GM Cavalier/Sunfire 1995-2000 Repair Guide

Halfshafts

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 through 19



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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the hub nut from the axle shaft and ...



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Fig. Fig. 2: ... the washer behind it



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the brake caliper from the hub assembly and support it using mechanic's wire or another suitable device



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the rotor from the hub assembly



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Fig. Fig. 5: The tie rod end must be removed from the hub assembly to allow the access needed to remove the halfshaft



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the cotter pin from the tie rod end and ...



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Fig. Fig. 7: ... remove the retaining nut from the tie rod end



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Fig. Fig. 8: A special puller is recommended for removing the tie rod end from the hub assembly without damaging the tie rod end



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Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint and ...



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Fig. Fig. 10: ... using a wrench, loosen and remove the ball joint retaining nut



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Fig. Fig. 11: Use a suitable prytool to remove the lower ball joint/control arm from the hub assembly



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Fig. Fig. 12: Remove the tie rod end from the hub assembly



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Fig. Fig. 13: Detach the wheel speed sensor connector



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Fig. Fig. 14: A large punch can be used to drive the halfshaft out of the hub. Ensure that the punch is placed in the centering hole of the halfshaft and do not hit the threads of the halfshaft



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Fig. Fig. 15: Remove the halfshaft from the hub



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Fig. Fig. 16: A large prytool (although not recommended) can be used to release the halfshaft from the transaxle then ...



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Fig. Fig. 17: ... remove the halfshaft from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 18: Inspect the axle retaining ring located on the output shaft of the transaxle differential

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. With the weight of the vehicle still on the wheels, loosen, but do not remove the front hub nut. This may require an assistant holding the brakes to keep the front halfshaft from turning. It is good practice to wire-brush the exposed threads on the outer CV-joint stub shaft and apply a generous amount of penetrating oil before attempting to loosen the hub nut.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the hub nut and washer.
  10.  
  11. Install the axle boot seal protector J-33162 or the equivalent on the right-hand inner boot, if equipped.
  12.  
  13. Remove and support the brake caliper.
  14.  
  15. Remove the brake rotor.
  16.  
  17. Remove the lower ball joint cotter pin and nut and loosen the joint. If removing the right halfshaft, turn the wheel to the left. If removing the left halfshaft turn the wheel to the right.
  18.  
  19. Disconnect the ABS sensor, if equipped.
  20.  
  21. Separate the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  22.  
  23. Disengage the halfshaft stub end from the front wheel bearing and hub assembly using a suitable press-type tool, pressing until the halfshaft splines are just loose.
  24.  

A hammer and a suitable punch can be used to drive the axle out of the hub.

  1. Separate the hub and bearing assembly from the halfshaft. Move the strut and knuckle assembly rearward.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 19: To prevent damaging the transaxle or halfshaft, use the tools as shown to remove the halfshafts

  1. Separate the inner joint from the transaxle using the proper puller tools such as J-33008 and J-29764 or their equivalents.
  2.  

A large prytool can be used to disengage the halfshaft from the transaxle. Care must be taken as to what is used to pry on for leverage, prying on the wrong item can cause damage.

  1. Remove the halfshaft from the transaxle. Do not pull the halfshaft by the CV-joint boot or on the joint itself.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Prior to installation, cover all sharp edges in the area of the halfshaft with shop towels so the CV-joint boots will be protected from damage. When a halfshaft is removed for any reason, the transaxle (the halfshaft male and female shank) and knuckle sealing surfaces should be inspected for debris and corrosion. If debris or corrosion are present, clean with 320 grit crocus cloth or equivalent. Transaxle fluid may be used to clean off any remaining debris. The surface should be wiped clean and dry before attempting to install the halfshaft.
  2.  
  3. Install the halfshaft into the transaxle (or intermediate shaft, if equipped) by placing a brass drift pin into the groove on the joint housing and tapping until seated. Be careful not to damage the axle seal or dislodge the seal garter spring when installing the axle.
  4.  

Be sure the halfshaft is fully engaged in the transaxle. Verify that the halfshaft is seated by grasping the inner joint housing and pulling outward. Do not pull on the shaft or the boot, but on the inner joint housing only.

