1. remove center hub from spindle and break that bigass nut loose. don't take it
off, just break it loose. it's easiest when the car is on the ground, as the
wheels won't turn. I had to put a 3ft cheater bar on it and I STILL had to jump
on it to break mine loose. (the jackass at the shop who did my body work put it
together with an impact wrench)
2. block rear wheels,jack up car, and put on jack stands as to where you have
full access to the corner you're working on.
2 1/2. DRAIN YOUR TRANNY FLUID! if you don't, you'll regret it in about an
hour. (fairly self explanatory)
4. remove wheel, caliper and rotor. you can leave the caliper hanging, but be
sure not to kink or stress your brake cable much. it'd suck if you messed it up
and didn't find out until you were back on the road (with no brakes!)
4. remove lower ball joint. there's 3 17mm bolts on the very bottom of the
control arm. get those 3 and the spindle will come loose from the control arm.
5. remove the two bolts between the spindle and bottom of the strut. now remove
the center nut you broke loose earlier.
6. the whole spindle assembly should now be only attached to your tie rod end.
pull it free and rotate out of the way. the outer end of the axle should be
dangling in mid-air. Go inside and drink a beer or five, because now you're
ready for the fun part. :)
7. There's a "retainer ring" inside the tranny that holds the axle in the
tranny. with some effort, you can pop the axle out of the car. I was a dumbass
and just jerked the whole thing out. that's not smart, as you can damage the
retainer ring (mentioned in another post) that holds the whole CV joint
The smart thing to do would be to use some sort of pry bar and pry the axle out
of the tranny.
Note: if you didn't drain your tranny fluid, this is where you run all over
the garage looking for as many rags and buckets as you can find because you just
dumped 2 qts of slop on the floor. Again, don't ask how I know this.
8. drink another couple of beers, because this is the last time for an hour
that you will be clean enough to go inside to raid the fridge.
9. Now that you have the axle out, it's time to tear the entire axle apart.
there are large retainer rings just inside the lip of the CV joint housing (as
mentioned before- it's probably bent to hell by now).
10. follow instructions that came with your CV boot on replacing the boots.
Actually, my instructions showed you pictures of all the above and didn't say
$hit about how to change the boot!
but you tear apart the whole CV joint- be sure to keep all clips, bearings,
retainer rings, etc seperate from inner and outer joints. the bearings will
fall out and roll away, so make sure you're paying attention to where they all
fall and roll. there's 6 ball bearings on each end, about 1/2" round. make
sure the dog is inside too, cause they tend to chase and eat things like this.
NOT a good idea.
take everything apart and clean the whole thing with some type of parts cleaner
(this is a BIG no-no, but I just used a paint brush and some old kerosene we had
in the garage.) once clean, inspect all the aprts for wear and damage and
replace as necessary.
11. blah blah. now it's time to put everything back together. lube up the
parts very well before putting it all back together. (My new boots came with a
package of grease, but yours may not have). stuff the boot almost full of
grease, then work some into the bearings after you get it all assembled. blah
blah blah. once you have the boots back on and everything is assembled, work
the bearings and axle around to make sure the grease actually gets into the
joints rather than just sticking to the inside of the new CV boot.
12. once you have the axle completely rebuilt and excess grease cleaned off (or
smeared around. by now, you've got more grease on you than the floor of a
$hitty mechanic), head back to your Max--that's probably still dripping tranny
fluid on the floor because you didn't drain it like the instructions told you
13. If you were smart, you also bought new axle seals for the tranny, because
it's a good idea to replace this $4 part now, instead of having to pull the axle
in 3 months to replace it when it blows out and leaks gallons of red Maxima
blood on the driveway. again, been there, done that. buy the part and save you
14. now that the new seal is in and lubed with a good wiping with tranny fluid,
grab the rebuilt axle and aim the inner end into the hole.. shove that puppy in
there, and put it all back together following reverse order from the pages of
stuff I typed above.
15. once you have everything put back together and the max is back on 4 wheels,
remember to fill your tranny fluid again. about 4 qts is necessary for an auto.
I dunno about a 5 spd. add 2 or 3 qts, then have a clean (yeah right!) helper
get in and start the car.. check and add tranny fluid as needed until full.
16. that's about it. go inside, take a shower, drink another few beers and
call it a day. you're probably worn out by now and your hands are smashed and
cut and just generally in a pissy mood.