go ahead and replace the axles in my M20 ('84 CJ7) with new 1 piece sets. I have searched the board and found tons of info on this topic but find some of it conflicting so I am asking for some simplified help.

I plan to buy either the Moser or Superior axles locally. I see arguments for both but it appears I cannot go terribly wrong with either. The local shop has agreed to press on the bearings at no cost as I am buying the axles from them.

My questions include:

1.) What special tools MUST I have. Do I need a special puller? What is the size of the axle nut?

2.) How, in very simple terms/steps, does the old axle get removed. (LEVE, one of your numbered lis of steps would be great here). Do I have to open the differential? I read in one of the posts that a thrust bearing must be removed. But that was not agreed upon. What is the best way to 'plug' the brake lines?

3). Does it matter which side is done first? My CJ is a wide-trac.

4). What is the most important thing(s) to check after reinstalling the new axles. Testing?

5). Tips, pitfalls, watch-our-fors, comments?

I realize this my sound like a newbie/stupid question to some but I have relied heavily and very successfully on the comments and instructions from this board. I find the info here often to be of better quality than the instructions from manufacturers.

So thanks in advance for any and all help.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 10:50 AM
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Re: Axle removal/install basics - M20? Need guidance!

well its been some time since i have done this.. but here goes from memory..
you do NOT need to open the diff.. but it would be wise to do so.. to atleast change the fluid... and to inspect things..
1. take off tire...
2. take drum off.. be removing the 3 screws.. and tap it off..
3. take a picture of the brake setup.. so you know how to put them back together.
.. take the nut off of the axle.. and you will need a puller.. (pulley).. make sure its quality.. put that on it.. tighten it up.. beat on.. tighten.. beat on it.. this will be your biggest pain in the butt... if you cant get it off.. try leaving the puller on over night.. good and tight.. and start the next day.. i have had the best luck doing that.. once you get that flange off.. you will notice 4 nuts holding the backing plate on.. by a seal plate.. undo those 4 nuts.. take the backing plate/axle out..
for the new axle.. read the instructions.. some require you to shim them.. some dont..
get the new bearings and retaining collar pressed on.. make sure you have the baking plates on the axle shaft.. along with the outer axle seal..
then bolt up the backing plate/seal plate using those four nuts.. i would rtv it also..
put breaks back on.... drum on.. minus the 3 screws.. and bolt tire on.. doesnt matter what side you start with..
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Axle removal/install basics - M20? Need guidance!

What would be a 'quality' puller? Does anyone have a specific make/model? Where to get (Autozone, Pep Boys, NAPA, etc.). Are these rentable? Not sure how often I would use a tool like this.

Thanks again.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 01:54 PM
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Re: Axle removal/install basics - M20? Need guidance!

Do you need to pull the hub off? If you can get the bolts off it should slide right out.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 02:27 PM
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Re: Axle removal/install basics - M20? Need guidance!

Go with NAPA... last time I priced one it was $39, on sale.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Axle removal/install basics - M20? Need guidance!

I have a set of brake backing plates that I plan to use with the new one-piece axles. My question is this: Do I need to seperate the hub at all? I also heard mention of using the tire (loosely mounted on studs) as a puller. Does any of this work? I just want to remove the whole unit. Do I still need a hub puller? Or slide hammer? Does the axle nut need to be removed as well if I do not need to seperate the hub from axle?

Maybe I am making this to difficult.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 03:06 PM
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Re: Axle removal/install basics - M20? Need guidance!

It's not unheard of to use the wheel or the drum as a slide hammer. It does work as a puller. The bad thing about this work-around is that you don't have too much room to work with. The length of the studs is the limit. So you don't have too much length to slide that drum back and forth. Without the length this homemade slide hammer can be next to useless.

I've also use a six foot length of fairly heavy chain. Just bolt one of the links onto a stud. Then stand back and let a little slack in the chain and whip it up and down. You'll see the chain will form a wave...and as that wave hits the stud it pull a little on the axle.

Using both the above methods work.. but you're going to be mighty tired before you're done.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2002, 05:46 PM
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Re: Axle removal/install basics - M20? Need guidance!

if you have new backing plates.. then you do not need to take the hubs off.. you can just unbolt the old plates.. and the axle will come out..

by quality puller.. i mean snap on.. craftsman... stay away from tools from autozone.. or advanced... those are mainly a waste of money.. for purchasing tools.. look at them as a life long investment.. you made only need it this once.. but what happens next year when you put a lift on,.. and need to take the pitman arm off.. or whatever...
and yes.. most of these tools can be loaned out from autozone.. or other parts places...
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