GM Grand Am/Achieva/Calais/Skylark/Somerset 1985-98

Halfshafts/Drive Axles

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Halfshafts are flexible assemblies consisting of and inner and outer Constant Velocity (CV) joint connected by an axle shaft. The inner joint is completely flexible and has the capability of in-and-out movement. The outer joint is also flexible but cannot move in-and-out.

The halfshaft or drive axle spline end mating with the knuckle and hub assembly is a helical spline which provides a tight press-fit and assures that no end-play will exist between the hub and bearing assembly and the drive shaft assembly.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



If equipped with tri-pot joints, care must be exercised not to allow joints to become overextended. Overextending the joint could result in separation of internal components.

1985-88 Vehicles See Figures 1 through 6

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Fig. Fig. 1: Insert a brass drift to prevent the rotor from turning and remove the shaft nut



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Fig. Fig. 2: Using needle-nose pliers, remove and discard the ball joint cotter pin



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Fig. Fig. 3: Unfasten the retaining nut



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Fig. Fig. 4: Use a suitable tool to carefully pry the halfshaft from the transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 5: Press the halfshaft out of the hub



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Fig. Fig. 6: Once the halfshaft is loose, pull the knuckle away and remove the joint from the hub

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle under the proper body lift points. Do NOT support under lower control arms. Remove the wheel and tire assemblies.
  4.  
  5. Install drive axle boot protector J 34754 or equivalent on the outer joint.
  6.  
  7. To prevent the rotor from turning, insert a drift into the caliper and rotor, then unfasten the shaft nut and washer.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the caliper retaining bolts, then remove and support the caliper with a wire; DO NOT let the caliper hang by its brake hose.
  10.  
  11. Remove the rotor from the hub and bearing assembly.
  12.  
  13. Detach the stabilizer shaft from the control arm.
  14.  
  15. Remove and discard the cotter pin, unfasten the retaining nut the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  16.  
  17. Using tool J 28733 or suitable halfshaft pressing tool, remove the halfshaft/drive axle from the hub and bearing assembly, by pressing the halfshaft in and away from hub. The halfshaft should only be pressed in until the press fit between the halfshaft and hub is loose.
  18.  
  19. To remove the intermediate shaft on manual transaxles:
    1. Remove the detonation sensor.
    2.  
    3. Remove the power steering pump brace.
    4.  
    5. Remove the intermediate shaft bracket bolts and remove the assembly.
    6.  

  20.  

To install:
  1. Install the intermediate shaft, if removed. Tighten the bracket bolts to 48 ft. lbs. (66 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install halfshaft seal boot protectors on all tri-pot inner joints with silicone boots.
  4.  
  5. Start splines of halfshaft into transaxle and push halfshaft until it snaps into place.
  6.  
  7. Start the splines by inserting halfshaft into the hub assembly.
  8.  
  9. Secure lower ball joint into the steering knuckle and install the attaching nut. Install a new cotter pin.
  10.  
  11. Install the rotor and caliper.
  12.  
  13. Secure the washer and hub nut, tighten to 191 ft. lbs. (260 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Install stabilizer bar bushing assembly to lower control arm and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Remove halfshaft seal boot protector.
  18.  
  19. Install the wheel and tire assemblies.
  20.  
  21. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  22.  
  23. Connect the negative battery cable and check for proper operation.
  24.  

1989-95 Vehicles See Figures 7 and 8

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Fig. Fig. 7: Special tools are typically required to remove the halfshaft from the transaxle on later models



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Fig. Fig. 8: When installing the inner CV joint to the transaxle, a special tool should be used to prevent the seals from being damaged

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety purposes.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheels.
  6.  
  7. Install a suitable halfshaft seal protector on the outer joint or place shop towels under the outer joint to protect the joint from any sharp edges.
  8.  
  9. Insert a drift into the caliper and rotor to prevent the rotor from turning, then unfasten the shaft nut and washer. Discard the shaft nut. Refer to the illustration for proper placement.
  10.  
  11. Remove the lower ball joint cotter pin and attaching nut, then using tool J 38892 or equivalent, loosen the joint. If removing the right axle, turn the wheel to the left. If removing the left axle, turn the wheel to the right. Discard the cotter pin.
  12.  

To avoid damage to the ball joint and seal, use only the recommended tools for separating the ball joint from the knuckle.

  1. If equipped, disconnect the ABS sensor wire(s).
  2.  
  3. Separate the joint using a suitable prybar between the suspension support and lower control arm. Remove the stabilizer shaft, if necessary.
  4.  
  5. For vehicles through 1990, pull out on the lower steering knuckle area. Using a plastic or rubber mallet, strike the end of the halfshaft to disengage it from the hub and bearing assembly. The shaft nut can be partially installed to protect the threads.
  6.  
  7. For 1991 through 1998 vehicles, use tool J 28733-A or equivalent, to disengage the halfshaft/axle from the hub and bearing assembly.
  8.  
  9. Separate the halfshaft/drive axle from the hub and bearing assembly and move the strut assembly rearward.
  10.  
  11. Remove the inner joint from the transaxle using tools J 28468 or J 33008, or equivalent, attached to tools J 29794 and J 2619-01, or equivalent, for intermediate shaft (if equipped).
  12.  
  13. To remove the intermediate shaft, remove the rear engine mount through-bolt. Then remove the intermediate shaft bracket bolts and remove the assembly.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Install the seal protector to the transaxle. Install the intermediate shaft, if removed.
  2.  
  3. Drive the halfshaft into the transaxle or intermediate shaft by placing a non-iron drift or other suitable tool into the groove on the joint housing and tapping until seated. Be careful not to damage the axle seal or spring. Verify that the axle is seated by grasping the inner joint housing and gently pulling outward.
  4.  
  5. Install the halfshaft/drive axle to the hub and bearing assembly.
  6.  
  7. Connect the ball joint to the steering knuckle, then tighten the steering knuckle nut to 48-63 ft. lbs. (65-85 Nm) to install the cotter pin. Fasten a new cotter pin on the assembly. Install the stabilizer shaft, if removed.
  8.  
  9. Install the washer and a new drive shaft nut. Insert a drift to keep the rotor from turning, then tighten the nut to 185 ft. lbs. (260 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Remove the CV-joint seal protectors.
  12.  
  13. Install the wheels and tire assemblies.
  14.  
  15. Carefully lower the vehicle, then connect the negative battery cable.
  16.  

Intermediate Shaft See Figure 9

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Fig. Fig. 9: Intermediate shaft mounting detail

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the right halfshaft assembly from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the halfshaft support bracket-to-engine bolts.
  6.  
  7. Carefully remove the intermediate shaft from the transaxle. Be careful not to damage the seal on the transaxle when removing the shaft.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Apply a light coating of grease to the intermediate shaft and place it into the transaxle.
  2.  
  3. Install the intermediate shaft support bracket-to-engine bolts and tighten them to 48 ft. lbs. (66 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the right halfshaft.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle from the jackstands.
  8.  
  9. If any fluid leaked from the transaxle during intermediate shaft removal, replace it as necessary.
  10.  

CV-JOINT OVERHAUL



See Figures 10, 11, 12 and 13

Please refer to the appropriate illustration for overhaul procedures.



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Fig. Fig. 10: Tri-pot halfshaft/drive axle unit repair



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Fig. Fig. 11: Tri-pot halfshaft/drive axle unit repair



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Fig. Fig. 12: Cross-groove halfshaft/drive axle unit repair



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Fig. Fig. 13: Cross-groove halfshaft/drive axle unit repair

 
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