Mirror of: http://www.jeeping.net/HowTo/Dana30WheelBearing

By Colin Jennings

Dana 30 axle bearing replacement

Diagnosis

Loud squeaking sound coming from the wheel area. Why to tell if itís the bearing is to raise the jeep so the suspected wheel is off the ground then grab the tire at 12 and 6 and wiggle up and down. There shouldnít be much play or wiggle. If there is then chances are you got a bad bearing.

My story

I had my jeep in to get a pinion seal fixed one Friday cause I knew I had to work late and also knew I wanted to jeep the next morning so I dropped it off at Legereís Garage on City Road in Saint John New Brunswick and asked them to replace the seal and also give it a check over. They ended up replacing the passenger side front axle U-joint and told me the same side bearing was going but wasnít squeaking and still had at least a few more months on it

Next Wednesday I was drive home from work on a very nice day and decided to take the slow way home and pull the doors and top. I was just about 5 blocks from my house when I heard a loud squeal and my jeep suddenly jumped over to the right almost hitting a biker. I quickly gave him the sorry wave and got out to look but I couldnít see anything wrong and figured it must be either that new u-joint or the bearing. So I started back up but every once and awhile that wheel would lock. Iím told this is very very uncommon for a bearing and that scared me quite a bit so when I got home I pulled the diff cover before checking anything else and was soooo happy to find it all looking good. I just had that vision of pulling the cover and just seeing all this ate up metal.

So luckily the next day I took work off after lunch and picked up a bearing unit (you have to buy the whole bearing hub not just the bearing) from my local dealership (Brunswick Chrysler in Saint John) then went to sears to get a 12 point 13mm socket and 36mm socket since my local Canadian tire didnít have either the night before I went to look. Sears had the 13mm 12 point but didnít have the 36mm and said the biggest theyíve seen around was a 32mm. So we crossed our fingers and just by chance drove across the street to another Canadian tire. We found the slot on the shelve for 36mm but none there but Iím stubborn so I started looking all around and found a 36mm on the lower shelve with no tag or labels. So I grabbed it and ran and luckily they where able to sell it to me after they looked up the part number in a book. All I talked about for the next few days was my conquest to find the 36mm socket, Iím so proud of it. So luckily we made it home before 2ish and had the bearing swapped out ready to test by supper.

Do it yourself or have the garage do it?

Honestly I really didnít know if I was going to be able to do this. I always shy away from axle and engine work. I donít know why I just do. But I figured it looks not to bad and I also knew I had a few days to get it done. And it was soo easy to do.. Maybe though I was lucky cause all the parts had been off just the week before do the U-joint so we didnít have too much problems removing the bolts. Plus I had air tools to my aid. But with the correct equipment this job is very easy its just the fact most people donít have 36mm or 13mm 12 point socket. But they are both good sockets to have cause you never know who is going to break a axle or U-joint on the trail and not have the sockets. I figure these will pay for themselves in time and actually already did just by saving the labour charges of this bearing

Needed:

Jackstand
13 mm 6 point
13 mm 12 point
19mm 6 point
36mm 6 point
brake cleaner
Solid rod or something to keep the knuckle from twisting
needle nose plyers
Lock tight

Maybe: Impact wrench or breaking bar

Steps

#1 Jack up the jeep on a level ground and make sure you use approved jack stands to rest the jeep on (don't be stupid like me and just put them on your mothers new ashfault driveway..)

#2 Take off the wheels and set them aside

#3 Take off the brake caliber using the 2 13mm bolts behind the caliber. Set the caliber aside making sure not to harm the brake lines. The yellow arrows point at the bolts to be removed

#4 Remove the cotter pin using needle nose pliers

#5 Remove the washer behind the cotter pin

#6 Take off the rotor and carefully set it aside. This would also be a good time to inspect it for damage and wear, same goes for your brake pads.

#7 Remove the 36mm nut you may need to use an impact wrench or breaking bar. With the use of a impact wrench I had no problems at all. One big problem we ran into was when you go to turn the nut the axle would turn too. So we had to ended up jamming an old file in the knuckle next to the U-joint. So now when we turned the nut the file would jam against the tie rod. Not the prettiest way of doing it but it sure works great and has been added to my tool box.

#8 Remove the 3 13mm 12 point bolts that secure the bearing unit to the axle housing. I had to use a breaking bar to get them to come loose. Yellow arrows point to the 3 bolts

#9 With the bolts removed the bearing assembly just slides off now. Iím told some people will need to use a rubber mallet to coax it to slide off.

#10 Clean the spindles making sure no dirt is on them and you may want to add more grease to them. I used my air gun to blow away any dirt and applied a bit more grease. Also make sure the axles donít get pulled out all the way. Its ok if they do but its easier not too that way you donít chance breaking the seal inside the axle or loosen fluid.

#11 Slide on the new bearing housing unit. Note how much cleaner the new one looks! My jeeps only a 98 but it shows you what our Northern winters do to metal.

#12 Reattach the 3 13mm 12 point bolts use loc tight and torque to factory specs

#13 Reattach the 36mm bolt and torque to spec with loc tight

#14 Reattach the washer and cotter pin

#15 Clean the rotor with brake cleaner and reattach

#16 Put calibrator back on and use 13mm bolts and clean all up

#17 Put tires back on and do a quick 12 and 6 shaking test to make sure the bearing feels good. Take jacks out and your done

#18 Take for a test drive around testing the breaks and make sure everything feels and sounds like normal again. In my case it felt much better.

Done now go have a beer and wasn't it easy?




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