- There are two 21mm bolts holding the Brake calipers on. Remove both these bolts taking care to not let the caliper drop. Set the calipers on your Lower Control Arms and secure in place with some Zip ties. Along your brake line you will see the ABS wiring running down to the brakes. They have a rubber sleeve that is wedged into a bracket in two places. Remove the wiring from the bracket. They will remain attached into the brakes, just remove them from the bracket.
- On the back side of each Spindle there are three 12 point 13mm bolts. It may be a good idea to soak these before you begin as they can be a PITA. Remove all three of these on each side.
- Once you have removed all three bolts, pull your axel out about 6 inches, basically just far enough to get the axel out of the differential and let them hang. Make sure though that you do not over extend the ABS wiring.
- Using a 5/8 socket, remove the two bolts holding each of the two bearing caps on. Before you remove the caps, be sure to mark them so they get reinstalled on the same sides and in the same orientation. Set them aside someplace they will stay clean.
- Next, you will need to remove the carrier from the differential housing. In the past, I have been able to just pull this out by hand. This time, it took using a crowbar wedged between the housing and the back of the carrier and pounding with a 2.5lb hammer to get it free. Just take your time and be conscious with each swing where the crowbar is. Try to place it between the housing and the carrier in a way that it will force it out rather then up and be sure not to damage any of the gears or bearings. Once it gets close to coming out, make sure it does not drop to the floor.
(forgot to get a pic of this. Just put the crowbar between the bottom of the diff housing and the bottom of the carrier being careful not to hit any gears or bearings)
- Now that you have the carrier out, clean off all the gear oil with some brake cleaner and look over all the gears for any unusual wear. Set carrier on a clean bench. Set the spacers and bearing races aside someplace clean making a note of which one goes on which side.
- Use a gasket scraper to remove all the RTV from the diff housing. USe some brake cleaner to clean out the inside of the housing. Check for any burs or dents from the crowbar. If there are any burs remove with metal file but take car to not damage the matting surface.
- Back to the carrier. Mark the Ring gear and the housing so it will be install in the same location. Place the carrier into a bench vice. Remove all the bolts that hold the ring gear to the carrier using a 11/16 socket. This is why it was important to have a good bench vise! (we didn't and it was a PITA until we got something figured out). Once all bolts are removed, tap the ring gear loose and set aside.
- On the top of the carrier, near one of the bolts you just removed, there is a small hole. Use the 3/16 "long" punch to drive the pin out that secures the pinion shaft in place. Now, remove the pinion shaft. Set both aside to be used again.
- Now you can remove the spider gears. The two that had the pinion shaft going through them will come out as you rotate the other two gears. YOu can set all four gears aside as they will not be used again but the Thrust washers will be getting reused. Be sure to make a note of which side they came from and their orientation. Once again, clean up the carrier with some brake cleaner.