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Old 04-04-2015, 12:15 PM
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Shotshell Shotshell is offline
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Default CV axle replacement

So I recently had to replace both my CV axles on my '03 Tacoma.
I had a request from someone to join in and help me out with it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to coordinate that, and I needed to get them in ASAP. So in leu of a hands on experience, I thought I'd go ahead and write up a tech report on the subject… the best I know how anyways.
So here goes.


Either drain your diff or make sure the truck is level to minimize oil leakage on either side of the diff when the CVs are removed.

Take off your tire. (obviously)

Then if you have wheel spacers like I do, those need to come off as well.
Then use a flat head screw driver and hammer to gently remove your center hub cap to reveal the center hub/CV nut. Take the pin out and loosen the nut. This nut is almost impossible to get off without a pneumatic impact driver. I used a 36MM impact socket to get it off and on.


Then you need to take out the lower ball joint bolts. There are four of them just under the lower ball joint. It's important, especially with a lifted truck, to support the lower A-arm and keep it at the level it's at right now. Otherwise you'll have hell getting all this put back together once these bolts are removed.



At this point the hub, caliper, and rotor will all swing out of the way and off of the CV axle. On this particular truck, this whole assembly will rest nicely out of the way on the castle nut for the tie rod.



Now here comes the tricky part. The inner part of the CV has to be pulled from the differential. But it's held in place by a snap ring around the very end of the shaft inside the diff. So pressure has to be applied in between the CV body and the diff. Preferably with two pry bars at the same time. (one on the top and one on the bottom) This can be tricky. But use your imagination and don't give up. It is possible to do it by yourself. But an extra set of hands always helps. The passenger side on this truck is much easier than the drivers side. Also, this truck has a 4 inch diff drop on it. So this opens things up a lot to be able to access this. On trucks that are not lifted in such a way, getting in there with the pry bars way be more difficult. But I can't say for sure, because I've never done one.



Notice the snap ring at the end of the shaft. This is what holds the shaft in the differential.
Also this is where the diff oil will start leaking some if you didn't drain your diff. But don't worry, not a ton of it will come out. Just remember to top it off when you're done and have everything back together.


Now this is where we start going backwards and putting everything back together in reverse order.
Take your new CV axle and insert it back into the diff. Be careful not to damage the diff seal in any way. Now you have to get the new snap ring to snap back into it's seat. You'll have to play with it a little bit. Putting a little grease on the ring never hurts. Sometimes they snap in with pressure just from pushing it in. But if you're having trouble getting it back in, make sure that your splines are lined up and you can tap the other end of the CV with a rubber mallet to help pop that ring back in. Once in it should fit snuggly to the side of the diff. Pull on the inner "can" part of the CV to make sire it has seated properly and doesn't want to come back out. Don't pull on the axle shaft, as you will pull it out of the inner "can" because the inner boot is all that is holding these two things together at this point.






Now swing the hub assembly back over and put the outer CV shaft back in. Thread the center hub nut on a little bit to hold it in place and then get your lower ball joint bolts back in. A little lock tight on these is a good idea. (If you remembered to support the lower A-arm, this should be very easy.)
Then you can tighten your center nut down to pull the CV shaft through the hub and seat it properly. Give your rotor a couple spins in either direction to make sure nothing sounds weird and everything is turning correctly. Make sure you torque down your center nut and put the pin back in.

Replace your center hub cap with a rubber mallet.
Put you're wheel spacers back on. (if applicable)
Torque the spacer nuts down to 90 ft lbs.
Put your tire back on and torque your lug nuts down to the same.
And you're done and ready to start the other side.
Once you're done, don't forget to refill your differential with oil.

This whole process, for both sides, took me about 2 1/2 hours. The proper tools always make a job go faster.

Well, there it is. I hope this was helpful for those of you who may never have done this before or where just curious.

*My new CV boots are blue and red because they are high angle silicone boots from CVJ Axles. And apparently they only come in blue and red for some reason…
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:23 PM
VIIIFe VIIIFe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shotshell View Post
*My new CV boots are blue and red because they are high angle silicone boots from CVJ Axles. And apparently they only come in blue and red for some reason…
'Merica..?

As for stock diff height, I helped replace axels on Subarus a few times, and it can be a PITA getting the leverage to pop them out and even getting the new ones back in. Creativity can be the key sometimes.

Give me a shout if you need a hand next time. I see your truck around all the time so you can't be too far away.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:48 PM
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jps8460 jps8460 is offline
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Did an Fj cruiser last year. We tied some aircraft cable around the inside (next to the diff) ran about 3 ft outside the fender and yanked it out using a breaker bar as a handle (think wakeboard rope )

Nice work!
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:00 AM
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Shotshell Shotshell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIIIFe View Post
Give me a shout if you need a hand next time. I see your truck around all the time so you can't be too far away.
Thanks. But with any luck, I won't have to do this again for a really long time.
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The "Honey Badger"- 2003 Tacoma 4x4 4-Door --Custom built front & rear bumpers & sliders, 1/2 ton chevy spring swap, Tundra strut & coil swap, Bilsteins, Tundra Brake swap, K&N Cold Air, 4:88's, on 315/75/16 BFG A/T K02's--

I would rather walk than drive anything that's 2WD. ©

"If you think Colorado should be more like California, STFU and go back to Cali. We don't need you here."
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:46 AM
Adventurous Adventurous is offline
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I can't stress enough how important it is to get a good, even pull on the CV axle when removing it. A friend and I ran into an issue last year using the pry bar method where the retaining clip popped out of the groove on one side and wedged the axle into the stub axle (this wasn't on a Toyota). We tried the noose method Jackson talks about but in the end had to remove the stub shaft and wail on the axle with a sledge to get it off. I learned my lesson and now have a slide hammer sitting in my garage for future CV replacements.
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:31 AM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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Tim's point about the slide hammer is right on. They pop out with one and there's a lower risk of the c-clip coming off or breaking, which is a royal pain.

On my '91 I fabricated a little bracket to adapter the threaded end of the CV axle (blue arrow) to a loop. It's not relevant on a later model Tacomas with the nut to pull things snug, but earlier IFS CV axles require you to slip a retaining clip (red arrow) in to hold the outer axle in place. With fresh (e.g. too much) grease, just two hands and nothing to hold, this is truly torture. So I bolt in a my handy loop and use a cheater bar to pull and that leaves a hand free to drop the clip in place.

Point being that this connection point can be used with a slide hammer to get out a stubborn CV axle, although I haven't had much trouble with them going in or coming out using armstrong pressure. But then again my truck is old and worn out.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:08 AM
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AxleIke AxleIke is offline
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It should also be noted that the prybar method is nearly impossible on a non-bracket lifted truck. The amount of clearance there is next to nothing, and I have always used a hammer and long drift to remove them from the bottom/front, while rotating the axle 60 deg to hit each of the ears. Usually they just pop right out with a few taps.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:14 PM
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Note to self - it appears that IFS Toyota fronts are a lot trickier than solid axle ones...
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:58 AM
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Yes. They are a pain in the butt. Helping my brother with his 99 Land Cruiser and that thing is insanely difficult.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:05 PM
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nakman nakman is offline
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I was just going to ask.. how does the Taco procedure differ from the 100 series? I was laying under mine for a bit yesterday swappin' oil, and noticed there's a bunch of grease on my lower A-arms. I guess I need to repack them or something? I bought a kit with some fancy new hose clamps about 3 years ago, but that's as far as I got.


Also thanks Travis for taking the time to write this up. My only other question is on the big nut- is that the same nut that's holding your wheel bearings?
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