1996 Saturn SL2 Repair Question
Saturn SL2 Axle Problem
You have to jack the vehicle up and support it with jack stands under the frame rails or cross member, remove the wheel, pry the control arm down to disconnect the lower ball joint stud from the spindle. Remove the axle nut, (never allow it to be loose with the vehicle weight on the tire; that will instantly make the wheel bearing noisy). Pull the spindle outward while pulling back on the half shaft to pull it out of the bearing. Pull the inner joint out of the transmission.
It sounds like your inner cv joint has already pulled out of the transmission. Assuming the vehicle is not collapsing from severe rust, that can only happen due to a broken spring inside the inner joint. Those are available from Chrysler dealers for less than four bucks, and I'd be willing to bet they're available for Saturns too. You'll be able to slide the housing back and forth freely about two inches if that spring is broken. If the spring is not broken and not jammed sideways, you will have to push really hard to collapse the housing, and it will spring back right away. That's what keeps it from coming out of the transmission.
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