If you are replacing the driver's side axle shaft.
Save yourself the trouble. Just pay a good axle mechanic to replace it. Around $150 with rebuilt axle shaft assembly including labor. I have a 97 escort (same body style as 99 model) Even when you remove the wheel part, the space in the inner CV joint axle is too tight. You can hardly insert the pryer. I have to buy an axle puller and pass it above the steering column in order to remove the whole axle shaft.
But here is how: 1. Remove the axle nut or wheel hub retainer
2. Unhook the tie rod. (Which you did)
3. Unhook the stabilizer bar on the side of that axle.
4. Unhook the ball joint.
5. Loosen the 4 nuts above the strut assembly. (Do not remove, just loosen the nuts)
6. Pull sideway outward the wheel hub assembly. Use a RUBBER hammer to loosen/push out the axle shaft (Wheel side) from the wheel hub.
Now that is the easy part (driver's side), the hard part is removing the inner CV joint axle that is inserted to the transmission/transaxle. If you are going to use a pryer, good luck. It is very hard because the space is too tight. If you use a crow bar, you might damage the transmission housing. So, I bought an axle puller to pull out the whole axle shaft (like the item # 290138217130 from Ebay. Com. Make sure it is 63 mm open rate). And pass it above the steering column.
I did not save money, I ended up paying $135 in parts and tools plus the hours I spent to remove it.
But if you bring it to an axle mechanic, they have the tools and experience to remove it.
August, 21, 2007 AT 2:56 PM
I struggled with mine until I found the easy way-- I've done 3 so far.
When you need to get the axle stub out of the transmission, forget about prying -- It will NEVER do it. Use the power of the wedge! Get two big honking flathead screwdrivers- the ones that are 24" long with good tapers on the tips. Now get under the car and find a flat spot on the transmission between the CV joint where you can insert them. Try to put one on each side. Now start tapping on the end of the screwdriver. Alternate between sides and it won't be long before the thing pops out. Remember to do just one side at a time-- because if you pull both side out, the ring gear will drop and you won't get it back together.