How to Replace the CV Joint in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer

A constant-velocity (CV) joint allows a turning shaft to transfer that power Vehicles different angles. In order to accomplish this, the joint has to maintain enough grease around it to keep the joint running smoothly. The boots around the CV joint are there to prevent dust from getting in between the joint and damaging it. But the boot will rip occasionally and allow dirt and debris inside the joint, causing the CV joint to wear out and break. When the CV joint on the Vehicles starts to go bad, you will hear it clicking and then begin to grind before it finally gives out. Replacing the CV joints on your Vehicles will take you about four to six hours to complete.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the CV Joint in a 2001 Chevy Cavalier

Removing the Old CV Joint

Park your 2001 Chevy Cavalier on a flat surface with adequate lighting. Loosen the lug nuts on both front wheels with your tire iron. Lift the front of the vehicle with your car jack, then place your jack stands under the front of the frame for added support and stability.

Remove the loosened lug nuts on both sides with your tire iron and then slide the front wheels off the assembly on both sides. Unlock the spindle nut with a screwdriver and then remove it with your ratchet and socket.

Remove the mounting bolts of the brake calipers with your ratchet. These are located behind the wheel assembly. Then use your bungee cord to suspend the brake calipers in order to protect the brake line. Then pull the brake rotor off your 2001 Chevy Cavalier.

Pull out the cotter pin of the lower control arm ball joint. Remove the nut of the control arm from the ball joint with your wrench, then remove all bolts attached to the lower control arm's stabilizer. Then detach the lower control arm by swinging it outward until it is free from the axle.

Use your special tool J-28733 on the axle hub by pressing it onto the CV joint of the hub. Push inward and then away until loose.

Use your slide hammer to remove the CV joint from the transmission by attaching it to the special tool J-28733.

Installing the Replacement

Snap the new CV joint onto the transmission by pushing it firmly in place until it snaps firmly onto the transmission.

Push the CV joint into the wheel's hub, without overextending it. It should fit exactly as the older version did -- snugly onto the hub.

Reattach the lower control arm to the stabilizer and tighten the nut with your wrench. Be sure reattach and tighten all of the bolts along the lower control arm. Reattach the cotter pin, replacing it with a new cotter pin if it is worn and no longer stays in place.

Release the caliper from the bungee cord and reinstall the rotor and calipers. Tighten the bolts of the caliper with your wrench. Then install the hub nut and tighten it with your wrench. Again, replace the cotter pin if necessary.

Reinstall the front wheels, tightening the lug nuts to hold them in place. Then remove the jack stands and lower your Cavalier to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts completely with the tire iron once the wheels are firmly on the ground. Perform a test drive to ensure your work has been successful.

Items you will need

  • Car jack

  • Jack stands

  • Tire iron

  • Ratchet set

  • Breaker bar

  • Hammer

  • Torque wrench

  • Special tool J-28733

  • Cotter pins

  • Bungee cord with hooks

  • Slide hammer

  • Screwdriver

 How to Replace a CV Joint in a Hyundai Elantra

Remove the hubcap from the wheel by prying it off with a screwdriver at the edge.

Remove the axle nut from the axle with a 32 mm socket and a long breaker bar. The axle nut is held on at about 120 foot-pounds and will require a substantial amount of force to remove it. The longer the breaker bar, the easier it will be to remove.

Jack up the Elantra and place it on jack stands.

Remove the wheels, using a lug nut wrench.

Remove the castle nut from the bottom of the ball joint with a ratchet; but first remove the cotter pin from the castle nut, using needle-nose pliers.

Separate the steering knuckle from the lower control arm with a ball joint separator. Place the ball joint separator between the lower control arm and the steering knuckle, and use a hammer to hit the end of the ball joint separator until the ball joint breaks free. Alternatively, use a hammer to hit the side of the lower control arm where the ball joint fits into it; the ball joint will break free.

Pull the steering knuckle toward you, and remove the CV joint from it.

Pry between the transmission case and the CV joint with a pry bar until the CV joint breaks free. Pull the CV joint out of the Elantra.

Place the new CV joint into the transmission and route it through the steering knuckle.

