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2002 Toyota Corolla

How to replace the Halfshafts (CV & Driveaxle)

Also applies from 1993 through 2002

Items Needed Special Tools Needed
(2) half shafts (they must be replaced in pairs)
Left:Axle Shaft Assembly TO8003 New Right:Axle Shaft Assembly TO8004 New
GearWrench 80826 1/2-Inch Drive 12 Point Deep Socket 30mm
3 Ton Jack Stands
2 Ton Floor Jack
Pro-Grade 18218 6-Inch Reversible 2 & 3 Jaw Gear Puller OEM 25202 Ball Joint Separator

Now, normally the entire halfshaft or driveaxle on these cars doesn't wear out. The CV Boots, on the other hand, are rubber and will eventually wear out. The process for changing only the CV Boots is pretty intensive, and honestly, with the cost of full replacements, simply doesn't make sense. The amount of time replacing the boots themselves is totally offset by the amount of work/annoyance with the task.

Here are the new halfshafts for the Corolla. You'll note that they are different lengths. Since the transmission isn't directly in the center of the vehicle they have to be different lengths. The longer one is for the passenger (right) side and the shorter is for the driver's (left) side.

Before you put the car up on jack stands there's some minor prep work. You'll want to do this now when you can use the weight of the car to your advantage. Starting on the passenger side remove the cotter pin and the cap nut.

The cap nut and cotter pin you removed protect this axle nut. You'll need to loosen this next.

Loosening the nut requires a 30mm socket. Most autoparts stores sell a specific axle nut 30 mm socket (it's deeper than a regular socket). Use one of these and a breaker bar to loosen the nut. Make sure it's loose but do not remove it!

Next, knock loose the wheel nuts. Since we're going to be doing this to both sides of the car, repeat these steps for the driver's side.

Securely support the car on jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and set them and the wheel aside.

You should now have the front axle/brake assembly visible.

Now go ahead and finish removing the axle nut.

In theory you should be able to whack the axle with a rubber mallet or a hammer and punch to pop the halfshaft out. In the case of this wheel it didn't work, no matter how much whacking and pounding I tried. If the normal method doesn't work you need to unbolt the caliper and hang it up and out of the way. You then remove the brake rotor. Finally you set a two jaw puller like this one on the assembly as shown.

As you turn the bolt on the 2 jaw puller to increase the amount of pressure on the axle shaft. Eventually it will pop free as shown.

With the axle freed it's time to look at the lower ball joint. You can see here that it's a castle nut and cotter pin combination.

One you remove the cotter pin and start loosening the nut holding the ball joint in place you'll rapidly realize that the assembly interferes with completely removing the nut. You now need to use a ball joint separator to pop the ball joint free.

Once the ball joint is freed you can finally remove the nut.

Separate the ball joint from the vertical link assembly.

This is the passenger side engine splash guard. You will need to remove this in order to have appropriate working space.

With the splash guard removed you have very good visibility into the bottom of the engine bay and, in particular, the drive axle or halfshaft assembly. Separating the halfshalf requires a sudden quick blow to pop it loose from the transaxle. On the passenger side it's quite easy to get a large screwdriver on the tranmission side of halfshaft. Set the screwdriver into one of the notches on the assembly and strike it with a hammer. When the halfshaft pops loose it will be very obvious. remove it from the vehicle.

Here you can see the removed passenger side half shaft.

The particular problem is the transaxle end of the unit. Here you can see a closeup showing the leaked grease and such on the half shaft end. Also note the notches in the housing. That is where I placed the scrediver head when driving the half shaft out.

With the halfshaft removed you can then clean up the area where it ran. You can see here a lot of the grease that leaked through the bad CV boot. Belive it or not, I'd already removed most of the grease before taking this photo. Get the area good and clean.

Take the new half shaft out of the box and check it over. Make sure it matches up with the old half shaft.

When you press the new assebly into place, you want to press it quickly with force into the transmission side. It will ensure the halfshaft seats properly. Also set it in the correct location within the vertical link.

Reattach the ball joint and tighten it up.

Because I had to remove the caliper on this side I need to compress the caliper piston before fitting it back over the brake rotor.

Press the rotor back into place. Make sure to clean off any dirt/grime with brake cleaner.

Here you can see the brake rotor and caliper reassembled. I've also taken and tightened up the new axle nut as much as posssible on the half shaft.

Replace the engine splash guard.

Now to tackle the driver's side. Interestingly enough the rubber mallet whack worked immediately, so there was no need to disconnect the caliper on this side of the car. Also disconnect the ball joins as was done on the passenger side.

Now the driver's side is a lot tighter space-wise. Here we're looking in at where the halfshaft mates up with the transmission.

Here we can see where the drive axle mates up with the vertical link assembly.

A whole lot of sailor swearing later this remaining bit of the half shaft was removed. Basically, there's not a good striking point on the driver's side like there is on the passenger side. During the removal process the whole assembly disintegrated and left this part stuck in the transmission casing. I used the vice grips as a good grip on the part, and the eagle beak pliers as something to strike a hammer against. This combination finally popped the piece free. I hope you have better luck with this than I did!

Here you can see the entirety of what's left of the driver's side half shaft.

Pressing and setting the driver's side replacement half shaft is the same as the passenger side.

Here's another view of the installed assembly.

Put the front wheels in place and tighten the lugs as much as possible

Lower the front end of the car back to the ground. Use the 30mm axle nut socket to tighten the axle nut, then tighten the lug nuts.

Replace the cap nut and cotter pin. Then replace the hub caps. You're done!

Double check the torque on all the bolts after a quick test drive, and again at 100 miles.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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