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How to Replace the CV Joint in a 2001 Chevy Cavalier

by JoAnn Joubert

Replacing a CV -- constant velocity -- joint is a task necessary for front-wheel-drive vehicles, such as the 2001 Chevy Cavalier. The CV joint helps front-wheel-drive vehicles perform properly by helping power transfer from your vehicle's transmission to the wheels. Other than clicking noises, lubricant leaks and vibrations in the front end of your car can also indicate a bad CV joint. In addition, if your 2001 Chevy Cavalier decelerates abruptly, that is a sure sign that your CV joint needs replacement.

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

About the Author

JoAnn Joubert started writing in 2005, specializing in the areas of equestrian sports, cars and business. She authored a textbook on the creative industries and was awarded for her work on U.S. presidential nomination reform. Joubert holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from the University of Louisiana.

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