Place a new pin into the axle, and line it up with the transmission stub that the axle fits onto. Hammer the pin into the groove.

Tighten the axle nut with a ratchet.

Place the ball joint through the lower control arm, and tighten the castle nut with a ratchet. Then place the cotter pin through the nut.

Reinstall the wheel, and lower the Elantra.

Tighten the axle nut to 120 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Reinstall the hubcap.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Ratchet

  • Sockets

  • Long breaker bar

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Ball joint separator

  • Hammer

  • Pry bar

  • CV joint (drive axle)

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace a CV Joint on an S10

How to Replace a CV Joint on an S10

Put on safety glasses. With the S10 on a lift raised to about waist level, remove the lug nuts and tire using the pneumatic gun and a socket.

Remove the caliper bolts with the air ratchet and a 3/8-inch hex head male adapter. Pry the caliper off with a small pry bar and support to the frame out of the way using a bungee cord. The pads will remain intact with the caliper.

Manipulate the cotter pins in the upper and lower ball joints and pry them out with a pair of dikes. Remove the upper and lower ball joint castle nuts using a hand wrench. Break them free with the box end side and then flip over to the open end to speed things up.

Remove the hub bearing nut using the pneumatic gun and a 36 mm socket. Remove the washer.

Tap the spindle of the CV shaft with the hammer until it starts to move.

Separate the connection of the knuckle from the ball joints using the hammer to alternately pound onto the upper and lower control arms until it breaks free. The knuckle will drop down some when it separates, but the tie rod end and CV joint spindle should still hold it in place.

Place the drain bucket under the transaxle where the CV joint enters it.

Recruit a tech or a friend to manipulate the knuckle toward the back of the S10. Manipulate the spindle of the CV joint out of the hub of the knuckle. Place a large pry bar on the inside base of the CV joint and pry it out of the transaxle. (In some older models, the CV shaft may have a flange and six bolt connection to the transaxle. In that case, remove the bolts and then pry it out.) A little bit of fluid will dribble out of the connection from the transaxle and hopefully into the drain bucket.

Install the new CV joint until you hear it click into the transaxle. Make sure the base is flush. Manipulate the knuckle and hub to fit over the spindle of the CV joint making sure to align the splines.

Have your tech/friend manipulate the knuckle back onto the upper and lower ball joints and replace the castle nuts enough to hold the knuckle. Tighten the castle nuts and replace the cotter pins.

Replace the washer and hub bearing nut with the gun. Tighten until it bottoms out. Turn the CV joint by hand to make sure it is turning correctly.

Replace the caliper over the rotor. You may need the C clamp to press the caliper piston inward just enough to get over the rotor. If that's the case, you may have to remove the pads to do so.

Replace the caliper bolts using the ratchet and adapter.

Replace the wheel and lug nuts and torque the lug nuts to 100-foot pounds with the torque wrench.

Remove the drain bucket and lower the S10.

Items you will need

  • Car lift

  • Safety glasses

  • Air compressor with air hose

  • 1/2-inch drive pneumatic gun

  • 1/2-inch drive socket set

  • Air ratchet

  • Dikes

  • Hammer

  • 3/8-inch hex head 3/8-inch drive male adapter

  • Pry bar set (small to large)

  • Box end/open end combination hand wrench set

  • 36-mm 1/2-inch drive socket

  • Drain bucket

  • Bungee cord

  • C clamp

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace CV Joints in a 1998 Chevy Blazer 4X4

Place the jack under the side of the Blazer on which you will be replacing the CV joint, and raise the truck to a comfortable level.

Support the lower control arm under the wheel with a floor jack. Remove the wheel nuts and wheel cover. Remove the wheel from the Blazer, and set it aside.

Remove the lower cotter pin with a socket wrench. Loosen, but do not remove, the stud nut. Loosen the CV joint with a CV joint removal tool. The removal tool for the 1998 Blazer is a J-9519-30 tool, which can be bought directly from Chevrolet or through online automotive shops. Once you have loosened the CV joint, remove the nut and joint from the vehicle. If you have difficulty removing the CV joint, rotate the steering wheel as far inward as you can.

