The X-Body cars use unequal-length halfshafts, with specific applications for automatic and manual transaxle use. All halfshafts except the left-hand inboard joint of the automatic transaxle incorporate a male spline; the shafts interlock with the transaxle gears through the use of barrel-type snaprings. The left-hand inboard shaft on the automatic transaxle uses a female spline which installs over a stub shaft protruding from the transaxle. Four constant velocity joints are used, two on each shaft. The inner joints are of the double offset design; the outer joints are Rzeppa-type.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Remove the hub nut.
- Raise the front of the car. Remove the wheel and tire.
- Install an axle shaft boot seal protector, GM special tool no. J-28712 or the equivalent, onto the seal.
- Disconnect the brake hose clip from the MacPherson strut, but do not disconnect the hose from the caliper. Remove the brake caliper from the spindle, and hang the caliper out of the way by a length of wire. Do not allow the caliper to hang by the brake hose.
- Mark the camber alignment cam bolt for reassembly. Remove the cam bolt and the upper attaching bolt from the strut and spindle.
- Pull the steering knuckle assembly from the strut bracket.
- Using GM special tool J-28468 or the equivalent, remove the axle shaft from the transaxle.
- Using GM special tool J-28733 or the equivalent spindle remover, remove the axle shaft from the hub and bearing assembly.
- If a new drive axle is to be installed, a new knuckle seal should be installed first.
- Loosely install the drive axle into the transaxle and steering knuckle.
- Loosely attach the steering knuckle to the suspension strut.
- Install the brake caliper. Tighten the bolts to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
- The drive axle is an interference fit in the steering knuckle. Press the axle into place, then install the hub nut. When the shaft begins to turn with the hub, insert a drift through the caliper into one of the cooling slots in the rotor to keep it from turning. Tighten the hub nut to 70 ft. lbs. (100 Nm) to completely seat the shaft.
- Load the hub assembly by lowering it onto a jackstand. Align the camber cam bolt marks made during removal, install the bolt and tighten to 140 ft. lbs. (190 Nm). Tighten the upper nut to the same value.
- Install the axle shaft all the way into the transaxle using a screwdriver inserted into the groove provided on the inner retainer. Tap the screwdriver until the shaft seats in the transaxle.
- Connect the brake hose clip to the strut. Install the tire and wheel, lower the car, and tighten the hub nut to 225 ft. lbs. (305 Nm).
- Remove the axle shaft.
- Cut off the seal retaining clamp. Using a brass drift and a hammer, lightly tap the seal retainer from the outside toward the inside of the shaft to remove from the joint.
- Use a pair of snapring pliers to spread the retaining ring apart. Pull the axle shaft from the joint.
- Using a brass drift and a hammer, lightly tap on the inner race cage until it has tilted sufficiently to remove one of the balls. Remove the other balls in the same manner.
- Pivot the cage 90° and, with the cage ball windows aligned with the outer joint windows, lift out the cage and the inner race.
- The inner race can be removed from the cage by pivoting it 90° and lifting out. Clean all parts thoroughly and inspect for wear.
- To install, put a light coat of the grease provided in the rebuilding kit onto the ball grooves of the inner race and outer joint. Install the parts in the reverse order of removal. To install the seal retainer, install the axle shaft assembly into an arbor press. Support the seal retainer on blocks, and press the axle shaft down until the seal retainer seats on the outer joint. When assembling, apply half the grease provided in the rebuilding kit to the joint; fill the seal (boot) with the rest of the grease.
The inner CV-joints on all models manufactured after August of 1980 have been changed. The change entails the elimination of venting on the joint housing and the addition of venting in the seals. The new non-vented joint cannot be used with the old, non-vented seal. Service procedures for the new joints are identical to those pertaining to the old one.
- The joint seal is removed in the same manner as the outer joint seal. Follow Steps 1-3 of the outer joint procedure.
- To disassemble the inner joint, remove the ball retaining ring from the joint. Pull the cage and inner race from the joint. The balls will come out with the race.
- Center the inner race lobes in the cage windows, pivot the race 90°, and lift the race from the cage.
- Assembly of the joint is the reverse. The inner joint seal retainer must be pressed onto the joint. See Step 7 of the outer joint procedure.