What Tools Do I Need to Change a CV Joint?

by Phillip James

Repairing a worn constant-velocity joint in a modern vehicle can be an expensive proposition. In the face of rising maintenance costs, many owners neglect to maintain these important parts of their vehicle. Fortunately, changing a CV joint is not a complicated task. In four-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive vehicles, as well as rear-wheel-drive vehicles equipped with independent rear suspensions, the CV joint is part of the shaft that sends power to each driven wheel.

Vehicle Jack

Removal of a CV joint requires that you jack the vehicle off the ground to allow access to remove the wheel and components from the wheel hub. (The hub is the rotating assembly that the wheel mounts to, driven by the CV joint shaft.)

Lug Wrench

A lug wrench is needed to remove the wheel and tire to access the CV joint.

3/8" Drive Socket Wrench Set

Use a common socket wrench set to remove the hub nut that secures the end of the CV joint shaft to the wheel hub. You can also use a socket wrench to remove the wheel and tire if a lug wrench is not available.

Tie Rod Puller

On some vehicles, you must separate the wheel hub from the lower suspension control arm to gain clearance to remove the CV shaft. This arm connects the bottom of the wheel hub to the rest of the vehicle and provides a pivot point for the front wheel's steering action. A tie rod puller is a specialized tool designed to press apart assemblies such as a lower control arm joint.

Hub Socket

Most common 3/8" drive socket wrench sets include a socket that fits the hub nut on most front-wheel-drive vehicles. Four-wheel-drive vehicles, on the other hand, have a larger hub nut that requires a specialty socket to remove. Four-wheel-drive vehicles use a range of hub nut sizes, so you must determine which socket fits your specific vehicle.

References

About the Author

Phillip James has worked in the engineering and technology fields since 2002 and began writing in 2004. His work has appeared in his university newspaper, the "Avion," and he has done private technical manual work. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his aviation airframe and powerplant mechanic certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.