Install the replacement CV joint on the Blazer by securing it with the bolt and cotter pin. Rotate the steering wheel to make sure the ball joint is installed properly.

Reinstall the wheel, and lower the Blazer.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Floor jack

  • Wheel wrench

  • Socket wrench

  • CV joint removal tool

 How to Replace CV Joints in a Chrysler Sebring

Loosen the hub bolt and lug nuts while the car is parked with the parking brake applied, then remove the cotter pin from the wheel with pliers. Raise the car and support the front end on safety jacks and remove the wheel.

Remove the wheel hub washer and nut. Detach the brake components from the rotor and carefully suspend the calipers from the car frame to avoid damage. Disengage the speed sensor and its wiring bracket and position them out of the way.

Remove the damper fork and steering knuckle with a joint separator tool. Once you have proper clearance, disengage the half axle from the wheel by pulling the hub away from the vehicle. Do not attempt to pull on the axle out of the hub from under the vehicle, as this may damage components.

Pull the other end of the half axle from the transaxle. Remove the old half axle from the vehicle and leave clearance to install the replacement.

Align the new half axle assembly into position and carefully press the inner end into the transaxle. Apply firm pressure to make sure that it is firmly seated. Install the other end of the half axle into the wheel hub and loosely reinstall the hub washer and nut.

Re-install the steering knuckle, brakes, and damper fork. Re-install the cotter pin, the speed sensor and the wheel, then lower the vehicle and tighten all lugs, bolts, and nuts.

Test the vehicle drive train by driving in an empty parking lot. It is recommended that the car be taken to a reputable mechanic to perform an alignment.

Items you will need

  • Metric socket set

  • Car jack and jack stands

  • Joint separator tool

  • Puller tool

  • Pliers

 How to Replace CV Joints on a Honda Accord

Place the wood block behind the tire you will not be working on and set the parking brake. Raise the vehicle up with a car jack and place a jack stand under the vehicle frame.

Lower the car jack so that the vehicle is sitting on the jack stand. Do not place the jack stand under the axle, since you will need that axle to be free to work on.

Remove the tire with a tire tool and set it aside. Take the nut off of the axle at the hub with a socket wrench, then remove the ball joint nut from the bottom of the joint and move the spindle hub out of the way.

Slide the trans-axle out off the transmission by pulling it straight out. The trans-axle will come right out without having to remove any pins or bolts once the spindle is out of the way.

Slide the new trans-axle into the transmission and thread the end of the trans-axle into the spindle hub. You will have to apply some pressure by hand to the trans-axle to get it to fit back into the spindle hub.

Reattach the nuts to the top and bottom of the ball joint to secure the hub, then place the tire back on the Accord using a tire tool.

Lift the car with the car jack and remove the jack stand from under the vehicle. Lower the vehicle to the ground and remove the car jack.

Items you will need

  • 4-by-4 inch wood block

  • Car jack

  • Jack stand

  • Tire tool

  • Socket wrench set

  • Pliers

 How to Replace CV Joints on a Toyota

Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Remove the wheels using the ½-inch air gun and sockets.

Remove the two bolts in the brake caliper using the 3/8-sockets and ratchet. Remove the caliper, but do not let it hang by its hose. Lay it on the spring or tie it up with a coat hanger.

Remove the large axle nut in the center of the brake rotor. This nut holds the axle into the hub bearing. Use the ½-inch air gun and socket to remove it.

Remove the tie rod at the connection to the spindle by removing the cotter pin with the wire cutters, then the nut, using a wrench or socket. Place the tie rod remover tool in between the spindle and the tie rod and hit it with a hammer until it pops the tie rod out of the tapered end of the spindle.

Remove the two large nuts and bolts from the base of the strut where it is attached to the upper arm of the spindle. Use the ½-inch air gun and an 18mm socket. Once the bolts are out, push the strut and pull on the spindle to separate the two.

Push the axle out of the hub in the rotor with the thumb--or if that is too hard, screw the large nut upside down on the end of the axle to protect the threads and tap it with a hammer to break it loose. Remove the nut and push the axle through the bearing while turning the rotor and spindle to make enough room. Lay the axle on the lower control arm.

Remove the CV axle with the pry bar by placing the end of the pry bar in between the transmission and the CV joint.

