My passenger side CV axle had a cracked inner boot - allowing dirt, grime and lots of crud to get in there. Also, the car was really starting to vibrate quite a bit at 60 MPH. Yesterday, I went about the business of removing the old half-shaft. I utilized the guide from the tech section after printing out the 3 pages of instructions. About the only thing I varied on is that I didn't disconnect my steering knuckle as I didn't have a pickle fork to split apart the ball joint. Things were really moving along - since the inner boot was totally obliterated, I was able to pull out the outer portion of the half shaft quite easily.
However, that inner component that the boot connects to and where the "C" clip is hidden - and holding on this portion turned out to be a big headache. I searched for many tips high and low. Use a big hammer, use a pry bar, etc., etc. Well, nothing was working. My neighbor from across the street came over - he previously used to manage a tire and automotive repair shop several years back. He suggested putting the car in neutral and spinning the shaft 1/2 a turn. Sure enough. 2 quick taps and it was quickly removed. I'm assuming this had a lot to do with the positioning of the "c" clip and rotating it, made the knock off process easier.
I was quite happy and said I'd give him a man hug if we were not so greasy.
Instead, we went inside and had a cold Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. Yum! The gifts of celebrating progress!! After some chit-chat and finishing off the adult beverage, it was back to work as he was also working on installing brake pads on his mothers Miata.
I was working with trying to get the complete half-shaft installed, but was obviously encountering some issues with angles - and, it was a bit harder than getting the old one out. After several attempts, I called it a night.
This morning, I resumed the work. I found an angle that worked right at getting the half-shaft right into position. Keep in mind, I have a 2002 Millenia, and I'm not sure if the front end components have changed dramatically from the 1995 - which is the year that the process was written for. However, I found that it was better for me to take the longer spline that goes through the hub and install that end first. Once that was in place, I had enough clearance to line up the outer edge of the inner-side of the shaft. With the splines aligned, I was able to take the old nut and mount it on the end of the shaft - and, with slow hammer whacks with my mini sledge, things were moving into place. Eventually, I got it into the right position. I then removed the old nut, and installed the new one - torqued it on.
As I mentioned above, I didn't remove the tie rod end due to not having a sufficient tool. I ended up mangling part of the rubber shell in the process of moving things back and forth, etc. However, a lot of this was also dry-rot. So, I'll work on replacing those knuckles in a few weeks when I feel like tearing some of the front end apart again.
Finally, I was reading in another thread a few days ago where Yel-Low
made some comments about using air tools and how sweet life was with them. I actually have had a full set of air tools for about 2 years now as they came with a 25 gallon compressor that I purchased for the purpose of purging my in-ground sprinkler each fall. However, when I paid $150 for the compressor, the guy gave me a metal tool box with all the necessary Husky air tools - Impact wrench, impact ratchet, impact chisel and cut-off tool. I simply took the time to make the proper connections with the teflon tape and quick-connectors yesterday before getting started. It was amazing! I had all my bolts lose in less than 20 minutes and never broke a sweat. After 31 years of using breaker bars and lots of upper-body strength, I'm all done with the manual methods of working with bolts - especially on suspension components without air tools. For those of you who still do things the manual way with breaker bars, etc., I'd advise you to invest some money into air tools as soon as you can. Do it after you've saved $300 - 400 on one of your auto repairs by doing the work yourself. Your body will appreciate letting the tool do the work for you.