My driver side seal was leaking pretty bad so I knew I had to fix it, and I figured I might as well go to a TJ 1pc shaft while I was in there.
I know there are already some write-ups on this, but here's how I did it.
Step 1 – Buy your parts
*(1) Napa 11800 – These will go in the passenger side of the differential (2 optional)
*(1) Spicer 46470 – This will replace the driver side seal (might was well while youre in there)
*(1) TJ passenger side 1 piece axle shaft
*(1) TJ driver side shaft (OPTIONAL for some - my 95 has the larger ujoints, so no need for this.)
* Tube seals (OPTIONAL)
For some reason, my local napa wanted $20 for the driver side seal (11899), so I called 4wheelparts and got the original Dana Spicer seal for under $5 (ordered and came in next day)
Step 2 – Special tools
You don’t want to find out you don’t have the right tools in the middle of the job. If you don’t have the right sockets at home, take both of your seals (pass & driver) to the auto or tool store and find a nice big socket that fits snug inside the metal lip of the seal and making sure it doesn’t touch the rubber part. You may need 2 different sockets for each seal. In my case I had an impact 36mm socket that fit perfect on the driver side, but was too big on the pass side. So at the parts store I found a different 36mm socket that had a smaller outside diameter and fit perfect.
You will also need a nice selection of ˝” drive extensions and a metal tube for the longer passenger side. Some use threaded rod which works fine, but I decided not to go that route.
Step 3 – Strip it!
I began by loosening the lug nuts slightly, block the rear tires, putting jeep in gear, parking brake, setting up my jack stands (at the frame behind the spring mount) and putting some safety (extra) jack stands under the leaf spring plates.
Next I drained the oil by removing the diff cover as well as the shift fork in the disconnect.
Then I removed the tires, calipers & discs. Check out Stu’s wire ups on “axle shaft removal
” and this trick on “unit bearing removal
I would like to add that I found it necessary to throw the T-case into 4wd in order to lock up the axle shafts to remove the shaft nut, which is torqued on there pretty good (175lbs). This locks up the driver side, but if the CAD unit didn’t move the slip collar over then the passenger side will be free to spin, no problem, you can reach inside the disconnect housing and slide the collar over and it will lock. Now you can loosen up that nut, although I had to stand on my breaker bar to break it loose.
With the unit bearing and axle shafts removed now you can remove the carrier. Make sure you note how you removed the bearing caps so you put them back in exactly the same way. I made sure to note where the bolts went too, although im not sure it that is necessary. Now the carrier should pop right out….yeah right. Carefully pry it out slowly, don’t lose your cool, it will come off. Just keep working on both sides making sure not to mess anything up in there.
Step 4 – Seals
The carrier is out and now the axle is naked. Now you will need to get creative with your sockets and extensions.
First I put in the new seals on the passenger side. With a helper on the driver end of the axle, we fed a socket with a couple extensions and knocked out the old (im my case leaking) driver side seal.
Now is a good time to clean out the crap inside the tube, scrape it and clean it out You can clean the pass side while youre at it, it will only be dirty from the disconnect to the outside of the shaft.
Time to seat the seals on the passenger side. My dad fed some socket extension thru the driver side and once they reached the diff I attached the socket that fits the seal, placed the seal up against the inside of the tube and had him start tapping it in with some easy hits with a hammer, making sure its going in straight. You can see some green stuff in the picture, that is the coating on the outside of the seal coming off, so you know its on there tight.
*The axle is not machined for these seals like the driver side is, these guys just go inside the axle tube, so make sure they go in straight, as they have nothing to butt into in there.
I don’t know how necessary it is, but I decided to put 2 seals on the passenger side, so when the first one went in, I made sure to put it in deep enough to be able to fit another one there. Before putting the 2nd seal on there, I coated the outside metal part of the first seal with some RTV, then tapped in the 2nd seal.
With that seal in, we switched sides, but now we had to modify our tool. We rigged up (2) ˝” extensions, (1) ˝” to 3/8” adapter, (1) 3/8” extension, and a 1”OD tube that I had fit perfectly, where the 3/8” extension slid inside the tube but the adapter stopped it.
My dad again fed the extensions, now from the pass side, I had to reach in the disconnect and lift up the extensions past the seals, and then inserted the socket at the diff and went on to tap in the new driver side seal.
That was it for the seals, you can remove the old seal at the disconnect, I chose not to.
Step 5 – Put it back together
Carrier goes back in
I had some good Alloy USA ujoints on my shafts so I swapped the ujoint and my original outer shaft into the new TJ long shaft. Remember only 95 models have the same size ujoints and ears as the TJs.
Made the cover plate....used the gasket for a template.
*I decided to get my axle re-geared, so I removed it completely before re-assembly and dropped it off at the gear guys house. I also decided to put in some Alloy USA tube seals.
Once I got my axle back, I greased up the ends of the shafts and put them and the unit bearing back in. Diff cover goes on, along with the disconnect block off plate.
You will also need to connect your front drive shaft again, mine will be removed until I regear my rear axle.
Now you can fill your axle with oil, and the job is done.
Here is a good instruction thread on how to keep your 4wd light working