GM Bonneville/Eighty Eight/LeSabre 1986-1999

Halfshafts

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



When removing the halfshaft for any reason, the transaxle sealing surface (the male/female shank of the halfshaft) should be inspected for corrosion. If corrosion is present, the surface should be cleaned with 320 grit cloth or equivalent. Transmission fluid can be used to clean off any remaining debris. The surface should be wiped dry and the halfshaft reinstalled free of any build-up.

1987-92 Vehicles

See Figures 1 through 14

Use care when removing the halfshaft. When either end of the shaft is disconnected, overextension of the joint could result in separation of internal components and possible joint failure.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Install a modified inner drive joint seal protector on the outer joint.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Fabricate a modified seal protector to install on the outer joint

  1. Insert a drift into the rotor and caliper to prevent the rotor from turning.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Prevent the rotor from turning by inserting a drift through the caliper and into the rotor

  1. Remove the hub nut and washer using a hub nut socket tool.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the hub nut (1) and washer (2)

  1. Remove the lower ball joint cotter pin and nut, then loosen the joint using a ball joint separator tool. Discard the cotter pin and replace with a new one during installation. If removing the right halfshaft, turn the wheel to the left; if removing the left halfshaft, turn the wheel to the right.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the cotter pin with needlenose pliers, then discard the pin

  1. With a prybar between the suspension support and the lower control arm, separate the joint.
  2.  
  3. Pull out on the lower knuckle area and with a plastic or rubber mallet strike the end of the axle shaft to disengage the axle from the hub and bearing. The shaft nut can be partially installed to protect the threads.
  4.  
  5. Separate the hub and bearing assembly from the halfshaft and move the strut and knuckle assembly rearward. Remove the inner joint from the transaxle using the proper tool.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Pull the hub, bearing and knuckle assembly away from the halfshaft



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Fig. Fig. 6: Use a large prytool to carefully separate the inner CV-joint from the transaxle case



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Fig. Fig. 7: Be very careful when prying the halfshaft from the transaxle

If equipped with the anti-lock brake system, care must be used to prevent damage to the toothed sensor ring on the halfshaft and the wheel speed sensor on the steering knuckle.



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Fig. Fig. 8: You must handle the halfshaft very carefully to avoid damaging it



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Fig. Fig. 9: On 1987-89 vehicles, you can separate both halfshafts from the transaxle with a prybar



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Fig. Fig. 10: You need a slide hammer to remove the halfshafts from the transaxle on 1990-99 vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 11: Carefully remove the halfshaft from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 12: The end of the halfshaft is grooved, with a retaining circlip (1)



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Fig. Fig. 13: While the halfshaft is removed, be sure not to get any dirt or other debris in the transaxle case

To install:
  1. On 1992 vehicles, if installing the right side halfshaft, install a suitable axle seal protector, tool J 37292-A or equivalent. Install the tool in a position so it can be pulled out after the halfshaft is installed (T-handle between the 5 and 7 o'clock positions).
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 14: If necessary, install a suitable axle seal protector tool

  1. Seat the halfshaft into the transaxle by placing a screwdriver or equivalent tool into the groove on the joint housing and tapping until seated.
  2.  
  3. Verify the halfshaft is seated into the transaxle by grasping on the housing and pulling outboard. Do not pull on the halfshaft.
  4.  
  5. Install the halfshaft into the hub and bearing assembly.
  6.  
  7. Install the lower ball joint to the knuckle. Tighten the nut in 2 steps as follows:
    1. Step 1: Tighten to 88 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
    2.  
    3. Step 2: Tighten two additional flats, to a value of 41 ft. lbs. (56 Nm).
    4.  

  8.  
  9. Install a new cotter pin. If necessary, you can TIGHTEN the nut up to one additional flat to install the cotter pin. NEVER loosen the nut to install the pin.
  10.  
  11. Install the washer and new shaft nut.
  12.  
  13. Insert drift into rotor and caliper to prevent rotor from turning.
  14.  
  15. Tighten the shaft nut to the following specifications:
    1. 1987-88 vehicles: 190 ft. lbs. (270 Nm).
    2.  
    3. 1989-90 vehicles: 185 ft. lbs. (260 Nm).
    4.  
    5. 1991-92 vehicles: 107 ft. lbs. (145 Nm).
    6.  

