Starting the front axle

I know I said that the front axle was done with paint, but I decided to give it a shot of semi gloss and now it looks much better. I also removed the zerks for the axle bearings and found that they are mostly clean. I’ll have to push some grease through them to make sure no paint got in there. Looks like my putting the nails into the holes to keep paint out worked well.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry I decided to roll out the front axle and start cleaning. After scraping off about three pounds of grease and dirt, I started with the wire wheel. After obliterating the grime around the brake lines I tried to remove them from the axle. One side came right off where the steel line meets the flexible hose for the steering knuckles. The passenger side of the Jeep has always been a bit more difficult to work on, especially up front there the battery had overflowed a time or two spreading corrosive battery acid all over that side. After making the flare nut look more like a shiny super thick round washer, I ended up just cutting the line to remove the majority of it. I’ll have to see if I can get the clip free with some penetrating oil and some banging and prying. Hopefully it will come loose.

The trouble I’m having now is if I should sand blast the axle as it is now to keep any possible sand from getting into it, or if I should start to brake down the knuckles to make it easier to work with. At this point I’m leaning towards blasting as is and then pulling the knuckles apart and blasting those separately.

Since I’m getting to the point where I have to start putting things together, I’m going to have to place an order or two. I’m going to need my differential gaskets, knuckle seals, grease retainers, grease (!), and oh yeah, I still need to order brakes. I’ve got two suppliers right now that I’m trying to evaluate. One is great over email, and the other prefers the phone, so comparing information and products is slow. The other problem is finding the money for the parts purchases. So far I’ve only had to purchase a few small things to get to this point. Moving from 9″ brakes to 11″ brakes is surprisingly not going to cost me much more than replacing the 9″ brakes sans the backing plate.

In any event, I’ll hopefully have an idea of what I need to order next week after tearing down the knuckles and seeing what needs to be replaced. I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised.


2 Responses to “Starting the front axle”

  • Michael Brown Says:

    That axle is so CLEAN. Minty fresh! Wow, it looks superb. It’s hard to imagine that this is off a piece of equipment that is over 1/2 a century old. Nice job, Kurtis!