Chrysler Neon 1995-1999 Repair Guide

Manual Transaxle

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HALFSHAFTS



See Figures 1 and 2



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Fig. Fig. 1: These vehicles utilize an unequal length halfshaft (driveshaft) system



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Fig. Fig. 2: Make sure you get the correct part, as halfshafts for manual and automatic transaxles differ

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION

See Figures 3 through 25

  1. Remove the cotter pin, lock nut and spring washer from the end of the outer CV-joint stub axle. Discard the cotter pin.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Straighten the cotter pin, then use needle-nose pliers to remove it from the lock nut



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the lock nut...



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Fig. Fig. 5: ... and spring washer from the end of the stub axle



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Fig. Fig. 6: Exploded view of the cotter pin, lock nut and washer

  1. With the vehicle on the ground and brakes applied, loosen, but do not remove the stub axle-to-hub and bearing retaining nut. The front hub and driveshaft are splined together and retained by the hub nut.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Have an assistant apply the brakes, then loosen the hub nut. Do not remove it at this time

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle with jack stands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten the front caliper-to-steering knuckle bolts.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Remove the two caliper mounting bolts

  1. Remove the caliper from the steering knuckle by lifting the bottom of the caliper away from the steering knuckle and then remove the top of the caliper out from under the steering knuckle.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 9: Support the caliper with a piece of wire. NEVER allow the caliper to hang by the brake hose

  1. Support the caliper out of the way by suspending it with a piece from the strut. Do NOT allow the caliper to hang by the brake hose.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rotor from the hub.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut attaching the outer tie rod end to the steering knuckle, as follows:
    1. Hold the tie rod end stud with a 8/38 in. socket while loosening and removing the nut.
    2.  

  6.  
  7. Separate the tie rod end stud from the steering knuckle using a side puller.
    1. Remove the nut and bolt holding the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle.
    2.  

  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Use a side puller to separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 11: Remove the ball joint clamping nut and bolt



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Fig. Fig. 12: While holding the steering knuckle clamping bolt, loosen the nut ...


WARNING
Be careful when separating the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle, so the ball joint seal does not get damaged.

  1. Support the caliper out of the way by suspending it with a piece from the strut. Do NOT allow the caliper to hang by the brake hose.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 13: ... then remove the clamping nut and bolt



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Fig. Fig. 14:Pry down on the lower control arm ...



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Fig. Fig. 15: ... then separate the lower ball joint stud from the steering knuckle

  1. For 1998-99 vehicles, perform the following steps:
    1. Remove the hub and bearing-to-stub axle retaining nut.
    2.  

  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 16: Remove the hub nut and washer

    1. Install a suitable puller on the hub and bearing assembly, using the lug nuts to hold it in place.
    2.  
    3. Install a wheel lug nut on wheel stud to protect the threads on the stud. Install a flat-bladed prytool to keep the hub from turning. Using the puller, force the outer stub axle from the hub and bearing.
    4.  




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Fig. Fig. 17: With a prytool positioned to prevent the hub from turning, use the puller to separate the outer stud axle from the hub and bearing


WARNING
Be careful when separating the inner CV-joint during this operation. Do not let the driveshaft hang by the inner CV-joint, the driveshaft must be supported.

  1. Pull the steering knuckle assembly out and away from the outer CV-joint of the driveshaft assembly. Support the outer end of the driveshaft assembly.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 18: Pull the steering knuckle assembly out, away from the outer CV-joint

  1. Insert a pry bar between the inner tripod joint and the transaxle case. Pry against the inner tripod joint until the joint retaining snapring is disengaged from the transaxle side gear.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 19: Pry against the inner tripod joint until the snapring disengages from the transaxle side gear

Inner tripod joint removal is easier if you apply outward pressure on the joint as you hit the punch with a hammer.

  1. For 1996-99 vehicles, remove the inner tripod joints from the side gears of the transaxle using a punch to dislodge the inner tripod joint retaining ring from the transaxle side gear. If removing the right side inner tripod joint, position the punch against the inner tripod joint. Hit the punch sharply with a hammer to dislodge the right inner joint from the side gear. If removing the left side inner tripod joint, position the punch in the groove of the inner tripod joint. Hit the punch sharply with a hammer to dislodge the left inner tripod joint from the side gear.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 20: Separating the right inner tripod joint from the transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 21: Disengaging the left inner tripod joint from the transaxle

