CV driveshaft

Tiny
PAT W
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 165,000 MILES
How do you change a cv driveshaft on the driver side on a 97 cutlass?
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 9:04 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You're much better of with the factory service manual. Start by jacking up the front end and supporting it on jack stands under the frame rails or cross member, not the lower control arms. Remove the wheel and brake caliper. Hang the caliper with a piece of wire. Never let it hang by the rubber hose. Stick a punch or screwdriver into one of the cooling slots of the brake rotor to hold it from turning. Loosen the large axle nut and remove it. You should be able to forcefully push the shaft in against heavy spring pressure about a half inch.

Remove the pinch bolt for the lower ball joint stud. Use a long pry bar to pry the lower control arm down to separate the ball joint stud from the spindle. Pull the spindle away from the car while holding the shaft in so the outer cv joint slides out of bearing assembly. Pull the inner joint and shaft assembly out of the transmission. Some transmission fluid will leak out so have a drain pan ready.

Reverse the procedure to put the new shaft in. Use the punch in the rotor to tighten the axle nut. DO NOT put any vehicle weight on the wheel bearing assembly until that axle nut is torqued to specs, otherwise the bearing will be damaged instantly and become noisy. GM fwd axle nut torque specs are very high, typically between 180 and 240 foot pounds. Use a click-type torque wrench to measure the tightness. Use that torque wrench on the lug nuts too. Don't just guess that they're tight enough and all equal. Unequal clamping forces promote warping of the brake rotor. The nut torque will be listed in the service manual. As a guess, it will be around 90 - 100 foot pounds.
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 9:46 PM

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