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How do I change complete front axle


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Hi all,

I recently bought a comple front axle for my 1994 Defender 90.

The question is how should I go about changing the axle?

I have recently changed springs, shocks and bushes, so I am not expecting any problems disassempling the parts, but I am a litte unsure which way is the easiest.

Should I just raise the vehicle and place it with support under the frame. Would I then be able to slide the complete axle of while keeping the wheels on?

I dont have any spring "clamps/compressors" (is the the right term?) so I am looking for at way to release the tension from the springs while removing the axle.

regards,

Christian

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I did this the other day with no real problems. Jack the truck up and put axle stands under the chassis where the radius arms join it. Then jack each side of the axle and remove the wheel and lover jack so the weight is completely on the axle stands. While you are removing the wheels is a good time to remove the bolt from the steering box end of the panhard rod since you may need to raise or lower the jack to get it out. Loosen the big 30 mm bolt on the radius arms but do not remove yet. Remove antiroll bar if fitted (I undid the chassis brackets with an air gun. Remove front prop from the diff. Split the track rod at the axle end of the drag link. Undo the brake pipe unions either bock the ends with some means (I use old brake pipe fittings with a short bit of crimped pipe in them), or clamp the hoses. Now raise each side of the axle in turn using your jack (make sure your jack will go down to a few inches above the floor so don't use a bottle jack). You also need to ensure you have about 30 cms beneath the brake disk. Now undo the bottom nut on the shock absorber and lower the jack until it comes free and the spring is loose. You should be able to bend the sjocker to the front and unwind the spring to remove it. Do the same on the other side. Now jack the axle back up making sure the shock absorber pins are now behind the axle and not in their holes. When the radius arms are horizontal, remove the 30mm nuts from the end of the radius arms and you should be able to pull the axle forwards about 10 cm until the drop free. Now lower the jack and drag the whole lot out (it will roll on the disks). Refitting will be the reverse but it will be 10 times easier if you have a helper to get the radius arms back in. I did mine alone and this is the only awkward job.

Hope this helps

Mark

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jack up vehicle, chassis on axle stands to support it, jack under the axle one end at a time [if you've only got one trolley jack] remove shock absorber nuts on both ends, lower axle down, springs will just extend & you can lift them out & the shock together, no spring compressors needed.

remove nuts at chassis end of radius arms & remove forward end of front propshaft & lower axle form vehicle & drag out from under.

fitting the 'new' axle is just the reverse sequence.

you forgot the panhard rod :P

Exmoor Beasts and I did his in a Car Park in Lynton

took about an hr inc time for a drink.

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I never removed the shocks at both ends, just the bottoms. Then tywrapped the springs to the top seats, and the calipers to the springs.

If the axle is complete, then just unbolt and rebolt:0

If it's just the axle casing you want to swap, unbolt the swivels off the axle ends like so:

Diffpan005.jpg

Then everything comes off in one lump.

Diffpan006.jpg

Springs and shocks in place.

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@ Les. Yes you can do it without removing the brakes but you still need to undo the top of the swivel pins to get the stupid bracket off which means you lose most of your swivel grease if not real careful.

@ Cierac I tried it with mole grips holding up the springs up but because I was working on the ground and had much less air beneath the axle that you have with the 4 poster found that they just kept getting in the way. It was so easy to remove them and stick them back in (15 seconds per spring) it didn't seem worth the hassle of trying to get the axle out with then on there.

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Hi all,

Thank you for an exellent description. Just what I was looking for! I am looking forward to trying this one of the upcoming weekends.. can't go wrong.. :-)

thanks a lot.

Christian

I did this the other day with no real problems. Jack the truck up and put axle stands under the chassis where the radius arms join it. Then jack each side of the axle and remove the wheel and lover jack so the weight is completely on the axle stands. While you are removing the wheels is a good time to remove the bolt from the steering box end of the panhard rod since you may need to raise or lower the jack to get it out. Loosen the big 30 mm bolt on the radius arms but do not remove yet. Remove antiroll bar if fitted (I undid the chassis brackets with an air gun. Remove front prop from the diff. Split the track rod at the axle end of the drag link. Undo the brake pipe unions either bock the ends with some means (I use old brake pipe fittings with a short bit of crimped pipe in them), or clamp the hoses. Now raise each side of the axle in turn using your jack (make sure your jack will go down to a few inches above the floor so don't use a bottle jack). You also need to ensure you have about 30 cms beneath the brake disk. Now undo the bottom nut on the shock absorber and lower the jack until it comes free and the spring is loose. You should be able to bend the sjocker to the front and unwind the spring to remove it. Do the same on the other side. Now jack the axle back up making sure the shock absorber pins are now behind the axle and not in their holes. When the radius arms are horizontal, remove the 30mm nuts from the end of the radius arms and you should be able to pull the axle forwards about 10 cm until the drop free. Now lower the jack and drag the whole lot out (it will roll on the disks). Refitting will be the reverse but it will be 10 times easier if you have a helper to get the radius arms back in. I did mine alone and this is the only awkward job.

Hope this helps

Mark

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@ Les. Yes you can do it without removing the brakes but you still need to undo the top of the swivel pins to get the stupid bracket off which means you lose most of your swivel grease if not real careful.

Put a jack under the bottom pin and take some of the weight of the axle on it. This will keep the swivel assembly in position and prevent oil/grease loss. The two top pin bolts can then be removed to release the brake pipe bracket.

Les.

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If you have access to a welder and some hollow section, fabricate a little trolley on castor wheels and put the axle on it. You can then manoevre it into position with minimal fuss. I had never replaced axles before and recently replaced them single handedly in one day using this trolley.

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