1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2018.10.20 - Leo Kahng

1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2018.10.20

It's been a little while, but time to get back to restoration. Today, I've decided to wire wheel the rear axle with the angle grinder. I am stunned by how much dust and debris this procedure produced! I thought I was being careful by placing the axle a good 5 feet outside the garage. Well, the action created so much fine red dust that everything in the garage was coated with it.

I am so glad that I decided to wear the respirator before doing this job!

So glad I decided to wear this respirator! The amount of fine dust created from wire wheeling the axles was ridiculous and would surely be in my lungs otherwise.

The Forney wire wheels are very effective and made quick work of the AMC 20 rear axle. Combined with the wire end brushes for my die grinder, I think I hit almost every surface, but I'm sure it will need another pass or two to get everything right for rust sealing and top coat.

Pretty good results after some wire wheeling.

After wire wheeling the rear axle, I decided to remove the axle shafts. From what I'd read, I just needed to undo 4 bolts on each side and use a slide hammer attached to the lug bolts to knock the axles out.

Well, the first issue was that the adapter for the slide hammer would not fit over the hub.

Not nearly enough clearance to engage the lug bolts.

The only other option for me was to use the gear puller attachment. Now these are essentially puller jaws that are attached to the slide hammer, but one has to hold the jaws on whatever they are pulling against. This is very difficult when hammering away and trying to make sure that you have ample purchase, and can exert enough force on the slide hammer to  make progress.

Next best thing - very challenging, but it got the job done.

One side took only 3 hits to release the axle shaft. The other took what seemed like 300 strikes to get the shaft free. Between my strained forearm and my support hand starting to cramp from holding the puller jaws and trying to make sure they stayed on target, I almost gave up. The level of effort it was taking was discouraging and for a while it seemed like there was no progress at all no matter how hard I slid the hammer. In the end, persistence paid off and the axle broke free. Thanks, Tim! Really appreciate you loaning me this essential tool!

A pair of disassembled rear axles - yay!

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