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Author Topic: Front differential/axle removal  (Read 286 times)

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Offline Beaverseagle

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Front differential/axle removal
« on: October 20, 2020, 11:31:26 PM »
The book sucks for this.  I'm replacing the rear main seal. Dropping the front diff. The book calls it the front axle. Do I need to unbolt the u joint or will the drive shaft just pull out.  Something isn't allowing the drive shaft to slide all the way out. It's getting hung up on something.  The book just says to mark the yoke and drive shaft so you can align them later. Nothing about unbolting the u joint. Help!
82 SX4 258 w/ 2 inch lift 235 tires and TBI kit.

Offline Canoe

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2020, 11:52:27 PM »
STOP!!!

If you don't need to redo oil pan or gaskets for another reason, leave the diff, oil pan & gaskets where they are.
  • Disconnect connections to the trans
  • Support the trans & transfercase
  • Loosen their crossmember support
  • Unbolt the bell housing from the engine
Then you can get a 3" to 4" space between the bell housing and engine.
(Work out which part of the car is supported vs. is getting moved, with the workshop you have).
This allows you to fish the rear main seal halfs out with a clotheshanger or somesuch. Lube the new seal halfs with oil and slide them in.

If you do need to pull the front-axle/diff, be aware that the diff has a vent tube out it's top with a hose going up the left inside fender.

Do mark them, so they'll still be balanced when put back together.

If you do take the spiders off (should be quick & easy), you can clean and regrease them (don't let the end caps fall off when you take them off). Check for play before you take them off, as it may be a good time to replace them.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 11:53:54 PM by Canoe »

Offline Beaverseagle

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 12:09:33 AM »
Thanks for the info. Yes I want to pull the pan and clean the oil pick up and put in a new oil pan gasket. So I assume I'm right about sliding out the drive shaft or should I unbolt it at yoke/u joint.  If it just slides out assume I'm putting too much pressure on the drive. Not a lot room to work with. I may just unbolt the ujoint to make it easier.
82 SX4 258 w/ 2 inch lift 235 tires and TBI kit.

Offline AMC of Houston

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 12:19:17 AM »
Need to unbolt both U-Joints (at the diff and transfer case) and remove the shaft.   Yes; you do indeed have to remove the oil pan to replace the rear main on the 258 engine.  Use one of the nice Fel-Pro one-piece oil pan gaskets.
George G.
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Offline Canoe

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 12:41:54 AM »
Then yes, as AMC_oH said just get the whole front shaft out of the way. Do check the spiders for replacement before you take the shaft off. Clean and regrease if they're good.

... Yes; you do indeed have to remove the oil pan to replace the rear main on the 258 engine. ...
He's replacing the real main seal.
Which by the method I described, I have had done by a garage and have done myself. It's not fun. But it is doable without disturbing the oil pan & gasket(s), driveshaft, diff, etc.. This was done locally at an AMC dealership to save customers a lot of labour cost (and to avoid the original gasket pita), back in the day when a dealership would do that instead of just charge the book price.

Offline rmick

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2020, 10:30:27 AM »
If you have the pan down might consider installing a high volume oil pump while there.
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Offline mudkicker715

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2020, 04:27:54 PM »
just a heads up if doing the oil pump. the eagle pan and oil pickup tube are eagle specific.



Manitowoc WI

Offline AMC of Houston

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2020, 05:36:54 PM »
Canoe; I'd say you may have been scammed by a dealership; as its physically impossible to do a 258 rear main that way - and nobody can violate the laws of physics!

Yes; I was an AMC dealership hack back in the '70's thru '85 when I quit and want back to school.
George G.
'81 Eagle Sundancer
'85 Eagle Waggie
1960 1902 Rambler Replica
'64 American
'70 AMX (Big Bad Blue), '70 AMX (White)
'77 Gremlin
'78 Pacer Coupe, '78 Pacer Wagon
'79 Pacer Wagon
'73 Jensen Interceptor
'86 Audi 5000 Turbo
'98 Aston Martin DB7
'09 Nissan Titan
'10 Nissan Maxima

Offline Beaverseagle

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2020, 06:14:14 PM »
just a heads up if doing the oil pump. the eagle pan and oil pickup tube are eagle specific.

That's a good point. Thanks for the info everyone.

This thing has been very wet. Constantly leaking oil and trans fluid. I bought a deep trans pan from Summit. Its aluminum and really thick. I'm hoping that and rear main cure my leaky eagle. My motto. If all the lights work and its doesn't leak it's not a piece of junk.
82 SX4 258 w/ 2 inch lift 235 tires and TBI kit.

Offline AMC of Houston

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2020, 09:30:46 PM »
I just finished my no-more-leaks virus project on my 200K-mile wagon.  The car was nicknamed "puddles"; now its "The Mighty Eagle"!!

Did the rear main, timing chain, oil pump, front diff reseal, Summit Aluminum pan (using that cool Mopar O-ringed gasket), aftermarket aluminum valve cover, A/C compressor, water pump, radiator, and lots of little nits too numerous to mention.

Had one annoying trans leak - turned out to be one of the cooling line adapter fittings at the trans was not quite tight, and seeping out thru the threads.

Lots of work; but well worth the headaches!   Good luck with your project.
George G.
'81 Eagle Sundancer
'85 Eagle Waggie
1960 1902 Rambler Replica
'64 American
'70 AMX (Big Bad Blue), '70 AMX (White)
'77 Gremlin
'78 Pacer Coupe, '78 Pacer Wagon
'79 Pacer Wagon
'73 Jensen Interceptor
'86 Audi 5000 Turbo
'98 Aston Martin DB7
'09 Nissan Titan
'10 Nissan Maxima

Offline Beaverseagle

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Re: Front differential/axle removal
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2020, 02:05:22 PM »
Good luck with your project.

Thanks Houston.

I finally got it out.  I needed to buy a set of splined sockets to remove the front drive shaft if anyone else needs to do this.
82 SX4 258 w/ 2 inch lift 235 tires and TBI kit.

 

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