How to Break Free Your Drive Shaft

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Learn how to break loose the splines on a drive shaft and separate the lower ball joint in this free auto repair video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Replace a CV Joint
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Video Transcript

In this clip, we're going to talk about the proper service procedure in order to remove and replace a broken CV joint also known as a drive shaft on a front-wheel drive vehicle. In this step, we're going to talk about the proper service procedure for breaking loose the splines on our drive shaft and separating the lower ball joint. Now what I've done is taken and spun on my CV nut again. What we're going to do is use that as a striking surface for our hammer. I'm going to take my CV socket, slip it on there, hold it with my hands and strike it with a hammer several times. What that will do is break the corrosion loose between the male and female splines of the spindle and the shaft itself just like so. I'm going to go ahead and unscrew it and set your nut aside. As you can see, the CV shaft has been pushed into the spindle. What that means are my studs are broken or my splines are broken loose and I can go ahead and hammer in my pickle fork and separate the ball joint from the spindle. The pickle fork goes in between the ball joint and the spindle and hammers into place and applies leverage to pop the two apart. This is the spindle here and this is the lower control arm. Now the ball joint stud actually protrudes inside to the spindle all the way through to the top and the bolt pinches it down. Now they're stuck just due to wear and tear and design. So what I'm going to do is take this pickle fork. As you can see it?s a wedge. That wedge as I hammer it in is going to separate that stuck ball joint stud. As you can see, the distance between the two is greatly increased since I hammered that in. What that's done is taken and broken the mechanical weld between the stud and the spindle. That's the proper way to break loose your lower ball joint.

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