How to Change the Axle on a Dodge Grand Caravanby Alibaster Smith
The axle on a Dodge Grand Caravan transfers power to the wheels from the transmission. The axle's only weak point is the CV joints on either side of the shaft. These joints provide flexibility in the shaft for normal turning and to absorb vibration from uneven road surfaces. However, the protective boot is prone to failure over time. When it fails, the joint will begin to grind on itself. When that happens, you'll need to change the axle.
Loosen, but do not remove, the lug nuts on the wheels you will be working on. Turn the lug nuts 35 degrees counterclockwise with a tire wrench.
Jack up on the lift points in the front or rear of the Caravan (depending on which axle you are working on). Place jack stands underneath the pinch welds of the vehicle and lower the Caravan onto the jack stands.
Continue removing the lug nuts and pull the wheel off the hub assembly. Remove the hub retaining nut.
Remove the tie rod end nuts (if you are working on the front of the Caravan).
Remove the lower control arm to the steering knuckle bolt (if you are working on the front of the vehicle).
Separate the steering knuckle from the control arm (if you are working on the front of your Caravan). Place the tip of the ball joint separator tool between the control arm and the steering knuckle. Hit the end of the tool with a hammer to separate the knuckle from the control arm.
Lift up on the wheel hub assembly and push it to the right while pulling the axle out fo the hub assembly.
Pry the other end of the axle out of the transmission with a small flat-tip screwdriver.
Put some hard grease onto the snap ring of the new axle shaft. Insert the axle into the transmission and push it in until it snaps into place. The rest of the installation is the reverse of removal.
Items you will need
- Tire wrench
- 2 jack stands
- Impact wrench with air compressor
- Ball joint removal tool
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, Chrysler Town & Country Repair Manual 2003-2006; John Wegmann, John H. Haynes; 2006