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 Post subject: axle replacement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:54 am 
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Year and Trim: 2002 Buick LeSabre
How long does it take to replace both the cv axles on a FWD h-body? Any advice on the job? I did notice a bit of grease seepage around both inner boots, but no symptoms of a problem noticable yet. But I'd rather hit it before fall while the weather is good rather than waiting around, if I'm going to do it.


Last edited by carl on Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:14 pm 
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It's not a terribly difficult job, but it will take some time. Just make sure you have all the tools handy. I can't remember what size nut is on the end of the axle shaft, but you'll need a BIG socket to get over it. I think it's 35mm, but someone on here will correct me if I'm wrong. You'll also need a big Torx bit to get the wheel bearing off. Again, I'm not sure of the size...it's either T-50 or T-55. And finally you'll want some kind of pry tool (GM says to use a wedge) to separate the CV shaft on the drivers side from the trans. The shaft on the pass. side will slide out easily.

The first side will take a bit longer just because of the learning curve...I would say probably 2 hours. The second side, maybe 1 to 1.5 hours.

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Last edited by mntnbkr on Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:22 pm 
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This is for a bit older model Bonneville, but I imagine ti follows similarly to what you will need to do.

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=723

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Last edited by SSEi95 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Mountain biker pretty much said it. I forget the sizes too. Last one I did was on a Monte Carlo, so it's been awhile.

Really the hardest part is after getting your brakes off, and getting the wheel bearing/hub, and spndle knuckle off or out of the way.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:55 pm 
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you will probably want to get an alignment afterwards, I was going to change mine myself but I got a little unsure about it and decided to get it done and get a 4-wheel alignment at the same time, I got a quote to get it done for 150 since I already bought the part

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:36 am 
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Thanks for the procedure and tips. The only thing that worries me is knowing when I am aligned correctly to the spline, and then fully seated. Is there a step or surface that bottoms-out to know I am fully seated? Also what exactly am I mating the the axle to (a spline gear inside the trans that rotates both axles at the same time?) Is is one piece or is there a chance I could knock-off/loosen a ring/seal or separate a gear while attempting to seat the axle if it happens not to be perfectly straight going in?


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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:31 am 
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You are installing the axles into the differential part of the transaxle. Maybe the side gears (?) Take a look at the position of the inner c-v joints relative to the trans case before you remove the shafts to get an idea of how they look when they are seated in place. If the shaft is not all the way in, I don't think you will be able to re-connect the knuckle to lower control arm at the ball joint. You are right, you are connecting the shafts to gears, and even though they are pretty robust, it is best not to go bangin' on the end of the axle shaft with a 10-pound hammer trying to get it to seat. Not sayin' you cannot break something by the application of blunt force, but we have not heard of that happening, even with newbies.

The key to getting the shaft to snap into place is to have the axis of the shaft aligned with its mating gear in the differential, then sliding it inward quickly so that the momentum of the shaft has enough energy to compress the circlip allowing the shaft to slide through the gear and the clip to lock into place. What does not work as well is sliding the shaft in slowly until the circlip is stopped against the chamfer, then pushing. Better to slide the shaft in until the clip stops inward progress, then back out the shaft until it almost disengages the splines, then shove it in hard and fast. It sometimes helps to spin the shaft or the clip so that the circlip is more or less evenly spaced in its groove in the shaft rather than allowing it to hang far down in one place providing an easier means for the clip to lock up against the gear. Old, distorted circlips will make the job more difficult, especially if they extend well past the outside of the shaft. New clips sit more tightly in the groove and are usually easier to install.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:52 am 
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Sounds like a little dab of grease on the circlip would keep it in place better.

I just went through this process a week or two ago and will have to again soon. Buttermore's procedure looked pretty complete. It's supposedly very easy to damage the axle seals pulling and installing the axles. So be cautious of the splines catching the seal. Don't try it with misfit tools. Get the prybar. Would have saved me two hours along Buttermores tip on aligning the axle with the mating shaft. Let us know how it goes

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:16 am 
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Carl,

I wouldn't worry about being able to align the splines...that's going to be (should be) one of the easiest parts. And yes, as Bill said, the shaft on the drivers side has a clip that needs to (should) be centered on the shaft when you insert it. Once the splines are aligned, give it a good shove and it should snap in...you'll know when it happens. The passenger side does not have this clip IIRC, and is much easier to simply slide in.

