Front axle seals and boots stepXstep

Banshee365

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Well, here it goes. Lot's of pictures to post and lot's of info to remember while I type it up.

After I brought my truck home I noticed the inner clamps on both front steering knuckle boots had come loose and the bottom of the boots was full of fluid. So my plan was to replace the inner axle seals, hub seals, and knuckle boots. The boots were not ripped but I wanted to replace everything within reason so I don't have to get into the axle for a long time since there is SO much more stuff to fix and get right. When I checked the fluid I also noticed it was the color of peanut butter, so it has tons of water in it.

Here is my shopping list before the job. I had combination wrenches and large assortment of sockets. I raided Harbor Freight and NAPA and came home with everything I needed.

Harbor Freight:
*Air/Hydraulic 20 ton bottle jack
*2 6-ton jack stands
*Large slide hammer kit (come in black metal case)
*3/4" cheapo impact wrench
*Air chuck with built in gauge

NAPA:
*3" octagonal socket for wheel bearing nuts
*2 4lb buckets of wheel bearing grease
*6 cans of brake cleaner

I got 2 inner axle seals, 2 hub seals, and 2 zipperless boots from Ted's trucks. You also need 1.5 gallons of 80w90 or 90w gear oil. I bought MT-1 spec GL-5 80w90 from tractor supply co. I know I'm missing things but that's the major jist of it. So here goes the steps.
 

Banshee365

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Ocala, FL
Chock rear tires and engage the parking brake. With the HF air jack you have to put some pieces of wood under the jack because it does not extend tall enough for my truck. jack it up and put the jack stands under the truck.

Removed the tires with a bud socket from Houde and the cheapo 3/4" impact at 90 psi. The passanger side has right hand thread lugs and the drivers side has left hand thread lugs.
 

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Banshee365

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Remove the 8 bolts and lock washers on the cap that splines onto the axle and bolts to the wheel hub. Without this cap the front wheels will not drive.

Notice the jack stand under one of the lugs to keep the wheel from rotating. Using air tools you would not need to do this. But I prefered to use hand tools.
 

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Banshee365

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Using a punch of some sort, bend the tabs locking the lock nut straight. There are 2 nuts locked together so they will not move. The inner nut set's the load on the bearings and the outer nut is put down over 150 ft/lbs to lock both in place. The washer between to two locks both nuts together along with the pressure.
 

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Banshee365

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Using the jumbo 3" 8-sided socket. Remove the wheel bearing outer lock nut. both sides are right hand thread. Then remove the waster, the tabs are still bent over the inner adjuster nut. Then finally remove the inner bearing nut and set aside.
 

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Banshee365

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Remove the drum. Be very careful not to pull it along the threads on the spindle as this can damage them. The drum is a pretty tight fit over the shoes and is heavier than it looks. You'll be sore the next morning from this part.
 

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Banshee365

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Remove inner wheel bearing, as I didn't yet, and set aside. This keeps falling brake material away from the bearing.

Now is a good time to remove the boot guards. You'll have to remove the front 2 bolts holding the kingpin bushings in place to get them off.

I then turned the adjusters so that there is as little tension on the spring as you can get. You adjust them from the back.

Remove the bottom guide pins. There is a 1/2" nut and lock waster on the back of the brake housing. There is also a cup looking washer behind the shoe so watch for it to fall.
 

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Banshee365

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I removed the nut and lock washer from behind the brake assembly plate on the top guide pins at this point. There is a spring behind the shoe on this one so don't try and pull it all the way out yet.

BTW, i think my guide bolts are upgraded from stock per one of kenny's post's somewhere. Your's may not look this way. I do not have return spring pliers so I did it this way.
 

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Banshee365

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This part took some redneck inginuity. After sitting there, without the right pliers, taping this ring around in circles with my screwdriver and hammer I put everything down the think. I had to put some pressure on that ring to keep it from spinning so I could tap one side and get the ring off. What I did was take the box end of a combination wrench and wedged it under the shoe and pushed with one of my feet while I tapped on one side of the ring and off they all came. Note the wrench in the first picture.
 

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Banshee365

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Ocala, FL
Remove the 12 nuts an washers holding the brake assembly on. Then remove the ring. Then pull the brakes off and set aside. If the hoses are still connected at this point you'll have to setup another jack stand or something. But wait until you see the pics of my brake wheel cylinders later!
 

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Banshee365

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Ocala, FL
Now I decided to remove the tie-rod from the steering knuckle. I crossed my fingers that the socket wouldn't split and blipped the nut with the big impact and it came right off. There is a cotter pin you have to remove first of course.

Then get your biggest hammer and bang that sucker out. I used the back of a log splitter.
 

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Banshee365

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Now we'll take a break and stand back and check everything out. Here's a shot of my generator/compressor setup in the back by the work pad where I'm working. And another shot of the Christmas Deuce that needs to get rolling ASAP to light up the town. Used blue masking tape to attach lights.
 

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Banshee365

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Ocala, FL
Here's where you see the mess that's ahead of you! Give the spindle a few light tap's to break the seal lose from the knuckle and put it off and let the end of the axle down to rest on the knuckle.

Now is a good time to remove the outer ring clamp on the knuckle boot. Taking it off is the easy part!
 

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Banshee365

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Ocala, FL
Remove the rest of the bolts holding the kingpin bushings in place. On the passangers side there is a bushing on top and bottom and seperate plates over them with the zerk grease fittings. The Drivers side has the bushing and plate on the bottom, but bushing and steering arm instead of the plate on the top. The top also has studs and nuts instead of bolts.

-Kelly
 

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