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How to Replace Drivers Side Axle 00-11 Ford Focus

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  1. step : Removing the Wheel (0:24)
    • Loosen the 19 mm lug nuts
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Remove the wheel
    • You may replace one lug nut and pry the wheel from behind if it is difficult to remove
  2. step : Removing the Axle (2:06)
    • Remove the 15 mm nut to remove the sway bar link from the strut
    • Remove the 15 mm lower strut pinch bolt
    • Hammer down on the knuckle to loosen the strut
    • Remove the 32 mm axle nut
    • Push the axle end in to make sure its loosened from the hub
    • Hammer down on the knuckle to separate it from the strut
    • Remove the axle from the wheel hub
    • Tie off the wheel knuckle to prevent damage
    • Hammer or pry out the inner axle from the transmission
    • Have a drain pan in place, as transmission fluid will leak out when the axle is removed
  3. step : Installing the Axle (12:15)
    • Insert the inner axle into the transmission
    • With the axle nut on, hammer the outer end of the axle to seat it fully in the transmission
    • Insert the outer axle end into the wheel hub
    • Align the knuckle with the lower strut
    • Raise up the wheel knuckle with a jack to seat it onto the strut properly
    • Install the 15 mm lower strut pinch bolt
    • Torque the 15 mm lower strut pinch bolt to 66 ft-lb
    • Reinstall the sway bar link into the strut, and secure it with the 15 mm nut
    • Reinstall the 32 mm axle nut
    • Torque the 32 mm axle nut to 266 ft-lb
    • You may also torque the axle nut after the wheel has been put back on, with the center cap removed
  4. step : Installing the Wheel (21:11)
    • Slide the wheel onto the wheel studs
    • Install the 19 mm lug nuts by hand
    • Lower the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Torque the 19 mm lug nuts to 93 ft-lb in a crossing pattern
    • Torque the axle nut to 266 ft-lb, if you haven't already
    • Lower the vehicle completely

Hey, friends. It's Len here at 1AAuto. Today I'm working on a 2001 Ford Focus and I'm going to show you how to do a left front axle. It's going to be a very easy job. I want to be the guy that shows you how to do it. If you need this or any other part, you can always check us out at 1AAuto.com. thanks.

Okay, friends, so we've got the vehicle supported under all its lift points. We're going to bring the vehicle up a little bit. Try to keep the wheels so it's just barely touching the ground. We're going to break free the lug nuts, 19mm. If you're going to be using an airgun, you really shouldn't have to do this, but if you're using a ratchet, you want to do it with the wheels still touching the ground. Now that they're loose, we can raise the vehicle and we'll get busy.

Here we go. Time to get the wheel off. Use your ratchet, use your air gun, use your 19, whatever you're doing. Take off the last one. I'm going to hold the wheel. It's nice and corroded on there. Just put one of these lug nuts back on. I'm just going to give us a little bunk, see if we can get it to break free. Feels like a no. Okay. Something else that we can try doing. Just grab a pry bar or you can use a rubber mallet if you want it to. I use a pry bar. I just come from the backside, pry up against the lower control arm and the wheel. Use a little leverage break free. Easy peasy. Some people might try to use a hammer. You could dent your wheel. A rubber mallet could work. All right. We removed the wheel. Now we have a clear view of what we're working on.

It's always a good habit to a spray everything down with some penetrant spray as well. You know, because that's going to help soak in, because what we're going to have to do is we're going to have to take this knot off right here, pop the sway bar link out of the way. We're going to remove this bolt right here. This is a pinch bolt. It squeezes your knuckle around your strut. Once we get this off, we'll move ahead to this one. Then once we get that all off, we'll go ahead and give this a couple bonks, see if we can drive it down.