  16.  
  17. Remove the boot protector.
  18.  
  19. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  20.  
  21. Carefully lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  22.  
  23. Connect the negative battery cable.
  24.  

1993-99 Vehicles

See Figure 15

Use care when removing the halfshaft. When either end of the shaft is disconnected, overextension of the joint could result in separation of internal components and possible joint failure.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. If necessary, loosen or remove the stabilizer shaft link.
  6.  

Make sure to use the proper tools when separating the ball joint. Failure to use the proper tools can damage the ball joint and seal.

  1. Remove the lower ball joint cotter pin and nut, then loosen the joint using a suitable ball joint separator tool. If removing the right halfshaft, turn the wheel to the left, if removing the left halfshaft turn the wheel to the right.
  2.  
  3. Place a prybar between the suspension support and lower control arm, then separate the joint.
  4.  
  5. Insert drift into rotor and caliper to prevent rotor from turning, then remove the hub nut and washer using a hub nut socket tool.
  6.  
  7. Separate the axle from the hub using a suitable puller; the hub nut can be partially installed to protect the threads. Move the strut and knuckle rearward.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 15: Use a suitable puller to separate the halfshaft from the hub and bearing assembly

  1. Remove the inner joint from the transaxle using a suitable slide hammer and axle shaft remover tool.
  2.  

If equipped with the anti-lock brake system, care must be taken to prevent damage to the toothed sensor ring on the halfshaft and the wheel speed sensor on the steering knuckle.

To install:
  1. If installing the right side halfshaft, install a suitable axle seal protector, tool J 37292-A or equivalent. Install the tool in a position so it can be pulled out after the halfshaft is installed (T-handle between 5 and 7 o'clock position).
  2.  
  3. Seat the halfshaft into the transaxle by placing a suitable screwdriver into the groove on the joint housing and tapping until seated. Make sure the halfshaft is seated into the transaxle by grasping the housing and pulling outboard. Do not pull on the halfshaft.
  4.  
  5. Install the halfshaft into the hub and bearing assembly. Install a new hub nut. Insert a drift into the caliper and rotor to prevent the rotor from turning. Tighten the hub nut to 107 ft. lbs. (145 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the lower ball joint to the knuckle, and tighten the ball joint nut as follows:
    1. Step 1: Tighten the nut to 88 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
    2.  
    3. Step 2: Tighten the nut an additional 120° (2 flats on the nut), during which a torque of 41 ft. lbs. (55 Nm) must be obtained.
    4.  

  8.  
  9. Install a new cotter pin. If necessary to align the slot into the nut, tighten the nut up to one more flat. Never loosen the nut to install the cotter pin!
  10.  
  11. Install the stabilizer shaft link assembly and tighten the nut to 13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm).
  12.  
  13. If a boot protector was installed, remove it by pulling in line with the handle.
  14.  
  15. Install the tire and wheel assembly, then carefully lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  16.  

OVERHAUL



Outer CV-Joint and Seal

See Figures 16 through 25

  1. Remove the halfshaft from the vehicle and mount in a suitable vise.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 16: Check the CV-boot for wear



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Fig. Fig. 17: Clean the CV-joint housing prior to removing the boot

  1. Remove the large seal retaining clamp from the CV-joint with side cutters. Discard the clamp.
  2.  
  3. Remove the small seal retaining clamp with side cutters or, for swage ring removal, use a hand grinder to cut through the ring (being careful not to damage the halfshaft).
  4.  
  5. Separate the joint seal from the CV-joint race at the large diameter end and slide the seal away from the joint along the axle shaft.
  6.  
  7. Wipe off the grease from the face of the CV inner race.
  8.  
  9. Spread the ears on the race retaining ring with J-8059 or equivalent snapring pliers and remove the CV-joint from the axle shaft.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 18: Use a pair of snapring pliers to spread the ears on the race retaining ring

