- Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
Remove or disconnect the following:
Press the axle shaft through the hub.
WARNINGTo prevent damage to the inner CV-joint, do not pull on the axle shaft to remove it from the transaxle.
- Place a drain pan under the transaxle to catch any transaxle fluid that leaks out when the axle shaft is removed.
- Remove the axle shaft from the transaxle by prying between the transaxle and the inner CV-joint housing.
Install or connect the following:
Axle shaft in the transaxle. Verify that it is seated by pulling on the housing
- Check the transaxle fluid level.
- Check the front alignment and adjust, if necessary.
Because the outer joint is essentially a press-fit in the hub and the steering knuckle also needs to be disconnected from the lower control arm, special tools are needed for this job, including a good-quality hub/spindle puller. Use care is using substitutes or expensive damage may result. In general, halfshaft service is not for the inexperienced or ill-equipped.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle.
- Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
- Disconnect the stabilizer shaft link by removing the through bolt where it passes through the lower control arm and connects to the stabilizer shaft.
- Remove the front halfshaft, or drive axle, spindle nut. The torque specification on this nut is 150 ft. lbs. (205 Nm). To keep the brake rotor and hub assembly from turning when removing the nut, insert a suitably sized drift pin or other suitable tool through the brake caliper inspection opening into the brake rotor's ventilation openings. This should lock the assembly in place so the spindle nut can be loosened. It is good practice to wire-brush any exposed threads on the end of the spindle and apply a generous coating of penetrating oil.
- Detach the tie rod end from the steering knuckle by removing the torque prevailing hex nut. It should be replaced with a new part. This design tie rod has a tapered joint that GM says has been designed to separate easily, unlike previous joints of this type. If required, use a tie rod puller tool to separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle.
- Separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle by removing the cotter pin and loosening the nut. Do not remove the nut yet. Install a ball joint puller to separate the joint from the knuckle. By keeping the nut in place as the puller is being used to press the ball stud from the knuckle, the threads on the ball stud are protected so the ball joint can be reused. Now remove the puller and the nut and detach the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle.
- Separate the axle from the hub using a hub puller. Don't try to hammer on the end of the spindle or the outer CV-joint and possibly also the hub bearing will be damaged. Use a hub puller to press the spindle out of the hub. It is good practice to leave the hub nut in place to protect the threads on the spindle as the hub puller presses the spindle free of the hub.
Remove the halfshafts (drive axles) from the transaxle, as follows:
- Right Side: GM recommends their axle shaft removing set which consists of C-shaped plates that fit behind the inner CV-joint, between the joint and the transaxle housing. A slide hammer attaches to the C-plates so the halfshaft can be popped free of the transaxle.
- Left Side: Using the subframe for leverage, carefully separate the halfshaft from the transaxle with a suitable prytool in the groove provided on the inner joint.
- Clean all parts well. Inspect the halfshafts and the CV-boots. Service, if required, using the Overhaul procedures found in this section.
- Push the halfshaft into the transaxle. Verify that the halfshaft is seated by grasping the inner joint housing and pulling. It is important to make sure the halfshaft is seated. Do NOT pull on the drive axle shaft, only on the inner CV-joint.
- Install the halfshaft/drive axle end into the hub and bearing assembly.
- Connect the ball joint to the steering knuckle. Tighten the nut to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm). Align the slots in the nut to the cotter pin hole in the ball stud by tightening the nut further, if required. DO NOT loosen the nut to align the holes for the cotter pin. Install a new cotter pin.
- Connect the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. Use a new service replacement torque prevailing nut and tighten to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm) plus an additional 180° of rotation.
- Install a new service replacement front wheel drive axle nut. To keep the brake rotor and hub assembly from turning when tightening the nut, insert a suitably sized drift pin or other suitable tool through the brake caliper inspection opening into the brake rotor's ventilation openings, locking the assembly in place so the spindle nut can be tightened. Torque the nut to 150 ft. lbs. (205 Nm).
- Install the stabilizer through bolt from the bottom of the control arm to the stabilizer bar link and tighten the nut to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
- Install the front wheel and tire assemblies. Torque the wheel nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
- Lower the vehicle.
- Since some transaxle fluid may be lost when the halfshafts are disconnected, check the fluid level. Please see the procedure in this section.
- GM recommends that since the steering tie rod and the ball joint were disturbed, that the front end alignment should be checked and adjusted if necessary.