Pulling an axle shaft out of its housing and replacing it with a new one can be a tough job; but with the right tools and a couple hours' time, even the amateur mechanic can get this done. Here's how to remove the front axle shaft on your Ford Excursion.
Make sure you're setting up for the right job. Ask an expert for the right size before you buy an axle shaft for your Excursion. The tools you'll need are a floor jack and jack stands; a 3/8-inch drive wrench; a socket wrench with socket sizes 13mm, 16mm, 35mm and a 19mm deep socket; needle-nosed pliers; and some shop rags.
Raise the front of the SUV with a jack, and place a jack stand on both sides of the frame. Remove the hub cap covering the lug nuts, then use the 13mm socket to remove all but two of the lugs. Take out the cotter pin (use the pliers if it is tight), and undo the nut with the 35mm socket. Then use the 13mm socket to remove the bolts behind the assembly that hold the calipers.
You can take out the entire hub assembly, or just the axle shaft attached to the hub. If you do remove the hub, use the pliers to take out the nut retainer. A 36mm socket and a wrench (an impact wrench is best) will help you to loosen and remove the axle nut, in the center of the hub. Pull out the 13mm bolts holding the assembly onto the knuckle. These can be tight.
Slowly pull off the assembly. If it's rusted, the assembly might take a bit of twisting and tapping to pull it off. You'll notice a dust shield between the assembly and the steering knuckle, so make sure when you put your work back together that it's in the right place. Gently pull the axle shaft out of the housing.
Finish the Job
Install the new axle shaft in reverse order of removal. Don't over-tighten the parts. The bolts should be torqued back to 75 foot-pounds; the hub nut at 175; and the caliper bolts at 11.
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