GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Halfshafts

Print

Halfshafts are flexible assemblies consisting of an inner and outer Constant Velocity (CV) joint connected by an axle shaft.

These vehicles use unequal-length halfshafts. All halfshafts incorporate a male spline; the shafts interlock with the transaxle gears through the use of barrel-type snaprings. 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



1982-86 Vehicles

See Figure 1

  1. Remove the hub nut.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the front of the car. Remove the wheel and tire assemblies.
  4.  
  5. Install an axle shaft boot seal protector, G.M. special tool No. J-28712 or the equivalent, onto the outer seal and install J-33162, or equivalent, on the inner seal.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: A special tool is used to remove the halfshafts. A screwdriver may be used to help reinsert them

  1. 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.
  2.  
  3. Mark the camber alignment cam bolt for reassembly. Remove the cam bolt and the upper attaching bolt from the strut and spindle.
  4.  
  5. Pull the steering knuckle assembly from the strut bracket.
  6.  
  7. Using G.M. special tool J-28468 or the equivalent, remove the axle shaft from the transaxle.
  8.  
  9. Using G.M. special tool J-28733 or the equivalent spindle remover, remove the axle shaft from the hub and bearing assembly.
  10.  
  11. If a new drive axle is to be installed, a new knuckle seal should be installed first.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Loosely install the drive axle into the transaxle and steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Loosely attach the steering knuckle to the suspension strut.
  4.  
  5. Install the brake caliper. Tighten the bolts to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
  6.  
  7. 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.
  8.  
  9. 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.
  10.  
  11. 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.
  12.  
  13. Connect the brake hose clip to the strut.
  14.  
  15. Install the tire and wheel, the carefully lower the car and tighten the hub nut to 185 ft. lbs. (260 Nm).
  16.  

1987-88 Vehicles

See Figures 2 and 3

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. If necessary, remove the hub cap, then remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Insert a drift into the into the caliper and rotor to prevent the rotor from turning, then unfasten the shaft nut and washer.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Insert a drift into the caliper and rotor to prevent the rotor from turning while removing the shaft nut and washer

  1. Remove the caliper from the steering knuckle and suspend the caliper assembly with a wire.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Removing the halfshaft (drive axle) from the hub and bearing requires the use of a special tool

  1. Remove the rotor from the hub and bearing assembly.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the stabilizer shaft from the control arm.
  4.  
  5. Remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the drive axle from the transaxle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the drive axle from the hub and bearing assembly using tool J-28733 or equivalent.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the drive axle into the hub and bearing assembly and the transaxle.
  2.  
  3. Install the lower ball joint to the steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Install the stabilizer shaft to the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the rotor to the hub and bearing assembly.
  8.  
  9. Install the caliper to the steering knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Install a washer and a new shaft nut.
  12.  
  13. Insert a drift into the into the caliper and rotor to prevent the rotor from turning and torque drive axle nut to 185 ft. lbs. (260 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Seat the drive axle into the transaxle by placing a screwdriver into the groove on the joint housing and tapping until seated.
  16.  
  17. Verify that the drive axle is seated into the transaxle by grasping on the housing and pulling outward.
  18.  
  19. Install the wheel assembly.
  20.  
  21. Lower the car.
  22.  

1989-94 Vehicles

See Figures 4, 5 and 6

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Install drive seal protector J-34754 on the outer joint, or place shop towels underneath the outer joint to protect from any sharp edges.
  8.  
  9. Insert a drift into the into the caliper and rotor to prevent the rotor from turning, then unfasten the shaft nut and washer.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Before removing the shaft nut and washer, insert a drift into the caliper and rotor to prevent the rotor from turning

Use only the recommended tools for separating the ball joint from the steering knuckle or damage to the ball joint and seal may occur.

