Rear Axle Bearing
Remove the rear brake drum
- Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel to be repaired (do not remove them).
- Lift the rear of your Samurai and support the axle tube with jack stands.
- Remove the lug nuts and wheel.
- Check the parking brake, ensuring it is released. To increase clearance between the brake shoes and drum, remove the parking brake shoe lever return spring and disconnect the parking brake cable joint from the shoe lever. Removing the brake lever stop plate will insure maximum clearance.
- Remove the drum retaining nuts.
- Remove the brake drum by using a slide hammer. Watch your fingers!
- Drain the oil from the differential.
- Remove the brake line. The best way I have found to remove brake lines is to start soaking the lines with WD-40 a few days before you plan on the axle repair. Then work the nut back and forth, loosening then tightening it slightly. Make sure you use a high quality 10mm flare nut wrench. Any other wrench will just round over the nut. Once the nut is loosened, remove it and pull the line free.
- Cover the lines to keep dirt out.
- Remove the four backing plate bolts.
- Using a slide hammer, remove the axle and backing plate.
- In order to remove the bearing, a retainer must first be removed. You will need a grinder for this step.
- Grind the retainer on two sides until it becomes very thin. You have to be very careful here. Do not cut into the axle shaft. It will never seal and you will have oil leaks when you put it back together.
- After the material is thin, set the axle shaft and bearing on a solid surface and break the retainer with a chisel. Remove the retainer.Caution: Be careful not to damage the axle shaft surface.
To remove the bearing, a long puller is required. I made mine from two different pullers and two pieces of inch threaded rods.
The best way to install the bearing is with a press. This will prevent damage to the bearing. If you do not have access to a press, take the pieces to a local shop. If you insist on doing it yourself, a long section of pipe can be used. You must insure it fits the inner race only. Damage to the bearing will result if you hammer on the outer race.This method is discouraged.
- Install the bearing on to the axle shaft. The bearing has a larger section on one side. This must face the axle hub.
- Install the bearing retainer. The retainer has a chamfered edge that also must face the axle hub.
- Install new inner axle oil seals, making sure the seal protector is in place.
- Carefully install the axle shaft into the housing, taking care not to damage the seal. Reconnect the brake lines, install the hardware, bleed the brakes and take the truck for a test drive.
Line drawings rendered by Chris Harris from Suzuki service manual originals