CV axle Halfshaft replacement
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  1. #1
    Domino1968's Avatar
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    CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Hello all, I just finished replacing the driver's side halfshaft on my 2000 DTS and I thought this could help others with front wheel drive.
    First off, the most important things to have are the correct tools. Having the service manual is invaluable! Along with the regular sockets and wrenches, some specialty tools are needed:

    Ball joint separator. Don’t use the pickle fork kind because you could damage your boot on the joint. I used this type. You can usally find these at specialty tool vendors or Ebay. Cadillac calls for tool J43828, but this type tool worked fine.



    Drive axle tool. Cadillac part number is J33008, I used the part below. Napa has the part that looks like an oversize crows foot for $40 but you still have to buy a special size slide hammer (which at the time NAPA did not have), so I bought this part which comes with a slide hammer from eBay for the same price.



    Some other items I did not get a shot of were a BFH, a front axle hub remover (can borrow from Autozone), prybar, impact wrench (not necessary) and the correct size spindle nut socket.

    First start off by jacking the vehicle up and placing on jackstands and also removing the wheels. As you can see in the background my boot gave up the ghost and blew the green grease everywhere!

    Here is another shot of the grease explosion.

    Next remove the stabilizer shaft link.


    Also do not forget to remove the ride height sensor link as shown. The service manual does not mention this, but this is important!

    Since I was working on the drivers side, I turned the wheels to the left for better access and ease of removing axle later on. Remove the lower balljoint cotter pin and unscrew the castle nut.
    Working from the front, use the ball joint separator as shown.


    *Special note-- I had to grind a groove in my tool because the space between the top of the thread and the axle shaft was too small for the tool to fit. This gave me the necessary clearance to fit the tool.

    After the ball joint is free, you can use a prybar on the lower control arm, NOT THE JOINT, to pry the joint out of the the knuckle.

    Insert a drift or screwdriver in the caliper to keep the rotor from turning. I used an old screwdriver I had laying around.(Even tools you plan on throwing away come in handy!
    Now it is time to break out the breaker bar and hub nut socket and uncrank the hub nut. If your threads are kinda rusty, use little penetrating oil to help you out. (I cheated a little, I had an impact wrench) After the nut is removed, you can use a front axle puller to remove the axle from the hub. I did not need one, I used a good whack from my BFH and it broke free.

    Once it is free, move the hub and knucle towards the rear to give you room to remove the axle...you are going to need it.

    I don't have pictures to show how the the axle remover works, but I can say it is tricky tryng to get the "crows foot" part of the puller in place between the inboard housing and transaxle housing. This was the most time consuming of the whole job. One of the tricks I used was to modify the tool by cutting the tips of the tool just so that the opening at the mouth would be bigger. Before...

    And after.

    What I did was to approach from under the engine cradle to wedge just the "crowsfoot" part of the tool in between the tranny and the axleshaft housing. It is a very tight fit and also be careful of the lines that are running in the same area. The tool itself is kinda wedged shaped so I used that to my advantage. I just gave it a few taps with the BFH and the shaft popped out! I did not even have to connect or use the slide hammer. After that, remove the axle shaft and this is what you have. Hopefully you don't have grease everywhere like I did.

    Now it is out with the old and in with the new


    When installing the new shaft, make sure you do not pull the shafts out or overextend them. All you need to do is push the shaft back in the transaxle and you should hear/feel a click to let you know that it is in. At this point you can install everything in reverse order double checking all your fastners for correct torquings. Take her for a test drive and when you are satisfied that everything is alright, pat yourself on the back for a job well done and the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
    zergkiller and zergkiller like this.

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  3. #2
    dp102288's Avatar
    dp102288 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Great writeup! Lots of pics always helps too! Sounds like a big job, but glad you did it.

  4. #3
    caddydaddy's Avatar
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Very similar to the axle shaft replacement I did on my '94 Deville. How many miles are on your DTS that the boot explodes?

