Ford Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
See Figures 20 through 24
Before continuing with any halfshaft procedure, make sure to have available, new halfshaft retaining nuts and circlips. Once removed, these parts lose their torque holding ability or retention capability and must not be reused.
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
With the vehicle sitting on the ground, carefully raise the staked portion of the halfshaft retaining nut using a suitable small chisel. Loosen the nut.
Raise and safely support the vehicle.
Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
Remove and discard the halfshaft retaining nut.
Remove the cotter pin and nut from the tie rod end, then separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using a suitable removal tool. Discard the cotter pin.
On 1998-99 models, refer to the accompanying illustration and remove the stabilizer bar link as follows:
Unfasten the stabilizer bar end nut (1) and bolt (2).
Remove the stabilizer bar end retainer (3).
Remove the end bushing (4) above the stabilizer bar.
Remove the end bushing (5) below the stabilizer bar.
Remove the stabilizer bar spacer (6).
Remove the stabilizer bar end bushings from above (7) and below (8) the sub-frame
Remove the lower stabilizer bar end retainer (9).
Remove the stabilizer bar.
Fig. 20: Exploded view of the stabilizer bar link assembly-1998-99 models
Remove the ball joint bolt and nut. Carefully pry down on the lower control arm to separate the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle.
Pull outward on the steering knuckle/brake assembly. Carefully pull the halfshaft from the hub and position it aside.
Removal of the left side halfshaft requires removal of the crossmember to allow access with a prybar.
Support the transaxle with a suitable transaxle jack.
Unfasten the four transaxle crossmember retainers and remove the crossmember.
If removing the right side halfshaft, remove the right-hand shield and splash shield.
Position a drain pan under the transaxle.
Remove the left-hand halfshaft on 1997-99 models and the right-hand halfshaft on 1997 models as follows:
Insert a prybar between the halfshaft and the transaxle case. Gently pry outward to release the halfshaft from the differential side gear. Be careful not to damage the transaxle case, oil seal, CV-joint or CV-joint boot.
Remove the halfshaft.
On 1998-99 models, remove the right-hand halfshaft as follows:
On models with a manual transaxle, unfasten the center support bearing bolts.
Lower the halfshaft and remove it from the transaxle.
Seperate the halfshaft from the center support bearing and remove the halfshaft from the vehicle.
Inspect the center support bearing for damage and replace as necessary.
Fig. 21: On 1998-99 models with a manual transaxle, unfasten the center support bearing bolts
Fig. 22: Separate the halfshaft from the center support bearing, and remove the halfshaft from the vehicle-1998-99 models with a manual transaxle
Install suitable plugs after removing the halfshafts to prevent the differential side gears from moving out of place. Should the gears become misaligned, the differential will have to be removed from the transaxle to align the gears.
Fig. 23: Install a new circlip on the inner CV-joint spline, so that the circlip gap is at the top
Position a new circlip on the inner CV-joint spline so the circlip gap is at the top. Lubricate the splines lightly with a suitable grease.
Remove the plugs that were installed in the differential side gears.
On all models except 1998-99 models wit a manual transaxle, position the halfshaft so the CV-joint splines are aligned with the differential side gear splines. Push the halfshaft into the differential.
When seated properly, the circlip can be felt snapping into the differential side gear groove.
Install the right-hand halfshaft on 1998-99 models with a manual transaxle as follows:
Position the halfshaft and joint so that the splines line up with the splines in the halfshaft, and push the halfshaft, joint and halfshaft together with the center support bearing.
Install the halfshaft in the transaxle.
Place the center support bearing into position and tighten it retaining bolts to 32-46 ft. lbs. (46-62 Nm).
Install the right-hand shield and splash shield.
Pull outward on the steering knuckle/brake assembly and insert the halfshaft into the hub.
Pry downward on the lower control arm and position the lower ball joint stud in the steering knuckle.
Install the crossmember and the crossmember-to-frame bolts. Tighten the bolts to 69-93 ft. lbs. (94-126 Nm).
Remove the transaxle jack.
Install the steering knuckle and ball joint nut and bolt. Tighten the nut and bolt to 32-43 ft. lbs. (43-59 Nm).
On 1998-99 models, install the stabilizer bar link in reverse order of removal and tighten the bar end nut until the protruding bar end bolt length is 0.67-75 inch (17-19mm).
Fig. 24: Install the stabilizer bar link and tighten the nut until the protruding end bolt length is within specification
Install the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. Install the nut and tighten to 25-33 ft. lbs. (34-46 Nm) on 1997 models and 32-41 ft. lbs. (43-56 Nm) on 1998-99 models. Install a new cotter pin.
Install the wheel and tire assembly.
Install a new halfshaft retaining nut and tighten to 174-235 ft. lbs. (235-319 Nm). Stake the halfshaft retaining nut using a suitable chisel with a rounded cutting edge.
If the nut splits or cracks after staking, replace it with a new nut.
Check and refill the transaxle with the proper type and quantity of fluid.
Connect the negative battery cable.
Road test the vehicle and check for proper operation.