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Changing your axle (passenger side shown)

Thought I would post a quick reference for those that wonder about changing axles. There's a few different ways, but this is what I consider the quickest way (as usual the normal disclaimers apply. If you're an idiot, don't blame me. If something breaks, not my fault. If you hurt yourself falling down, not my liability. Blah, blah, blah. I'm just telling you how I do it)

First you may want to unlock your steering column. It will make this job that much easier.

Then, you may want to loosen up the axle nut before you put the car up. To do so, you may need to take the center cap out of your wheel (basically you need access to the axle nut). Before you take off the nut, you will need to remove the cotter pin that goes through the castle nut. I don?t use one on the race cars, but here is a pic of the end of the axle where the pin goes through;


You will need to straighten out and then pull out the cotter pin (I use dykes or channel locks for this normally).

After you remove the cotter pin, you can loosen up the axle nut. I use air to get it off, so I generally skip this step (though sometimes the air will not get it and I revert back to this step). Stick a 32mm socket on her and a breaker bar (I'm showing this on the driver's side because I have the center cap out already);


Sometimes you will need to literally stand on it to get her loose;


You may even need to get a bigger pole that slides over the breaker bar (I couldn?t find mine, so I could not take a pic), so that you could have more leverage by extending the length of the bar.

After she is broken, you can put her up in the air (using jackstands etc.) and remove the tire.

Now you can take the tranny fluid out. Unscrew the drain bolt;


You will get a couple of quarts of fluid out (the capacity is 2.1 quarts). I generally don't do this step. I just pop the axles with a container below to catch what runs out when you get the axle out. Your choice.

Now your ready to pull out the axles. First take off the axle nut;


Again, I use air for this;


Then you need to go under the hub assembly and pull out the two bolts that hold the lower control arm in place (they are 17mm on each side)

The one right under the front hub;


and the one right next to the oil filter.



Slide bolts out and pull down arm. It?ll look like this;


Now you can slide the outer axle spline out of the wheel hub;


It may be a little tough to pull through. You may even have to put the castle nut partially back on (to save the threads) and give her some sharp raps to get the spline moving (don?t start wailing away. You don?t really want to screw up the castle nut ? unless you got another one).

This can be a sticking point at times. Depending on the situation, it can be as easy as pushing it through or as hard as having to pull off the hub and use a press to get it out (that is an extreme situation that I have only run into once). PB Blaster or WD is your friend here. Feel free to use it liberally (just be sure to clean it off you brake disc).

Once you get the axle spline out, you can swing the hub out of the way. Didn't take a pic of that at that time, so I will show you with the inner axle already out;


Now you?re ready to go to the inner spline. There?s a few ways to do this and everybody seems to have their favorite. What you are doing is trying to ?pop? the axle out using leverage to get the inner spring on the axle to collapse inside and let the axle slide out. I generally use big screw driver;


But be careful that you are not leveraging against the axle seal.

Though some use the crescent wrench method;


I didn?t have a wrench big enough but the idea is to slide the open end around the axle and between the hub and the tranny. Then you would use that as your lever.

Some use pry bars, some use wonder bars, some use giant 3 foot screw drivers and some even use a slide bar. Whatever method you use, know that you have no bolt of any kind here. You are just overcoming the spring tension.

It should look something like this when it is ?popped?


Now work the axle out of the car;


And start your re-install of the new axle (or the old axle, depending on what you are doing)

Slide the axle back in and line her up again;


Just give it a slight twist back and forth and you will feel when the splines line up. At that point, give her a sharp push in and you will feel when the axle seats itself.

I forgot to get a pic of this, but the shoulder will be partially in the seal when it has popped in.

Now go to the outer end of the axle. You should put some kind of grease on the outer spline. It will help you get the axle out later. Plus there is slight movement in this area, so where there is metal on metal, you should have some kind of grease/fluid. I use white moly;


Slip her back in and get the nut (and washer) started and align the lower control arm back in place. Run bolts back in and tighten. Now tighten down the axle nut the torque is 146 to 188. But I just use the air. I?ve never had one back off.

Really important here is the cotter pin information. You will need to put your cotter pin back in. To do that the hole will have to align with the castle nut opening. Never back off the nut to get the hole to line up. Always go tighter until the hole lines up enough to get the pin in there.

Now slip your tire on, pull your jackstands and you are good to go. If you are doing the driver side, it is the same process.


written by bullettdsm


Document statistics: Last modified on 2009-05-10 19:11:06 by

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