1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2019.12.15

Today's project involved assembling the rear 1-piece axles from the Yukon Gear conversion kit for the AMC 20 rear end. A known weakness of the stock axles is their 2-piece design where the hubs are attached to the axle shafts with a press fit and a lock nut. Under enough load, this junction commonly breaks leaving the driver stranded and waiting to be towed. As you can imagine, this would be extremely troubling if it happened off-road deep in a canyon or some other place where it's very difficult to get a tow truck.

Packed the axle/wheel bearings with grease.

A look at both ends of the axle shaft - hub is integrated with the shaft, hence 1-piece. Hammered in the lug bolts.

Shots of the lug bolts.

I've been very sloppy about recording my progress and forgot to photograph the installation of the bearings. This kit requires the outer seal and drum brake backing plate to be installed before pressing on the bearing. This was a bit unsettling since installing the backing plate on the wrong axle, or backwards, will require you to destroy the bearings and press rings, essentially cutting them off to undo the whole process. Then, you'd have to get new bearings and press rings to do it over. Luckily I got it right the first time.

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