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View Full Version : 80 Series Front Axle Service - Locking the diff


corsair23
10-08-2009, 12:53 PM
So....I'm getting ready to do the full front axle service (hoping the weather warms up :rolleyes:). I've read where you are supposed to lock the front axle if you have lockers to aid in getting the axles out and back in. I've also read and been told that you don't really need to do that. But, the front 3rd member is coming out for a gear swap at the same time as the front axle service and to get the 3rd member out you have to lock the front axle.

So, my question is, how do you manually lock the front axle? I'm sure that the improper way would be to lock the center diff and then lock the axles and back the truck into the garage right? I mean, that can't be good on the drive line. So I'm guessing there is a simple way, that has elluded my searches, of being able to lock the front axle manually once it is up on the jack stands....

I've looked through the FSM and maybe it is in there but it has elluded me if so...

60wag
10-08-2009, 02:09 PM
Unbolt the locker motor, jack up one the front wheels, push the actuator manually until it slips into locked position. You may need to bump the wheels a bit to get things to line up and lock.

nakman
10-08-2009, 02:30 PM
You have to lock the diff to remove the 3rd? Man I don't remember doing that... but maybe it happened. :confused:


I don't see the hangup though, why can't you just twist the dial? who's doing your gears?

corsair23
10-08-2009, 03:10 PM
Unbolt the locker motor, jack up one the front wheels, push the actuator manually until it slips into locked position. You may need to bump the wheels a bit to get things to line up and lock.

:cool: - That sounds way too easy...I'm thinking I'll have to figure out a way to complicate things :rolleyes:


You have to lock the diff to remove the 3rd? Man I don't remember doing that... but maybe it happened. :confused:

That's what I've been told...I've read that you need to lock the front to do just the front axle service (pulling the axles and getting them back in easily) but apparently that is not 100% right...You don't "have" to, but it can make it easier to get the axles back in.

I don't see the hangup though, why can't you just twist the dial? who's doing your gears?

Well, I could but to get the axles to lock the center diff needs to be engaged right, and of course turning the dial to lock the fronts would result in the rear locking as well (or trying to). None of which I want to do on asphalt. Maybe parked, with the front axle up in the air, I could engage the center diff then turn the dial and rotate the front tires to get the front axle to lock? Something tells me that won't happen unless I put all four tires up in the air with the center diff locked :confused:

My "plan" is to back the truck into the garage, do the front axle service, remove the 3rd member, get the gears swapped, put it all back together and leave the front drive shaft out. Then turn the truck around and pull it into the garage, do the rear axle service and gears. Then, put the front driveshaft back in and call it good.

subzali
10-08-2009, 04:01 PM
Jeff, if you're more or less lined up with the garage before you lock the diffs (or even if not) I can't believe it's really that big of a deal to move around a little bit with locked diffs. Especially if the ground is wet and/or your tires are pumped up pretty high I can't believe there would be a problem. The gear backlash will account for a lot of any turning you will have to do, and any little bit more isn't going to put THAT much strain on the gears. Especially with small tires (you said the 80 right)?

Just situate it backwards on the driveway, push the button and turn the dial, drive back and forth as much as you need to lock it then back in. Simple. No problem.

Or if you're really worried you could get it in the garage, jack one wheel up front and back and push button turn dial while it's in Drive and let it lock itself SLOWLY so you don't drive off the jackstands. But if it were me I'd just lock it on the driveway.

Uncle Ben
10-08-2009, 04:08 PM
Jeff, do you really think that the street or your driveway could possibly have more traction than when you playing on Moab sandstone with aired down tires? You will not hurt the truck if you lock it in at home even if it chirps a tad! :thumb:

Hulk
10-08-2009, 04:17 PM
You're not going to hurt it driving 20 feet into your garage, that's for sure.

corsair23
10-08-2009, 04:33 PM
Thanks guys...apparently I have way over thought things as usual :)

In reality I wasn't so worried about locking the axles in as I was about unlocking them after the fact...Knowing me though, by the time I get it all done there will be a foot of snow on the ground that I can go play in :hill:

powderpig
10-08-2009, 05:56 PM
You can even lock them and shift into low range when the axles are on jack stands. Rotate the wheels to engage. Sometimes my perfered method.
The rear axle with lockers can sometime be a bear to get the axle back in when doing a axle service, the front is more lined up. So I do not lock the front to do a axle service, but the rear is a given(or have a broom stick handy to align the dog clutch).:eek:
If you are pulling the axles to regear, you do need to get the lockers locked to get them out. Both locking mechinsims are in the way to remove unless they are locked.
Want instructions to regear as well :D?