How to Replace the Halfshaft on a Pontiac Grand Prixby Alibaster Smith
A driveshaft or "half-shaft", also called a CV half-shaft, transfers power from the engine/transmission to the wheels. When you replace a half-shaft it's usually because the CV joint attached to it has failed. The CV boot on the half-shaft will either be separated or ripped and you will be able to see axle grease leaking out of it. You can remove and replace a Pontiac Grand Prix half-shaft in a few hours.
Prepping the Job
Determine which CV half-shaft needs to be replaced. (driver's side or passenger's side). Break the lug nuts loose on the appropriate wheel using the tire wrench. Do this by placing the wrench over the head of the lug nut and turning it counterclockwise. Loosen the nut slightly but do not loosen it all the way.
Put the car's emergency brake on and jack up the front of the Grand Prix. Make sure you place the jack stands under the pinch welds in the front of the car. The front jack point of the Grand Prix is located near the radiator and is an extension of the frame of the car.
Finish loosening and removing the lug nuts. Take the wheel off and set it aside.
Unbolt both the top and bottom bolts on the brake caliper and secure it to the coil springs above it with the zip ties.
Loosen the spindle nut using the the spindle-nut socket and your impact wrench. The brake rotor should now be free.
Remove the brake rotor and set it aside.
Separate the lower control arm from the damper fork. You may need to use a hammer or rubber mallet for this.
Remove the cotter pin from the bolt holding the lower control-arm to the steering knuckle with the pliers and then loosen that bolt. You will need to use the tie rod end puller for this.
Removing the Halfshaft
Swing the knuckle and hub out of the way until the shaft is free.
Pry the shaft out of the transmission using a flat head screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the transmission seal where the shaft connects to the transmission. You'll need to wedge the flathead in between the half shaft and the Grand Prix transmission housing. You should be able to pop it out of the housing fairly easily.
Remove the shaft from the transmission and insert the new shaft. There is a snap ring on one end of the half-shaft. This is the side that gets inserted into the transmission. You will need to use hard grease to get the snap ring to "float" in the middle of the groove where it sits on the end of the shaft. If you do not do this, you may have an extremely difficult time inserting the half-shaft into the transmission.
Push the shaft into the transmission until you hear a click. This is the snap ring. The shaft is now secure. If it does not click, the half-shaft is not in all the way. It must click for you to be sure that the shaft is securely in the transmission.
Put the hub assembly and ball joint back together reversing the process you used to take it apart. Make sure that you use a new cotter pin and discard the old one when you are reattaching the ball joint to the steering knuckle.
Put the wheel back on over the hub assembly and tighten the lug nuts back down with the tire wrench. Do not tighten them all the way, but make sure that they are tight enough so that the wheel is secure.
Lower the car onto the ground and finish tightening the lug nuts to 100 ft lbs using the torque wrench. Your Grand Prix lug nuts can be tightened to a minimum spec of 75 ft lbs, but 100 lbs is recommended.
Items you will need
- Tire wrench
- 2 Jack stands
- Spindle nut socket
- Socket wrench with socket set
- Impact wrench with air compressor
- Tie rod end puller
- Flat head screwdriver
- Zip ties
- Hard grease
- New cotter pin
- Hammer or rubber mallet