  1. Remove the lower ball joint cotter pin and nut and loosen the joint using tool J-38892, or equivalent. If removing the right axle, turn the wheel to the left, if removing the left axle, turn the wheel to the right.
  2.  
  3. If equipped with ABS, detach the ABS sensor wire.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: The proper tool must be used to detach the axle from the hub and bearing



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Correct installation of the transaxle seal protector

  1. Separate the joint, with a pry bar between the suspension support.
  2.  
  3. Disengage the axle from the hub and bearing using J 28733-A or equivalent.
  4.  
  5. Separate the hub and bearing assembly from the drive axle and move the strut and knuckle assembly rearward.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the inner joint from the transaxle using tool J-28468 or J-33008 attached to J-29794 and J-2619-01 or from the intermediate shaft (V6 and Turbo engines), if equipped.
  8.  

To install:

Before installing the halfshaft (drive axle) assembly, cover all sharp edges in the area of the halfshaft with shop towels so the seal is not damaged during installation.

  1. Install axle seal protector J-37292-A into the transaxle.
  2.  
  3. Insert the drive axle into the transaxle or intermediate shaft (V6 and Turbo engines), if equipped, by placing a suitable tool into the groove on the joint housing and tapping until seated.
  4.  


WARNING
Be careful not to damage the axle seal or dislodge the transaxle seal garter spring when installing the axle.

  1. Verify that the drive axle is seated into the transaxle by grasping on the housing and pulling outward.
  2.  
  3. Install the drive axle into the hub and bearing assembly.
  4.  
  5. Fasten the lower ball joint to the knuckle. Tighten the ball joint-to-steering knuckle nut to 41-50 ft. lbs. (55-65 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Install the washer and new drive shaft nut.
  8.  
  9. Insert a drift into the caliper and rotor to prevent the rotor from turning and tighten the drive shaft nut to 185 ft. lbs. (260 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Remove both J-37292-B and J-34754 seal protectors.
  12.  
  13. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  14.  
  15. Carefully lower the vehicle and connect the negative battery cable.
  16.  

CV-JOINT OVERHAUL



1982-85 Double Off-Set and 1982-90 Tri-Pot Design

See Figures 7 through 28

For all overhaul procedures for the 1982-85 Double Off-Set type and 1982-90 Tri-Pot type drive axles, please refer to the accompanying figures.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Exploded view of the Double Off-Set design drive axle (halfshaft) - 1982-84 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Exploded view of the Tri-Pot design drive axle (halfshaft) - 1982-84 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Double Off-Set CV-joint overhaul (part 1 of 2) - 1982-84 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Double Off-Set CV-joint overhaul (part 2 of 2) - 1982-84 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 1 of 2) - 1982-84 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 2 of 2) - 1982-84 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Exploded view of the Double Off-Set halfshaft (drive axle) - 1985 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: Double Off-Set CV-joint overhaul (part 1 of 5) - 1985 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 15: Double Off-Set CV-joint overhaul (part 2 of 5) - 1985 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 16: Double Off-Set CV-joint overhaul (part 3 of 5) - 1985 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 17: Double Off-Set CV-joint overhaul (part 4 of 5) - 1985 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 18: Double Off-Set CV-joint overhaul (part 5 of 5) - 1985 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 19: Exploded view of the Tri-Pot halfshaft (drive axle) - 1985-86 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 20: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 1 of 6) - 1985-86 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 21: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 2 of 6) - 1985-86 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 22: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 3 of 6) - 1985-86 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 23: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 4 of 6) - 1985-86 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 24: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 5 of 6) - 1985-86 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 25: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 6 of 6) - 1985-86 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 26: Exploded view of the Tri-Pot halfshaft (drive axle) - 1987-90 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 27: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 1 of 2) - 1987-90 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 28: Tri-Pot CV-joint overhaul (part 2 of 2) - 1987-90 Vehicles

1990-94 Cross-Groove and 1991-94 Tri-Pot Design

See Figures 29 and 30

All 1990-94 models equipped with the Hydra-Matic® 5TM40 or NVT550 5-speed manual transaxles use the Cross-Groove type drive axle. All other models use the Tri-Pot type drive axle. The following overhaul procedures incorporate both designs, unless otherwise noted.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 29: Exploded view of the Cross-Groove halfshaft (drive axle) - 1990-94 Vehicles