Insert the inner splined end of the CV axle into the transmission and then pull it back about 1 to 2 inches and quickly slam it in. This will overcome the resistance of the C-clip on the transmission side of the axle. Do not stretch the axle, as the ball bearing in the axle will become dislodged. Just bring the whole axle back a little and push quickly--it will snap in.

Pull the rotor back enough to get the outboard end of the CV axle into the hub bearing. Rotate the rotor slightly to get the splines on the axle to align with the splines in the hub bearing. Push the axle through as far as possible.

Push the upper arm of the spindle and pull the base of the strut to get the top arm into the strut. Insert the two large bolts. Screw the nuts on and tighten them with the 18mm socket and air gun.

Screw the large axle nut on the end of the axle shaft and tighten securely with the ½-inch air gun and socket. Install the tie rod end by putting the bottom, threaded shaft into the hole that it came out of in the spindle steering arm. Screw the nut on. Tighten the nut with a wrench or a socket and insert the cotter pin.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack Jack stands ½-inch set of sockets ½-inch air gun 3/8-inch set of sockets 3/8-inch ratchet Pry bar Hammer Tie rod remover tool Set of wrenches

 How to Replace CV Joints on a Nissan Pulsar

Pry the wheel cover off and place the socket end of the impact wrench over the hub nut. Remove this nut setting the impact wrench to turn counterclockwise and activating the wrench until the nut comes off.

Loosen the wheel lug nuts with the tire wrench, and raise the Pulsar up on jack stands using the floor jack. The jack stands should go underneath the front pinch welds of the vehicle. Then, lower the Pulsar onto the jack stands.

Finish removing the lug nuts and take the front wheels off.

Starting with the driver's side, remove the drive axle hub nut using a socket wrench or an impact wrench.

Unbolt the damper fork from the shock absorber and the lower control arm, and remove it. To do this, you will need to place the floor jack under the base of the shock, and jack up on it enough to support the shock and prevent the coil spring from unloading while you are trying to remove the damper fork.

Use the ball joint separator to remove the other end of the lower control arm from the steering knuckle.

Swing the steering knuckle and hub assembly to the side, and pry the CV joint/shaft out of the Pulsar's transaxle/transmission using a flat head screwdriver. Then, pull the other end of the shaft out of the hub assembly. Make note that the snap ring end of the CV shaft comes out of the transmission and not the hub assembly.

Install the new CV joint/shaft. Installation in the reverse order of removal.

Repeat Steps 4 - 8 for the other side of the Pulsar.

Put the wheels back on and tighten the lug nuts. Lower the Nissan Pulsar to the ground and torque the lug nuts to 100 ft lbs with a torque wrench.

Items you will need

  • Tire wrench Jack 2 Jack stands Pliers Socket wrench with socket set Ball joint separator Impact wrench with air compressor Tie rod end puller Flat head screwdriver Zip ties Hard grease New cotter pin

 How to Replace CV Joints On a Jeep Cherokee

Disconnect the negative battery cable.

Shift the transmission into neutral. Apply the parking brake.

Position a brick or block of wood behind the front wheels. Lift the rear of the Cherokee with a jack. Place a jack stand under the frame on each side of the vehicle. Lower the jack.

Place a flathead screwdriver through the drive shaft yoke. Loosen the flange bolts with a wrench. Remove the bolts from the drive shaft.

Lower the rear of the drive shaft. Remove the front of the drive shaft from the transmission.

Put the front of the drive shaft in the transmission opening. Lift the rear of the drive shaft into position .Install new straps and bolts with the wrench.

Raise the vehicle with a jack. Remove the jack stands. Lower the car with the jack. Remove the brick or block of wood.

Place the transmission in park. Release the parking brake.

Measure the distance from the CV joint cup to the end of the CV joint boot with the vehicle on the ground. The required space is 5 1/2 inches. Loosen the lock nut on the drive shaft with a socket and ratchet. Move one end of the drive shaft in or out of the transmission until the correct spacing between the cup and boot is achieved.

Items you will need

  • Brick or block of wood

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Wrench

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Drive shaft

  • Straps

  • Bolts

  • Tape measure