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Pass side axle replacement-DIY

4026 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  offroaderdodge
Pass axle replacement.

Thought I’d pass along some tips and remarks on my passenger side axle replacement to those Forum members who may be new to this procedure or want to DIY and learn some procedures and save cash at the same time. You old-timers may want to add your own comments, feel free to. To begin with you have to remove the 19mm plastic lug nut covers from the steel lug nuts also 19mm and just loosen the nuts slightly. Next get the car up off the tire and prop with a jackstand (required) and remove plastic hubcap and the tire. Remove the caliper bolts 12mm and hang the caliper (out of the way) from the coil spring with wire, then remove the caliper bracket 17mm. Loosen the axle nut (you may need a breaker bar) and remove/unbolt the ABS pickup 10mm and move it upwards and out of the way. Loosen/remove the pass side sway bar bracket under the car. Here’s the look:

Here comes the real work. Loosen and remove the ball joint cinching nut and bolt and pry apart it’s steel clamp. Pry the lower arm down and remove the ball joint stud/shaft from this clamp. I had beat the lower control arm to get mine loose. (my 5lb hammer is nicknamed “The Persuader” )

If you can get the old shaft out at this point do so. If you cannot loosen the 2 big bolts at the bottom of the strut and remove these studs. Note that these bolts are splined and you may/will have to “drift” them out using a smaller diameter bolt or rod. As shown in the picture below. NO NOT hammer on the ends of the bolts, this will render the bolts unusable for reassembly.

After this procedure you will be able to remove the shaft from the bearing carrier. Observe the position of the inner shaft at the tranny. Using a large screwdriver pry the inner shaft from the tranny. Note: some fluid may leak from the tranny at this point. Wipe the tranny seal clean and dab grease on the seal. Coat the new shaft end with tranny oil and insert into the seal with some force soas to assume the same look as the old one. It “locks” into place. At this point it is wise to cover the bolt end that sticks up from the sway bar mounting with a cover, to avoid damaging the new boot end. Install the new outer shaft back onto the bearing carrier after having greased the splines on the end of the new shaft. Add the 2 big bolts back onto the strut, if removed. Lever the lower control arm down and slide the ball joint stud back onto the bottom clamp of the carrier. Note: the ball joint stud has a cutout for the cinching bolt to pass thru, this MUST be placed to the inside of the car. Secure the ball joint stud, strut bolts and fasten/torque the axle nut. Note: my new axle did not come with a cotter pin hole so I glued the axle nut on with RED Locktite, personally I think this is a must if you don’t have a cotter pin. Here it is glued:

To make the caliper much much easier to put on you can compress the piston w a 4” C-clamp. Why make things hard for yourself? I don’t.

In putting back on the caliper you want to be sure to align the flat sided “washer” on the bottom bolt of the caliper. I’m sure it’s there for some goofy reason, otherwise the caliper bottom won’t go in darn it.

Oh yeah, put the tire back on. :)
So that’s the procedure with pictures. I suggest you check the tranny level “at idle in park” and drive test the brakes if you used the C-clamp on the caliper piston. This procedure took me about 2.5hrs but I’m slow and clean everything I touch. It’s a nasty habit I picked up from racing.
Regards, :cheers:
Tim (Mr2Tim) SC ToyZ RacZing
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Thanks for the detailed writeup.

One thing you always need to check with FWD cars when replacing an axle is the centering of the engine. There is a length specification for the exposed part of the axles, and you must be within 1/8" of specification. The engine can shift to the side when an axle is removed, and if it is off when you re-assemble, one axle is inserted a little too far and one not enough. This can put stress on the CV joint and cause an axle to come apart. Usually you're not far off, but it is always worth checking, and the factory service manual requires it.
Ditto on the write-up.
That is the purpose of slotted adjustable bolt-hole motor mount brackets for Right and Center mounts, the Left (transaxle) mount floats and doesn't need to be disturbed.
If a drone or growl is heard on sharp left or right turns at parking lot speeds, it may be engine vibration being transmitted into the vehicle body through a bottoming inner axle joint.
If the growl is on hard left turns, the eng/trans assembly is shifting to the right and an adjustment slightly towards the left side should center the assembly and cure the growl. You can go by the mount bracket washer circular 'witness' marks to see how far you have moved the assembly.
It is important to work on a hard level surface for the jack and jackstand not to tip. The rear parking brake and rear wheel must be chocked to prevent the possibility of rolling while you are underneath. Park gear doesn't work with a front wheel off the ground.
I have been able to swing the knuckle away from the axle by just removing the ball joint stub. The 2 strut-to-knuckle bolts can be left in place. This is important if an alignment cam bolt kit has been installed to set camber, otherwise mark the cam-to-strut position for reassembly. Push in on the knuckle before tightening the bolts as this will be similar to the weight of the car being on the cam bolt when the alignment adjustment was last set.
Unclip the ABS sensor wiring (if equipped) so it doesn't get yanked or strained when the knuckle is swung out of the way.
Many reman axles come with a new nut. The nut for non-cotter pin secured ones is compression edge-peened to keep it from loosening. The non-peened cotter pin-style nut probably shouldn't be used on a non-cotter pin hole axle joint.
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excellent tutorial,and comments added as well.
this will help many people with the axle replacement.
my only addition would be to mark the brake rotor if you
remove it.
by replacing rotor in its same position on the wheel
studs you minimize the chances of vibration when braking.

i quite often clean the mating surfaces of the rotors
rendering this a moot point.

on some vehicles removing caliper and rotor isnt necessary.
i havent had the pleasure of pulling axles on a PT yet.
so i have yet to try this.
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