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coralman 05-04-2013 08:47 AM

coralman's front axle rebuild
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Well, here you go. Finally got the pics resized,edited, and in some kind of order. You 4WD guys and the seasoned vets will find this boring probaly cause its been done {at least parts of it } before. I tried to gear this towards a newbie point of view since thats what I am! The first 20 pics or so got locked up in my cam and couldn't get them uploaded so the brake and hub removal got shorted in the pic department.

For me at least this was quite a job,not that hard really, just kept going and going. I had maintained an ebay watch on alot of the parts since way back when I did the rear axle to get good deals on OE parts where I could. This is just the way I chose to do it. My bud at, Brad, rounded up the rest. I had sprained my ankle severly just prior to starting this but I had made up my mind to get this done before it got bone crushing hot here, so I hobbled through it.

Will try to give part numbers and torque values as I go so the post can be used as a reference if you need such. I will be posting this in pieces cause it is pretty long and pic heavy. Went through over 250 pics to whittle it down to this point.

First thing was to get the hub nuts loose on the ground before I put the jeep on stands. 36mm socket and a small bar. This was weirdly easy and I don't think they were torqued to 175 or had gotten loose somehow. I then put the jeep on stands. Chocked the rear wheels and put the Ebrake on. I had mistakenly got the 12 ton stands at HF, so my jack with a block would only get the jeep on the first level of the stands. Put them behind the lower arm frame mounts.

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coralman 05-04-2013 09:22 AM

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Since alot was going on in the area I chose to get the ABS sensor and cable out of the way. Carefully loosen and remove the 8mm bolt that holds the sensor to the knuckle. There is a mounting stud that is plastic below the stud hole on the sensor. Don't break it .
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Free the cable from the mounts on either side of the upper ball joint.
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It also goes behind the shock lower mount.
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coralman 05-04-2013 09:56 AM

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I just poked it up in the frame out of the way. The hubs had to go next and I loosened the 3 13mm bolts with a 12 point socket. I had soaked it all down with a penetrant earlier. On the driver side I used the socket extension trick and the power steering to free the hub. On the passenger side I just tapped the hub off with a hammer. Wasn't going to reuse them so it wasn't going to hurt them. Since mine is a 2WD the stub shaft and tone ring will back out of the hub.
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Next needed to get the balljoint nuts off. A 22mm for the top nut and an unconventional 1and1/8th wrench for the bottom since it was all I could find at that moment.
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The knuckle came off easily striking it downward at the boss shown in the picture. Two whacks with the mini sledge and it came down so be careful. I left the tierod attached since my plan was for the steering to come out in pretty much an assembly. Note the divot on the caliper riding surface. Ball joints next.
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coralman 05-04-2013 10:25 AM

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Months ago I was looking at ball joint tools on ebay and came across this little set of remover/installer tools. It didn't have the "C" clamp so I wound up getting one seperate in a set from HF. It made the balljoint part of this easy to do. When doing the lowers you may have to jack the axle up or down to give clearance for the clamp screw.Whats nice about the little set is it comes with the offset cup which makes the install easier later on. It was used and came with the words "balljoint metal" on the box and I wondered what "balljoint plastic" would look like:D.
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Take the top out first using cups D and F. The large cup has a window so you can see whats going on during removal. In the fourth pic you can see the joint moving up off the knuckle.
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coralman 05-04-2013 11:09 AM

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Now the lower. I used the same cups as above.You may have to jack the axle up or down to clearance the clamp screw. On upper and lower tighten the clamp ,tap the knuckle,tighten, tap, until the joint comes free. The upper comes out upwards, the lower,downwards.
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Bare "C".
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coralman 05-04-2013 11:29 AM

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The next operations will include taking stuff loose to be able to get the axle to droop enough to get the springs out to replace the spring cushion and jounce bumper.Took the 15mm endlink upper nut off, and seperated it from the sway bar. I had the axle supported while doing these steps. I started using a ball joint separator to free the endlink but something went whacky and wound up using a pickle fork. They were shot. removed the T55 torx bolt with the 18mm nut,to remove the link
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coralman 05-04-2013 11:44 AM

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Removed the two 13mm lower shock bolts,and while I was there the two 10mm bolts that hold on the ABS cable brackett. This gives access to the 13mm spring retainer bolt without bending the cable brackett. I actually removed the upper shock bolts later but will include them in this section. A flex wrench makes short work of the upper shock bolts. On the driver side I just let the wrench jam and turned the tube but on the passenger side I believe I used a strap wrench.
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coralman 05-04-2013 12:10 PM

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Removed the 13mm spring retainer bolt, and went to work on the trackbar to axle 15mm bolt/flagnut. The bolt actually stripped coming out of the trackbar mount so I wound up using a upper control arm bolt {mopar} to take its place. It was very similar and didn't bottom out in the back of the track bar brackett. I went ahead and removed the track bar frame brackett to paint and make it easier to get old bar off the brackett and new one on. Didn't take a pic of the brackett removal till later. The upper brackett bolts want to fall into the frame seemed like so don't let them. Put the nuts back on to keep them secure.
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coralman 05-04-2013 12:34 PM

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Take the frame to control arm bolts loose.The lower arm seemed to have 13/16 bolts and the uppers 14mm{?}. The lower bushings looked bad at he frame end. The uppers looked fine at the frame end. Axle ends shown later.
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coralman 05-04-2013 12:52 PM

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Separate draglink from pitman arm. Used the seperator again. I didn't want to use a pickle fork to keep from shocking the steering box.
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Lower any supports and the axle should droop. I used a construction prybar to force it down more to get the spring out.
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Remove the jounce bumper by pulling or prying it out,then the 15mm jounce cup bolt and cup. Slide off the spring cushion. My jounce bumper was crap.The bumper pic kinda jumped ahead but it was all I had.
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coralman 05-04-2013 01:15 PM

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I stuck to doing stuff pretty much one side at a time for the most part which is why in the last pic that I post today you will still see the wheel on the other side. I then removed the control arms from the axle. T50 torx for the uppers and the weird 13/16 for the lower cam bolts. The torx bolt goes away if you order new bolts and I believe they were 14mm. The axle to arm lower bushings were very bad.
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coralman 05-04-2013 01:34 PM

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Had to remove the upper arm to axle bushings and had a tool that I aquired in pieces on ebay. It worked very well. It was a miller tool and the individual pieces are listed. The little "C" piece keeps the remover installer from crushing the axle mount. Same tool will be used in the installing section. Tighten the long nut and it draws the old bushing into the big cup. EDIT: I forgot to through in the axle bushing part number I used. Raybestos but had clevite bushings.
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coralman 05-04-2013 01:39 PM

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After some painting ,it looked like this.
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And the pile was growing.
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Will start the install later, hope you are enjoying the thread.

jorhay 05-05-2013 11:19 AM

looking good. I appreciate both of your axle threads; I've got to swap both of mine as well!

coralman 05-05-2013 03:19 PM

Your welcome! Just trying to give back some. To most of these guys this is simplistic stuff so I usually don't get many replies except from my buds. If nothing else it will make you more familiar with the parts and processes. I will most likely start posting the install stuff this week in the evenings if work doesn't kick my a**.

The time now is 11:42 PM.

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