  1. Remove the joint seal from the axle shaft.
  2.  
  3. Use a brass drift and hammer to gently tap on the CV-joint cage until it is tilted enough to remove the first ball.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 19: Gently tap on the cage with a brass drift and hammer, until it is tilted enough to remove the first ball

  1. Tilt the cage in the opposite direction and remove the opposing ball.
  2.  
  3. Repeat until all the ball are removed. There are usually 6 balls.
  4.  
  5. Position cage and inner race 90° to centerline of the outer race, and align cage windows with the lands of the outer race.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 20: Place the cage and inner race 90° to centerline of the outer race, and align the cage windows with the lands of the outer race

  1. Remove the cage and inner race from the outer race.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the inner race 90° to centerline of the cage so that the lands of the inner race are aligned with the windows of the cage.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 21: Rotate the inner race 90° to centerline of the cage, so that the lands of the inner race are aligned with the windows of the cage

  1. Pivot the inner race into cage window and remove the inner race.
  2.  
  3. Clean the inner and outer race assemblies, cage and balls thoroughly with a suitable solvent. All traces of old grease and contaminants must be removed. Thoroughly dry all parts.
  4.  

To install:
  1. If equipped, install a new swage ring on the neck of the seal. Do not swage.
  2.  
  3. Slide the seal onto the axle shaft on position the neck of the seal in the seal groove on the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. For the swage ring, mount the swage clamp tool, J 41048 or equivalent, in a vise and proceed as follows:
    1. Position the outboard end of the halfshaft in the tool.
    2.  
    3. Align the top of the seal neck on the bottom die using the indicator line.
    4.  
    5. Place the top half of the tool on the lower half of the tool.
    6.  
    7. Make sure there are no pinch points on the seal before continuing. Any pinching could damage the seal.
    8.  
    9. Install the bolts and tighten by hand until snug.
    10.  
    11. Make sure that the seal, housing and swage ring all stay in alignment. Continue to tighten each bolt 180°, alternating until both sides are bottomed.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 22: Mount the swage clamp tool and axle in a suitable vise

    12.  

  6.  
  7. Put a light coat of grease from the service kit on the ball grooves of the inner race and outer race.
  8.  
  9. Hold the inner race 90° to centerline of the cage with the lands of the inner race aligned with the windows of the cage and insert the inner race into the cage.
  10.  
  11. Hold the cage and inner race 90° to centerline of the outer race and align the cage windows with the lands of the outer race.
  12.  
  13. Install the cage and inner race into the outer race.
  14.  

Make sure that the retaining ring side of the inner race faces the axle shaft.

  1. Insert the first ball, then tilt the cage in the opposite direction to install the opposing ball. Repeat this process until the remaining balls are installed.
  2.  
  3. Place about half the grease from the service kit inside the seal and pack the CV-joint with the remaining grease.
  4.  
  5. Push the CV joint onto the axle shaft until the retaining ring is seated in the groove on the axle shaft.
  6.  
  7. Slide the large diameter of the seal with the large seal retaining clamp in place over the outside of the CV joint race and locate the seal lip in the groove on the race.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 23: Slide the large end of the seal over the outside of the CV-joint race and seat the seal lip in the groove on the race


WARNING
The seal must not be dimpled, stretched or out of shape in any way. IF the seal is NOT shaped correctly, equalize pressure in seal and shape seal properly by hand or replace.

  1. Crimp the retaining clamp to 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm).
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 24: Use a breaker bar and torque wrench to crimp the seal retaining clamp to the proper specifications

  1. Install the halfshaft into the vehicle.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 25: Exploded view of the left and right halfshaft assemblies - 1995 vehicle shown, others similar

Inner Tri-Pot Joint and Seal
spider/TRI-POT ball assembly

See Figures 26, 27, 28, and 29

  1. Remove the halfshaft from the vehicle and mount in a suitable vise.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the swage ring from the axle shaft using a hand grinder to cut through the ring (being careful not to damage the halfshaft).
  4.  
  5. Remove the large retaining clamp from tri-pot joint with side cutter, and discard.
  6.  


WARNING
Do not cut through the seal and damage the sealing surface of tri-pot housing and trilobal tri-pot bushing.