  1. Hold the inner tripod joint and interconnecting shaft of the driveshaft assembly. Remove the inner tripod joint from the transaxle by pulling it straight out of the transaxle side gear and transaxle oil seal. When removing the tripod joint, do not let the spline or snapring drag across the sealing lip of the transaxle-to-tripod joint oil seal.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 22: Remove the tripod joint from the transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 23: Carefully remove the halfshaft, being sure not to let the spline or snapring drag across anything


WARNING
The driveshaft, when installed, acts as a bolt which secures the from hub and bearing assembly. If the vehicle is to be supported or moved on its wheels with a driveshaft removed, install a proper sized bolt and nut through the front hub. Tighten the bolt and nut to 105 ft. lbs. (393 Nm). This will ensure that the hub bearing cannot loosen.

To install:
  1. Thoroughly clean the spline and oil seal sealing surface on the tripod joint. Lightly lubricate the oil seal sealing surface on the tripod joint with fresh clean transmission fluid.
  2.  
  3. Holding the driveshaft assembly by the tripod joint and interconnecting shaft, install the tripod joint into the transaxle side gear as far as possible by hand.
  4.  
  5. Carefully align the tripod joint with the transaxle side gears. Then, grasp the driveshaft interconnecting shaft and push the tripod joint into the transaxle side gear until fully seated. Make sure the snapring is fully engaged with the side gear by trying to remove the tripod joint from the transaxle by hand. If the snapring is fully seated with the side gear, the tripod joint will not be removable by hand.
  6.  
  7. Clean all debris and moisture out of the steering knuckle.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 24: You must clean the steering knuckle-to-CV-joint mating areas

  1. Make sure that the outer CV-joint, which fits into the steering knuckle, has no debris or moisture on it before installing into the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Slide the driveshaft back into the front hub. Install the steering knuckle into the ball joint stud.
  4.  
  5. Install a NEW steering knuckle-to-ball joint stud bolt and nut. Tighten the nut and bolt to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Insert the tie rod end into the steering knuckle. Start the tie rod end-to-steering knuckle nut onto the stud of the tie rod end. While holding the stud of the tie rod end stationary, tighten the nut. Then, using a crow foot and 8/38 in socket, tighten the tie rod end nut to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the rotor back onto the hub and bearing assembly.
  10.  
  11. Position the caliper on the steering knuckle. Slide the top of the caliper under the top abutment on the steering knuckle, then install the bottom of the caliper against the bottom abutment of the steering knuckle.
  12.  
  13. Install the caliper-to-knuckle bolts and tighten to 39 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Clean all foreign matter from the threads of the outer CV-joint stub axle. Install hub nut and washer onto the threads of the stub axle and tighten the nut.
  16.  
  17. With the vehicle's brakes applied to prevent the axle shaft from turning, tighten the hub nut to 105 ft. lbs. (393 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Install the spring washer, lock nut and new cotter pin into the outer CV-joint stub axle.
  20.  



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Fig. Fig. 25: Proper installation of the new cotter pin

  1. Install the front wheel and tire assembly. Install the lug nuts and tighten to 60 ft. lbs. (105 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Check the transaxle fluid level, lowering the vehicle as necessary.
  4.  
  5. If not already done, carefully lower the vehicle.
  6.  

CV-JOINT OVERHAUL

See Figure 26

The only service that can be performed on the halfshaft assemblies is to replace the driveshaft seal boots.

If any failure to the internal halfshaft components is found, the halfshaft must be replaced as assembly.



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Fig. Fig. 26: Exploded view of the halfshaft assembly components

The lubricant type and amount necessary for the inner joints is different than that for the outer joints. Use only the recommended lubricants in the specified amounts when servicing the halfshafts.

Inner Tripod Joint Seal Boot

See Figures 27 through 37

The inner tripod joints do not use any internal retainers in the tripod housing to hold the spider assembly in the housing. Therefore, do not pull on the interconnecting shaft to detach the tripod housing from the transmission stub shaft. Removing in this way will damage the inboard joint sealing boots.

  1. Remove the halfshaft needing boot replacement from the vehicle, as outlined earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. Remove the large boot clamp that holds the inner tripod joint sealing boot to the tripod joint housing. Discard the clamp. Then, remove the small clamp that holds the inner tripod joint sealing boot to the interconnecting shaft and discard. Remove the sealing boot from the tripod housing and slide it down the interconnecting shaft.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 27: Remove and discard the boot clamps


WARNING
When removing the spider joint from the tripod joint housing, hold the rollers in place on the spider trunions to keep the roller and needle bearings from falling off.

