Hardlymoving writes about do-it-yourself automobile maintenance on various makes and models.
A Pothole Can Ruin Your CV Axle and Cause Vibration
A customer told me that he was experiencing wheel vibration at speeds over 40 mph. It started after he drove his right front wheel into a large pothole in the dead of night.
If a wheel enters a pothole at the wrong angle or with extreme force, the CV axle may bend, or the bearings and bearing cage inside the CV cup may be damaged. In either case you need to replace the axle with either a new or rebuilt unit.
New or Used Replacement CV Axle?
My preference is to use only new CV axles. My luck with rebuilt units depended on purchasing from reputable parts rebuilders (for example, Cardone). I have not had good, consistent results using re-branded rebuilt units from local parts vendors.
Split-Axle Design on Toyota Passenger-Side CV Axle
The passenger-side axle is longer than the driver-side one, since the transmission is mounted to the left of the transverse mounted engine. Instead of one long shaft leading from the transmission to the right wheel, the axle is spit into two parts joined by a center bearing. The center bearing is supported by a bearing bracket mounted on the engine. This "split-axle design" helps distribute wheel torque between the right and left wheels.
A Tool You Will Need
To replace this axle you have to remove a 30-mm 12-point nut that holds the outer CV axle shaft to the wheel hub. These nuts are torqued on at approximately 180 lbs. Only a 12-point 30-mm socket (see below) can remove this nut; six-point sockets will not work.
Tips for Toyota/Lexus CV Axle Replacement
The outer splined shaft of the CV axle can be pulled from the hub by tilting the steering knuckle away from the axle. You can do this by detaching either the suspension strut or the lower ball joint from the knuckle. My preference is to detach the suspension strut.
The center bearing mounted in the bearing hanger mount can be pulled out by removing a snap ring plus the 12-mm nut that presses against the bearing. If you notice any transmission oil leaks where the axle attaches to the transmission, you must replace the output shaft seal along with the CV axle.
Video: Toyota/Lexus Passenger-Side CV Axle Replacement
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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