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Step by step process to remove the rear axles in a 1977 cadillac coupe deville

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  • cleonryland Sep 29, 2009

    Thanks for the information but do you have any pictures of the process? and/or the car parts?


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Two types of axles are used on these models, the C and the non-C type. Axle shafts in the C type are retained by C-shaped locks, which fit grooves at the inner end of the shaft. Axle shafts in the non-C type are retained by the brake backing plate, which is bolted to the axle housing. Bearings in the C type axle consist on an outer race, bearing rollers, and a roller cage retained by snaprings. The non-C type axle uses a unit roller bearing (inner race, rollers, and outer race), which is pressed onto the shaft up to a shoulder. When servicing C or non-C type axles, it is imperative to determine the axle type before attempting any service. Before attempting any service to the drive axle or axle shafts, remove the axle carrier cover and visually determine if the axle shafts are retained by C-shaped locks at the inner end, or by the brake backing plate at the outer end.


CAUTION Brake shoes may contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.
Non C-Lock Type
See Figures 2 and 3
Design allows for maximum axle shaft end-play of 0.022 in. (0.056mm), which can be measured with a dial indicator. If end-play is found to be excessive, the bearing should be replaced. Shimming the bearing is not recommended as this ignores end-play of the bearing itself and could result in improper seating of the bearing.

  1. Remove the wheel, tire and brake drum.
  2. Remove the nuts holding the retainer plate to the backing plate. Disconnect the brake line.
  3. Remove the retainer and install nuts, finger-tight, to prevent the brake backing plate from being dislodged.
  4. Pull out the axle shaft and bearing assembly, using a slide hammer.
  5. Using a chisel, nick the bearing retainer in three or four places. The retainer does not have to be cut, merely collapsed sufficiently, to allow the bearing retainer to be slid from the shaft.
  6. Press off the bearing and install the new one by pressing it into position.
  7. Press on the new retainer.

Do not attempt to press the bearing and the retainer on at the same time.
  1. Assemble the shaft and bearing in the housing being sure that the bearing is seated properly in the housing.
  2. Install the retainer, drum, wheel and tire. Bleed the brakes.
C-Lock Type

  1. Raise the vehicle and remove the wheels.
  2. If not done already, remove the differential cover.
  3. Remove the differential pinion shaft lock-screw and the differential pinion shaft.
  4. Push the flanged end of the axle shaft toward the center of the vehicle and remove the C-lock from the end of the shaft.
  5. Remove the axle shaft from the housing, being careful not to damage the oil seal.
  6. If necessary, remove the oil seal by inserting the button end of the axle shaft behind the steel case of the oil seal. Pry the seal loose from the bore.
  7. Seat the legs of the bearing puller behind the bearing. Seat a washer against the bearing and hold it in place with a nut. Use a slide hammer to pull the bearing.
  8. Pack the cavity between the seal lips with wheel bearing lubricant and lubricate a new wheel bearing with same.
  9. Use a suitable driver and install the bearing until it bottoms against the tube. Install the oil seal.
  10. Slide the axle shaft into place. Be sure that the splines on the shaft do not damage the oil seal. Make sure that the splines engage the differential side gear.
  11. Install the axle shaft C-lock on the inner end of the axle shaft and push the shaft outward so that the C-lock seats in the differential side gear counterbore.
  12. Position the differential pinion shaft through the case and pinions, aligning the hole in the case with the hole for the lockscrew.
  13. Use a new gasket and install the carrier cover. Be sure that the gasket surfaces are clean before installing the gasket and cover.
  14. Fill the axle with lubricant at the bottom of the filler hole.
  15. Install the brake drum and wheel, then lower the car. Check for leaks and road test the car.
Thanks for using FixYa!

Posted on Sep 29, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 Sep 29, 2009

    sure... let me prepare it for you.

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 Sep 29, 2009

    Axle Shaft Cross Section

    Cutting the Bearing Retainer (non c-type)

    Removing the Axle Shaft.


    Installing Axle Bearing

    Installing Axel Seal

    Cleaning the Rear Differential Cover

    Removing the rear differential cover bolts

    Removing the Rear Differential related brackets

    Draining the rear differential assembly

    Removing the Rear Differential Cover

    View of the rear differential assembly

    Removing the rear differential pinion shaft lock screw


  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 Sep 29, 2009

    View of the rear differential pinion shaft lock screw

    Removing the rear differential pinion shaft

    Removing the C Lock from the end of the axle shaft

    Removing the Rear Axle Shaft

    Removing the rear axle shaft from the vehicle.

    Thanks for using FixYa!!

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 Sep 29, 2009

    See Figure 1

    1. Raise the car by the frame and place jackstands under the frame to support it safely. Place a support jack under the rear axle housing.

    2. Disconnect the shock absorbers from the axle.

    3. Mark the driveshaft and pinion yoke.

    4. Move the driveshaft and support it out of the way.

    5. Remove the brake line junction block bolt at the axle housing.

    6. Disconnect the brake lines at the junction block.

    7. Disconnect the upper control arms from the axle housing.

    8. Lower the rear axle assembly on the support jack.

    9. Remove the springs.

    10. Remove the rear wheels and drums.

    11. Remove the rear axle cover bolts and cover.

    12. Remove the axle shafts. Refer to the Axle Shaft removal and installation procedure.

    13. Disconnect the brake lines from the axle housing clips.

    14. Remove the backing plates.

    15. Disconnect the lower control arms from the axle housing and remove the axle housing.

    To install:

    1. Place the rear axle housing into position and install the upper and lower control arms. Tighten the lower control arm-to-axle nuts to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm) and the bolts to 125 ft. lbs. (169 Nm). Tighten the upper control arm-to-axle nuts to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm) and the bolts to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm).

    2. Install the backing plates.

    3. Position the brake lines under the axle housing clips.

    4. Install the axle shafts.

    5. Install the rear axle cover and cover bolts and torque to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).

    6. Install the drums and wheels.

    7. Raise the axle assembly on a support jack.

    8. Install the springs.

    9. Connect the brake lines at the junction block.

    10. Install the brake line junction block bolt at the axle housing.

    11. Install the driveshaft and tighten the strap bolts to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm).

    12. Install the shock absorbers to the axle housing.

    13. Fill with axle lubricant to a level flush with or within 1 / 4 in. (6.35mm) of the filler hole.

    14. Bleed the hydraulic brake system.

    15. Lower the car.

    Figure 1


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