Removal of an Axle on a Dodge Dakota
Why Remove the Axle?
- There are several reasons to the replace the axle not the least of which is if the axle is damaged. Another reason is if the need for greater power involves installing a larger differential to handle the increase. Also, some Dodge Dakota owners just want to add special features to their pickup and install a more specialized axle for racing, show or better performance. Before a new axle can be installed, however, the old axle must obviously be removed.
Lift the Dakota
- Start by using the tire jack to lift the rear of the Dakota at least 12 inches. The higher you can raise it the better. Insert a jack stand to its maximum height under the Dakota's frame on that side of the truck. Lower the tire jack and then repeat the process on the opposite side. Both wheels are elevated. Next, use the lug wrench to remove the wheel bolts and remove both wheels.
- The drive shaft is connected to the differential with bolt. Remove this bolt and slip the drive shaft off its connection to the differential. You can remove the drive shaft if you want but it can just be lowered to rest on the ground.
- Before removing the axle insert under the differential an adjustable scissor tire jack (all newer automobiles use this type). Raise the jack to support the differential.
Remove all the fasteners and bolts securing the springs and shock absorbers. Some of these may be frozen with age and miles, You may need to knock them with the rubber mallet to free them.
Now remove all the brackets and fasteners along the length of the axle. The Dakota uses sturdy "U" brackets to secure the axle in place. Once removed the axle is free to remove. Lower the jack under the differential. If possible this is a three=person job: one to hold each end of the axle by the wheel hub and a third to lower the jack. Once the axle is lowered, carry it from beneath the Dakota.