One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they go four-wheel driving in unknown territory is that they go full bore without checking out the terrain. This often leads the Jeep driver to hitting patches of land that are not meant to be driven even with the best equipped 4×4 vehicle. These types of mistakes often lead to the driver getting stuck and then having to call a friend or tow company to pull them out of the spot. Or worse, they break an axle.
All of us 4x4ers have been to a place where they broke axel assemblies. The good part about being a Jeep owner is that most of parts on the various Jeeps are pretty easy to fix at home if you know what you are doing. The best part is that you can usually pick-up a complete Jeep Axel assembly for less than a grand. And with the step-by step instructions below you can save another grand on labor by doing it yourself. The below steps are just a basic guide for people who are very familiar with auto repair.
Step 1: Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels that are on the axel assembly you are replacing.
Step 2: Push in the emergency brake.
Step 3: Raise the jeep either on a lifter or on jack stands. Do not simply leave the Jeep on a regular jack as this work can cause the car to fall of a regular jack.
Step 4: Take the wheels of the axel you are replacing.
Step 5: With a socket wrench take out the middle spindle nut.
Step 6: Take out the mounting bolts on the brake caliper and secure the caliper to the upper control arm.
Step 7: Take the brake rotor off the hub.
Step 8: With a pair of pliers remove the cotter pin from the drive shaft.
Step 9: Remove the driveshaft.
Step 10: Loosen the tie rod end bolt.
Step 11: Remove the hub and steering knuckle assembly follow this by pulling out the wheel hub assembly.
Step 12: Pry the axel out of the transmission.
Step 13: Now install the new axel assembly in the reverse order of how you removed it.