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Bob, Auto Tech
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience:  Plus 40 years GM, over 30 certified with Chevrolet, ASE certified Master Tech. (Expired, Retired)
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How do you change the axles in a 12 bolt chevy rear end

Resolved Question:

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Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Bob replied 6 years ago.

This contains more info than you asked for, but will give you what you need. Thanks

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Half Ton Trucks
EXCEPT 1974-79 WITH LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10

Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 1: Drain the rear differential into a suitable container Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 2: Remove the differential cover Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 3: Clean the gasket material from the mating surfaces Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 4: Turn the differential until you can relach the shaft lockscrew Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 5: Remove the lockscrew ... Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 6: ... then remove the pinion shaft Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 7: Remove the C-lock from the bottom end of the shaft Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 8: When removing the axle shaft, be careful not to damage the oil seal Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 9: A suitable wheel bearing puller can usually be rented from an automotive tool rental shop Click image to see an enlarged viewFig. 10: Correct bearing installation

  1. Support the axle on jackstands.
  2. Remove the wheels and brake drums.
  3. Clean off the differential cover area, loosen the cover to drain the lubricant, and remove the cover.
  4. Turn the differential until you can reach the differential pinion shaft lockscrew. Remove the lockscrew and the pinion shaft.
  5. Push in on the axle end. Remove the C-lock from the inner (bottom) end of the shaft.
  6. Remove the shaft, being careful of the oil seal.
  7. You can pry the oil seal out of the housing by placing the inner end of the axle shaft behind the steel case of the seal, then prying it out carefully.
  8. A puller or a slide hammer is required to remove the bearing from the housing.

To install:

  1. Pack the new or reused bearing with wheel bearing grease and lubricate the cavity between the seal lips with the same grease.
  2. The bearing has to be driven into the housing. Don't use a drift, you might cock the bearing in its bore, use a large socket instead. Drive only on the outer bearing race. In a similar manner, drive the seal in flush with the end of the tube.
  3. Slide the shaft into place, turning it slowly until the splines are engaged with the differential. Be careful of the oil seal.
  4. Install the C-lock on the inner axle end. Pull the shaft out so that the C-lock seats in the counterbore of the differential side gear.
  5. Position the differential pinion shaft through the case and the pinion gears, aligning the lockscrew hole. Install the lockscrew.
  6. Install the cover with a new gasket and tighten the bolts evenly in a crisscross pattern.
  7. Fill the axle with lubricant.
  8. Replace the brake drums and wheels.

graphic

Bob, Auto Tech
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience: Plus 40 years GM, over 30 certified with Chevrolet, ASE certified Master Tech. (Expired, Retired)
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