91 YJ trying to replace front axle u-joints - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #1
mymizzery
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Default 91 YJ trying to replace front axle u-joints

I tried to loosen the three hub bolts, the heads turned slightly, but the ends didnt. this tells me that they will break before they loosen. anyone have this issue? what did you do? if they do break the hub should just slide right out is that correct? and if that happens I have better mobility on working on getting the bolts out. but how do I avoid that if possible?

sorry for duplicate post. I wasnt sure if it was better to post here or in Jeep tech.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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They won't come out by worrying about them. Best way to get them is with a 12 point wrench. Get the bolt out 1/8" and then smack the wrench (not the bolt) to loosen up the hub. If the bolt breaks, you are right. Just get it apart and deal with it on the bench. The only down side is it will be harder to get it loose.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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PB blaster, heat if you need it. I did mine a month ago. They came loose with no issue
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Old January 17th, 2013, 11:50 AM   #4
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Use a little heat, little to much heat can be a bad thing
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Old January 17th, 2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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I use heat on the spindle right at the threads. This has always worked for me.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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No splindle on a YJ 30.

SOAK, heat, and constantly try to work them back and forth, not just loosening them.

If they won't budge you can either break the bolt and try to pull the unit. You may be able to save the unit bearing if you can remove the broken part cleanly. If the unitbearings need replacing just cut through the flange and throught the bolts with a grinder. Only takes about 10 mins. As it sounds like you haven't had this apart before be prepared for the unit bearing to be seized to the knuckle as well, usually if the bolts come out nice you can just loosen one a 1/4 ", wedge something between the bolt and knuckle and use the steering box to kick it loose. This may not be an option for you so start soaking with fluid as well.

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Old January 18th, 2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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Don't pull the bolt out and smack the wrench, grab a good sized sledge hammer and smack the hub itself after you have removed all 3 bolts. It will literally fall right out. Hit it hard. Real hard. You can't hit the hub hard enough to damage it (in my non engineering opinion and I have done it this way at least 50 times (I ran a dana 30 with 36's locked for a while))

if the bolts break they will break in the hub, which could probably use replacing anyway. But if not, as mentioned it will be way easier to get them out on the bench anyway.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 09:56 AM   #8
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Hitting it sideways is never as good as hitting it in line.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #9
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I loosen all 3 bolts 2 full turns, put an old socket over the heads, beat untill they bottom out, 2 turns, beat, repeat until out.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
Hitting it sideways is never as good as hitting it in line.
Sure thats probably true, but it works sideways, it sees all of its load sideways, and I can't figure that I can hit it with as much force as a 35" tire and an i-75 pothole at 70 mph.

That said, I've beat the shit out of them in the fashion you and geardrive suggest to no avail. I've never failed to knock one out in the fashion I suggested in less than 3-5 swings of the hammer.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 10:41 AM   #11
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One technique Ive used in other applications is to try to loosen the bolt best you can just get it wo wiggle and carefully cut the head off and the spindle should slide off. Now you have a chunk of bolt to work with on the bench. Use heat -heat is your friend!! Ive used the new black can wd40 and I think it works great but I think it has to soak for a while. When the piece is cooling down spray the lube while its hot . find that point where the fluid thins and gets in between the threads. You can even weld a nut that slides over the bolt stub and with welding heat it will probably come out.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 02:41 PM   #12
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I've always used pb blaster let it soak an hour spray again end work the bolts if the break deal with it on the bench then i use a 1inch wide chisel between the ears of the unit bearing and the knuckle moving around evenly i also use a 4lb hammer never had an issue this way and yes if all else is that stuck there is a good chance the unit bearing is wore out
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Old January 19th, 2013, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kickstand View Post
Don't pull the bolt out and smack the wrench, grab a good sized sledge hammer and smack the hub itself after you have removed all 3 bolts. It will literally fall right out. Hit it hard. Real hard. You can't hit the hub hard enough to damage it (in my non engineering opinion and I have done it this way at least 50 times (I ran a dana 30 with 36's locked for a while))

if the bolts break they will break in the hub, which could probably use replacing anyway. But if not, as mentioned it will be way easier to get them out on the bench anyway.
While it might work for you I would not recomend anyone hit a unit bearing with a large hammer unless they are replacing it. Neither do manufactureres or auto classes.
You should also never use a impact to torque them, people do it all the time.
A unit bearing has a huge rubber cusion between it and those pot holes, and the axle is properly torqued holding the bearings and seals in place. It's never a good idea to shock bearings in their race, it only takes a nick to wreck your day.


Leaving the front or rear bolt in a couple threads and using the steering gear to push them off is much safer and less likely to damage stuff.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 06:45 PM   #14
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Screw pb blaster. Mix trans fluid and acetone 50/50 it is a waaaaay better penetrant. It only sucks because the acetone evaporates so you have to mix up a fresh batch every time you use it.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 07:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by chadcooper55 View Post
Screw pb blaster. Mix trans fluid and acetone 50/50 it is a waaaaay better penetrant. It only sucks because the acetone evaporates so you have to mix up a fresh batch every time you use it.
Serious? Never heard that. What's the ratio?
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Old January 20th, 2013, 07:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Serious? Never heard that. What's the ratio?
50/50. my dad was doing research a while back when he was trying to get a bunch of corroded bolts off a boat he was restoring. He found some studies that were done on all the main penetrants and Acetone and atf was listed as number one. I have tried it on bolts that pb wouldn't touch and it worked like a champ. pb was barely any better than wd40 in those studies.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadcooper55 View Post
Screw pb blaster. Mix trans fluid and acetone 50/50 it is a waaaaay better penetrant. It only sucks because the acetone evaporates so you have to mix up a fresh batch every time you use it.
I read this as trans fluid and acetylean. Acetone probobly mixes better.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I read this as trans fluid and acetylean. Acetone probobly mixes better.
Ya, maybe a little
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