How to Remove Drive Axles on a Ford

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Ford drive axle assemblies consist of a rear axle housing and a differential carrier. At the center of the differential carrier is a driveshaft, which connects the differential to the back of the transmission and transfers the power produced by the engine to the drive wheels. Within the differential are several bearings, which periodically require service. However, the differential cannot be serviced until both drive axles have first been removed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire iron or impact wrench
  • Shop jack
  • 2 safety stands
  • Deep-socket
  • Socket wrench
  • Loosen each lug nut on both rear wheels with a tire iron or with an impact wrench.

  • Elevate the rear of the vehicle with a shop jack underneath the differential.

  • Slide a safety stand underneath both axle housings, then lower the vehicle onto the stands.

  • Disengage the parking brake and remove the shop jack.

  • Remove the loosened lug nuts from both rear tires, then pull the tires off of the axles.

  • Pull the brake drum off of the drive axles to expose the axle’s mounting plate, if the vehicle is equipped with drum brakes.

  • Remove the axle shaft’s retaining bolts. The metal disk at the tip of each axle shaft consists of a number of studs, over which the wheel mounts and a single circle. This circle’s sole purpose is the enable a socket wrench to access and remove the axle’s retaining bolts. Insert a deep-socket connected to a socket wrench through the access circle to remove the bolts. Rotate the axle shaft to move the circle until each bolt has been removed. The precise number of bolts varies depending on the model of the vehicle, but there are typically four or five mounting bolts.

  • Grasp the back of the metal disk at the tip of the axle shaft; then pull the axle straight out of the axle housing.

References

  • Haynes Repair Manual: Ford Full Size F-150 Pick-Ups, 2004 Thru 2006; Chilton; 2006
  • Haynes Repair Manual: Ford Mustang (1979-1993) & Mercury Capri (1979-1986); Chilton; 1999
  • Motor's Auto Repair Manual; Ralph Ritchen; 1968
  • Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
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