  5. #4
    Domino1968's Avatar
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    The boot went at approximately ~73k. It may have went even before that, my wife drives the car daily and she didn't notice much difference in the ride but she did comment that she thought the tires might need to be balanced cause she thought she felt something different. I only noticed it because after she backed out of the garage one day, I saw the green grease on the floor where the car was parked. The car didn't start clicking yet but you could feel a slight clunk when giving it gas while coasting.

  6. #5
    Alleycat is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Halfshafts are a cinch to install. That is, once you have removed the old ones. My 132,000 mile 2000 Deville had grease all over it llike yours, only on both sides. I heard no noise from the joints and happened to discover the problem while checking my brakes for wear.
    IMHO, This is not a job for the average non professional mechanic. I'm 66 years old, and before retiring, worked on everything from farm equipment to aircraft. This is not your typical, Saturday afternoon, driveway project.
    I would be interested in a better shot of the balljoint separator you modified. I borrowed the tools from Advance Auto Parts, and their separator wouldn't come close to getting between the stud and the axle. I was lucky and didn't need the hub puller, a surprise because I had replaced bearing (hub assemblies on other FWD GM cars and never had one come apart without encouragement. Your pictures were a great help in getting the job done. Many thanks. I don't think I would have attempted it without your graphics. That Crow foot tool you got on eBay would have made the job much simpler. The passenger side is a piece of cake. The axle popped out with the help of a prybar. 1 hour from start to finish. The driver's side is another story (nightmare). Very little working room at the inboard end. It took a couple of hours of trying, prying and swearing, as well as a pinched, bleeding hand to get the axle out. That little retaining spring inside the tansaxle hub, just wouldn't let go. I finally got a square shanked chisel between the trans housing and the CV can, and put a cable around the chisel and pulled the cable with slide hammer. After several attempts where the chisel fell out of place, it finally popped free. If anyone still wants to try this, my advice is get help. I did it alone, and just having someone to turn the steering wheel for me would have been a big help. Also a gofur to hand you tools is always nice touch. Especially when you're an old fart and getting up and down is not easy anymore.

  7. #6
    JC316 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    When I removed the CV joint from my old 95 SLS, I didn't need a puller, I just grabbed it near the tranny and yanked.

  8. #7
    99Classillac's Avatar
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Great write up. I need to replace the passenger side halfshaft on my 99 Deville. It's slingin grease all over the back of my wheel and all over the brake caliper. Looks nasty. No noise yet so I'm gonna wait till it goes out.

  9. #8
    EDBSO is offline Awaiting Email Confirmation
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Domino1968 View Post
    my boot gave up the ghost and blew the green grease everywhere!
    What failed was the dumb press on steel clamp, a 23 cent piece. Fantastic write up. I have to do both sides of my 2001 Eldorado due to this shitty design.

  10. #9
    EDBSO is offline Awaiting Email Confirmation
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Why do my posts have to be reviewed and censored before being posted??



    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-tech-tips/55401-do-not-post-questions-here-they.html
    urbanski