  1. Install the drive axle into the hub and bearing assembly.
  2.  
  3. Install the lower ball joint to the steering knuckle. Tighten the ball joint-to-steering knuckle nut to 41 ft. lbs. (55 Nm) to install the cotter pin. Do not loosen the nut at any time during installation. Install a new cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Install the washer and a new hub nut. To keep the hub from turning while the hub nut is being torqued, insert a drift pin through the caliper opening into one of the ventilation openings in the brake rotor. This should lock the assembly together. Tighten the hub nut to 185 ft. lbs. (260 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  8.  
  9. Lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Test drive vehicle to verify no front drive noise.
  12.  

CV-JOINTS OVERHAUL



These vehicles use several different types of joints. Engine size, transaxle type, whether the joint is an inboard or outboard joint, even which side of the vehicle is being serviced could make a difference in joint type. Be sure to properly identify the joint before attempting joint or boot replacement. Look for identification numbers at the large end of the boots and/or on the end of the metal retainer bands.

The 3 types of joints used are the Birfield Joint, (B.J.), the Tripod Joint (T.J.) and the Double Offset Joint (D.O.J.).

Do not disassemble a Birfield joint. Service with a new joint or clean and repack using a new boot kit.

The distance between the large and small boot bands is important and should be checked prior to and after boot service. This is so the boot will not be installed either too loose or too tight, which could cause early wear and cracking, allowing the grease to get out and water and dirt in, leading to early joint failure.

The driveshaft joints use special grease; do not add any grease other than that supplied with the kit.

Double Offset Joint

The Double Offset Joint (D.O.J.) is bigger than other joints and, in these applications, is normally used as an inboard joint.

  1. Remove the halfshaft from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Side cutter pliers can be used to cut the metal retaining bands. Remove the boot from the joint outer race.
  4.  
  5. Locate and remove the large circlip at the base of the joint. Remove the outer race (the body of the joint).
  6.  
  7. Remove the small snapring and take off the inner race, cage and balls as an assembly. Clean the inner race, cage and balls without disassembling.
  8.  
  9. If the boot is to be reused, wipe the grease from the splines and wrap the splines in vinyl tape before sliding the boot from the shaft.
  10.  
  11. Remove the inner (D.O.J.) boot from the shaft. If the outer (B.J.) boot is to be replaced, remove the boot retainer rings and slide the boot down and off of the shaft at this time.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Be sure to tape the shaft splines before installing the boots. Fill the inside of the boot with the specified grease. Often the grease supplied in the replacement parts kit is meant to be divided in half, with half being used to lubricate the joint and half being used inside the boot.
  2.  
  3. Install the cage onto the halfshaft so the small diameter side of the cage is installed first. With a brass drift pin, tap lightly and evenly around the inner race to install the race until it comes into contact with the rib of the shaft. Apply the specified grease to the inner race and cage and fit them together. Insert the balls into the cage.
  4.  
  5. Install the outer race (the body of the joint) after filling with the specified grease. The outer race should be filled with this grease.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the boot bands securely. Make sure the distance between the boot bands is correct.
  8.  
  9. Install the halfshaft to the vehicle.
  10.  

Except Double Offset Joint
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the halfshaft.
  2.  
  3. Use side cutter pliers to remove the metal retaining bands from the boot(s) that will be removed. Slide the boot from the T.J. case.
  4.  
  5. Remove the snapring and the tripod joint spider assembly from the halfshaft. Do not disassemble the spider and use care in handling.
  6.  
  7. If the boot is be reused, wrap vinyl tape around the spline part of the shaft so the boot(s) will not be damaged when removed. Remove the dynamic damper, if used, and the boots from the shaft.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Double check that the correct replacement parts are being installed. Wrap vinyl tape around the splines to protect the boot and install the boots and damper, if used, in the correct order.
  2.  
  3. Install the joint spider assembly to the shaft and install the snapring.
  4.  
  5. Fill the inside of the boot with the specified grease. Often the grease supplied in the replacement parts kit is meant to be divided in half, with half being used to lubricate the joint and half being used inside the boot. Keep grease off the rubber part of the dynamic damper (if used).
  6.  
  7. Secure the boot bands with the halfshaft in a horizontal position. Make sure distance between boot bands is correct.
  8.  
  9. Install the halfshaft to the vehicle and reconnect the negative battery cable.
  10.  

 
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