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How to Replace Front CV Axle 97-03 Ford F-150

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How to Replace Front CV Axle 97-03 Ford F-150

Created on: 2017-06-21

This video includes steps for removing the tire, brakes, and separating the ball joint to access and replace the cv axle

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the 19mm lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel
  2. step 2 :Removing the Hub Nut
    • Straighten the cotter pin on the nut with needle nose pliers
    • Remove the cotter pin
    • Thread three or four lug nuts on
    • Hold the rotor still with a pry bar
    • Loosen the 35mm hub nut
  3. step 3 :Removing the Brakes
    • Use a c-clamp to push in the pistons
    • Remove the 18mm bolts from the brake caliper bracket
    • Pull off the brake caliper bracket
    • Lift the caliper up and off to the side
    • Secure the caliper with a bungee cord
    • Remove the rotor
  4. step 4 :Separating the Ball Joint
    • Raise the a jack underneath the knuckle to simulate the suspension
    • Straighten out the cotter pin on the castle nut
    • Remove the cotter pin from the castle nut
    • Loosen the 22mm castle nut from the upper control arm to a few threads
    • Separate the ball joint from the control arm with a hammer and pickle fork
    • Remove the nut
    • Remove the jack from underneath the knuckle and lower the vehicle back to the jack stands
  5. step 5 :Removing the Axle
    • Remove the six 12-point bolts from the CV axle and use a pry bar for leverage
    • Tap the spline end of the CV axle into the knuckle
    • Remove the axle
  6. step 6 :Installing the Axle
    • Add rust penetrant to the splines in the knuckle
    • Insert the axle into the differential
    • Insert the axle into the knuckle and hub
    • Lift the knuckle with a jack
    • Thread on the castle nut to the ball joint to keep it aligned
    • Line the axle into the differential
    • Hand-tighten the bolts to the axle
    • Tighten the bolts to the axle
    • Torque the bolts to 51-67 foot-pounds
  7. step 7 :Reinstalling the Axle Nut
    • Reinstall the axle nut
    • Torque the axle nut to 188-254 foot-pounds
    • Slide in the cotter pin to the nut
    • Bend the cotter pin
    • Remove the jack from the knuckle and lower the vehicle back to the jack stands
  8. step 8 :Connecting the Ball Joint
    • Tighten the ball joint nut 57-76 foot-pounds
    • Insert the cotter pin to the ball joint
    • Bend the cotter pin
  9. step 9 :Reinstalling the Brakes
    • Put the rotor on
    • Put the caliper on
    • Thread the 18mm bolts by hand
    • Tighten bolts to 136 foot-pounds
    • Clean the rotor with brake parts cleaner or mineral spirits
  10. step 10 :Reattaching the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 83-112 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools

    Large C-Clamp

    Hammer

    Jack Stands

    Rubber Mallet

    Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Safety Glasses

    Gloves

    Bungee Cord

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

    Needle nose pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions

    Torque Wrench

    Ratchet

    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

    35mm Socket

    18mm Socket

    19mm Socket

    12mm 12-Point Socket

    22mm Socket

Installation Video
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Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years. We're dedicated to delivering quality auto parts, expert customer service, fast and free shipping, all backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Visit us at 1AAuto.com, your trusted source for quality auto parts.

We're going to start this project. We're going to go ahead and loosen the wheel, the lug nuts here. We're going to use a breaker bar with a 19 millimeter socket. Next, we're going to go ahead and raise and support your vehicle. You can use a jack and jack stands. In this case here, we're using a lift to make it a little bit easier. We'll just go ahead and remove the lug nuts here just by using that socket because we've already loosened those. With the lug nuts removed, we can now go ahead and remove the wheel and tire.

So we're going to go ahead in and we're going to straighten out the cotter pin the best we can. I'm going to try and get that out. Line that up a little bit. Go down below. I'm going to try and pull this out. So now that we have the cotter pin out, I'm going to go ahead and thread the bolts back on here, and you're probably wondering why. We're going to have to use the studs here. You can do this in your driveway. I just want to get these on. I'm not sure which ones I'm going to use, so I'm just going to throw four of these on. You're going to see why in just a second. I'm going to go ahead and use this here as a leverage point, and we don't want to mottle up the threads. That way there we can get our wheel back on later.

Now we have a 35 millimeter socket. That might vary, depending on your application. And this is what we're going to do. There we go. And now that that's fairly loose, we can use a ratchet wrench. Okay. That does come off. Now, as you can see, all the studs are still perfectly fine, no damage.

All right, so we're going to go ahead and remove the brake caliper and the bracket assembly as one complete unit. So to go ahead and start that, we can use a basic c-clamp, and what you want to do is use the c part, but on the inside of the brake pad area, okay, and then bring this backside and put it on the back side of the caliper. Be sure not to catch the hard brake line right there. Now, you don't have to crank it in too far. You just want it to apply some pressure and as you start to tighten it, you can actually see the space between the caliper itself and the pad push in. You just want to do it a little bit.

Back up and you want to do it to the lower half. This lets you release the tension on the caliper, pushes a little bit of brake fluid back up into the system. You can see that this is moving pretty freely right now because a lot less tension on there. So on the back side you have a large bolt right here and one right on the bottom. There's only two of them holding this on and we're actually going to use an 18 millimeter to go ahead and remove those. Once you get those loose, you can go ahead and use a ratchet. Okay, so we're getting these bolts pulled out.

