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Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Unlock the steering column so the linkage is free to move, then raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
Insert a drift through the brake caliper into one of the brake rotor vanes to prevent the drive axle from turning.
Remove the axle nut and washer from the hub end of the shaft. Hold the hub from turning and loosen the axle nut. Once the nut is loosened unthread it and remove the washer.
Remove the brake caliper and support it with a piece of wire to avoid damaging the brake hose. Remove the brake rotor.
Remove the ABS and brake line brackets from the top of the upper control arm.
Be careful when supporting the lower control arm that any components are damaged with the supporting device.
Place a jackstand or jack under the lower control arm.
Separate the axle shaft from the hub by placing a block of wood against the outer edge of the axle (to protect the threads), then strike the block of wood sharply with a hammer. Do not remove the axle at this time.
Remove the cotter pin and retainer, then loosen and remove the upper ball joint stud nut away from the knuckle. Tip the knuckle out and toward the rear of the vehicle. Suspend the knuckle from the upper control arm or frame in order to prevent straining and damaging the brake line.
Remove the lower shock absorber retainers, then compress the shock and secure it out of the way using safety wire.
Once the lower ball joint is separated from the knuckle, simultaneously push the axle shaft in towards the differential to allow room for the knuckle and assembly to be removed.
Remove the cotter pin and retainer, then loosen and remove the lower ball joint stud nut away from the knuckle.
Lower the safety stand or jack at the lower control arm to relieve pressure on the torsion bar, then separate the axle from the knuckle.
Remove the differential carrier shield, being very careful not to damage the axle seal.
To remove the shaft from the differential carrier, place a block of wood or a brass drift against the tripot housing, then strike it outwards using a hammer. You will have to hit it hard enough to overcome the snapring pressure retaining it.
Support the drive axle, then pull the axle straight out from the carrier being careful not to tear the boot.
It is essential that the differential carrier and axle seals are not lubricated or damaged during installation. Prior to shaft installation, cover the shock mounting bracket, lower control arm ball stud and ALL other sharp edges with a cloth or rag to help protect the boot.
Install the axle into the carrier. With both hands on the tripot housing, align the splines on the shaft with the carrier. Then center the axle into the carrier seal and push the shaft straight into the carrier until the snapring is properly seated.
Raise the lower control arm using a jackstand or jack until the full weight of the arm is supported.
It is necessary to slightly start the knuckle onto the axle while at the same time guiding the lower ball joint into position on the knuckle.
Install the lower ball joint, the lower shock absorber and the upper ball joint.
Install the axle washer and nut. Tighten the nut to 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
Attach the ABS and brake line brackets to the top of the upper control arm.
Install the caliper and rotor
Install the tire and wheel assembly.
Install the differential carrier shield.
Remove the jackstands and lower the vehicle.
See Figures 9 through 19
Fig. 9: Exploded view of the drive axle and CV-joints
Fig. 10: Aligning the cage windows with the outer race lands so the cage (and inner race) may be removed
Fig. 11: Rotating the inner race up and out of the cage
Fig. 12: Small retaining clamp installation and ear dimension
Fig. 13: Large retaining clamp installation and ear dimension-outer joint shown (inner joint uses same dimension)
Fig. 14: Before removal check the CV-boot for wear or damage
Fig. 15: In most cases, use a pair of side cutters to release clamp tension-inner band shown
Fig. 16: Remove the outer band from the CV-boot once the clamp tension has been released
Fig. 17: Clean the CV-joint housing prior to removing the boot, but be careful not to damage the boot
Fig. 18: With the clamps removed, carefully pull the CV-boot from the joint housing
Fig. 19: Pull the housing from the spider and shaft assembly-inner joint shown
Remove the drive axle from the vehicle.
Place the axle in a vise using a protective covering on the vise jaws to prevent axle damage.
Cut and remove the CV-boot retaining clamps. If the boot is not being replaced, use care not to cut or damage the boot.
Some vehicles are equipped with a swage ring. In order to remove the ring, use a hand grinder to cut through the ring. Take care not to damage the outer race while cutting the swage ring free.
