TJ D35c Axle Shaft Removal

Eventually there comes a time when you might need to remove an axle shaft from your D35c rear axle.  Although I don’t have a D35c, I  helped a local Jeeper do an axle swap on his TJ (took out his open differential D35 and installed a D44 with Super 44 axles and an Ox locker).  We needed to transfer his brakes from his old axle to the D44 so the D35c axle shafts had to be pulled in order to get the brakes off.  I brought my digital along to take a few pics during the axle swap so I snapped a few while we were pulling the shafts on the D35c.

The first step after putting good jack stands under the frame is to pull the tires and brake drums.  With a catch pan under the rear diff, carefully remove the diff cover and drain the lubricant into the catch pan.  With the gear lube drained out, rotate the differential until the lock screw is facing you.  Remove the lock screw using  a small wrench.  The lock screw holds the pinion mate gear shaft in place.  

Rotate the differential and carefully let the pinion mate gear shaft slide out of the carrier.  Be careful here so the pinion gears (the two gears that this shaft passes through the middle of) don’t slide out.  There are shaped washers on the back side of the pinion gears so if the gear slides out, make sure the washer is placed back into position.

Gently push in one of the axle shafts.  It will move about 1/4″~3/8″ or so in and reveal the c-clip sitting in a groove on the end of the axle shaft.  Slip the c-clip off of the shaft.  No special tools are required to do this and it is not under any tension.  Once the c-clip is removed, you may slide the axle shaft out of the housing.  Be careful not to damage the axle shaft bearing and seal as you slide the shaft out.

Here is picture of the c-clips when removed from the axle shafts.  Not much to them.  The installation is simply the reverse of the removal procedure.  The factory service manual recommends you use Loctite on the threads of the lock screw and torque it to 14 ft. lbs.