Axles & Brakes



This is the back-breaking, dirty part of the project.  I first put both axles up on jack stands then strip them down to the axle tubes.  Depending on the condition (and these axles were good), I leave the differential and carrier in the housing.

I started by pulling the front hubs and drums.  Once again, I was pissed to find huge, non-stock, wheel cylinders.  Apparently the previous owner couldn't find the correct cylinders, so he enlarged to mounting holes (see photo below).  This effectively ruined all four backing plates!

Above you can see the correct wheel cylinder in the enlarged hole the previous owner made.  I will attempt to fix the holes, or buy four new backing plates.

To pull the rear drums, you WILL need a hub puller.  Don't be cheap on this and try to make a hub puller like me (see below).

My redneck hub puller is on the right


I think I spent more time making a puller than it did to pull both drums with the correct tool.  I bought my hub puller off Ebay for $60.  The instructions recommend using 5 legs for Jeep drums, but I was successful with 3.  After pounding on the puller for what seemed forever, the hubs finally popped off.

With most of the axle parts off, I cleaned and prepped them for a coat of POR-15.

Christmas came early today!  I received a bunch a parts that I ordered last week.  All new brakes, springs, shackles, and u-bolts.

The axles were cleaned and painted and received new bearings and seals.  They were then bolted up to the springs (see the axles meet frame section).  The shocks are vintage Gabriel shocks I found on Ebay.

Eugene was treated to all new tie rod ends and hardware!

My four new backing plates arrived in the mail and they were quickly clean and painted.  They were then bolted up with all new hardware.

Eugene then received all new brakes....

...and the cleaned, painted, and turned drums were bolted up.

Everything was repeated for the front.  Now is a good time to start running the new brake lines!

The hubs got a good cleaning and polishing and were installed along with brand new lug nuts.  Yes, even new lug nuts....I's a sickness!

My yellow lab Anna gets pissed that I spend more time in the garage than with her!  She will just lay there and glare at me.

Ever wonder what's actually inside that Ross steering box?  I opened mine and was glad I did.  One of the pins that follows the worm gear had worked itself loose.  I welded it back in and ground it down.

Here is a close up of the worm gear and you can see one of the pins that follows it.

Now it was time to install the brake master cylinder, pedal, and brake lines.  Once again, all new parts were used.

This is another angle showing the newly installed steering box and column.

Even the original clips were used to install the new brake lines.

I've seen brake lines run several ways on the rear axle, but this is how I chose to do it.

Here is a shot of the new "S" lines on the front axle.

After running the rear lines, I moved to the front.  Once again, all new lines were used and installed just the way the factory did it.  The only incorrect item is the type of hose clamp.

Here's a good shot showing the front end with the running of the brake lines over the pumpkin using original hardware.

Now was the moment of truth!  I bled the master cylinder by running two brake lines out of the front and back into the reservoir filled with fluid.  By gently pressing the brake pedal, this will purge the cylinder of air.  Then I bled the rest of the system.  All that's left is adjusting the brakes.