What I'm going to do here, I'm just going to use some locking pliers. I'm going to try to grab the backside of this sway bar link, try to hold onto it. Then I'm going to use a 15mm, try to remove this nut right here. you can use a ratchet or whatever you want to do. If you have access to an air gun, it's definitely helpful. We sell them at 1AAuto.com, by the way,

There's that. We've got our brake hose out of the way. It's going to have plenty of slack so when we swing our knuckle down, once this breaks free, it won't put a tag on our brake hose. Let's see what size this bolt is. It's a 15 as well. Safety glasses, of course.

This is our pinch bolt. If you take a look at it and it looks like it's corroded and rotted away, you'd want to replace this. All right? This one looks like it's pretty good. Just a little rusted. I'll go ahead and clean it up before I re-install it, but I'd say that this one's still reusable. I'm going to set this aside and we'll move along.

Here we go a little bit more penetrant. Cool. You're going to take your hammer and you're going to try to bonk right on this knuckle right here, okay? Just give it a couple bonks: bonk, bonk. See if you can get it to break free. I'm going to bring it down to a working level. This a little bit high for me to try to swing. I don't want to hit the fender. It's a beautiful fender. I'm going to bring it down and then I'll show you what I'm talking about.

Okay. We can go ahead and bonk right on here. If you felt the need, you could take a lug nut. Just put it on here. We still have the brakes attached so the rotor really can't go anywhere, but if you want to make sure that the rotor doesn't move around very much, it couldn't hurt to just throw that on there. That's going to help prevent the rotor from moving around in rust falling down in between the rotor and the hub. Looks like it's starting to slide down. I could swing a little harder if I want to. I just want to be careful. Like I said, I don't want to hit the fender, so I'm just ...

Yep. That looks pretty good. It looks like we're cruising along. Still got quite a bit to go though. It feels like we're about maybe about halfway up that knuckle. Right about here is where the strut ends. What I'm going to do, I'm going to remove this axle nut right here. I'm going to try to push the axle through a little bit. I don't want to put too much pressure on the axle itself. I'll grab the a soccer for that. I'll tell you what it is. We'll remove it. We'll try to drive the axle in a little bit. 32mm.

There's our axle nut. we'll set this aside. If you don't have an airgun, impact gun to take the axle nut off, you can do something like this with a pry bar. You just kind of stick it in between the studs just like that and up against the ground, assuming you had the vehicle lower. That's going to help prevent your herb and everything from turning. Now with that there you can put your socket with your long ratchet on there. You can relieve pressure or a take off the nut without spinning your whole hub. Okay? That'll just hold it still for you. I just want to give you a heads up on that.

This is our air chisel available at 1AAuto.com, okay? Performance tool. It's going to work pretty good. All we're going to do is we're going to use a center punch bit, try to go right in that hole, apply pressure, and just air chisel it. Get it to vibrate, push the axle in a little bit, and that should give us a little bit of slack to continue with what we're doing here. That was easy peasy. All right, let's continue with the bonking.

Getting pretty close now. Okay. If you have access to a pry bar, all I'm going to do is I'm going to try to lower those down a little bit, just like that. All right? I'm just going to go ahead and drive out this axle. Pull down on the knuckle as I go, making sure that I don't put too much tension on this flex hose right here. All we're going to do now, pull the axle like that. See if we can sneak it by. Okay. What I'm going to do, or what I want to do, is just try to make it so the knuckle can't flop around, so whatever you have to do to make it happen. Use a bungee cord, ratchet strap, duck tape. Don't try to copy this. Okay, cool.

This is not putting any pressure on our flex hose at this point. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to grab my pry bar. I'm going to go underneath the vehicle. Right up through here, I'm going to try to apply pressure between the transmission itself and the axle, give it a little pressure. Hopefully pop that right out. That's my plan. Let's do it.

