Replaced rear axle bearing and seals
Over the weekend my son and I replaced the rear axle bearing and seals on his 96 XJ. I was dreading this as I've read many horror stories, and heard it can be very difficult... Well nothing can be farther from the truth. It was not very difficult, and should be on your list of routine maintenance. From start to finish was probably a few hours. And that's because we took out time, and made sure everything was cleaned and greased during reassembly.
The one tool that you cannot do without is a slide hammer. I rented one for free from Advanced Auto Parts. Its a simple process, drain diff oil, pull diff cover. Remove rear wheels, and brake hubs. Remove pin from rear diff, push axles in, remove the c clips, and pull axles. We didn't have a seal puller, so we removed them the old fashioned way, with a hammer, chisel and screw driver. Once the seal is out, use the slide hammer to pull the bearings... a few hard wacks, and out she comes. Clean everything, axle, axle shafts, etc. Tap the bearing and seals into place, (we used a large socket). Put axles back in place, drop in the c clips, re install the pin, and use rtv to create a new gasket. Fill it with your favorite brand of oil, re-install brake hubs, and wheels and your done.
We did find the universals on the rear drive shaft starting to show their age, so while we were there, we replaced those as well. So including an extra trip to the auto parts store all we spent three solid hours on the Jeep. She rides so much quieter, and without any vibrations.
So to all those out there that need to change the rear wheel bearing, do not be intimidated. This is a truly a DIY project that and be done in your garage or driveway. Do your research and watch you-tube vids. All you need is basic hand tools & jack stands , but do rent a sliding hammer. It will make it so much easier.
2012 Grand Cherokee Limited Wk2 (Momma's)
2005 Grand Cherokee Limited, WK, 4.7 V8 currently rolling on Cooper Discovery 265 70 17's, with 1.25" spacers.,installed an OME HD lift sourced through Kolak.
1996 XJ 6 inch lift on 33's (Son's)