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How To: Replace Front CV Axle

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by wnelax04sr5, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. Sep 5, 2016 at 2:10 PM
    #1
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] New Member

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    An issue that arises often from lifting, offroading, or just general wear and tear, is that of a bad or going bad CV axle. some telltale signs can be clunking, binding during turns, or vibrations felt through the steering wheel and chassis.

    My CV axle had been leaking grease for some time after I lifted the vehicle, and once I got vibration, I decided it was time to change it.

    Tools needed:
    19mm socket
    35mm socket
    Flat head screwdriver
    Hammer
    Pry Bar

    Step 1: Jack the front end up, support it with jack stands (you will be applying some force to the front end) and take the wheel and tire off.
    Step 2: This is what you should be looking at
    IMG_20160828_124529950.jpg
    Step 3: Pop off the dust cap on the hub, it takes a little persuasion, I found a screwdriver and a hammer works well
    Step 4: Removing the dust cap reveals a castle nut cover and the axle nut itself, which is 35mm
    Step 5: To remove the nut, either use an impact driver (cordless, air, or corded will work fine) or have someone hold the rotor still while you pry on it.
    IMG_20160828_132355211.jpg
    Step 6: This can really be done earlier, but I wanted to make sure I could get everything else loose before I did it, now was when I removed the outer tie rod, normal process for a ball joint, loosen the nut until its just on the end ( 3-4 threads covered) and break it loose with a hammer
    IMG_20160828_132402029.jpg
    Step 7: At the lower ball joint are two 19mm bolts that hold the knuckle assembly to it, remove these to allow for better access to the axle for removal and reinstallation
    IMG_20160828_132414798.jpg
    Step 8: I used a hammer to gently knock the axle out of the wheel bearing and hub assembly, and once it was out I pulled the knuckle out of the way.
    Step 9: Use your pry bar against the front differential and pry the axle out of the housing, it should come out pretty easily
    Step 10: Reverse the process for reinstallation, starting with the differential side of the axle, be incredibly gentle as to not damage the rear seal of the wheel bearing, double check tightness, and make sure the boots stay intact!
     
  2. Jan 31, 2018 at 2:27 PM
    #2
    mrseth

    mrseth New Member

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  3. May 21, 2019 at 8:23 PM
    #3
    off road newbe

    off road newbe New Member

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    rancho 9000 coil overs front and blisten long travel with blisten long springs and 2 in spacer in the back running federal coraga 285 70 r17
    ok so I have done all of the above for my CV joint including removing the skid plate so I have better access to the CV joint.
    I have used various tools to try to pry, tap and pound the inner cv out and it just wont move.
    I can get it to slide easy for maybe 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch is there a way to get this to slide out or does the entire diff have to be removed and disassymbled to remove some kind of c clip in side the diff ?.
     
  4. May 22, 2019 at 4:00 AM
    #4
    chassis

    chassis New Member

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    Do you mean the inner CV joint? I had a hard time removing the inner CV joint. I just kept working on it with a pry bar and hammer wherever I could get some leverage. Problem is I couldn’t get good leverage. Keep working at it.

    The outer CV joint comes out of the hub splines with a few light hammer taps.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  5. May 22, 2019 at 4:45 AM
    #5
    Benny123

    Benny123 Toyota enthusiast

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    LEDs all around, otherwise bone stock.
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  6. May 22, 2019 at 9:07 AM
    #6
    off road newbe

    off road newbe New Member

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    2003 toyota 4runner 3 in lifted 33 in tires
    rancho 9000 coil overs front and blisten long travel with blisten long springs and 2 in spacer in the back running federal coraga 285 70 r17
    thank you both for the information.
    i ended up going to home depot and getting a longer prybar with a wider end so that i could get a better purchase on the inner spindel . once i pried and rotated it a couple of times it started to move out .. not easy like the other write ups and videos show ..
    to put it back in i coat every thing with lithium grease. just my preferance as it seems to mix well with gear oil.
    as i bought a full CV set both inner and outer as a package so i would not have to deal with boots ect..
    getting it in was a choir as well i ended up getting it set then using a rubber dead blow to get it over the c ring.
    now its all back together the rest should be cake to re-assyemble
     
    chassis likes this.
  7. May 25, 2019 at 8:48 AM
    #7
    WMU

    WMU New Member

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    2006 - 1GR-FE - Ltd - 2007 - 1GRE - Ltd - 2008 - 2UZ - Ltd
    Shrockworks Bumper - Winch - Rock Sliders - Bilsteins - 2 inch lift - Hankook Dynapro MT
    In the process of installing a New OEM CV Axle. The vehicle, 2007, has 260,000 KM and is used in extreme off road gumbo and -40 C winters.