  1. Slide the interconnecting shaft and spider assembly out of the tripod joint housing.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 28: Remove the interconnecting shaft and spider assembly from the tripod joint housing

  1. Remove the snapring that holds the spider assembly to the interconnecting shaft. Remove the spider assembly from the interconnecting shaft. If the spider won't come off by hand, you can remove it by tapping the spider with a brass drift. Do NOT hit the outer tripod bearings trying to remove the spider assembly from the interconnecting shaft.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 29: Location of the retaining snapring



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Fig. Fig. 30: If difficulty is encountered, use a brass drift to tap the spider

  1. Slide the sealing boot off the interconnecting shaft.
  2.  
  3. Thoroughly clean and inspect the spider assembly, tripod joint housing, and interconnecting shaft for any signs of excessive wear. If any parts show extreme wear, the halfshaft must be replaced.
  4.  

To install:

The inner tripod joint sealing boots are make from two different types of material. High temperature applications use silicone rubber, whereas standard temperature applications use Hytrel® plastic. The silicone sealing boots are soft and pliable. The Hytrel® sealing boots are stiff and rigid. The replacement sealing boot MUST BE the same type of material as the sealing boot that was removed.

  1. Slide the inner tripod joint seal boot retaining clamp onto the interconnecting shaft. Then, slide the replacement inner tripod joint sealing boot onto the interconnecting shaft. The inner tripod joint seal boot MUST be positioned on the interconnecting shaft, so the raised bead on the inside of the seal boot is in the groove on the interconnecting shaft.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 31: Installation of the sealing boot on the interconnecting shaft

  1. Install the spider assembly onto the interconnecting shaft with the chamfer on the spider assembly toward the interconnecting shaft. The spider must be installed on the inter connecting shaft far enough to fully install the retaining snapring. If the spider assembly will not fully install by hand, you can tap the spider body with a brass drift. Do NOT hit the outer tripod bearings trying to install the spider on the interconnecting shaft.
  2.  
  3. Install the spider assembly to the interconnecting shaft retaining snapring into the groove on the end of the interconnecting shaft. Be sure the snapring is fully seated into the groove on the interconnecting shaft.
  4.  
  5. Distribute 1/2 the amount of the grease provided in the seal boot service package (DO NOT USE ANY OTHER TYPE OF GREASE) into the tripod housing. Put the remaining amount into the sealing boot.
  6.  
  7. Align the tripod housing with the spider assembly and then slide the tripod housing over the spider assembly and interconnecting shaft.
  8.  
  9. Install the inner tripod joint seal boot to the interconnecting shaft clamp evenly on the sealing boot.
  10.  
  11. Clean the sealing boot onto the interconnecting shaft using a suitable crimper. Place the crimping tool over the bridge of the clamp. Tighten the nut on the tool until the jaws of the tool are closed completely together, face-to-face.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 32: Tighten the nut on the crimping tool until the jaws are completely closed, face-to-face

The seal must not be dimpled, stretched or out-of-shape in any way. If the seal is NOT correctly shaped, equalize the pressure in the seal and shape it by hand.

  1. Position the sealing boot into the tripod housing retaining groove. Install the seal boot retaining clamp evenly on the sealing boot.
  2.  


WARNING
The following positioning procedure determines the correct air pressure inside the inner tripod joint assembly before clamping the sealing boot to the inner tripod joint housing. If this procedure is not performed before clamping the sealing boot to the tripod joint housing, boot durability can be adversely affected. When venting the inner tripod joint, be careful so the inner tripod sealing boot does not get punctured or, in any other way, damaged. If the sealing boot is punctured or damaged while being vented, it cannot be used.

  1. Insert a small prytool or equivalent tool between the tripod joint and sealing boot to vent the inner tripod joint assembly. When inserting the prytool between the tripod housing and the sealing boot, make sure the tool is held flat and firmly against the tripod housing. If this is not done, damage to the sealing boot can occur. If the inner tripod joint has a Hytrel® (hard plastic) boot, make sure the tool is places between the soft rubber insert and the tripod housing, and not the hard plastic sealing boot and soft rubber insert.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 33: Carefully insert a prytool or trim stick to vent the tripod joint

  1. With the tool inserted between the sealing boot and the tripod joint housing, position the inner tripod joint on the driveshaft until the correct sealing boot edge-to-edge length is attained for the type of sealing boot material being used. Then remove the tool.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 34: Hytrel® boot end-to-end specifications



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Fig. Fig. 35: Silicone boot end-to-end length specifications

