So, today Weezy got her rear axle swapped out.
What I had figured to be a 3 to 4 hour job turned into 7 hours.... Typical.
Upper control arm bolts fought me tooth & nail despite the fact that they have loosened themselves 5 times in the 10 months I've owned her.
Guess I got 'em tight enough the last time....
Lower control arm bolts came out slicker than snot on a glass doorknob!
Had to cut the axle side track bar bolt out with an angle grinder because the bolt was rusted to the bushing sleeve.
Apparently the heat and vibration from grinding was just right, because after I got the head ground off it, the rest of the bolt literally fell out!
Brakes, brake lines, shocks, and sway bar links all came apart slick and the ABS wires were easier to remove than I anticipated!
The bolts that holds the ABS wheel sensors in place on the outgoing axle were rusted badly enough that I had to cut them off with said grinder as well.
Salvaged the wheel sensor bolts from the ingoing axle!
Got the new axle in place and swapped in the used, but basically new, adjustable rear upper control arms w/Johnny Joints!
Hand tightened all CA bolts, found a suitable replacement track bar bolt and put that in hand tight too.
The u-joint strap bolt holes were really rusty, so I used a pipe cleaner folded over and tried to clear the threads.
Started the bolts in and they were being stubborn.
So I tried turning them in like you would use a tap, half turn ahead, quarter turn back, repeat.
First three strap bolts came up tight successfully. The fourth bolt broke off half way threaded in....
After attempting in vain to remove it from the yoke, and after a good temper tantrum because of that, I said **** IT and removed the yoke from the freshly removed axle without issue.
The impact gun I was using wouldn't even begin to budge the nut on the transplanted axle....
Used the biggest pipe wrench I could find, put it over the yoke tightly, and wedged it against the new-to-me beefcake upper CAs.
I put an 18" ratchet on it, braced myself on the unibody rail and couldn't move that SOB at all.
Slid a 6 foot long pipe over the ratchet, stood up and lifted the handle and the nut broke loose finally.
Swapped yokes and put the nut on as tight as the wimpy impact gun would get it(not tight, I gave it an extra 1/8th of a turn with a 10" ratchet with ease).
Put the brakes back together, used an adjustable clamp across both brake shoes to squeeze them slightly.
Opened the bleeder and let gravity bleed it for a second, tightened the clamp to compress the air out of the wheel cylinders, and tightened the bleeders(I have NEVER had better brakes in her!!! They're great!!!).
Put tires on it and set it on the ground to tighten everything as it normally sits.
I need new, longer sway bar end links really soon but the ones on it will do for now.
Come to think of it, I need front sway bar links too...
So over all it was a typical PITA but all said and done, it sure is nice to be without rear wheel steering.
My back is completely spent...
Also found this on the driver's side rear unibody rail. It's just below where the rear seat is.