Rear Axle removal | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Rear Axle removal

Dave A

August 3, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Milwaukee, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 XLT
Can someone provide the rear axle removal procedure? I have a ABS tone ring to replace.

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Do you need to take the axle out ?

I just did rear bearing, and I removed the knuckle, and I had the ring and axle exposed. But I am not sure if you need to pull the axle out of pumpkin.

If the axle needs to come out, then just follow the steps in the previous post, then use a 12" 1x1 piece of wood and a mini sledge to pop the axle out from the diff.

Here's a writeup I did on a rear locker install that covers also how to remove the axles:

Thanks!! Should go easy.

Ronin -

so if I had to remove the axle due to be CV joint, it would just pop out of the differential ? There is no C clip inside or anything ? If yes, then that's nice.


No's something called a circlip that sits in a groove on the end of the axle. Think of like a metal o-ring that's got a cut in it so it can compress into the groove it sits in when you pop it out of the diff. So yes, the axles will pop out once you get a good angle on them with a wooden stake and give it a solid hit with a mini-sledge.

the manual says to replace them when you take out the axles but I reused mine and it works fine.

So, does the axle also seals the axle opening in the pumkin ? Never done it before, so needs to drain the oil first ?

The old style seals (probably what you have) has a dust cup on the axle shaft itself and a rubber o-ring in the diff that keeps oil from leaking out of the pumpkin. The new style puts the seal in the pumpkin and then you don't need the dust cup on the axle shaft anymore but if you're not doing that then just be careful not to damage the rubber o-rings with the axle splines when you pull it out.

I am not sure you need to drain it before pulling axles....I don't think the fluid level is quite high enough to drain out of the axle holes. Might keep a drip pan handy in case you get a bit of spillage though.