All right, so you want to hold onto this caliper and the bracket. It is a heavy unit. Now you want to be prepared, have either a bungee cord or a strap. You want to pull this off, just slip right off, with your brake pads, caliper and the bracket. You want to anchor this somehow back up to the suspension of the chassis so it doesn't fall down. All right, once you pull off the caliper and the bracket, your rotor can slip right off.

So we're gonna go ahead and straighten out this cotter pin. We want to remove the nut, this castle nut, off of the upper ball joint. All right, so before we go ahead and remove this nut off of the upper control arm ball joint, if you notice here, we have jack supporting the control arm. The reason for this here is that we're basically just trying to get some tension relieved off of the control arm. So that way there where it pops out, it's not at an extreme angle.

So this here brings the control arm up a little bit. It'll make it easier for this to separate. Then we'll continue from there. All right, so we're going to use a 22 millimeter socket and a breaker bar. If the nuts starts to loosen up pretty good for you, you can go ahead and switch over to ratchet wrench. Now what we're going to do here, you can actually see the thread starting to come through. This ball join is tapered that goes into the upper knuckle here, so what you want to do is not completely remove this nut. but bring it down so that you can see some threads in there. What you can actually use here, you can use a pickle fork or you can use the old hammer technique. If you're in your driveway, give that a shot.

So we're going to go ahead and try that hammer first. Any time you're striking anything like this here, metal with a hammer, you're going to want to wear safety glasses. Always protect your eyes. So with this suspended here, we're actually going to try the shock treatment with this here. Because the ball joint is tapered and goes into the knuckle, sometimes with two hammers, if you hit consecutively right on each side, it shocks it so that it pops that tapered ball joint right out. In this case here, worked like charm. Now that we've removed the nut and we took off the initial pressure right here, we're going to go ahead and remove the jack.

We're going to let the suspension droop back down a little bit so we can go ahead and continue on. So right around here, you're going to see there are six 12 point bolts that actually hold the CV axle in place. So we're going to go ahead and remove those there. This is actually going to require a pry bar, a breaker bar, and a 12-point 12 millimeter socket. Then I have a breaker bar here to apply some leverage. What we can do is basically just break these free and then get a ratchet on them. So we can go ahead and zip those right out.

All right, so while we're removing the last bolt here, the axle itself might start to spin, so you can reinstall another bolt and use your pry bar as a little bit of leverage to hold that axle from rotating. Go ahead and crank that out with the ratchet on the bottom. Take out that little bolt. Then you can go ahead and remove the upper bolt by hand and the axle itself, as you can see, drops right out.

Up on the front side here, you're going to want to go ahead and use the hammer to go ahead and tap the spline end of CV axle back into our out of the knuckle itself. You want to manipulate the spindle inside and pull the knuckle out. You can see here, it separates. You can pull it up through the front or, as you can see here, we drop it out through the backside. Go ahead and pull that out.

All right, so right here, we have the original OEM component and over here we have the exact matching 1A Auto component here. Actually, comes with the replacement spindle nut right here in case you happen to damage or mar up the original component. It comes with that with it. Same exact spline. You do want to put some grease on those there, but as you can see, it is a direct replacement with no modifications. So what you might want to do is use a little bit of rust penetrant or apply a little bit of grease to the splines inside here, and/or the splines on the axle shaft here. So when you assemble it, it slides into the hub a lot easier.

I'm going to go ahead and separate that there and try and feed this up through the back. You just want to just kind of manipulate the front of this CV axle to actually come through your hub if you can. Here we go. Now these bolts here, I did go ahead and I cleaned the head of these here, that way there the socket fits on nice without having any slipping of working with dirty components.

So we ended up getting a jack or your lift underneath the knuckle area. What you have to do is kind of support the knuckle with the control arm, so we can go ahead and line up the axle and get that put on. So we just put some weight on the vehicle. Pull the ball joint through. Get the thread on the castle nut just until about the stud starts to poke through the top of the nut area. Just to put some pressure on it, keep this lined up so it doesn't wobble back and forth on you.

Okay and with that supported here, we can go ahead right here and this should line up nice. Just push on the center of the shaft a little bit. Push that axle back in. We just want to get one of these bolts started like so. We're just going to continue the bolt installation. Obviously, we're not going to tighten them up now, we just want to get several threads caught. Make sure you got several threads so you don't risk the chance of stripping any threads when you got to anchor everything else in.

So you're going to want to go ahead and tighten all these down using 12 millimeter and a short extension just to get in here. All right, so the torque spec is roughly 51 to 67 foot-pounds on these here. We're going to go right in the middle at 60 using your torque wrench. Use that trusty pry bar to hold that from rotating around on you.

All right. You can pop that off. We're going to rotate it to the opposite side right here. And just perform that in a crisscross or star pattern until you're all tightened up. Reinstall your axle nut. We're using a 35 millimeter socket for this and the range is 188 to 254 for the torque spec range on this here. We're going to go right in the middle.

All right, so I reinstalled three of the wheel nuts on here, just so I could use the pry bar once again. We don't want to damage the threads on that. So we just use that there as a leverage point. Actually you're going to set that up just like this. We'll go ahead and remove the lug nuts here. