How to Replace a CV Joint on an S10

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Replacing a CV (constant velocity) joint (also known as a half shaft) on a Chevy S10 is not a repair recommended for the inexperienced would-be mechanic. That's not to say someone with technical ability couldn't figure out how to perform the replacement of a CV shaft in his driveway, but working off of the ground on floor jacks without pneumatics (unless you have an air compressor) is not the way many would go about tackling this project. If this is something you're thinking about trying for the first time with hand tools in your driveway, best wishes to you.

Things You'll Need

  • Car lift
  • Safety glasses
  • Air compressor with air hose
  • 1/2-inch drive pneumatic gun
  • 1/2-inch drive socket set
  • Air ratchet
  • Dikes
  • Hammer
  • 3/8-inch hex head 3/8-inch drive male adapter
  • Pry bar set (small to large)
  • Box end/open end combination hand wrench set
  • 36-mm 1/2-inch drive socket
  • Drain bucket
  • Bungee cord
  • C clamp
  • Torque wrench

How to Replace a CV Joint on an S10

  • Put on safety glasses. With the S10 on a lift raised to about waist level, remove the lug nuts and tire using the pneumatic gun and a socket.

  • Remove the caliper bolts with the air ratchet and a 3/8-inch hex head male adapter. Pry the caliper off with a small pry bar and support to the frame out of the way using a bungee cord. The pads will remain intact with the caliper.

  • Manipulate the cotter pins in the upper and lower ball joints and pry them out with a pair of dikes. Remove the upper and lower ball joint castle nuts using a hand wrench. Break them free with the box end side and then flip over to the open end to speed things up.

  • Remove the hub bearing nut using the pneumatic gun and a 36 mm socket. Remove the washer.

  • Tap the spindle of the CV shaft with the hammer until it starts to move.

  • Separate the connection of the knuckle from the ball joints using the hammer to alternately pound onto the upper and lower control arms until it breaks free. The knuckle will drop down some when it separates, but the tie rod end and CV joint spindle should still hold it in place.

  • Place the drain bucket under the transaxle where the CV joint enters it.

  • Recruit a tech or a friend to manipulate the knuckle toward the back of the S10. Manipulate the spindle of the CV joint out of the hub of the knuckle. Place a large pry bar on the inside base of the CV joint and pry it out of the transaxle. (In some older models, the CV shaft may have a flange and six bolt connection to the transaxle. In that case, remove the bolts and then pry it out.) A little bit of fluid will dribble out of the connection from the transaxle and hopefully into the drain bucket.

  • Install the new CV joint until you hear it click into the transaxle. Make sure the base is flush. Manipulate the knuckle and hub to fit over the spindle of the CV joint making sure to align the splines.

  • Have your tech/friend manipulate the knuckle back onto the upper and lower ball joints and replace the castle nuts enough to hold the knuckle. Tighten the castle nuts and replace the cotter pins.

  • Replace the washer and hub bearing nut with the gun. Tighten until it bottoms out. Turn the CV joint by hand to make sure it is turning correctly.

  • Replace the caliper over the rotor. You may need the C clamp to press the caliper piston inward just enough to get over the rotor. If that's the case, you may have to remove the pads to do so.

  • Replace the caliper bolts using the ratchet and adapter.

  • Replace the wheel and lug nuts and torque the lug nuts to 100-foot pounds with the torque wrench.

  • Remove the drain bucket and lower the S10.

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