The Dana 28 axle assembly has been known to break under severe off-roading. Even the Dana 35 is prone to break under severe conditions, but is generally stronger than the Dana 28. If you plan on doing a lot of off-roading, you should know how to replace an axle shaft on the trail.

You can find a new axleshaft in a local salvage yard fairly reasonably. You should keep a spare driver and passenger side shaft assembly as well as a spare set of hubs with you when you’re on the trails.

This page has been written using Chilton’s and Hayes Ford Ranger manuals as references.

Removing the Wheels, Hubs & Spindles:

1)  Loosen the front wheel lug nuts.

2)  Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle. 

3)  Remove the lug nuts and wheel/tire assembly. 

4)  If equipped, remove the lug nut retainer washers from the wheel studs.

5)  Remove the manual locking hub assembly from the rotor by pulling straight outward.

6)  Remove the disc brake calipers and support the caliper on the vehicle’s frame rail. Remove the front brake calipers by removing the caliper retaining pin and slide off the caliper.  You will probably have to remove the pin by squeezing it with pliers to fit in the groove, and then driving it out with a punch and a hammer.  Hang the caliper out of the way with wire to avoid any strain on the brake line.

7)  Remove the locking hubs, wheel bearings & locknuts:

A)  Remove the retaining washers from the wheel stubs and remove the locking hub.

B)  Remove the snap ring, axle shaft spacer, and bearing spacer.

C)  Remove the lock nut with a (4) prong hub tool.

D)  Remove the inner wheel bearing lock nut and wheel bearing.

8)  Remove the nuts (15mm) retaining the spindle to the steering knuckle. Tap the spindle with a plastic or rawhide hammer to jar the spindle from the knuckle.

Removing The Shafts:

1)  Remove the left-hand side axle shaft by pulling the assembly out of the carrier and through the hole in the steering knuckle (spindle mount).

NOTE: The left-hand axle shaft is engaged inside of the front carrier assembly. Depending on how the truck is sitting (especially if it is not level), some fluid may leak out of the front carrier assembly. A small drip pan should can be placed underneath the front carrier as a precautionary measure.

2)  Remove the right-hand axle shaft by performing the following:

A)  Remove and discard the right front axle joint boot clamp from the outer axle assembly.

B)  Pull the right-hand axle shaft out of the axle joint boot and stub shaft and through the hole in the steering knuckle (spindle mount).

Replacing The Shafts:

1) Install the right-hand axle shaft as follows:

A) Ensure that the rubber boot is properly installed on the carrier stub shaft. Slide a new outer axle shaft boot clamp onto the rubber boot.

NOTE: The Dana 35 front axle does not use blind, or master, splines. Therefore, special attention should be made to ensure that the yoke ears are in line (in phase) during assembly. The Dana 28 splines will only fit one way.

B)  Slide the right axle shaft assemble through the hole in the steering knuckle, into the rubber boot and engage the splines of the stub shaft. Ensure the splines are fully engaged.

C)  Position the rubber boot and clamp onto the outer axle shaft and crimp the clamp securely on the rubber boot using Keystone Clamp Pliers T63P-9171-A.

2)  Install the left-hand axle shaft by sliding it through the hole in the steering knuckle and engaging it into the carrier. Ensure that the shaft is fully seated into the carrier and engage to the splines inside.

3)  Install the front disc brake rotor shield, spindle (make sure spindle bearing is greased and in good condition) and retaining nuts. Tighten the spindle nuts from 35-45 ft-lbs.

4)  Install the front brake rotors, bearings (make sure the bearings are greased and in good condition), locknuts, inner shaft spacer (looks like a splined thin washer) and snap ring.

5)  Install the hubs.

6)  Install the brake caliper and retaining pin

7) Install the wheel assembly.

8) Lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts to specification.

Dana 28 Part Numbers
Part #   Application Brand Description
SBK-2 Dana 28 Federal Mogul Axle hub and axle bearing and seal kit. (2) needed to do both sides.
8321 Dana 28 Federal Mogul Rotor Seals. (2) needed to do both sides.
W35-3543 Dana 28 Federal Mogul Right side Dana 28 differential to axle seal.
710065 Dana 28 Federal Mogul Left side Dana 28 differential to axle seal.
E3TZ-3249-A Dana 28 Ford Axle U joints. (3) needed to do both sides. See Note 1
Note 1 Some aftermarket U joints will not fit due to machining differences.

Removal Of Carrier And Slip Yoke:

1)  Jack up the vehicle, secure it on jack stands, and remove the front wheels.

2)  Remove the nuts and U-bolts connecting the driveshaft to the yoke.

3)  Remove the spindles and axle shafts as described above.

4)  Place a jack under the carrier. Remove the bolts securing the carrier to the support arm.  Separate the carrier from the support arm and drain the carrier.

5)  Rotate the slip yoke and shaft assembly so the open side of the snap ring is exposed.  Remove the snap ring from the shaft.

6)  Remove the slip yoke and shaft assembly from the carrier.

7)  Remove the oil seal and caged needle bearing.


1)  Clean and inspect the bearing bore.  Drive the bearing in until it’s fully seated in to the bore.

2)  Coat the oil seal with multi-purpose grease and drive it in to the carrier housing.

3)  Install the slip yoke and shaft assembly into the carrier so that the snap ring groove in the shaft is visible.

4)  Install the snap ring in the groove and make sure it is completely seated in the groove. 

5)  Clean all traces of gasket sealant from the mating surfaces with lacquer thinner or gasket remover.  Apply RTV sealant in a 1/4 inch wide bead.  The bead should be continuous and not pass through or outside the holes.

6)  Position the carrier on the transmission jack and install it in to position on the support arm.  Use the guide pins for alignment.  Install and tighten the bolts to 40-50 ft. lbs.

7)  Install the shear bolt securing the carrier to the axle arm and tighten to 75-95 ft. lbs.

8)  Install the shaft, joints, and spindles.

9)  Connect the driveshaft. Tighten the U-joint straps to 8-15 ft. lbs.

10)  Fill the carrier with Hypoid lubricant.  Trak-Lok limited slips add 4oz. of friction modifier.

11)  Install the front wheels.

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