    The Rock Auto CV being replaced was installed by a "Mechanic", two years ago, that punched a hole in the grease cap for ease of removal creating a rust situation on the front axle hub nut and when the "Mechanic" installed the CV he damaged the Steering knuckle oil seal. The damaged oil seal eventually caused the CV joint to fail spewing grease over the right front suspension.
    Required a HD 1/2 impact driver to remove the axle nut. Would not budge with a 4 foot snipe on a 2 foot 1/2 inch L handle. I sprayed all types of rust penetration solutions on the axle nut. It was a no go and the impact driver rented/borrowed from the village mechanic was a must.

    To remove the axle I rented a slide hammer and an axle flange attaching two vice grips clamped on each side of the inboard axle housing. I could not remove the axle by using a pry bar. I watched a video where the axle just popped out oh so easily using a pry bar. Hahaha. My 50 year old craftsman vise grips held but the New Irwin vice grips continued to slip off until I used a pry bar to lock the jaws. After three hits out came the axle. I've removed the front axle hub polishing out the rust. I would recommend to anyone doing this process to always replace the Steering knuckle oil seal.
    Removing the axle from the wheel hub was difficult due to the two inch lift. Anticipating the same difficulty installing. Probably why the "Mechanic" damaged the oil seal.

    Working on the floor of a garage is hard on an older body, MINE. Haha

    Any tips for installation into the front axle hub to minimize possible damage to the oil seal? I'm currently waiting for warmer weather prior to returning to the garage and reinstalling wheel hub, oil seal and axle.
     
  8. May 25, 2019 at 1:00 PM
    #8
    WMU

    WMU New Member

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    Shrockworks Bumper - Winch - Rock Sliders - Bilsteins - 2 inch lift - Hankook Dynapro MT
    20190525_112203.jpg
    20190525_112040.jpg

    Pressed in the seal using a 2 X 4 block on the seal using the C-Clamp on a metal bar on the opposite side of the mount. Cleaned the bearing hub with alcohol, greased the O-Ring. Hub slipped into the receiver 3/4 of depth prior to using the 4 bolts with anti seize paste to complete the seating.

    Getting cold and wet out, onset of mosquitoes. Next step is inserting the axle.
     
  9. May 25, 2019 at 7:43 PM
    #9
    chassis

    chassis New Member

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    Looking good, keep going.
     
  10. May 26, 2019 at 8:21 AM
    #10
    WMU

    WMU New Member

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    2006 - 1GR-FE - Ltd - 2007 - 1GRE - Ltd - 2008 - 2UZ - Ltd
    Shrockworks Bumper - Winch - Rock Sliders - Bilsteins - 2 inch lift - Hankook Dynapro MT
    Yeah! No Choice! Haha
    Bright sunny Sunday.

    The plan is to pack the keeper ring on shaft end going into the diff with a hard grease to maintain the position of open loop side down. Possibly reducing the resistance to installation.
     
    chassis likes this.
  11. May 29, 2019 at 7:43 PM
    #11
    WMU

    WMU New Member

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    2006 - 1GR-FE - Ltd - 2007 - 1GRE - Ltd - 2008 - 2UZ - Ltd
    Shrockworks Bumper - Winch - Rock Sliders - Bilsteins - 2 inch lift - Hankook Dynapro MT
    The CV installation went well after purchasing a 7/16 inch X 18 inch length of brass rod. Two hits with a 5 pound hammer on the brass rod positioned against the axle housing mount and the axle slid into proper location. Removed the hub to slide the axle through the steering knuckle mount. Remounted the hub and bolted together the front end components. The axle nut when torqued correctly allows the CV boot to clear the steering knuckle. No need for a 1/2 inch impact driver.
    The OEM axle allows full rotation of the wheel. The Rock Auto axles allowed a 90 degree turn and the wheel stopped turning meeting a restrictive force.
    I watched too many bad examples of How to install a CV axle on U-Tube and too many U-Tube vids that skip critical points making it look too easy.

    Anyone one jammed up in a CV axle replacement. Send me a PM. I'll assist in setting you straight to get the job done without damaging components.

    You can watch and pay or you can pay far less and get it done right by doing it your self.
     
    bookooc and Benny123 like this.

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