1990 Camry driver side CV Boot replacement - axle replacement

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Old 12 Jun 2006, 09:52 am   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1990 Camry driver side CV Boot replacement - axle replacement

I had the honor of replacing the driver's side axle this weekend.
The good news was that it was about 30 minutes of work. The bad news
was that it was about 3 hours of pondering what the manual ment.

I used the Hayes manual. Pretty simple - replace your axle in 9 easy
steps. But I wanted to add a few details.

1. You must lift both wheels, not just the side you are working on.
2. I dowsed the axle, tie-rod, and lower control arm nuts with liquid
wrench and sat around studying the book and having coffee while it did
its work.
3. You need a breaker bar to get those nuts off. And not one of those
wimpy 3/8" drives. Get a real 1/2" drive bar that's good and heavy
and lo-n-g! You'll need it.
3b. You need to tap the axle spindle in the wheel loose (but not out
of the hole) after your get the big nut off.
4. The lower control arm bolts are the ones you take off. There are
two of them, on the bottom of the bracket, one either side of the
middle nut that has the cotter pin. You don't need to take off the
center nut with the cotter pin.
5. I loosen the tie rod pin by 25-30 firm, controlled hammer blows the
bolt from the bottom side. I didn't want to mess up the threads.
Eventually it popped right out - easy - right?
6. The lower control arm bolts came right out, but the lower bracket
had rusted to the main body of the tie-rod steering spindle. After a
couple more encouraging blows with the hammer the separated enough to
get a screwdriver between and I was able to force them a part. If you
don't have both wheels up to reduce the pressure from that stabilizer
bar, you will never get them to separate.
7. With the tie rod and the lower arm separated the main part of the
wheel hangs free and can be pulled/pushed out of the way to get the
axle all the way out of the wheel hole.
8. The axle separated from the transmission easy with a couple of
jerks. I tried a lever by the inner boot/transmission case. I don't
know which did the trick.
9. The REBUILT axle didn't slide into the splines! I had to file the
end of each spline on the axle so it would slip into the transmission's
spline. It then slipped in with a couple of light taps. (The
rebuilding process mangled the original spline ends.)
10. It took a while to line up the holes of the lower control arm
since they have a little spring pressure - if I'd only had another
hand. But in 5 minutes it was all back together.

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