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30 Spline Alloy USA Outer Axle Shafts


removing unit bearing

Depending on where you live, the outer shell of the unit bearing can get a bit rusty which makes removing it from the knuckle a good challenge.  BradW had just a bit of trouble with this one but nothing major.  He was able to slip a screwdriver blade in behind the unit bearing to help pry it out of the knuckle.  If they are rusted in there, start with a good soaking of penetrating fluid, such as PB-Blaster (WD-40 is not penetrating fluid).


removing axle shaft from axle tube

With the unit bearing removed from the knuckle, the axle shaft can be slid straight out of the axle tube.  In case you were wondering, the red "thing" around the inner axle shaft is an aftermarket seal to help keep dirt, mud, water, etc. from entering the open end of the axle tube.  They use a grease fitting (and your grease gun) to fill the sealing area with grease to help keep the foreign material out. 

The old shafts were removed from the axle tube and the new shafts were slipped into the axle tube.  Slowly rotate the axle shaft while pushing on it....this allows the splines in the differential to get lined up and the axle shaft will slip into the differential. 


installing axle shaft in axle tube

With some anti-seize compound spread around the mating surface of the unit bearing (where it contacts the knuckle), BradW slipped the new 30 spline bearing assembly into the knuckle.  I must call your attention to the fact that BradW has completely forgotten to put the dust shield on.  Because of this, he will find that after getting the bearing fully into the knuckle with a couple of bolts screwed in, it all has to come back apart so he can put the dust shield back where it belongs. 

From here, it is easy.  Put the 3 bolts into the back of the knuckle to secure the unit bearing in place.  The bolts are torqued to 75 ft. lbs.  The 36 mm axle nut is torqued to 175 ft. lbs.  Don't forget that flat washer that goes under the axle nut. 

Place the rotor over the unit bearing wheel studs and then slide the caliper onto the rotor, lining it up on the caliper mounting bracket.  If you have problems sliding the caliper onto the rotor, take a c-clamp and gently depress the inner brake pad a small amount.  This will push a small amount of brake fluid back into the system, opening the gap between the brake pads. 

With the rotor in place, replace the caliper mounting bolts.  Use a little silicone grease on the bolts to help aid the caliper in positioning itself without getting bound up.  The bolts are torqued to ONLY 11 ft. lbs.  Folks this is NOT very much at all.  Don't over-torque the bolts and strip them. 

Don't forget the cotter pin and the axle nut retainer. 

That is about it.  Do this again on the other side, put your tires back on, and torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs.  Remove the jack stands and if you had it in 4WD, now is a good time to put it back into 2HI (so you don't forget).

So, the next time you hear that "Where's the beef?" comment, you can point to your front axle and say "Right there....30 spline shafts....but who is counting?" 

Good trails to you and remember to TREADLightly!



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