If you're careful, you won't break anything.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:20 am 
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Ok thanks for all the additional help guys. There are a few video visuals from a few the guys at expertvillage.com but I don't always agree with their methods and they do alot of things there that you guys mention to avoid doing to prevent damage. Videos help alot because of the visual, unfortunately they don't always have the best info. Here is an example:

http://www.ehow.com/video_2331871_how-i ... shaft.html

What I would really like to do is get a junk trans (I wanted to mess with a junk one anyways to learn more what their about) and then I can do a mock install into the spline with the old cv shafts. Someone told me that I should be able to get a boneyard trans for about 75-100.

Hey spoiledred, I found the below pdf's at Cardone's site. They say use of grease on the clip/spline and aligning the clip to 12:00 are good practice for future removals.
Thanks again.

http://www.cardone.com/english/club/pro ... 0-0010.pdf

http://www.cardone.com/english/club/pro ... 0-0004.pdf

http://www.cardone.com/english/club/pro ... 0-0006.pdf

http://www.cardone.com/english/club/pro ... 0-0001.pdf

http://www.cardone.com/english/club/pro ... 0-0002.pdf


Last edited by carl on Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:30 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:16 pm 
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My passenger side axle is telling me its time, so I will need to replace them sooner than expected.
I was looking at replacements and I was amazed to find the Delco rebuild halfshafts discounted at to a whopping $400 ea online! Didn't seem discounted to me either, but they are listing at $750 ea.(wth) Compared to Cardone new at $50 ea. Actually the Cardone new are cheaper than Cardone rebuilds at Rock. I can't understand how ground shafts are cheaper than new but I believe all the parts are cheap imports from China. I am not thrilled about Cardone based on the generic quality of their brakes parts anyhow. Empi appears another cheap brand but I've had no experience with their parts.

Anyone know of decent quality halfshaft at a reasonable prices?... please


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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:57 pm 
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carl wrote:
Anyone know of decent quality halfshaft at a reasonable prices?... please

I buy rebuilt shafts from O'Reilly. They are usually $59 and come with a lifetime warranty. I have had good success with all but those for Dodge Caravan. The rebuilt Dodge shafts typically only lasted about 40,000 miles. But at least the replacements were free.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:33 am 
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Ok thanks, I will check them out.


Last edited by carl on Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:32 am 
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Right side out/in and good, driver side to do next. Had to replace the wheel bearing due to corrosion on the spline. Other than that, the caliper seal started leaking after I collased the piston, but I think its ok-- I knew I should have opened the bleeder to be safe before collasping the pistion. I got lazy and didn't want to bleed the brakes, but it never pays. Also the tie rod end was being a bear to get out, but I got the tool for $13. Also got the cv puller attachment for the slide hammer for $38 and it works sweet--well worth it. Rebuilt axles $53ea plus $12 core.

I tested it out after repair and all good. I will finish the drivers side after a snooze.


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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:46 pm 
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carl wrote:
Anyone know of decent quality halfshaft at a reasonable prices?... please


Cardone is decent.

Do not buy Autozone reman halfshalfts. I have had 3 explode on me. Each only lasted a year. (I am getting my money back next time) Also, their new brand didn't even fit into the trans. (this was on a grand prix though)

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 Post subject: Re: axle replacement
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:01 am 
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Yap, I stay away from the new ones because they are completely duped in China. At least the rebuilds have the stock casting and shafts, and hopefully they didn't replace alot during the rebuild process because that would be Chinese parts too.

The only really exceptional shafts anymore are the new ones from the dealer but will cost about $450 each with shipping ( and thats from a gm direct parts dealer). I would expect about a 7 year max life on these shafts--thats how long mine lasted because they were never touched since the car is 02. Ideally they should be changed out about every 5 years, unless you can do the maintenance on the boots and grease them every few years.

I rather just change them out. After going through it just now for the first time, its not really hard (unless the half-shaft gets stuck or problems with the trans gears/seals, which sometimes happen).

Another good option is going to a known good shaft rebuilder that will grind your original stock shafts --they charge about$200 ea. I hear Florida has quite a few of these shops around.


Last edited by carl on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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