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Home / Articles / Columnists / Happy Motoring /  Planning on doing a repair on my own vehicle
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Monday, March 7,2011

Planning on doing a repair on my own vehicle

By Teresa Aquila  

Planning on doing a repair on my own vehicle

I recently assisted a customer in replacing the rear axle seals on a 2006 Chrysler 300. This is a rear wheel drive vehicle for those of you who are not familiar with this particular automobile with Rear CV Joints. The seals on the Third member tend to leak and must be replaced or it will cause the rear end to fail due to loss of gear oil.

A friend and customer of mine who is the proud owner of one, felt this repair was something he could master. Before he began, he jacked up the vehicle to take a look to make sure he had the right tools on hand. After one look under the car, he knew it was not a job to be done on the ground. So he showed up at the shop looking for a helping hand. Since I teach auto repair part time, I thought that this would be a great lesson for him to learn, so that he can understand just what is really needed to complete such a job.

I put the car on the lift and we examined the process needed to remove the rear end. First off, make sure the emergency brake is off, exhaust is cool and you have a few hours to spare. The entire exhaust must be removed from the exhaust manifold back. Then you begin loosening all necessary nuts, remove rear wheels, and driveline. You will need a jack similar to a transmission jack to lower the rear end in order to slowly remove it. The bolts that secure the rear end are not exactly easily accessed. They are recessed so you will need the right tool. A short socket and ratchet will work. I guarantee that in this job, Four hands are definitely better than Two. Once you have the rear end out, you tap the rear axle to disconnect it from the rear end. Like on this one, it wasn’t that easy, but we managed to remove it.

The new seals were installed with care not to damage them and then install the rear end in the reverse process. Make sure not to forget to install new gear oil specific for this vehicle. Five hours after we began, it was finished. My student had grease from head to toe and very eager to go home. Before he left showing great exhaustion, he expressed that it was a great experience, but next time, I will let you do it. So if you plan on doing a repair on your own vehicle, which I encourage, make sure it is manageable with what you have available to you. Otherwise, you will be calling your mechanic to finish it. Like he did.


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