A friend has a '95 Accord wagon and has found both front CV shafts in
need of replacement.
I told him he can use my shop to replace them and that I'll help;
however I'm not experienced with Hondas at all and I just wanted to pop
in here to ask if there are any special tools needed, or perhaps
procedures to make it easier or to avoid problems, certain things to
'look for', etc.
Or is it (like I'd expect) a pretty straightforward job?
the axle nut is not only staked on (meaning it will need a hammer and punch
at least to unstake it) but it is supremely tight. It can be broken loose
with a several foot breaker bar on a socket (the socket will also will not
be in any normal socket set; it is more than 30 mm - sizes vary) and lots of
inventive language, or with an impact driver and impact socket. I recommend
renting an electric impact driver with socket unless money is *really*
tight. It makes a hard job easy. Measure the axle nut; it will be an even
number of mm. I've seen 34 and 36 mm.
The other hard part is separating the ball joint to allow the hub to swing
far enough out to get the axle loose. DO NOT use a "pickle fork" as it will
almost certainly destroy the grease boot - those are only useful if the ball
joint is not going to be reused. See TeGGeR's page at
http://tegger.com/hondafaq/disconnect.html for options. You may even be able
to "borrow" a ball joint separator from Auto Zone - if they are around you -
under their loan program. IIRC Checker Auto advertised the same program
recently but I haven't checked it out.
One last tip: when the old one is out and before putting the new one in, put
them side by side and verify they are the same length in each section and
overall and that the new one has or doesn't have a toothed ring for ABS
pickup just inside the hub area, just like the old one. The two are not
interchangeable... something you will find as you try to get the suspension
or use a 3/4" drive breaker bar. just keep the wheel on the ground.
well, you can't use untoothed on a vehicle that has an abs sensor,
naturally, but you /can/ use toothed on a vehicle without sensor - if
the other features are the same. the real deal is that there's a spline
count change on the drive some time, but i think it's around '90.
basically, as long as that's ok, you're set.
If you go the breaker bar route, take the trouble to find a 3/4 inch
specimen. Having changed two 92 accord axles recently, I can say with
some authority that a 1/2 breaker bar will likely....break. After
killing one bar, I drown the nut in penetrating lubricant - it didn't
seem to do a dang thing, and I broke the next, more heavily built, bar
(admittedly, it was a $10 Harbor Freight lump.)
Looking around, I could't find a 36mm (your size may vary) socket in
3/4, so I eventually bought a cheap air compresser and impact wrench at
the local Big Box. (they had a sale on a nice Ingersol gun + 3/8 wrench
kit.) 5 seconds of full reverse and that #%^$@ nut was off.
I've heard stories of the less robust electric guns not getting it done.
Rent the bigest one you can find. Depending on the rental shop, you
might even sweet talk them into a "5 minute rental" for cheap. Buz the
nut loose, then you can then tighten it with the bar, drive home, and
easily remove it to do the work.
Along the same lines, if you have a regular mechanic, he will probably
buz the thing loose for a few bucks. I had a hell of a time convincing
the local shops that a loose nut wouldn't wreck the bearings or fall off
within 5 seconds. YMMV.
There is one more tool to look into. Buy a short, wide, pry bar to pop
the axle out of the transmission. The retaining circlip can put up a
bit of a fight.
Another tip: Jack both sides off the ground OR remove the sway bar
linkage. Otherwise the bar will fight you as you try to move the lower
control arm down and off the ball joint.
Caveat - the tightness of the nut ensures it doesn't let the splines shift.
If the splined pieces rub against each other it will damage the splines,
resulting in a maddening situation where both pieces have to be replaced
simultaneously to stop the disease. Driving home with the nut as tight as
hand tools will get it should be no problem.
One more word of advice. Avoid the $80 rebuilt shafts. Look for
remanufactured HONDA shafts (from the $tealership), visit raxles.com,
or, at the very least, get new aftermarket. (The 'Cardone Select' line
supposedly uses brand new joints.) The cheap remanufactured units
invariably shred themselve within 50~100K miles, often sooner.
i agree with you that aftermarket's don't last as long as oem, and that
you should avoid the cheapo ones, but aftermarket's should be considered
based on economics.
oem don't last 300k miles usually because the boots break, and when they
do, game over. it's better then to spend $90, twice, for a reasonable
quality aftermarket and get 150k out of them [say 75k each set], than
spend $300+ for oem and get 100k. because oem boots only last about
would i go oem for ultimate quality? yes. but when i do the work
myself and changing a shaft, with the right tools, only takes about 20
minutes, and it costs $90 for an all-new napa brand shaft with lifetime
warranty, then i go aftermarket.
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