Stuck axle nut - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 55 Old 02-23-2013, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
aldersonfilm
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Stuck axle nut

Whose got a good tip for freeing up a stuck axle nut. This thing is REALLY stuck. Almost certainly hasn't been removed in the 23 year life of the jeep. Soaked it in liquid wrench and WD-40, tried a breaker bar, tried a breaker bar with two people, tried a breaker bar and a 3ft steel pipe with two people and still nothing. Don't have an impact wrench, though I'm not sure that would work anyway. My next idea is to use my 2 1/2 ton jack to push the breaker bar.

So, will an impact wrench work any better? Also, I've been using a 36mm socket, but does anyone know if that's the right size? I removed the cotter pine and castle type washer. There isn't anything else, holding it in, is there???

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post #2 of 55 Old 02-23-2013, 10:36 PM
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36mm is correct. Go somewhere that has a big impact wrench, and bust it loose. Re-tighten, and drive home. Jacking on breaker bar may work. If the unit hub will not be re-used, apply some heat.

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post #3 of 55 Old 02-23-2013, 11:32 PM
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I used a 4 or 5 foot breaker bar.
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post #4 of 55 Old 02-23-2013, 11:44 PM
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If you have access to a torch you can heat it up and it should break loose easier.

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post #5 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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I'm only replacing the u-joint, so should I not apply heat? How would heat damage the hub?
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post #6 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 07:15 AM
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WD40 is not a penetrant. Soak a rag in PB Blaster, wrap it around the end of the axle nut and keep dripping some on. It will eventually work it's way in.

If you are only replacing the U joint, why not just take out the 3 bolts that hold the hub bearing in and take the bearing and axle shaft out? You should be able to replace the u joint with the bearing still attached.

OR, go to a junkyard and grab another axle shaft and buy a new wheel bearing or just buy a wheel bearing / shaft combo.

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post #7 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldersonfilm View Post
...tried a breaker bar and a 3ft steel pipe with two people and still nothing.
Use real penetrating oil instead of WD40, and use a longer breaker bar and sturdy extension pipe. Impact wrench might work as well. I've used a 5-6' pipe on a breaker bar to crack open the nut.

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post #8 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldersonfilm View Post
I'm only replacing the u-joint, so should I not apply heat? How would heat damage the hub?
The heat can melt the grease seals. ONLY use heat on hubs that are being replaced.


It is more difficult, and takes longer, but you can replace the u-joint with removing the unit hub.

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post #9 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 12:25 PM
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I had the same issue with mine a couple of months ago. I got it to bust loose by tightening it first about a 1/16th which freed it....then I just loosened er up!
I used a 36mm socket and heavy duty breaker bar from Napa....I snapped two ratchets and two o'reilly breaker bars.....I also had a 3' pipe over the end of the breaker bar.
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post #10 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 12:30 PM
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I never understood why people remove the axle from the bearing to replace a u-joint. I just pull the bearing from the knuckle with the axle still attached, and change the joint. I'ts a little bulky but doable.

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post #11 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 01:14 PM
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PB blaster sucks and you'll end up breaking breaker bars on it. Broke 2 Snap On ones on the last one I tried without soaking it.

Go pickup some cheap ATF (doesn't matter what kind) and a bottle of acetone. Mix them 50/50 in an industrial spray bottle (like $5 at Lowes) and soak the nut in it. Soak it like 3-4 times over an hour and it should come right off. Make sure you hose it down real good in brake cleaner when you're done because acetone is really flammable, like it'll ignite under friction flammable. Works better than any penetrating oil you can buy.

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post #12 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 06:05 PM
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Harbor freight sells electric impact guns for like $20 and I can almost guarantee that'll get it off unless you have one of those nasty salted up Yankee jeeps

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post #13 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 08:28 PM
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If you have to put a 3 or 4 foot pipe on it to break it loose, don't use a 1/2" breaker bar that doesn't have a warranty. Broke two Craftsman 1/2" breaker bars, then bought a 3/4" drive socket to use with the 3/4" breaker bar. That one actually held up to the 3 foot pipe.
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post #14 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 08:53 PM
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post #15 of 55 Old 02-24-2013, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wearingthin View Post
Harbor freight sells electric impact guns for like $20 and I can almost guarantee that'll get it off unless you have one of those nasty salted up Yankee jeeps
Yeah, an electric impact from Harbor Freight is the end all be all of tools.

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