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Old 06-18-2014, 03:45 PM
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Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

What's involved in changing out the left front axle & wheel bearing? The right side was done by a previous owner. Last night I was looking under the jeep & noticed the boot at the cv joint has been split open for a while (I just got the jeep). It's not making any noise yet, but I figure I better get prepared.
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Mike sal
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:05 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

It's pretty easy overall. It's made slightly more difficult depending on if you live in the rust belt or not. Overall you remove the center wheel cap, loosen axle nut, remove wheel, remove the brake caliper (a couple bolts), remove the rotor, and remove axle nut. That will allow you to remove the wheel bearing and then axle. The wheel bearing is held in place by 3 bolts from the back side of the knuckle. Remove those bolts and use a 3 jaw puller to pull the assembly free (might have to hit the knuckle to break any rust holding the assembly in place). Once the wheel bearing assembly is free, the axle should slide out. There's no clips in the differential to hold it in place. Put in the new axle, put in new bearing assembly, and then reassemble brake hardware.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:09 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

thanks. I assumed it was somthing like that, but thought I'd ask before diving in. Not sure how rusty it will be yet. The car has spent most of it's life in southern IL which isn't too bad regarding rust.
Mike Sal
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:17 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

I forgot to ask, are there any differences in replacement axles? I have the select trac xfer case.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:49 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

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Originally Posted by Mike Sal View Post
I forgot to ask, are there any differences in replacement axles? I have the select trac xfer case.
I'm far from an expert on the different variations, so I would double check to ensure (or PM Frango because he's very well educated on all the variations). I would imagine there is only a difference on axles between the I6 and V8 motors (even then, I'm not sure there is a difference). All of the I6 motors have D30 front ends and I THINK the V8s also came with a D30 in the front (but I'm not really sure on that statement). The left and right side axles are different lengths so make sure you get the correct side.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:52 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

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Originally Posted by Mike Sal View Post
thanks. I assumed it was somthing like that, but thought I'd ask before diving in. Not sure how rusty it will be yet. The car has spent most of it's life in southern IL which isn't too bad regarding rust.
Mike Sal
Even if it is rusted, it's usually not too bad as long as you can get the brakes off. The bolts that hold the bearing assembly in place screw into the bearing assembly. So if they are very rusted and happen to break, the bearing assembly can still come out.

If I remember correctly from when I did mine 3+ years ago, the ABS sensor is pretty close to one of those bolts so make sure you don't break it.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:08 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

Thanks for the tips. I've got a bearing on order (w/ 210k miles, I figure it's due) & will now order the axle shaft.

I've ordered several parts for this jeep as well as for a couple of other cars I'm working on for family.....none of the parts have come from the local parts stores.....all has been on line. The price delta is just too big. The only time I'll go to a local store is when I can't wait for shipping.
Mike Sal
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:55 AM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

As far as i know there is only the Dana 30 as front axle for the WJ. Also that you have to compare the old axle shaft with the new axle shaft to be sure both are of the same lenght. It already happened with one of the members here that he istalled a too short axle shaft and lost his front wheel drive.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:17 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

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Originally Posted by Mike Sal View Post
Thanks for the tips. I've got a bearing on order (w/ 210k miles, I figure it's due) & will now order the axle shaft.

I've ordered several parts for this jeep as well as for a couple of other cars I'm working on for family.....none of the parts have come from the local parts stores.....all has been on line. The price delta is just too big. The only time I'll go to a local store is when I can't wait for shipping.
Mike Sal

Replaced both my cv axles last year and it wasn't terrible even living in wisconsin with all the salt on the roads. the only thing i remember in axle shaft difference is whether or not you have quadradrive. i did buy mine local, because i definitely didn't want it them damaged during shipping and wanted to get measurements on the shaft itself.

But yeah, I buy certain things online, but there's too much that can go wrong with dealing with off brand crap. it's cheaper, but there's a reason for that sometimes, not just the name itself.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:32 AM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

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Old 12-04-2014, 05:21 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

There is a difference in axle shaft length between the vari-lock (quadra drive) and the non vari-lock. Most places I've looked did show 2 different part numbers for each side, so as long as you know what you have you should be ok.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:44 PM
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Re: Left Front Axle & Bearing R&R

Well, I found out what happens when you wait too long before changing an axle with a split boot. I had assumed that it would start making some rumbling noises when it was finally shot, so I got lazy & didn't replace it when I ordered the parts......

Sunday, when 75 miles from home, we were pulling into a parking spot (the 4th stop we'd made that day) & I heard some crunching noises. I thought we had run over something, but no, it was the CV joint on the axle. I bought some spray grease & sprayed it down the best we could & limped the car home, having to listen to loud crunching & popping noises the whole trip. When we got home, all of the balls were gone along with half of the cage.

Fortunately, it didn't take very long to replace both the axle and the bearing (the old bearing still felt very good.....the only reason I replaced it is because of the high mileage).
Mike S
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