Once the clamps are removed, reposition the boot and wipe the grease away in order to locate the snapring.
Remove the snapring using a suitable pair of snapring pliers, such as J-8059 or equivalent.
Remove the joint assembly from the axle shaft.
Using a brass drift and hammer, tap the cage until it tilts sufficiently to remove the first ball, remove the remaining balls in the same manner.
Pivot the cage so the inner race is 90 degrees to the centerline of the outer race, then align the cage windows with the outer race lands and lift the cage (along with the inner race) from the outer race. Please refer to the illustration for clarification.
Rotate the inner race up and out of the cage.
Thoroughly clean all parts in an approved solvent, then check for wear or damage and replaces, as necessary.
Apply a suitable grease to the ball grooves of the inner and outer races.
Install the inner race to the cage by inserting and rotating.
Align the cage windows with the outer race lands, then install the cage (along with the inner race) to the outer race. Make sure the retaining ring side of the inner race faces outward.
Use the brass drift to tap the cage to a tilted position, then install the balls.
Pack the joint using a suitable grease.
Position the small boot clamp onto the outboard boot, then install the boot the axle shaft. Tighten the small clamp securely using a suitable clamp tool such as J-35910 or equivalent. If the tool has a torque wrench fitting, secure the clamp using 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm) of torque.
Check the clamp ear gap dimension (distance that the inner bends of the crimp should be from each other), it should be a maximum of 0.085 in. (2.15mm). Please refer to the illustration for clarification.
Install the joint assembly to the shaft and secure using the snapring. Pack the boot and outer joint assembly with the premeasured amount of the grease supplied with the service kit, then snap the boot onto the outer joint assembly and manipulate it to remove excess air.
Install the large retaining clamp using the clamp tool and torque wrench. Secure the clamp using 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm) of torque. Again, check the clamp ear dimension, it should be a maximum of 0.102 in. (2.60mm)
Install the drive axle to the vehicle.
See Figures 20 through 27
Fig. 20: Snapring and spider removal
Fig. 21: Proper inboard boot and housing positioning
Fig. 22: On the inner CV-joint, be careful not to loose the spider assembly components
Fig. 23: Remove the CV-joint housing and check for wear or damage
Fig. 24: With the spacer and spider pushed back, grasp the snapring using a pair of snapring pliers
Fig. 25: Remove the snapring from the shaft so the spider assembly may be removed
Fig. 26: With the snapring removed, the spider is free to be pulled from the shaft
Fig. 27: If necessary, remove the spacer ring from the shaft
Remove the axle shaft with spider assembly from the housing.
Handle the spider assembly with care. The tripot needle rollers may separate from the spider trunnions.
Grasp the space ring using J-8059, or an equivalent pair of snapring pliers, then slide the ring back on the axle shaft in order to provide clearance to move the spider assembly.
Move the spider assembly back on the shaft in order to expose the retaining snapring.
Remove the spider assembly.
Thoroughly clean all grease from the housing. Check for rust at the boot mounting grooves, if found remove with a wire brush.
Install the small boot clamp and inboard boot to the axle shaft.
If the spacer ring was removed, make sure it is positioned up on the shaft leaving room for spider and snapring installation.
Install the spider assembly to the axle shaft, making sure the snapring counterbore faces the housing end of the axle.
Install the snapring to the shaft, then properly position the spider and space ring.
Position the small boot clamp and tighten securely using a suitable clamp tool such as J-35910 or equivalent. If the tool has a torque wrench fitting, secure the clamp using 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm) of torque.
Repack the housing using about half of the premeasured grease supplied with the service kit, then place the remainder of grease in the boot. Coat the inside of the boot sealing lips with grease.
Make sure the joint/boot are assembled to the proper dimension of 6 1/4 in. (160mm) between the clamps. Please refer to the illustration for clarification.
Install the large retaining clamp using the clamp tool and torque wrench. Secure the clamp using 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm) of torque. Again, check the clamp ear dimension, it should be a maximum of 0.102 in. (2.60mm).