  1. Clamp the tripod sealing boot to the tripod joint using the proper procedure for the type of boot clamp. If the boot uses a crimp-type boot clamp, clamp the sealing boot onto the tripod housing using crimping tool C-4975-A or equivalent. Place the tool over the bridge of the clamp, then tighten the nut on the tool until the jaws are closed completely together, face-to-face.
  2.  
  3. If the boot uses low profile, latching type boot clamps, clamp the sealing boot onto the tripod housing using a suitable clamp locking tool, as shown in the accompanying figure. Place the prongs of the clamp locking tool in the holes of the clamp. Squeeze the tool together until the top band of the clamp is latched behind the 2 tabs on the lower band of the clamp.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 36: Position a suitable clamp locking tool on the clamp as shown ...



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Fig. Fig. 37: ... then squeeze the tool together in order to properly install the clamp

  1. Install the halfshaft in the vehicle, as outlined earlier in this section.
  2.  

Outer CV-Joint Seal Boot

See Figures 38, 39 and 40

  1. Remove the halfshaft needing boot replacement from the vehicle, as outlined earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. Remove the large boot clamp that holds the inner tripod joint sealing boot to the tripod joint housing. Discard the clamp. Then, remove the small clamp that holds the inner tripod joint sealing boot to the interconnecting shaft and discard. Remove the sealing boot from the tripod housing and slide it down the interconnecting shaft.
  4.  
  5. Wipe away the grease to expose the outer CV-joint.
  6.  
  7. Remove the outer CV-joint from the interconnecting shaft by performing the following:
    1. Place the interconnecting shaft in a soft jawed vise.
    2.  
    3. Using a soft-faced hammer, sharply hit the end of the CV-joint housing to dislodge the housing from the internal circlip on the interconnecting shaft.
    4.  
    5. Slide the outer CV-joint off the end of the interconnecting shaft; the joint may have to be tapped off using a soft-faced hammer.
    6.  

  8.  
  9. Use a pair of snapring pliers to remove the large circlip from the interconnecting shaft before trying to remove the outer CV-joint sealing boot.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 38: Remove the circlip from the shaft using a pair of snapring pliers

  1. Slide the faulty boot off the interconnecting shaft.
  2.  
  3. Throughly clean and inspect the outer CV-joint and interconnecting joint for signs of excessive wear. If any parts show extreme wear, the halfshaft must be replaced.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Slide the new boot-to-interconnecting shaft retaining clamp onto the interconnecting shaft. Slide the outer CV-joint assembly boot onto the interconnecting shaft. The boot must be positioned on the interconnecting shaft so the raised bead of the inside of the seal boot is in the groove on the interconnecting shaft.
  2.  
  3. Align the splines on the interconnecting shaft with the splines on the cross of the outer CV-joint and start the outer CV-joint onto the interconnecting shaft.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 39: The splines must be aligned to outer CV-joint installation

  1. Install the outer CV-joint onto the interconnecting shaft by using a soft-faced hammer and tapping the end of the stub axle (with the nut installed) until the outer CV-joint is fully seated on the shaft.
  2.  
  3. The outer CV-joint must be installed on the interconnecting shaft until the cross of the CV-joint is seated against the circlip on the shaft.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 40: The outer CV-joint must be installed until the cross of the joint is seated against the shaft circlip

  1. Place 1/2 of the grease provided with the boot service package (DO NOT USE ANY OTHER TYPE OF GREASE) into the outer CV-joint housing. Place the remaining grease into the boot.
  2.  
  3. Install the outer CV-joint boot to the interconnecting shaft clamp evenly on the sealing boot.
  4.  
  5. The outer CV-joint must be installed on the interconnecting shaft until the cross of the CV-joint is seated against the circlip on the shaft.
    1. Place the crimping tool over the bridge of the clamp.
    2.  
    3. Tighten the nut on the crimping tool until the jaws on the tool are closed completely together, face-to-face.
    4.  

  6.  
  7. Position the outer CV-joint boot into its retaining groove on the outer CV-joint housing. Install the boot-to-housing clamp evenly on the housing. Install the sealing boot-to-outer CV-joint retaining clamp evenly on the sealing boot.
  8.  
  9. Clamp the boot onto the outer CV-joint housing using a suitable crimping tool. Place the crimping tool over the bridge of the clamp, then tighten the nut on the crimping tool until the jaws on the tool are closed completely together, face-to-face.
  10.  
  11. Install the halfshaft in the vehicle, as outlined earlier in this section.
  12.  

 
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