How to Remove CV Axles from a Toyota Corolla

by Jody L. Campbell

The CV (constant velocity) axle shafts on a Toyota Corolla integrate the transaxle of the front wheel drive transmission with the wheel. There are two joint bearings on each end of the CV axle, protectively covered by a rubber boot to keep the joint bearings lubricated, and to prevent contaminants such as dirt, grit and other debris from adhering to the assembly. After time, the joint bearings may fail, or the rubber boot may deteriorate, and because of the velocity of the spinning wheel, the grease is purged from the boot, and the joint bearing is vulnerable to the elements.

Place the Corolla on a lift, up to about waist level.

Remove the hub cap. Remove the lug nuts with the impact gun and a socket. Remove the wheel.

Remove the cotter pin, spindle cap and lock nut on older model Corollas. Remove the hub nut on later model Corollas with the impact gun and a 30 millimeter socket.

Lift the Corolla up high enough on the lift to determine if there are inner flange bolts holding the axle to the transaxle housing. The bolts are present in older models of the Corolla. Remove the bolts, if applicable. Place the drain bucket beneath the inner boot of the CV axle, where the axle will separate from the transaxle, and lower the Corolla to waist level again.

Disconnect the outer tie rod end from the knuckle, and remove the lower ball joint nut. Separate the tie rod end from the knuckle, and the ball joint from the lower control arm. Use a hammer to pound on the knuckle near the tie rod end until it separates.

Use a rubber mallet on the end of the spindle of the CV axle to separate it from the hub. Swing the entire knuckle away from the shaft to the left or the right with one hand, while holding the outer boot of the shaft to stabilize it with your other hand. Once the knuckle is free from the shaft, wrap a bungee cord around it, and move it out of the way.

Pry the CV axle from the transaxle, using a large pry bar. There is a ring clip holding it inside the transaxle that needs to be dislodged. Remove the CV axle once the ring clip releases. Some transaxle fluid will leak out. Be sure to top off the fluid in the differential after replacing the CV axle. Refer to the owners manual for the correct fluid to use.

Replace the CV axle by reversing the procedure.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.