Okay, so we're at point that we're underneath the vehicle now. Take your pry bar. You can try to pry between the transmission and the axle and see if you can pop the axle out. If for some reason that's not working, you can keep trying. Give it a try. You could also go with something like this. It's a little axle removal tool. We sell this 1AAuto.com. What you do with this is you would just put it between the transmission and the axle, just like that. It's kind of at an angle. It's going to act as a wedge and hopefully try to break this free because on the backside of the axle there's a little snap ring that holds it into the transmission. Now that I've got that up there I'm going to wear my safety glasses, of course. I'm just going to try and give this a couple loving bonks. Okay.

Looks like it's coming out. I'm just going to continue with the same tool, but I'm going to hold my axle. There we are. It's coming out. We got a little bit of fluid dripping down. I'm just going to grab a bucket so I can make sure that I recycle the fluid properly. Let's try our pry bar. Again, You're going to want to make sure you check your transmission fluid, obviously, after this. If you're losing transmission fluid like I am, odds are you're going to need to add a little bit. Perfect. Now we've removed our left front axle.

Here we are, friends, a quick product comparison for you. Over here we have our original 2001 Ford Focus left front axle. We just removed it. Over here, we have our brand new quality 1A axle. As you can tell, they're both the same length. It might be hard to tell because they're kinda off-kilter. It would be nice if they were straight, but let's put them sideways. It's better diagonal. They're the same size. Okay? Very important. Make sure you have the same size. You don't have one that's sitting all the way out here this long, the other ones back like that, if you set them up nice. They do squash together a little bit, so if you happen to notice that one's a little longer than the other, you can try to compress them. Okay?

We've got brand new boots. Super important, because the boots are usually what goes bad. Start spraying out grease, they let moisture in, your axle goes bad. It comes with a brand new locking nut. Super important. You want to make sure that you replace that, obviously. You've got your splined end. You've got a brand new locking clip here. This is the part that presses into your transmission. With all that said, as you can tell, this is a quality axle. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be great to install this into the vehicle, so I'm going to go ahead and do it. If you need this or any other part, you can always check us out 1AAuto.com. Thanks

Okay, friends. It's go time. Let's start getting this axle back in here. You'll notice on the end of your axle where it presses into the transmission, you have this little clip. It feels like it's loose. Maybe you think it's broken. It's not. When you get this into the transmission, as you're pressing in, it's going to try squishing down, and then once it gets to the spot inside the transmission where it can spread back out, that's going to be what locks your axle in. That's why we had such a hard time popping it out because of this little clip right here. It's a blessing and a curse. Okay? If your axle doesn't have this on it, whether it's your old axle or your new axle, whatever you're dealing with, or if it's bent or just doesn't seem like it's got as much spring retention as you need, you're going to want to replace it. This is a brand new axle, so I'm not worried about it. It looks like it's in great condition, as I would hope, being new.

I'm just going to push this a little bit out of the way. When I put in my axle, the seal itself, the rubber part, is going to rub right on this area right here, so you want to make sure that it's clean of any debris, scuffs, scratches, dings, maybe you bounced it off the ground trying to lift it up. This looks great. I'd say we're clear to install it.

Just going to bring it over. Try to be careful for the rubber part of the seal. Okay. Here we go. It feels like it's getting ready to go in. Okay. For this next part, I like to keep the nut on there. I'll show you why. The end of the axle is threaded. Okay? That's how your nut threads on. You're going to use a hammer to give this a couple of bonks. I like to use a rubber hammer. Obviously it's not going to end up damaging the threads. If you don't have access to one and you're using a regular hammer. Well, use your old nut, of course. Don't use your new one because it's going to damage it. I'm just going to use a rubber hammer and I'm going to give it a couple of bonks, but I'm going to protect those threads as much as I can. Just in case the unforeseeable happens and they get mangled, the nut's going to protect me from that. Here we go.

Okay? It kind of made an audible sound. It sounded different than the first couple of wacks. It went from a light bonk to a heavy bonk, so I just say we got it done. It looks pretty good. We'll give it a little tug, not too much because we can separate the universal joint there, or the CV joint. That feels really good so I'd say we're clear to move onto the next step.

