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How to Change the Axles on a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle

The 1970 Chevy Chevelle is a classic muscle car often modified to add extra horsepower for racing. Weather you want to set your Chevelle up for racing or you want to restore it, swapping the axles out for upgraded models will help you keep the power in that small block engine connected to the ground. Since you have to open the rear differential of the Chevelle, completing this job requires a basic understanding of automotive repair.

Tools Used: Tire iron, Jack, Jack stands, Socket set, Wire ties, Screwdriver, Drain pan, Telescoping magnet, Scraper, Gasket, Gear oil

Replace the Brake Pads

Loosen the lug nuts on both rear wheels using the tire iron supplied with the Chevelle. Place a jack under the rear differential and jack up the Chevelle until you can place jack stands under each end of the rear axle housing. Lower the Chevelle onto the jack stands.

Remove the lug nuts and take the wheels off the rear of the Chevelle.

Remove the bolts that secure the driver's side brake caliper onto the axle housing assembly using a socket and ratchet. Pull the caliper off the rotor and hang it from the rear shock using a wire tie. Repeat this process on the passenger side caliper.

Pry the splined lock washer off the wheel stud on each side of the Chevelle and then pull the rotors off the vehicle.

Remove the bolts that secure the rear differential cover onto the housing using a socket and ratchet. Pry the bottom half of the cover off to drain the gear oil into a drain pan. Once the oil drains, pry the rest of the cover off using a screwdriver.

Push the driver's side axle inward to expose the C-clamp secured to the axle inside the differential housing. Pull the C-Clip off the axle using a telescoping magnet. Repeat this process with the passenger side axle.

Pull both axles out of the axle housing and then slide the new axles into the housing until the splined ends of the axle shafts slide into the differential.

Secure the axles in place with the C-clamps using the telescoping magnet to slide them into place. Clean the old gasket material off the differential housing and differential cover using a scraper and shop towels.

Place the gasket onto the differential cover and secure the cover to the differential housing using the bolts, socket and ratchet.

Locate the filler hole on the top of the differential housing and remove the plug from the hole using a socket. Drain gear oil into the filler hole until oil seeps out of the hole. Insert the plug and tighten it using the ratchet.

Place the rotors back onto the axle hubs and secure them with the splined lock washers. Place the calipers back onto the rotors and secure them using the bolts, socket and ratchet.

Place the wheels back onto the wheel hubs, thread the lug nuts onto the studs and tighten them using the tire iron.

Raise the Chevelle, remove the jack stands and lower the car to the ground. Check the lug nuts for tightness. Turn the car on and press on the brake pedal to seat the brake pads against the rotors.

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