  1. If necessary, remove the small seal retaining clamp using side cutters.
  2.  
  3. Separate the seal from the trilobal tri-pot bushing at large diameter and slide seal away from the joint.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tri-pot housing from the spider and shaft. Remove the trilobal tri-pot bushing from the housing.
  6.  
  7. Spread the spacer ring with J-8059 snapring pliers and slide space ring and tri-pot spider back on axle shaft.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 26: View of the spider assembly



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Fig. Fig. 27: Use a pair of snapring pliers to spread the ears of the spacer ring

  1. Remove the shaft retaining ring from the groove on the axle shaft, then slide the spider from the shaft. Clean the tri-pot balls, needle rollers and housing thoroughly with suitable solvent. All traces of old grease and contaminants must be removed. Thoroughly dry all parts.
  2.  
  3. Remove the spacer rung and seal from the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Inspect the joint balls and needle rollers for damage or wear. Handle with care, and don't reuse them if there is any sign of damage.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Install a new small seal retaining clamp, or swage, as applicable. Do NOT crimp/swage.
  2.  
  3. Slide the seal onto the axle shaft and position neck of seal in groove on the axle shaft.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 28: Seal retaining clamp installation

  1. For the swage ring, mount the swage clamp tool, J 41048 or equivalent, in a vise and proceed as follows:
    1. Position the outboard end of the halfshaft in the tool.
    2.  
    3. Align the top of the seal neck on the bottom die using the indicator line.
    4.  
    5. Place the top half of the tool on the lower half of the tool.
    6.  
    7. Make sure there are no pinch points on the seal before continuing. Any pinching could damage the seal.
    8.  
    9. Install the bolts and tighten by hand until snug.
    10.  
    11. Make sure that the seal, housing and swage ring all stay in alignment. Continue to tighten each bolt 180°, alternating until both sides are bottomed.
    12.  

  2.  
  3. If equipped, crimp the seal using tool J-35910 to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the spacer ring onto the axle shaft and beyond the second groove.
  6.  
  7. Slide the tri-pot spider toward the spacer ring as far as it will go on the shaft.
  8.  
  9. Make sure the counterbored face of the tri-pot spider faces the end of the axle shaft.
  10.  
  11. Use snapring pliers to install the shaft retaining ring in the groove of the axle shaft.
  12.  
  13. Slide the tri-pot spider towards the end of the axle shaft and reseat the spacer ring in the groove on shaft.
  14.  
  15. Place about half the grease provided with the repair kit into the seal and use the remainder to repack the tri-pot housing.
  16.  
  17. Install the trilobal tri-pot bushing to the housing. Make sure the bushing is flush with the face of the housing.
  18.  
  19. Position the new large clamp on the seal.
  20.  
  21. Slide tri-pot housing over the tri-pot spider on axle shaft and remove the slotted sheet metal plate.
  22.  
  23. Slide large diameter end of seal with large clamp in place, over the outside of the trilobal bushing, and locate the lip of seal in the bushing groove.
  24.  
  25. Position the tri-pot at the proper vehicle dimension, 4.9 inches (125mm).
  26.  



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Fig. Fig. 29: Measuring tri-pot seal installation


WARNING
The seal must not be dimpled, stretched or out of shape in any way. If the seal is NOT shaped correctly, carefully insert a thin, flat, blunt tool (no sharp edges) into the between the large seal opening and trilobal tri-pot bushing to equalize pressure. Shape the seal properly by hand and remove the tool.

  1. Use a breaker bar and torque wrench to crimp retaining clamp to 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Make certain the seal, housing and large clamp all remain in alignment while crimping.
  4.  
  5. Install the halfshaft in the vehicle.
  6.  

spider/bearing block assembly

See Figures 30 through 34

  1. Remove the halfshaft from the vehicle and mount in a suitable vise.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the swage ring from the axle shaft using a hand grinder to cut through the ring (being careful not to damage the halfshaft).
  4.  
  5. Remove the large retaining clamp from the tri-pot joint with a side cutter, and discard.
  6.  


WARNING
Do not cut through the seal and damage the sealing surface of tri-pot housing and trilobal tri-pot bushing.

