Changing axles

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Changing axles

Post by therealani »

Changing axles

here's one i wrote on changing axles! (due to CV joint issues)

the change is really not that hard. i am by no means a teenage mechanic (yet).. i've done my brakes and swapped my belts and so on but no motor swaps or anything yet.

things you'll need:

-replacement axle (apparently you can get them from autozone for $60 with a waranty.. i got mine from napa for a few dollars more and i don't think it has waranty)
- 1/2" drive torque wrench that can do 134 ft-lbs.
-1/2" drive breaker bar of sorts
-32mm axle nut socket
-something to remove the lower control arm's cotter pin (i used pliers .. you do get cotter pin pullers apparently but i have no idea what they look like)
-set of sockets (i think i mostly used 12 14 and 17mm but not sure)
-big flathead screw driver
-pan for draining tranny fluid
-a brain (although i hope my step-by-step is clear enough Wink )

here's what you do:

-break lugs loose and jack car up on stands to remove wheel
-loosen axle nut (definitely the hardest part) i broke it loose while the car was on its own weight which helped a lot but afterwards i read that you're not supposed to do that so while the car is firm on jack stands have someone push hard on the brakes while you pretty much jump (don't really jump) on the breaker bar or hang on an extension for it until it comes loose or if you have the luxury of impact tools then feel free
-disassemble the brakes (not going into detail, its not very difficult)
-remove that sway bar connection from the lower control arm (reason for this is because it gets in the way when you try to pull the axle out.. some people completely remove the lower control arm but i found this easier)
-get the lower control arm loose from the wheel hub (there's a cotter pin at the balljoint)
-once you have the pin and crown nut off then it probably still won't budge, what i did was take my scissor jack and applied light pressure to the treaded piece connected to the hub and it popped right out.
-at this point the entire hub assembly is loose so swing it out to the side once you've pulled it out of the axle
-now you have a choice, drain all the tranny fluid or have the pan ready so when you pull the shaft out then you can catch the fluid there (the second was easier for me and i had to fill back up with less fluid than i would have if i drained all of it.. oh and i have an automatic)
-get the big flathead screwdrives in the little space between the diff. housing and cv joint housing and sort of gently "pry" it out.. at this point the fluid will come out if there is any
-now you can pull the axle out through the suspension fork
-grease up the splines on the new unit and stick it in the way you pulled the old one out!
-make sure it is the same length and has a little spring clip on the side that goes into the diff.
-push it in so that it looks just like the old one did before you yanked it and make sure you can't pull it loose with your hands (the spring clip is where it needs to be)
-re-install the wheel hub assm.
-put brakes back on
-if you disconnected brake lines which you probably had to then you'll have to bleed them.. its not difficult at all, you can ask anybody or look in the service manual if you're not sure
-re-connect the sway bar to the LCA
-inspect everything to make sure it all looks just like it did before you started
-put axle nut on with threadlock and torque it to 134 ft-lbs while someone is on the brakes
-knock in the axle nut, there's a little gap on the end of the axle where you punch the ridge of the nut until it pretty well fills that gap so its not going anywhere
-wait a little for threadlock to dry
-put wheels on and snug lugs
-lower car and torque lugs (not super important, i used 80 ft-lbs.)
-drive, start off slow and wiggle the steering, come back and make sure the nut hasn't moved at all (you would have heard a noise if it had) slowly start driving like normal, but constantly checking that axle nut.

.... if anything slips or messes up then i'd suggest you take it somewhere like napa to have the work looked at, they definitely won't charge you the full $275 that they (napa) would for the whole job, just have them make sure the nut is on there right. :wink:
89 DX sedan:
-Si tranny
-CRX swirlies (rattled black)
-rear DA sway bar
-removed p/s and A/C,9489.0.html

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Re: Changing axles

Post by zigram »


Im pretty new to this forum.
I have a quick question ...
The car model is a 1989 civic.
Is there any way to determine without disassembly- the number of spline in my half shaft?


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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:30 am

Re: Changing axles

Post by zloetakoe »

I've done both axles on my 88 sedan lx and this write up was dead on.

Here's a tip if you're having a problem (like I was) with putting the castle nut back on the lower ball joint because it spins. Grab a C-Clamp and compress the assembly at the control arm and hub assembly. The bolt that the castle nut goes on is tapered and if you can just apply a little pressure it won't spin. I tried having someone stand on the wheel studs, tried using a jack to push control arm UP, but nothing was working. As soon as I used the C-clamp it went together like a dream. Would have saved me about 45 minutes if I had done it earlier.

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Changing axles

Post by DavidSonse »

Check HASPORT or Raxles. I believe there may be another company that makes/made some swap axles as well.


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