1. Loosen the big axle nut while still on the ground (30mm) torqued to the hilt – I used a cheater bar – no sweat. Or you can use a large impact air gun (way easier).
2. Put the van in gear and put the e-brake on.
3. Chock the rear wheels and jack up the van on the side you want to replace.
remove the wheel.
4. Remove the brake caliper & pads
5. Remove the brake line retainer and hang up the caliper with a wire on the upper arm.
6. Remove the axle nut
7. Use a tie rod removal tool and remove the tie rod end – this will give you lots of play in moving around
8. Use another press and push out the axle / dislodge it at least. You can also use a brass drift and just tap it in the center of the wheel and that should brake it free.
9. Remove the 6 allen bolts that hold the inner CV joint to the front differential.
OK at this point the axle is loose and moveable
10. The drop link on the sway bar is too close to the shock absorber so now remove the drop-link
This could be challenging because it is springy and loaded with the van.
I was able to put a jack under the sway bar and lift it straight up to move the drop-link out of the way.
The easier way to deal with the drop link of the front sway bar is to just remove the nut on both sides at the same time. That will free up the sway bar so that there is no spring tension. (Ken’s note)
11. Remove the upper ball joint (remove the two large allen bolts holding it to the upper control arm) and the axle assembly should flop downwards
12. Continue to press the axle out of the hub if required.
13. Wiggle the axle out and up out of the hub and pull it towards you.
And that is it the axle is now in your arms.
Grease it up and same process in reverse.
Took me 5 hours per side and it is also a good time to replace the tie rod ends, ball joints, sway bar bushings, brake rotors and brake pads
Used with permission by Joel Cort and edited by Ken Wilford.
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