How to Replace an Axle Shaft

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The axle shaft is a very important part of every vehicle. Although the method to replace one will vary slightly between models, there are general steps common to all.

Things You'll Need

  • A jack
  • 2 jack stands
  • New axle-shaft
  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • Tire wrench
  • Pneumatic/high-powered drill
  • Pliers
  • Remove vehicle hubcap.

  • Loosen the axle shaft nut, located in the very center of the wheel. Occasionally, you may have to remove a cap of some kind first, often fastened with a cotter pin. Use pliers.

  • Jack up the car, placing it on jack stands.

  • Remove the wheel.

  • Remove the brake calipers. They should be connected with bolts to the rotor.

  • Pull off the calipers, rotating them away from the rotor.

  • Pull off the rotor.

  • On the back of the knuckle, there will be two or three bolts holding the hub in place. Remove them.

  • Now the hub should come off.

  • Remove the axle nut. This may require a drill with high torque.

  • Beneath the hub is the dust shield. Make a note of which way it is facing so that you don't re-install it the wrong way. Remove it.

  • Now you should the the axle shaft sticking out. Remove it very gingerly.

  • Insert the new axle shaft, remembering to be very careful.

  • Replace the dust shield.

  • Replace and tighten the axle nut, as well as the cotter pin if there is one.

  • Replace the hub, and re-insert the bolts on the back of the knuckle.

  • Replace the wheel.

  • Lower the car onto the ground.

  • Replace the hubcap.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check you vehicle model's repair manual to see if there are any other factors to consider (see Resources).

References

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