D30 Axle Shaft/Wheel Bearing Removal and Replacement (WJ)

How to replace a D30 axle shaft and/or a wheel hub bearing assembly

After a day of fun you Jeep may look like this:

Ugh!

On my Jeep I have aftermarket wheels so I am able to access the main hub nut with the wheel still on.

Start by removing the cotter pin:

Remove Cotter Pin

Then the cap:

Remove the Cap

And behind the cap is a spring (shown on left):

Behind the Cap is the spring (at left)

Next, use your trusty 36mm socket to break that nut before you take off the wheel.

36mm Socket

With the nut torqued to 175ft/lbs and rust/dirt seizing up the nut, it isn't a surprise that a cheater bar helps.  In his case it is my old tie rod.

Breaker bar

Now jack up your axle:

Jack up the vehicle

And remove the wheel, place it under your sliders if you have them or under your hub in the event your Jeep falls off the jack, it won't crash onto the ground:

Slide spare under slider or hub for safe

Next, remove the caliper bracket (2 x 18mm bolts) and hang it from the spring via wire or zip ties:

Remove Caliper and Suspend

Next, on the back side of the knuckle there are three bolts. They require a 12pt 13mm socket to remove them and can be stuck on there pretty good as well. The first one is at the top, then the other two are on the lower left and lower right (imagine a triangle):

Remove the 3 bolts on the back of the knuckle

At this point you can remove the hub. In my case the outer axle shaft came out with it since I blew up the joint:

Remove the Hub

This leaves you with steering knuckle, minus the outer axle shaft:

Steering Knuckle minus shaft

Remove the inner axle shaft and replace:

Remove inner axle and replace

When putting everything back together there isn't anything special to do.

  • Torque the 3 12 pt 13mm hub bolts to 75 ft/lbs.
  • Torque the main 36mm hub nut to 175 ft/lbs.

Tricks/suggestions:

  • If you don't have a wheel where you can get easy access to the big hub nut to break it, remove the wheel,and then have someone apply the brake while you loosen the nut.
  • Some of the ABS cables get in the way, just remove them from the bracketry and push them to the side when getting to the hub bolts.
  • If available, be sure to use PB Blaster on the bolts/nuts if they haven't been removed in a while. Last thing you want to do is snap a bolt!
  • My only other hint to this procedure is that it is easier to get to some of the bolts if you turn the wheel to either side.

Ok, I installed a new axle shaft today. After Napa shipped in an axle with busted tone rings, I picked up a remanufactured unit for $116 after tax. New units are cheaper then remanufactured units (go figure) but they couldn't get a new one until Thursday and work doesn't like me working from home all the time.  New axle shaft:

New Axle

Review what we have here to put back on, Cotter pin, castle washer, spring washer, axle-->hub nut, washer, 3 hub nuts, and a socket that doesn't belong in the picture. What is missing? The two bolts holding on the caliper bracket to the knuckle.

Parts to go back on

When you slide in the new axle, make sure the splines are clean (as they go into the diff and we want to keep that fluid clean), and try not to let it touch the inside of the axle tube much since it is dirty in there.

Carefully slide axle back in

Toss on the hub and bolt it back up, remember these three bolts require 75 ft/lbs of torque.

Refit Hub and bolt on

Install rotor and brake caliper:

Reinstall the brake rotor and caliper

Then reinstall the tire and torque hub-->axle nut to 175ft/lbs:

Reinstall tire and torque axle nut

Ok just something to throw in there. I bought extra bearing assemble's to make trail repair easier. This is how I arry my spare's.  Notice the hub assemble already installed. Just take off wheel. remove (3) 13 mm bolts. (2) 18mm bolts and bam.
New shaft. just keep wheeling.

Note: The stock cv is just a comparison shot for something else. My spare is the u-joint upgrade one.

Replacement Axle with bearings


Gallery: D30 Shaft & Bearings (WJ)

Help the Cause

Did this site help you?   Did it save you some money?   Show your gratitude by helping to keep it online!

Use the donate button below to make a contribution via Paypal.

Thank you to those who have made donations - your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Jeep®, Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Jeep® Cherokee, Jeep® Wrangler, Jeep® Liberty, Jeep® Commander, Jeep® Commanche, the Jeep grille, Quadra-Drive, Quadra-Trac II, Selec-Trac, Vari-Lok, Trac-Lok, Quadra-Coil, Sentry Key, and Mopar are trademarks of DaimlerChrysler.