How to Replace a Ford Focus Drive Axle

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A drive axle connects the transaxle assembly of the Ford Focus to the drive wheels. The axle itself is nothing more than a shaft with two flexible joints on either end. One end is connected to the transaxle and the other is connected to the wheel hub assembly. Axles don't usually break, but the joints on the axles will fail occasionally. When this happens, rather than replace the joints, it is usually cheaper and more efficient to simply replace the entire drive axle.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire wrench
  • Jack with 2 jack stands
  • Pliers
  • Spindle nut socket
  • Socket wrench with socket set
  • Impact wrench with air compressor
  • Tie rod end puller
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Zip ties
  • Hard grease
  • New cotter pin
  • Break the lug nuts loose on the wheel with the drive axle you want to replace. Turn the lug nuts 45 degrees using a tire wrench.

  • Put the emergency brake on and jack up the car using the front jack point. Put a jack stand under each of the front pinch welds and lower the Focus onto the stands.

  • Remove the lug nuts and wheel.

  • Loosen and remove the spindle nut using the spindle nut socket and impact wrench.

  • Remove the upper and lower brake caliper mounting bolts. Secure the caliper to the coil springs with zip ties.

  • Remove the brake rotor from the hub. It will pull straight off the hub assembly.

  • Pull the cotter pin from the drive shaft nut with pliers.

  • Remove the drive shaft nut using the impact wrench.

  • Remove the tie rod bolt.

  • Remove the tie rod bolt, and negotiate the steering knuckle and wheel hub assembly out of the way so that you can pull the axle out of the transaxle.

  • Pull the drive axle out of the hub assembly.

  • Install the new drive axle. Installation is the reverse of removal.

References

  • "Ford Focus Repair & Service Manual 2000-2007"; Jay Storer, John H. Haynes; 2009
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