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Blog > Step-by-Step Guide: Removing the Rear Axle on a Ford Ranger

Step-by-Step Guide: Removing the Rear Axle on a Ford Ranger

**Disclaimer:** This information is intended for general knowledge only. For accurate and safe modifications or maintenance, please consult professionals at a Ford dealership. Attempting to perform these tasks without proper expertise is not recommended and may result in damage or void warranties.

Removing the Rear Axle on a Ford Ranger

Maintaining and repairing your used Ford Ranger can be a rewarding experience, especially when you tackle a project like removing the rear axle. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of removing the rear axle on your Ford Ranger, ensuring a successful and efficient completion of the task.

Whether upgrading your vehicle’s components, performing routine maintenance, or addressing a specific issue, understanding the proper techniques for rear axle removal is crucial. Following this guide will give you the knowledge and confidence to tackle this job easily, saving time and money in the long run.

Grey Ford Ranger
Grey Ford Ranger

Tools and Equipment Needed for the Job

Before embarking on this project, gathering the necessary tools and equipment is essential. Ensure that you have the following items on hand:

  • Appropriate jack and jack stands
  • A lug wrench or socket set
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips)
  • Torque wrench
  • Drain pan
  • Gloves and safety glasses

Having the right tools and equipment will make the job easier and ensure your safety throughout the process.

Safety Precautions Before Starting

Safety should always be the top priority when working on your vehicle. Before beginning the rear axle removal, take the following precautions:

  1. Park your Ford Ranger on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
  2. Chock the front wheels to prevent the vehicle from rolling.
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable to avoid any electrical hazards.
  4. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses.
  5. Ensure the work area is well-lit and free of any obstacles or clutter.

By following these safety guidelines, you can minimize the risk of injury and ensure a successful and safe rear axle removal.

Step 1: Preparing the Vehicle

  1. Locate the rear axle assembly on your Ford Ranger, typically located beneath the vehicle, near the rear wheels.
  2. Raise the vehicle using the jack and securely place it on jack stands. Ensure that the vehicle is stable and secure before proceeding.
  3. Locate and disengage the parking brake to allow easier access to the rear axle components.

Step 2: Removing the Wheel and Brake Assembly

  1. Remove the lug nuts from the rear wheel using the lug wrench or socket set.
  2. Carefully remove the rear wheel from the vehicle.
  3. Remove the mounting bolts and disconnect the brake calliper. Secure the calliper out of the way, taking care not to strain the brake line.
  4. Remove the brake rotor by pulling it straight off the hub.

Step 3: Disconnecting the Drive Shaft

  1. Locate the drive shaft connection at the rear differential.
  2. Using the appropriate tools, disconnect the drive shaft from the rear differential.
  3. Carefully lower the drive shaft and set it aside, ensuring it is not strained or damaged.

Step 4: Removing the Differential Cover

  1. Locate the differential cover, which is typically secured with several bolts.
  2. Using the appropriate tools, remove the bolts and carefully pry off the differential cover.
  3. Drain the differential fluid into the drain pan.

Step 5: Removing the Axle Shafts

  1. Identify the axle shafts which connect the rear wheels to the differential.
  2. Using the appropriate tools, disconnect the axle shafts from the differential.
  3. Carefully remove the axle shafts from the vehicle, taking care not to damage the seals or bearings.

Step 6: Removing the Rear Axle Assembly

  1. Locate the rear axle assembly, typically secured to the vehicle’s frame or suspension components.
  2. Using the appropriate tools, disconnect the rear axle assembly from the vehicle.
  3. Carefully remove the rear axle assembly from the vehicle, taking care not to strain or damage any surrounding components.

Step 7: Inspecting and Replacing Any Damaged Parts

  1. Inspect the removed rear axle assembly for any signs of wear, damage, or defects.
  2. Identify any components that may need to be replaced, such as bearings, seals, or bushings.
  3. If necessary, order the appropriate replacement parts of the Ford Ranger and have them on hand before reinstalling.

Step 8: Installing the New Rear Axle Assembly

  1. Carefully position the new or repaired rear axle assembly into the vehicle, ensuring proper alignment with the mounting points.
  2. Secure the rear axle assembly to the vehicle using the appropriate fasteners and torque them to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  3. Double-check the installation to ensure that all components are properly aligned and tightened.

Step 9: Reassembling the Differential Cover

  1. Clean the differential cover and the mating surface on the rear axle housing.
  2. Apply a thin layer of the recommended sealant or gasket material to the cover.
  3. Carefully reinstall the differential cover, ensuring you tighten all bolts to the proper torque.
  4. Refill the differential with the appropriate type and quantity of fluid, as specified by the manufacturer.

Step 10: Reconnecting the Drive Shaft

  1. Carefully position the drive shaft and align it with the rear differential.
  2. Using the appropriate tools, reconnect the drive shaft to the rear differential.
  3. Ensure that the connection is secure and tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Step 11: Reinstalling the Wheel and Brake Assembly

  1. Reinstall the brake rotor onto the hub.
  2. Reconnect the brake calliper and secure it with the mounting bolts.
  3. Carefully place the rear wheel back onto the vehicle and hand-tighten the lug nuts.
  4. Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the lug nuts to the proper torque using the lug wrench or socket set.

Final Steps and Precautions

  1. Reconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Engage the parking brake and start the vehicle to ensure proper rear axle and drivetrain components operation.
  3. Double-check all connections and fasteners to ensure you have tightened them properly.
  4. Take the vehicle for a short test drive, watching for unusual noises or vibrations.
  5. If everything functions correctly, you have successfully completed the rear axle removal and reinstallation process.

Save Time and Money

Removing the rear axle on a Ford Ranger can be a complex task, but with the right tools, knowledge, and safety precautions, you can confidently accomplish it. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ve gained the necessary skills and understanding to tackle this project independently, saving time and money.

Remember, if you ever feel unsure or encounter difficulties, it’s always best to consult a professional mechanic at a Ford dealership to ensure the safety and integrity of your vehicle.

If you’re ready to remove the rear axle on your Ford Ranger, be sure to check out our high-quality tools and equipment to make the job easier. Visit our online store today and take the first step towards a successful rear axle removal project.