H3 Halfshaft Replacement

Tools required:

high-lift or floor jack, small bottle jack, 36mm socket, 1 1/16" socket or wrench, 13/16" socket or wrench, 10mm wrench, 18mm socket or wrench, pry bar, large flathead screwdriver.

Step 1:

Loosen axle nut with 36mm while tire is on the ground.
Axle Nut

Step 2:

After loosening the axle nut, jack up just a little with floor jack or high-lift, then use the bottle jack to raise lower control arm for removal of wheel and/or seating the lower balljoint.


Step 3:

Remove tie-rod nut with 13/16" wrench
Tie Rod nut

Step 4:

Hammer up on tie-rod to unseat it.
Unseat tie-rod

Step 5:

Undo upper ball-joint retaining bolt with 18mm wrench & socket
Upper Ball-joint bolt

Step 6:

Tap out & remove upper bolt, there is a notch in the ball-joint to keep it retained by the bolt.
Bolt Removal

Step 7:

Undo lower ball-joint nut with 1 1/16" wrench, leave on slightly for hammering.
Lower Ball-joint nut

Step 8:

Hammer up on ball-joint to remove, use nut to keep from damaging threads. It will come out, may take oil & patience.
Ball-joint removal

Step 9:

Tap a large flathead screwdriver into the notch behind upper ball-joint mount to help spread the gap.
Pry gap with screw driver

Step 10:

Hammer on steering knuckle to drop it off of the ball-joint...notice piece of 2x4 to help keep upper arm from moving.
Steering knuckle removal
Upper joint now undone, notice retaining notch in ball joint.
Retaining notch

Step 11:

Tap axle out of wheel splines, remove knuckle while working the halfshaft out.
Axle removal

Step 12:

Dissassembled unit, hang steering knuckle off of upper a-arm to keep from damaging brakes line & ABS line.
Hang steering knuckle

Step 13:

Halfshaft comes out of diff with a light prying, only a c-clip holds it in, easy to remove & reseat a new one.
Prying halfshaft
This is the diff end of the shafts, c-clip in end groove seats into a groove in diff.
Diff end

Step 14:

I also replaced the diff seals, easy to pry out with a big screwdriver, hammer the new ones in lightly, not hard.
Diff seals

Reassembly is in pretty much the opposite order, here's a few hints.

1. Push new halfshaft in firmly, it will click into place when seated.

2. Seat steering knuckle first onto halfshaft a little, then onto lower ball joint & put on it's nut to hold the unit.

3. Now lift up lightly with bottle jack until the upper ball joint seats some, and tap it in fully, then put retaining bolt back in to hold the upper ball joint in place.

4. Use bottle jack to raise the knuckle to fully seat the lower ball joint, it will try to spin when you tighten the nut unless it is well seated in the knuckle.

5. Tie rod joint is formed to use a 10mm wrench to hold the joint while you tighten the nut.

Helpful Hint:

Here's a helpful hint...use a 10mm on the bottom of tie-rod bolt while tightening the nut so the joint won't twist on you.
Tie-rod assembly

Procedure courtesy of:
MIHummer


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