  1. Remove the swage ring from the axle shaft using a hand grinder to cut through the ring (being careful not to damage the halfshaft).
  2.  
  3. Separate the seal from the trilobal tri-pot bushing at the large diameter and slide the seal away from the joint, along the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Remove the housing from the spider and shaft.
  6.  
  7. Use snapring pliers to spread the spacer ring, then slide the ring and spider back on the axle shaft.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 30: View of the spider assembly components



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Fig. Fig. 31: Use snapring pliers to spread the ears, then remove the spacer ring

  1. Remove the shaft retaining ring from the groove on the axle shaft and slide the spider assembly off of the shaft.
  2.  
  3. Clean the bearing blocks, spider and housing thoroughly with suitable solvent. All traces of the old grease and any contaminants must be removed. Dry all components.
  4.  
  5. Remove the trilobal tri-pot bushing from the housing.
  6.  
  7. Remove the spacer ring and seal from the axle shaft.
  8.  
  9. Inspect the joint seal, spider, housing and trilobal tri-pot bushing for damage and/or wear.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install a new swage ring on the neck of the seal. Do NOT swage.
  2.  
  3. Slide the seal onto the shaft and position the neck of the seal in the seal groove on the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. For the swage ring, mount the swage clamp tool, J 41048 or equivalent, in a vise and proceed as follows:
    1. Position the outboard end of the halfshaft in the tool.
    2.  
    3. Align the top of the seal neck on the bottom die using the indicator line.
    4.  
    5. Place the top half of the tool on the lower half of the tool.
    6.  
    7. Make sure there are no pinch points on the seal before continuing. Any pinching could damage the seal.
    8.  
    9. Install the bolts and tighten by hand until snug.
    10.  
    11. Make sure that the seal, housing and swage ring all stay in alignment. Continue to tighten each bolt 180°, alternating until both sides are bottomed.
    12.  

  6.  
  7. Install the spacer ring on the axle shaft, and position beyond the 2nd groove.
  8.  
  9. Attach the bearing blocks to the spider trunnions as follows:
    1. Apply a small amount of grease to the inside of the bearing blocks.
    2.  
    3. Align the flats on the opening in the bearing block with the flats on the spider trunnion.
    4.  
    5. Attach the bearing block to the spider trunnion.
    6.  
    7. Rotate 90° to secure the block to the spider.
    8.  

  10.  
  11. Slide the spider assembly against the spacer ring on the shaft. Be sure that the counterbored face of the spider faces the end of the shaft.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 32: Bearing block-to-spider installation

  1. Install the shaft retaining ring in the groove of the axle shaft with snapring pliers.
  2.  
  3. Slide the spider toward the end of the shaft and reseat the spacer ring in the groove on the shaft.
  4.  
  5. Place about half the grease from the service kit in the seal, then use the remaining grease to pack the housing.
  6.  
  7. Place a slotted, 6 inch square piece of sheet metal between the seal and bearing blocks, to maintain proper alignment during assembly.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 33: Use a 6 in. piece of sheet metal to ensure proper bearing block alignment

  1. Install the trilobal tri-pot bushing to the housing.
  2.  
  3. Position the larger clamp on the seal.
  4.  
  5. Slide the housing over the spider assembly on the shaft and remove the slotted sheet metal plate.
  6.  
  7. Slide the large diameter of the seal, with the larger clamp, in place over the outside of the trilobal tri-pot bushing and place the lip of the seal in the groove.
  8.  
  9. Position the tri-pot at the proper vehicle dimension, 4.9 inches (125mm).
  10.  


WARNING
The seal must not be dimpled, stretched or out of shape in any way. If the seal is NOT shaped correctly, carefully insert a thin, flat, blunt tool (no sharp edges) into the between the large seal opening and trilobal tri-pot bushing to equalize pressure. Shape the seal properly by hand and remove the tool.

  1. Latch the seal retaining clamp with an earless seal clamp tool, J 35566, or equivalent. Make sure that the seal, housing and large clamp stay in alignment while latching.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 34: Use the proper pair of pliers to install the large clamp

  1. Install the halfshaft in the vehicle.
  2.  

 
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