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Automotive DIY: How to Use Your Solid Axle Conversion Kit

If you want to change the performance characteristics of your rear-wheel-drive vehicle's differential, then you should use a solid axle conversion kit in order to convert your standard axle into a positive traction differential or solid axle assembly with a solid axle conversion kit.

Difficulty Level: Hard

What You'll Need

  • Wheel bearing grease
  • Impact wrench
  • Air compressor and compressed air hose
  • Gloves and safety glasses
  • Rear differential cover gasket
  • Clean rags
  • Rolling floor creeper
  • Complete set of automotive tools and wrenches
  • Positive traction differential upgrade kit
  • Oil pan
  • Silicone gasket sealant
  • Hydraulic floor jack and jack stand
  • Suction pump (optional)
  • Torque wrench (optional)
  • Gear lube oil, 80-90 weight
  • Grease-cutting solvent

Step 1:Put on safety equipment, lift your car with your jack, and support the car on jack stands. This will allow you to access the vehicle with your creeper. Don't work on the automobile unless it's supported by a hydraulic lift or dependable jack stands.

Step 2:Remove the drain plug on the rear differential in order to drain all the fluid out by gravity. Use a suction pump and remove the liquid that way if the drain plug is above the oil level instead.

Step 3:Use the pan to catch the oil then dispose of it properly and safely at a local recycling center. From there, take off the differential cover by unscrewing the bolts around the cover's perimeter. Use the oil pan to catch any remaining oil that might spill out.

Step 4:Unbolt and take away the differential's accessible parts. There are internals that aren't accessible until the axles are removed first. Get the pieces that disconnect the rear axles and allow you to remove the axles.

Step 5:Afterwards, take off the rear wheels (both of them), axle bearings, axle nuts, and brake drums. Put the bearings and bearing cones into an accessible container or pan filled with grease-cutting solvent for safekeeping and cleanup.

Step 6:Put the brake parts in a safe storage place too. All of these parts will require reinstallation after differential conversion is achieved. Take off the axle retention rings then pull the axles in an outward fashion for about 6 to 12 inches.

Step 7:As for the rest of the remaining differential internals, unbolt them as well for the sake of removal. Unclip the pinion gear's retention ring that's connected to the driveshaft then remove the gear as well.

Step 8:This is the point where you install the new internals found on your solid axle conversion kit to upgrade your posi-traction. Put the axles back, and replace anything that's worn out, put in topnotch wheel-bearing grease before reinstalling the wheel bearings, brakes, and wheels.

Step 9:After bolting all parts into place, install a new rear differential gasket. Coat the gasket on both sides with silicone gasket material, then put back the differential cover. Don't over-torque the bolts as you're replacing them to keep them from snapping.

Step 10:After wrenching the bolts by factory specs, replace the drain plug, refill your differential with 80-90 weight gear lubrication, and then give your new and improved solid axle assembly a try by test driving your car.

Your solid axle assembly's positive traction differential allows your car's rear wheels to turn at different rates when you have to go around a corner. It's what provides your wheels with equal drive force to all of them and the least amount of resistance to boot.

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