2-Big Broncos 4x4 Technical White Papers

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Broken front axle removal - 1990 Model year

You broke it, now you can fix it!

UPDATE: I have completed all of the repair that I am physically and mentally able to! I got the wheels back on, sans right axle shaft... in preperation for a profesional to get at it! I plan on putting in a PowerTrax LockRight in the rear and later this year, another one in the front.

For the curious at heart, here is a pic of what broke up front. The partial shaft mates to another partial shaft (not pictured), which was ALREADY BROKEN during the fatal tug-o-war. Also, about half the gear damage shown in this picture was already there!!! I would of opened a really big can of whooop a** on that K5 Blazer had my front and rear ends actually been OK!
The "Damned" Chevy The Haynes Truck manual was my guidebook. These books in my opinion far exceed what you need to take apart, and put back together almost any common assembly on your truck. But first let's set something straight -- about the fateful tug-o-war -- -- I won.

Before that happened, here's a shot of the muddy horse (most graphics are expandable, just click them and use the back arrow to return here).

Vrroooommm. Click me to see the big picture.
Click thepicture, son!

After it happened, things looked like the following...
(Picutre of all the parts that broke on the front)What broke up

The rest of this page shows my attempts at repairing and documenting the repair. Most pictures are clickable.
Diff side slip yoke still holdin' onto the busted weak link.
The result was a broken U-joint carrier on my Slip Yoke. The slip yoke is the connector between the spline stub shaft (which juts outta the diff), and the axel shaft proper.  With that piece broken, you pretty much have to take every wheel component off so you can yank out the axel.

First you have to remove the Tire and Rim (duh), that exposes the disc and hub as shown. 
The hub has five torx head bolts holding it down and a little spring in the middle. Once removed you expose the hub and the hub cover spring and bearing. The spring is in the hub cover, and the bearing should still be stuck on the hub as shown next. 

Remove the bearing and look for the lock-ring retainer. 
Removing this will allow you to compress the retainer ring and remove the auto-hub itself.

Once the hub mechanism is out, you need to remove a splined spacer shown here. Followed by a 'C' washer in a groove. Look around, it's there. Next is a holy greassssy lock washer (a lock washer, grease covered, with holes in it Batman),  behind that is the bearing retainer nut.

Before you take the spanner nut off, you'll have to remove the Brake caliper. 
On mine it was held in place by some slide pins. Get the Haynes book, it tells you all about it.

Removing the bearing lock nut, or spanner lock nut, requires a special Spanner Locknut Wrench ($12.99 most places). You'll need that later putting it back together. Oh, make sure you have a torque wrench that fits this, it should be a 1/2 inch with at least 140 ft lbs on the dial. The book says to tighten the final retainer nut to 150 ft lbs... ouch!

Once you have removed the spanner locknut, the bearing will come out, and the hub is set free. The next picture is to show the placement of the locknut and bearing in relation to the spindle. It's a mostly useless picture because the bearing race, the inner bearing race on the hub isn't there, you have to use your imagination!

Once the hub is off, you can release the six nuts holding the spindle onto the camber plate (is that what it's called?). Once that is done, you can yank out the axel.

You're done. The other side is the same, roughly, just a little more messy when the axel comes out. You'll lose diff oil if you pull it, and watch out for the seal. If you bust it, it's take apart the diff time!

Here's a little picture showing the final results, with most parts on a cloth. God help me put'em back together!

Mark Christy -- mchristy@icehouse.net
1990 Bronco XLT

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