  11. #10
    Domino1968's Avatar
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Alleycat View Post
    Halfshafts are a cinch to install. That is, once you have removed the old ones. My 132,000 mile 2000 Deville had grease all over it llike yours, only on both sides. I heard no noise from the joints and happened to discover the problem while checking my brakes for wear.
    IMHO, This is not a job for the average non professional mechanic. I'm 66 years old, and before retiring, worked on everything from farm equipment to aircraft. This is not your typical, Saturday afternoon, driveway project.
    I would be interested in a better shot of the balljoint separator you modified. I borrowed the tools from Advance Auto Parts, and their separator wouldn't come close to getting between the stud and the axle. I was lucky and didn't need the hub puller, a surprise because I had replaced bearing (hub assemblies on other FWD GM cars and never had one come apart without encouragement. Your pictures were a great help in getting the job done. Many thanks. I don't think I would have attempted it without your graphics. That Crow foot tool you got on eBay would have made the job much simpler. The passenger side is a piece of cake. The axle popped out with the help of a prybar. 1 hour from start to finish. The driver's side is another story (nightmare). Very little working room at the inboard end. It took a couple of hours of trying, prying and swearing, as well as a pinched, bleeding hand to get the axle out. That little retaining spring inside the tansaxle hub, just wouldn't let go. I finally got a square shanked chisel between the trans housing and the CV can, and put a cable around the chisel and pulled the cable with slide hammer. After several attempts where the chisel fell out of place, it finally popped free. If anyone still wants to try this, my advice is get help. I did it alone, and just having someone to turn the steering wheel for me would have been a big help. Also a gofur to hand you tools is always nice touch. Especially when you're an old fart and getting up and down is not easy anymore.
    Alleycat, I will see if I can post up pics on my modified balljoint separator. I have to admit that is was a pain just trying to get the tool in there to work. Alot of my time was just on modifying tools to make them work. Also, the drivers side is the biggest pain to do due to the lack of working space. After doing the drivers side, the passenger side is a breeze!

    EDBSO, I agree that the clamp design is pretty cheesy as well. In retrospect, I believe that what happened is due to a chain of events that I would ultimately blame on my front motor mount. My theory is when it gives up the ghost, it cause the engine to rock more that usually, making the halfshafts extend/bend a little more out of the ordinary. That plus the cheesy clamps that can't take the added strain makes the boots blow. Just my 2 cents. Glad the writeup helped, I will probably post one on motor mount replacement if I can find all the pics I took while doing it.

  12. #11
    99Classillac's Avatar
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Great write up! I just did it this weekend. Took me 3 hours because I smoke a lot and it was really hot outside and I did it in the driveway. I had to keep hiding out in the house to cool off. I used a crowbar to get the halfshaft off the trans. Didn't break anything either! On the re-install, you should do a write up on how to get the ball joint back into the knuckle. That was my only pain in the ass moment. The suspension spring pushed the knuckle all the way down and I couldn't get the ball joint or the control arm low enough to get it back in. I had to use a jack and carefully lower the car onto the brake caliper to push the knuckle up enough to fit the ball joint in there. Took me about 45 minutes to do because the whole thing kept shifting around and I couldn't just move the knuckle around with the weight of the car on the thing. Other than that little part, it was easy. The write up really helped me out. I had printed this off and had it out there with me.
    martiniac and martiniac like this.

  13. #12
    Justin J is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Sorry, way too much sweat labor for me. Driver side CV joint on my 2000 deville with 50,000 miles just took a dump yesterday. Seriously, it dumped parts (joints?) all over the road. No warning, no vibration, no noise, notta. I pulled away from a stop sign, tranny shifted and made a noise like I ran over a wheel chair! Stopped the car, looked in the mirror and saw "pieces and parts" scattered on the road. Had the Caddy towed to the shop that replaced the passenger side axle last year for a cost of $200.00.

  14. #13
    nphoenix is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Thanks for the Pics. The biggest pain for me was the ball joint. Harbor Freight has the seperator tool for $20 , but i wrestled with reasembly until i temporarily remounted the tire to get the leverage to re guide it in for reasembly. Als to remove the axel from the transaxel i tried tugging and then laid under the car positioned a 2x4 and with a tap outboard it released.

  15. #14
    HamidTheProgrammer is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    Did you feel the wheel shaking especially when you hit the brake before you do this repair? I have a 2001 Deville DHS, the driver side wheel shakes noticeable when I do over 65 mph, and the shaking is more violent when I hit the brakes. I cut the rotor and put new tires few months ago, now I have this shaking wheel. Not sure what is the exact problem so far.

  16. #15
    Domino1968's Avatar
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    Re: CV axle Halfshaft replacement

    No, there wasn't any noticible shaking when I did this repair, the only thing at the time that I noticed was the grease leaking out. I think I fixed/caught it in time before other problems/symptoms arose.

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