Replacing Cougar CV Joints

  • Replacing Cougar CV joints requires new cotter pins, as the old cotter pins will not go back in. The most common problem with CV joints is that the outer joint goes bad. You will hear a clicking noise when you turn to the left or right depending on which side is broken. It is advised to replace both CV joints at the same time.

  • Raise and support the car on the jack stands. Remove the wheels on both sides. Always do one side at a time. If both side are removed at the same time a risk of the spider gears falling into the transmission is present. This requires disassembly of the transmission to correct. Remove the brake caliper and hang it up with coat hanger so it does not hang by its hose, as hanging by the hose will damage the hose. Remove the large center nut on the CV axle with the appropriate socket.

    Turn the ignition key just enough to unlock the steering wheel. Turn the wheel all the way toward the side being worked on. For example if the driver's side is being worked on, turn the wheel all the way to the left. Remove the two large bolts in the strut that are holding the strut to the spindle. Push the CV joint in toward the engine, as it must be removed from the spindle. If it is hard to break loose, install the large nut once again but upside down and run it on the threads just until it is almost even with the CV shaft. Tap the nut with a hammer to break the CV joint loose, then remove the nut.

  • Pull the spindle out of the strut housing or matting surface. Continue to push and pull the CV joint shaft out of the spindle. Move the spindle as necessary to get it out. Lay the end of the CV joint down on the lower sway bar. Place the blade end of the pry bar in between the transmission and the CV joint. There is a small gap where the CV joint inner shaft slides into the transmission. Insert the pry bar in this gap and pry the CV joint out. Lift it up and pull it out of the car.

    Before installing the new shaft put some anti seize compound on the inside of the spindle on the splines so when the new joint is installed the shaft will slide in smoothly. Line the new shaft up with the hole in the transmission and insert the shaft into the hole.

  • Turn the shaft slightly to align the splines on the shaft with the splines in the transmission. When they are lined up, the shaft can be felt sliding in further. To lock the CV shaft into the transmission, bring outer part of the shaft back just slightly and then with a hard sudden push slam it in. It will click as the circlip locks in place. If this is tried several times to no avail, put the large nut upside down on the end of the shaft. Run it on the shaft until the top of the nut is level with the shaft. With one hand push the CV joint in as far as possible and tap the other end with a hammer. Once in, install the front of the shaft into the spindle by pulling down the bottom of the spindle with one hand while using the other to install the shaft. Raise the spindle upright and wiggle the CV joint shaft in as far as possible. Pull on the steering tie rod and straighten the wheel or spindle out and install the two large bolts holding the strut to the spindle. Install the large nut on the CV shaft and tighten to 200 foot pounds of torque. Install the caliper and the wheel then do the other side the same way.

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