Replace rear drive axles

Tiny
WALL-E
  • MEMBER
  • 2010 HONDA ELEMENT
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 163,000 MILES
I am replacing both rear knuckles, bearings, hubs, sway bar links and bushings, struts, and axles with new genuine Honda parts. I am also installing aftermarket adjustable rear upper control arms. I know I will have to get an alignment. My question is, do I have to remove/lower the differential in this case? Or can I just slide the joints out and back in? Do I still need to drain the differential? It already has new seals from just a few months ago by the dealer. Those should still be okay? Doing all at a shop with a lift and friend. I have the Honda Element service manual 2007-2010 volume 1 and 2. Thank-you
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Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 AT 12:34 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
You shouldn't need to as lowering the case is used when you are not going to have the knuckles off, to change an axle with them off they should come free without an issue. I would still drain it, or put a tray under it to catch any lube that might come out with the axles out.
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Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 AT 3:28 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
This video shows the job being done on a similar car but the process is the same:

https://youtu.be/vOVpWpXsJfk

Here is a guide to help you step by step with instructions in the diagrams below to show you how on your car:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/replace-cv-axle

Check out the diagrams (below). Let us know what happens and please upload pictures or videos of the problem.
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Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 AT 6:25 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
One item I forgot, when you pull the knuckles, support the half-shafts so they don't droop down, if there is any play in the splines they could compress the shaft seals and cause a leak. Be sure to check the adjustable arms against the OE ones, I have seen some that will adjust fine one way but bottom out when trying to adjust the camber in, can make it hard to set the camber correctly. They usually don't need to move much.
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Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 AT 7:07 PM
Tiny
WALL-E
  • MEMBER
Steve, Thank you so much. Extremely helpful. We are changing out all four corners.
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Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 AT 7:37 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
That's a bunch of work. Should be like new when you're done though. If you run into other issues we will be here.
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Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 AT 8:58 PM
Tiny
WALL-E
  • MEMBER
Hey Steve, what part or area do I need to clean in step 5?
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 1:07 PM
Tiny
WALL-E
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Image step 5.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 1:12 PM
Tiny
WALL-E
  • MEMBER
Sorry, I am trying to understand to figure out what splines get the Urea Grease? I am replacing all five. The two front right and left, and the Intermediate Shaft, and both rears. Step 4 is saying to grease the inside "A" and clean out ever couple groves, and then the most inner part "B" where the set ring mates? Maybe it will all make more sense as I take it apart. Maybe I need to open up the parts and take some pictures?
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 1:36 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
They want all of the inner splines and outer seal areas cleaned then apply new grease inside the splines and a dab where the seals ride. You want them clean so they don't bind or trap junk in the splines in the grease. Then you remove the grease (but leave a thin film) from a few areas so that the air inside the joint can move. If the air gets trapped it will act like a spring and can cause increased wear until it finally escapes. A good way to apply the grease is with a narrow brush like an artists brush. Apply one line in the splines, skip 2 splines and apply another line of grease, repeat until you grease the interior. Be sure to keep it out of the snap ring grooves.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
WALL-E
  • MEMBER
Sorry, so this is for only the right shaft (inboard) to the intermediate shaft connection. It doesn't say anything about greasing the spline connection to the hub (outboard)? Just to use the moly paste on the bearing and the contact area. I'm trying to upload a pic, but cant get the orientation correct.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 7:08 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Yeah, I normally grease all the splines as it makes them all easier to deal with. On the hub ends I always grease those, in the event you will ever need to remove a hub you will thank yourself as the grease will keep water and rust out of those splines.
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Friday, April 9th, 2021 AT 8:17 PM

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