|1997 Jeep TJ Wrangler Rear Axle Rebuild.|
Car: 1997 Jeep TJ Wrangler 4.0 Sport
Rear Axle Rebuild Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5
This Jeep had developed a noise at the rear. Nobody likes a rattle, so it would need to be sorted. It would have to be checked anyway in case it was anything serious.
On further investigation it was pretty obvious the rattle was coming from inside the rear differential (diff) housing on the back axle, as this was something mechanical it required immediate inspection!
The cover was removed (& the axle oil drained off) to reveal a few broken teeth off the ring & pinion gears! What was left of these broken teeth was removed from the oil, and the cover was put back on & the oil put back in so that the Jeep could still be used for a few weeks, allowing time for the necessary new parts to arrive.
After a small amount of research into what would be required the parts were all ordered from the USA including new axle oil and any seals that would be needed.
We also had to work out what additional tools we would require so that we could gather these together when needed. The cheapest way to do this was going to be to borrow what we did not have and make the rest ourselves! as you will see!
After just a couple of weeks we had all the parts and tools ready to begin the work.
After lifting up and supporting the rear of the Jeep we began by draining the oil off the rear axle. This was done simply by undoing the cover bolts.
This was then allowed to drain.
Taking a closer look you can see from this photo that the shims/spacers/washers are fitted in the wrong place! They all look like they were just shoved on at the end as an afterthought at the time the ARB air lockers were installed professionally!
This is possible part of what may have caused the damage we have experience with the teeth as you will now see.
Looking from this side and after rotating the ring gear, you can see the teeth that have suffered the worse damage.
Rotating the ring gear some more and you can see there are another two teeth that have suffered some damage too.
To remove the rear diff you first need to remove the shafts from the rear axle, this involves removing the rear wheels and brake drums first.
Then by using a 9/16 socket pushed through this hole, remove the nuts holding the shaft in place.
There are 4 nuts to remove. but don't just expect the shaft to pull straight out! We removed the brake shoes out of the way to make the next part a little easier.
To remove the shaft we put the drum on backwards (using a few wheel nuts too), this helps to pull the shaft out, but it may still require a little persuasion with a rubber or nylon mallet.
Out it comes. Oh you need another bucket handy when you do this! Fluid will most likely come out from both ends!
The brake drum has been taken back off and the oil from the axle shaft is allowed to drain.
The shafts were removed on either side of the Jeep and the rear diff was removed. (A diff spreader was not required in this case to remove the rear diff, because the rear diff had not been fitted correctly in the first place! and so it was easy enough to remove!)
Here is the rear diff with several teeth damaged on the ring gear.
Here it is from another angle showing the lesser damaged side.
Without the rear diff in place you can now see the pinion gear.
The dismantling begins. Now the outer bearings have been removed, you can see the roller bearings.
This bearing has far too much play in it.
The roller bearings do not come off quite as easy as the loose outer part of the bearings do.
Hopefully a bearing release tool should make easier work of this part.
Tightening the tool by finger, uses the hydraulic pressure of the tool to very easily remove the bearing.
One roller bearing removed!
Do the same on the other side.
The second one was also very easily removed.
To remove the ring gear that seems like a lot of bolts to undo, maybe we should use the vice!
Putting the diff carefully in the vice, makes this bit that much easier.
All the bolts have now been slackened off or removed.
Removing the rest of the bolts freed the ring.
Here is the damaged ring gear!
The pinion has yet to be removed...
>>>Rear Axle Rebuild Page 2