Okay, so I read a little bit of copper never seize. What I want to do with this, I'm not going to do it yet, but what I want to do with it, so I'm going to spray inside here. I'm going to get this nice and lubricated. I'm going to spray either on the splines of the axle, or even better, inside the splines of the wheel bearing. Okay? That way there everything can be lubricated and it can move around. As for now what I want to do, though, is I'm going to put a little bit of this copper never seize right inside the bearing here, so it's going to come spraying out. I'm going to put on my safety glasses. It's aerosol based. There we are. I'll set this aside.

Now we're going to take our axle, we're going to put it inside the hole right there, get everything lined up. There our new nut. Okay. We want to be careful at this point because when we relieve pressure from this, what can happen is the knuckle can drop further than what it needs to and you can put pressure on your flex hose right here. You don't want to put any tears on it, so whatever you need to do to get the axle so we can flex. Get down in there just like that. If you need to turn your wheel bearing a little bit to get the splines lined up, you could do that. Okay. We're cruising along here.

Now what we need to do is we need to get our pry bar inside here. We're going to lower down the lower control arm. It's going to bring down our knuckle a little bit. We should be able to slide this right in. Before we do that, we'll grab our copper never seize again. Safety glasses. Good to go. Let me grab my pry bar. Come around this way a little bit. I'm just going to try to press down. Hopefully I can get my knuckle down low enough that I can get my strut in there. Sometimes it can be a little difficult. Obviously, watch for pinch points. Safety first. I can't see what you're doing. Just get stuff wiggling around here a little bit.

I've got my jack. I'm going to put it underneath the ball joint area and try to jack this up. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of maneuverability here, a bit of brute force. Make sure it's lined up, and it is. It's going. It's just a nice tight fit.

Okay, so now that I've got the knuckle pushed all the way up and the hole for the knuckle and the strap are lined up, I can use my pinch bolt, you can use a little bit of thread locker if you'd like. It's up to you. I'm going to wear my safety glasses, of course, because I'm using a gun here. We're going to torque that down. Next, what we can do, put that on there. We'll get our jack out of the way here. We'll go get that torque spec and we'll be able to move along.

For the pinch bolt right here, you want to go 66 foot pounds with your 15mm. There we are. just going to hit it one more time real quick. Torqued 66 foot pounds with my 15mm.

Okay, let's get our sway bar link. There we are. We've got our nut. 15mm Okay. I'm just going to hold the backside there with some locking pliers. Tight. Perfect. All right, let's move along.

Okay, we've got our axle nut. I'm just going to start it on here. Give it a few good threads. Make sure it's going on. Now we're just going to blast this on, but we don't want to go too tight. We just kind of kind of want to get it so it's close to the bottomed out and then stop, because we're going to torque this down. Here we are. 32mm socket. It looks like it's getting pretty close. Okay. I'm going to leave it there for now. We'll go ahead and torque it down and that'll get it to the correct specifications. You don't want to over tighten this, ruin the bearing we just put in there. Let's move it ...

Let's take off that stabilizing lug nut that we throw on there. Okay. We'll grab our wheel, bring it over. We're just going to lift it right up with our leg. Use our ab muscles. Hold the wheel. Put our lug nut back on here. I'm going to grab the other three.

Time to go ahead and tighten up these lug nuts. 100 foot pounds. We're going to go in a crisscross pattern, never around the circle. Let's do it again. Tight. We're going to go ahead and torque this down, 266 foot pounds. Using my 32mm socket. Getting close. Tight.

Thanks for watching. Visit 1AAuto.com, your place for DIY auto repairs, for great parts, great service, and more content.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Hammer

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant
  • Copper Anti-Seize

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Locking Pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 32mm Socket
  • 15mm Socket
  • 19mm Socket

2000 - 2004  Ford  Focus
2005 - 2011  Ford  Focus
2000 - 2011  Ford  Focus
2006 - 2011  Ford  Focus
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