How to Remove/Replace a Halfshaft

Last Updated - August 14th, 2004


Generally, you don't find yourself simply needing to simply replace a halfshaft... unless you're Ed and you're playing with boost.  Halfshaft removal is a component process when removing the transmission for a clutch job, replacing a wheel bearing, or doing a full engine swap.  Since it's common to a few different jobs, we figured breaking it out into its own page was the most efficient way to present things.

Difficulty:    

Time Investment:  Under 2 Hours



Go to Pictures:

Go to Instructions:

Go to Tools Required: 

Go to Supplies to Remember:


Pictures:

Click on a picture to enlarge it.  

Here's a shot of the exposed wheel hub.
Here's a demonstration of how to set a pry bar and breaker bar up to remove the wheel nut by yourself.
Looking at the inside of the steering knuckle, you'll see something like this.  All of these bolts do NOT need to be removed to take out a halfshaft.
Here's a shot of the end of the front swaybar and one of the bolts.
Here's the swaybar hanging free.
Here's a shot of the bolt that holds the knuckle to the control arm.
This picture shows where to pry the knuckle up and off the control arm.
This picture reveals the pin that the knuckle sits on.  It can be a real PITA to get the knuckle back onto this pin.  Patience is certainly required.
Here's a shot of the halfshaft coming out of the knuckle.
Here's a shot of the halfshat as it begins to pull out of the differential housing.
Note the oil fill plug in the side of the transmission.  In order to fill the transmission with oil, make a "bong" out of a funnel and a piece of hose.


Instructions:

1. Position the car.
Remove the front tires (both) and get the car up on jack stands.  The car should be in a location so you have access to the area around both front wheel wells.

2.  Disconnect the wheel hub from the half shaft.
To get the nut off, you will need to use a 32mm socket with a breaker bar.  A strong impact wrench may also work.  In order to keep the wheel from spinning, as you turn your wrench, either have someone else apply the brakes or wedge a long pry bar between the lugs sticking out of the hub and the floor.  To budge this nut, you may need to stand on the end of the breaker bar and bounce up and down while holding onto the side of the car.  (For reference, Mike has an 18" breaker bar and weighs 160lbs.  The factory torque spec in the FSM is 180 ft-lbs.)  Once everything comes apart, put the hardware with the tire so you don't lose it.  

3.  Disconnect both ends of the swaybar.
There are two bolts that hold the end of the swaybar.  This is a great place for an impact wrench.

4.  Remove the through bolt holding wheel assembly to knuckle on one side of the car.
This is a large horizontal bolt that holes the wheel assembly onto the knuckle.  You'll want to use an adjustable or box end wrench to hold the nut on the side toward the front of the car.  On the other side, use an impact wrench or a breakerbar followed by a 1/2" ratchet.

5.  On the same side of the car, use a prybar to lift the wheel assembly up so that the pin comes out of the nuckle.

6.  Put a pan to collect oil from the transmission under the junction between the halfshaft and the differential housing.

7.  On the same side of the car, pull the wheel assembly free from the halfshaft..
Grasp the wheel in one hand and the half shaft in the other.  Pull hard.  If that doesn't cut it, insert a small pry bar into the back of the wheel assembly to help push the halfshaft away.  It is likely that oil will start pouring from the differential housing when you do this.  

8.  On the same side of the car, remove the half shaft.
Just pull it out.  Twist it if necessary.  Oil will now run out (hopefully into the pan).

9.  If needed, repeat steps 4 - 8 on the other side of the car to remove the other halfshaft.

10.  Put everything else back together in the reverse order.

11.  Fill the transmission with oil.
Pull the plug in the side of the transmission.  Using a funnel and a piece of tubing, fill it with 2 quarts of motor oil.  When you're finished, stick your finger in the hole and make sure you can feel oil.  Then replace the plug.


Tools Required:     


Supplies to Remember: