Two weeks ago I was removing the rear axles from the differential and had trouble getting the left axle free–it was stuck in place. I learned a trick from Dave Kaplan on the forums at 311s.org that solved that problem. Here is the stubborn axle in place. I tapped it with a rubber mallet to no avail. A slide-hammer should work, but I didn’t have one on hand.
So what I did was this: replace the brake drum on the hub, only put it on in reverse (inside-out if that helps). Then put the lug nuts on and tighten them down only a couple of turns.
What I don’t have a picture of, because I had to use both hands and therefore put the camera down, is what I did next: grab the drum at three and six o’clock and push it in and then pull it back out so it taps against the lugs. Repeat a few times and it is a homemade slide-hammer. After just a few pulls the stubborn axle came right out.
Here are shots of the inner axle backer plate with the wheel bearing and collar and the differential’s axle housing, which still holds the inner oil seal inside.