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Changing A Front Half shaft

Repair Guide Changing A Front Half shaft

Changing the front half shaft is quite an involved job, made worse in my case by having free wheeling hubs installed. Although without the FWH's I wouldn't have been able to get home so they can stay.

More often than not the shorter half shaft snaps first, so if your unsure which side has gone start here. In most cases you will have to remove the other half shaft to get at the broken end anyway but you have to start somewhere.

First of all slacken all the wheel nuts and hub-nuts before jacking the wheel up. Once you have jacked the wheel up and supported the landy on axle stands remove the road wheel. It will make a good seat for the next hour of your life.

Once the wheel is off undo the screws holding the Brake drum to the hub, I used an impact driver as these screws can be quite stubborn.

Red arrows show the screw locations.

If the brake drum is stubborn and will not budge you can place a manifold bolt or similar into the bolt hole arrowed in green above to break the drum free of the hub.

Once the Hub is off remove the six bolts holding on the drive flange/freewheeling hub and also remove the black top hat if fitted. This will reveal the Castle nut and split pin holding the drive flange in place.

Bolts holding in FWH's

Castle nut and split pin

Pull out the split pin and the castle nut should come undone fairly easily, I used a cold chisel and hammer to gently tap it until it could be undone by hand. Once the castle nut is off you will be able to remove the FWH or drive flange to reveal the bub nut and locking nut.

The locking nut is arrowed in red, the hub nut is behind this.

To undo the hub nut I used a home made tool that my mate lent me. This will then allow you to remove the hub revealing the stub axle and brake backplate bolts.

Home Made hub nut Tool

Stub axle and brake backplate, Red arrow shows location of backplate bolts

Before we remove the brake backplate undo the two bolts holding the brake line to the hub, this will allow you to pull the back plate out of the way without disturbing any of the brake lines making your life a lot easier upon re-assembly.

Brake line bracket

Undo the six bolts and pull the brake backplate free. In this case the stub axle came away attached which was no problem, I then securely rested the back plate, with pads, on the leaf spring without placing any strain on the brake hose

Resting on the leaf spring

If you haven't already done so remove the Stub axle. You will then be able to see the front UJ and can now withdraw the half shaft.

Stub axle removed

Half shaft removed

As you can see there was nothing wrong with this half shaft, nor the other one and it was in fact my diff that had exploded.. but thats a different article :)

Now you may be lucky and be able to remove the broken half shaft from this side, if not you will have to remove the other half shaft and poke some bar through into the diff to free the broken piece of half shaft.

A common method for removing broken half shafts is to use a telescopic magnet which allows you to withdraw it without removing the other side.

Where the broken half shaft end would be

Refitting the half shaft is basically the reverse of the above procedure. The only point to note is that the hub nut has to be tightened by feel. Loosely fit the hub back into place and tighten the hub nut until the bearing starts to tighten a little, and then back off until you can freely spin the hub without any play.

This is best done without the brake drum on as it gives you the least resistance. Once everything is back together don't forget to refill the swivels with EP-90.
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