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How do you replace a front passenger side drive axle on a 2003 Honda Accord?

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2011-10-26 14:01:47
2011-10-26 14:01:47

The question you ask is too involved for a proper answer. You may want to go to a car parts store, or book store, and get a repair manual for your car. They cost about $16.00 Or, go to a Public Library.

Or.....

I did this on the 2003 Accord Sedan EX with the V6 engine.

buy a drive shaft ensuring that it comes with a new axel nut. you'll probably need a 36mm socket as well and a breaker bar.

Plan on a few hours, 2 or 3 uninterrupted.

I used two jacks, one floor jack and one bottle jack as well as a complete 3/8" socket set and the axel nut socket, 36mm, ball joint fork, hammer and patience.

1. loosen the lugnuts.

2. Lift the car and remove the tire/wheel.

3. Pop out the plastic center of the wheel.

3a. Use something to "unstake" the axel nut. This is done to keep the axel nut from turning. you'll want to turn the nut later.....

4. Put the wheel back on with the lug nuts

5. Lower the car so that there is a bit of weight on the wheel.

6. put the 36mm socket on the axel nut. At this point you can use whatever method you want to loosen it. I don't like beating on parts of the drive train so I used the hydraulic pressure of the bottle jack to push on the breaker bar and loosen the nut.

7. Jack the car back up and put jack stands underneath it.

8. Re-remove the tire/wheel assembly and axel nut.

9. Remove the cotter pin and the nut on the lower ball joint. Use the ball joint fork to separate the ball joint. If the fork splines are too narrow, raise the lower A-arm a few inches, get the fork wedged in there and lower the A-arm slowly. This popped it off for me and didn't screw up the ball joint seal.

9. support the A-arm with the bottle jack and remove the through bolt that is holding the lower strut arm to the A-arm. It would be nice if the CV joint would go through this but it won't. You can wait on this as it provides some support for the axel while you try and get it off the half shaft. But you'll have to do this step once you get the axel off the half shaft.

10. Carefully rotate the wheel assembly towards the rear of the car. Watch out for the brake line and the wheel sensor wire that feeds the ABS.

11. The axel should pull out of the brake assembly. It might need a few taps of encouragement.

12. Now the fun part. You have to get the female end of the axel off the half shaft. It is located inside a squirrel hole The exhaust manifold is in the way. I used a large, 1.5 inch, open end wrench as a pry bar. The open end of the wrench went on the axel between the inner CV joint and the half shaft mount. The fulcrum was the exhaust manifold. I then beat on the end of the wrench until the axel popped off the half shaft. I'm sure there is a special Honda tool for this but I don't own it.

12a. If you didn't remove the through bolt on the strut mount you have to do it now. The CV joints are 0.5 inches too big to fit through.

13. Inspect everything in here. Brake rotors and pads, engine mounts, ball joints etc.

14. Put some moly grease on the splines of the new shaft. Just a little not a big glob.

15. Carefully align the splines of the female end of the drive shaft to the splines on the male end of the half shaft. Once that slips on you are 20 minutes from driving.

16. Align the other end to the wheel slip it in. Put the axel nut on loosely here just to hold it in place.

17. Put the through bolt back where it goes to hold the strut mount to the A-arm. Make sure the Axel is going through here. You'll be disappointed if it is not....

18. Reconnect the ball joint with a new cotter pin.

19. Tighten the axel nut with the 3/8" wrench but not too much.

20. Double check that everything is connected and tightened, not binding etc.

21. Put the tire/wheel back on the car. Don't' really torque the lug nuts yet.

22. Lower the car so that the wheel is touching the ground with a bit of weight.

23. Now REALLY torque that axel nut. REALLY. remember how tight it was in step 6? You need to get it there again. Maybe 100+ ftlbs.

24. Once you think it is tight stake the nut. There is a little cut out on the axel where you drive the thin part of the nut into that cut out. remember step 3a?

25. Finish lowering the car, tighten the lug nuts and go for a test drive. Listen for clunks, ticks, thumps etc. Turn full left and right. If it sounds good try some aggressive acceleration and braking. if it doesn't go home carefully and figure out what is wrong.

26. Presuming all goes well with the test drive go back home and look at the axel nut where you staked it. Did the stake point move? If it did you don't have it tight enough. If it didn't then you need to remove the wheel again so you can replace the plastic cap.

27. Have a cold one. The drivers side looks easier but I haven't done it yet so I'm sure that there will be a gottcha in there somewhere.

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