How to Replace the Half Shaft on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Vehicles is a front wheel drive Vehicles that uses two halfshafts to drive the front wheels. These halfshafts have CV joints on each side that let the axle rotate while also moving up and down in harmony with the suspension. The CV joints are made up of large bearings, and those need to stay lubricated. Should the boot around them break down, then the bearings won't be lubricated and the halfshafts could seize. To fix the problem, you need to replace the halfshaft as an assembly.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Half Shaft on a 1997 Nissan Sentra

Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Remove the front tires, using the ½-inch drive ratchet and appropriate socket.

Extract the two bolts securing the brake caliper to the mounting bracket. Lift the caliper off the rotor and hang the caliper on the spring using a suitable piece of wire. The idea is to not allow the caliper to hang by its hose or it will collapse the hose.

Remove the large axle nut in the center of the spindle securing the shaft to the spindle. Remove the two large 18mm bolts and nuts from the base of the strut where it attaches to the spindle, using an 18mm socket and a wrench in the same dimensions. Pull the bolts out once loosened and separate the strut from the spindle.

Push the half shaft out of the spindle. It may be necessary to use the prybar to pry the lower control arm down while pulling the cv joint out of the spindle.

Force the half shaft out of the transmission using the large screwdriver. Place the screwdriver between the transmission and the inner CV joint and with a quick jerk pry the axle out of the transmission. Install the new CV joint and other removed parts in reverse order of removal.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • ½-inch drive ratchet

  • Set of ½-inch drive sockets

  • Wire cutters

  • Long prybar

  • Large common screwdriver

  • Set of wrenches

 How to Replace the Half Shaft on a Chevy Impala

Remove the wheel cover and remove the wheel hub nut using the impact wrench.

Break the lug nuts loose on the Impala's wheels. To do this, turn the lug nuts on the front wheels 45 degrees counterclockwise.

Raise the Chevy Impala off the ground using the floor jack. Jack up on the front jack point located behind the radiator.

Place jack stands under each side of the car, under the pinch welds, and lower the Impala onto the jack stands.

Continue to remove the lug nuts and the wheel.

Remove the drive axle hub nut. Prevent the wheel from moving by wedging a pry bar between two of the wheel studs while you loosen it with the impact wrench.

Unbolt and remove the damper fork from the shock assembly and lower connecting arm.

Separate the lower control arm from the steering knuckle using the ball joint separator.

Swing the knuckle/hub assembly out and away from the Impala while you pry the half shaft out of the transaxle with either a large screwdriver or a pry bar.

Install the new half shaft. Installation is the reverse of removal.

Items you will need

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

 How to Replace the Half Shaft on a Chevrolet Impala

Pull up the parking brake handle on the Impala. Pick up the front end of the car with the jack. Put the jack stands under the Impala. Take off the wheels with the tire iron.

Put the drain pan underneath the connection between the halfshaft and the transmission. Unbolt the sway bar from the lower control arm with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench. Unbolt the tie rod from the steering knuckle with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.

Unbolt the ball joint from the lower steering knuckle using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Unbolt the axleshaft nut from the middle of the steering knuckle with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket. Install the press on the hub and righten the press down with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket to pop the halfshaft out of the knuckle. Pull the halfshaft out of the transmission.

Install the replacement halfshaft into the transmission, then lift the steering knuckle onto the halfshaft. Install the halfshaft nut onto the haflshaft with the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket, then torque it down to 118 ft/lbs with the 1/2-inch torque wrench. Reinstall the steering knuckle to the ball joint with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.

Bolt the tie rod end and sway bar to the suspension with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Reinstall the front wheels with the tire iron, then lower the Impala onto the ground with the jack.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Tire iron

  • Drain pan

  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set

  • Axle press

  • 24-inch pry bar

  • Replacement halfshaft

  • 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set

  • 1/2-inch torque wrench

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