Doing a full axle tube swap in my garage - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 7th, 2011, 06:31 PM
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Chris Snell
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Doing a full axle tube swap in my garage

So I was planning on taking my truck down on Friday aftrernoon to the Auto Crafts center on Fort Carson to start my rear axle swap. It's a pretty cool deal, basically a self-serve low-cost auto shop for Soldiers with lifts, tools, everything.

I just found out that they will probably be closing down on Friday night due to the government shutdown and my truck might be locked inside! Obvious frustration with Obama and Congress aside, I need to figure out how to do the swap in my home garage.

My plan was to put the truck up on the two-post lift and pull the rear end off. Now I need to find a way to raise the frame in my garage (without a lift), and raise it enough to do the swap. I'm pretty stumped on this one. Regular jack stands aren't going to be nearly high enough, nor is my bottle jack. How can I do the swap safely without a lift?
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  #2  
Old April 7th, 2011, 07:44 PM
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Chris Snyder
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You don't have a floor jack? I can't think of any safe way to do it without at least a floor jack.
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  #3  
Old April 7th, 2011, 07:56 PM
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I do have a floor jack but that's not going to raise the frame up high enough. I need something that will get under the frame ears where the rear links attach to the frame and raise the entire frame high enough to pull everything apart.

I think I need at least 3' of lift and jack stands.
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  #4  
Old April 7th, 2011, 07:58 PM
NoVaKevin
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Whatever you do, take pictures. This could be interesting. Personally, I would wait until tomorrow to see if .gov works anything out. If not, wait until you can use their shop, unless someone here comes up with a good idea. Too risky. Sorry I cant be of more assistance.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 07:58 PM
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Chris Snyder
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The way I've done rear springs is to jack up the axle with the floor jack then place large (and sturdy!) floor jacks underneath the frame ears. That allowed for enough sag to pull the springs out. I have no idea if that would give you enough to swap the axle tube.
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  #6  
Old April 7th, 2011, 08:02 PM
NoVaKevin
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why not use several pieces of large, thick wood. think... the type of wood blocks they use when stabiliziing large cranes if you have ever seen that. wood under floor jack, jack up. wood under jack stands. release jack.
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  #7  
Old April 7th, 2011, 08:22 PM
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All you need is two jack stands, or even cinder blocks. Take the tires off and lower the truck down on to your stands. You'll need to keep a floor jack under the rear axle to take the tension off the springs so you can remove the lower spring retainers. Just leave your springs, shocks, etc.. connected to the frame and drop the axle out.

The bitch of the job is going to be your A-arm nut. Sometimes they come right off. Most of the time you need a 4' pipe on your breaker bar. I think it's a 30mm, but it's a tight fit for a socket. I think we had to grind a 30mm socket down once so it would fit, and then use a high-lift handle Bill Burke style. Another time we cut the box end off a cheap wrench with a cut-off wheel on a grinder so we could slide a pipe over the wrench.

Hopefully you will not have these issues since you have a trip coming up next week. It's a pretty easy job, though, and a great time to replace the A-arm joint, wheel bearings, seals, fluids, etc...
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  #8  
Old April 7th, 2011, 08:38 PM
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Dan, I'm not quite following you. Here's what I think you're saying:

1. Disconnect driveshaft, pull axle shafts, remove diff
2. Raise one side of the axle tube with a floor jack enough to get the tire off.
3. Remove tire
4. Place jack stand under frame ear (??? sounds risky)
5. Lower the floor jack supporting the axle tubes until frame ears are resting on the jack stands (axle tube is very low to the ground at this point)
6. Disconnect lower shock mounts
7. Disconnect A-arm
8. Support entire axle tube with wood blocks or something
9. Disconnect lower spring retainers
10. Pull axle tube out
11. Reverse process

Does that sound right?
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  #9  
Old April 7th, 2011, 08:45 PM
NoVaKevin
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dont use cinder blocks, been there, done that with my d2, and it isnt pretty. they cant hold the weight.
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  #10  
Old April 7th, 2011, 09:20 PM
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This is an easy job. With the potential headache of Thea arm nut as Dan pointed out. Raise the car, put some big jackstands under the frame, remove wheels, lower axle and start disconnecting things. You can remove and install the axle completely assembled. Wheel dollies help but aren't necessary. Make sure everything is firmly supported and maybe even crack that a arm nut while the wheels are on the ground. I have used cinder blocks but it is really dangerous. Use some wood to cushion them at least.
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Old April 7th, 2011, 10:26 PM
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OK, that makes sense. The only thing I'm still concerned about is the jack stands on the frame. I'm just not sure if the mating between my jack stands and the trailing arm ears on the frame is safe enough. I know that the ears work great if you have a two-post lift with pads but the jack stand cradles are small and really designed for axle tubes, not frames.
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  #12  
Old April 7th, 2011, 11:15 PM
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Charles Galpin
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All jack stands I have had come with a circular indent in the center for tubes and a wider section with lips on the end that are perfect for holding up frames. Throw the wheels under the frames if you want a safety factor.
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  #13  
Old April 8th, 2011, 06:01 AM
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Tony Sims
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A couple 2x4's cut into pieces and screwed together, make strong and secure "jack stand extensions".

Don't EVER use a cinder block to hold up a car, unless you are going for a very difficult to prove suicide method.
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This is straight out of the Manual for Build Builders.
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  #14  
Old April 8th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchapman View Post
All you need is two jack stands, or even cinder blocks. Take the tires off and lower the truck down on to your stands. You'll need to keep a floor jack under the rear axle to take the tension off the springs so you can remove the lower spring retainers. Just leave your springs, shocks, etc.. connected to the frame and drop the axle out.

The bitch of the job is going to be your A-arm nut. Sometimes they come right off. Most of the time you need a 4' pipe on your breaker bar. I think it's a 30mm, but it's a tight fit for a socket. I think we had to grind a 30mm socket down once so it would fit, and then use a high-lift handle Bill Burke style. Another time we cut the box end off a cheap wrench with a cut-off wheel on a grinder so we could slide a pipe over the wrench.

Hopefully you will not have these issues since you have a trip coming up next week. It's a pretty easy job, though, and a great time to replace the A-arm joint, wheel bearings, seals, fluids, etc...
x2.

This can easily be done with 2 jack stands. I bought the larger ones I could find in Sears (If I remember correctly the 6 TON ones will give you all the lift you need for this job).
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