Whether it be during a run or in the driveway, there comes a time when you will need to remove your front axle shafts for regular maintenance or an emergency trail repair. I was trying to avoid the emergency trail repair so I decided to pull the front axle shafts and replace the u-joints. While doing so, I grabbed my digital camera (that poor thing is starting to get as much grease on it as my tools seem to accumulate) so I could take a few pics of the process.
I should mention that I opted to remove the axle shaft from the hub and bearing assembly. You could actually pre-assemble an axle shaft and a hub/bearing and carry it as a complete trail spare. When you broke an axle shaft or u-joint, you could swap an entire assembly in with very little effort (assuming you could get the broken shaft out of the axle tube). So, with out any other delay, let's get that axle shaft pulled!
After putting a heavy duty jack stand under the passenger side of the frame, just behind the front lower control arm mount, I slipped the floor jack under the front axle and raised it just enough for the tire to clear the ground. With the tire removed, remove the cotter pin and the axle nut retainer. Don't lose the little spring under the retainer.
With a 13 mm socket, remove the two caliper mounting bolts. In the pic above, I am removing the lower bolt.
Grab the caliper and pivot it back away from the rotor. Using a zip tie or a piece of wire. secure the caliper up and out of your way. Do not let it hang by the brake hose....hey, we are doing quality work here!
Pull the rotor off of the wheel studs and place it out of the way too. OK, we are getting down to business here. So far, so good, not too difficult.
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