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 30: Exploded view of the Tri-Pot halfshaft (drive axle) - 1991-94 Vehicles

OUTER DEFLECTOR RING

See Figures 31 and 32

  1. Remove the halfshaft (drive axle).
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 31: Using a hammer and a brass drift to remove the outer deflector ring

  1. Clamp the halfshaft in a soft jawed vise.
  2.  
  3. Using a brass drift and a hammer, remove the deflecting ring from the CV-joint outer race.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 32: Installing the CV-joint outer deflector ring

To install:
  1. Position and square up the deflecting ring at the press diameter of the CV-joint outer race.
  2.  
  3. Using a 3 in. pipe coupling, M24 x 1.5 nut, and a fabricated sheet metal sleeve, tighten the nut until the deflector bottoms against the shoulder of the CV outer joint.
  4.  

OUTER JOINT SEAL

See Figures 33, 34 and 35

  1. Using a side cutter, remove the large seal retaining clamp from the CV-joint, then discard.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 33: Separating the CV-joint and axle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 34: Seal retaining clamp installation

  1. Remove the small seal retaining clamp on the axle shaft with a side cutter and discard.
  2.  
  3. Separate the joint seal from the CV-joint race at large diameter and slide the seal away from the joint along the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Wipe the excess grease from the face of the CV-joint inner race.
  6.  
  7. Spread the ears on the race retaining ring with snapring pliers and remove the CV-joint from the axle shaft.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 35: CV-joint-to-axle installation

  1. Remove the seal from the axle shaft.
  2.  
  3. Disassemble the joint and flush the grease prior to installing a new seal.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install the small retaining clamp on the neck of the new seal, but do not crimp.
  2.  
  3. Slide the seal onto the axle shaft and position the neck of the seal in the seal groove on the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Crimp the seal retaining clamp with J 35910 seal clamp tool or equivalent, to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Place approximately half of the grease provided in the seal kit, inside the seal and repack the CV-joint with the remaining grease.
  8.  
  9. Push the CV-joint onto the axle shaft until the retaining ring is seated in the groove on the axle shaft.
  10.  
  11. 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 lip of the seal in the groove on the race.
  12.  


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

  1. Crimp the seal retaining clamp with J 35910 seal clamp tool or equivalent, to 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm).
  2.  

OUTER JOINT ASSEMBLY

See Figures 36, 37 and 38

  1. Remove the outer joint seal as outlined earlier.
  2.  
  3. 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.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 36: Removing the CV-joint balls

  1. Pivot the cage 90 degrees and, with the cage ball windows aligned with the outer joint windows, lift out the cage and the inner race.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 37: Outer race and cage separation

  1. The inner race can be removed from the cage by pivoting it 90° and lifting out. Clean all parts thoroughly and inspect for wear.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 38: Inner race and cage separation

To install:
  1. 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.
  2.  
  3. Install the parts in the reverse order of removal.
  4.  

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

  1. Install the outer seal as outlined earlier.
  2.  

CROSS-GROOVE JOINT SEAL

See Figures 39, 40, 41 and 42

  1. Cut the seal retaining clamps with a side cutter.
  2.  
  3. Separate the seal from the C/G joint race at the large diameter and slide the seal away from the joint along the axle shaft.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 39: C/G joint and axle separation - 1990-94 vehicles with the Cross-Groove halfshaft



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 40: Seal retaining clamp installation - 1990-94 vehicles with the Cross-Groove halfshaft

  1. Wipe the excess grease from the C/G joint inner race.
  2.  
  3. Spread the ears on the retaining ring with snapring pliers and remove the C/G joint from the axle shaft.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 41: C/G joint-to-axle installation - 1990-94 vehicles with the Cross-Groove halfshaft



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 42: C/G joint seal installation measurement - 1990-94 vehicles with the Cross-Groove halfshaft

  1. Remove the seal from the axle shaft.
  2.  
  3. Remove the seal from the shaft.
  4.  

The cross-groove joint design uses precision grinding and selected dimensional component fits for proper assembly and operation. Due to its complexity, disassembly is not recommended.

