If you've ever heard a clattering sound while negotiating a turn in your Acura, or heard a sharp rap when accelerating or braking, you may need to replace your axle(s). While these problems technically occur with the Constant Velocity (CV) joints and not the axles (aka driveshafts) themselves, they come as an assembly, so you'll need to remove the whole apparatus. Honda, which manufactures Acura vehicles, has a reputation for making easily repairable cars, so this process shouldn't present too much of a challenge even for a first-timer.
Any rear- or all-wheel-drive Acura uses an independent rear suspension very similar to that in the front, meaning that the removal procedure for front driveshafts varies little from that used for the rear's. The only major difference lies in the fact that the front has a swiveling steering knuckle and the back doesn't, which has little bearing on the methods used to replace an axle.
Using either a lift or a jack with blocks, raise the car from the ground and remove the wheels with your factory lug wrench. If your car has hubcaps, travel around the wheel and loosen the covers a little at a time so as not to crack them. Loosen the lug nuts with a 32 mm socket, and remove the wheels to access the brakes and hubs. You don't necessarily have to drain the transmission before proceeding, but the fluid will come out anyway, so do it now rather than have it spill out all over your driveway. Just remember to reinstall the drain plug when finished.
Getting to the Axle
Use either a 2-foot "cheater" bar or impact wrench to get the axle end nut loose. Don't use the same standard 32 mm socket you used on the wheel studs if you plan to do this with an impact: The socket will break.
Once your remove the axle end nut, remove the cotter pin from the lower ball-joint nut with a pair of pliers, and unbolt the ball joint. Remove the through bolt that secures the lower strut body to the control arm. Knock the control arm loose with any kind of hammer, although the easiest way involves using a 5-lb. sledge hammer and just letting the hammerhead fall onto the lower control arm under its own weight. If the control arm doesn't come loose, you may have to purchase a fork-shaped ball-joint removal tool from your local auto parts retailer.
Removing the Axle
Pull the brake rotor off of the spindle if you haven't already done so, and just make some room for the axle to pass through both the spindle and the lower strut fork. Pry the axle loose from the transaxle with a crowbar. If the axle doesn't slide out under a little bit of pressure, it's jammed; release the pressure and rotate the axle back and forth a little. This entire procedure should take less than 20 minutes from beginning to end, possibly 35 minutes for a first-timer.
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