  1. Flush the grease from the joint prior to installing a new seal.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Install the small retaining clamp on the neck of the new seal, but do not crimp.
  2.  
  3. Slide the seal onto the axle shaft and position the neck of the seal in the seal groove on the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Crimp the seal retaining clamp with J 35910 seal clamp tool or equivalent, to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Place approximately half of the grease provided in the seal kit, inside the seal and repack the C/G joint with the remaining grease.
  8.  
  9. Push the C/G joint onto the axle shaft until the retaining ring is seated in the groove on the axle shaft.
  10.  
  11. Slide the large diameter of the seal over the outside of the C/G joint and locate the lip of the seal in the groove on ball retainer.
  12.  


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

  1. Crimp the seal retaining clamp with J 35910 seal clamp tool or equivalent, to 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm).
  2.  

INNER TRI-POT SEAL

See Figures 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 and 48

  1. Remove the larger seal retaining clamp from the tri-pot joint with a side cutter and discard.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 43: Spider assembly removal - 1991-94 Tri-Pot type axle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 44: Small seal retaining clamp installation - 1991-94 Tri-Pot type axle


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

  1. Remove the small seal retaining clamp from the axle shaft with a side cutter and discard.
  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 tri-pot housing from the spider and shaft.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 45: Spider assembly installation - 1991-94 Tri-Pot type axle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 46: Tri-Pot housing installation - 1991-94 Tri-Pot type axle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 47: Seal installation measurement - 1991-94 Tri-Pot type axle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 48: Large seal retaining clamp installation - 1991-94 Tri-Pot type axle

  1. Spread the spacer ring with snapring pliers and slide the spacer ring and tri-pot spider back on the axle shaft.
  2.  
  3. Remove the shaft retaining ring from the groove on the axle shaft and slide the spider assembly off of the shaft.
  4.  
  5. Check the tri-pot balls and needle rollers for damage or wear.
  6.  

Use care when handling the spider assembly as the tri-pot balls and rollers may separate from the spider trunnions.

  1. Remove the trilobal tri-pot bushing from the tri-pot housing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the spacer ring and seal from the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Flush the grease from the tri-pot housing.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Install the small retaining clamp on the neck of the new seal, but do not crimp.
  2.  
  3. Slide the seal onto the axle shaft and position the neck of the seal in the seal groove on the axle shaft.
  4.  
  5. Crimp the seal retaining clamp with J 35910 seal clamp tool or equivalent, to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the spacer ring on the axle shaft and beyond the 2nd groove.
  8.  
  9. Slide the tri-pot spider assembly against the spacer ring on the shaft.
  10.  

Make sure the counterbored face of the tri-pot spider faces the end of the shaft.

  1. Install the shaft retaining ring in the groove of the axle shaft with the snapring pliers.
  2.  
  3. Slide the tri-pot spider towards the end of the shaft and reseat the spacer ring in the groove on the shaft.
  4.  
  5. Place approximately half of the grease provided in the seal kit, inside the seal and repack the tri-pot housing with the remaining grease.
  6.  
  7. Install the trilobal tri-pot bushing to the tri-pot housing.
  8.  
  9. Position the larger clamp on the seal.
  10.  
  11. Slide the tri-pot housing over the tri-pot spider.
  12.  
  13. Slide the large diameter of the seal, with the larger clamp in place, over the outside of the trilobal bushing and locate the lip of the seal in the bushing groove.
  14.  
  15. Position the tri-pot assembly at the proper vehicle dimension as shown.
  16.  


WARNING
The seal must not be dimpled or out of shape in any way. If it is not shaped correctly, equalize pressure by carefully inserting a thin flat blunt tool (with no sharp edges) between the large seal opening and the bushing and reshape properly by hand.

  1. Crimp the seal retaining clamp with J 35566 seal clamp tool or equivalent.
  2.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo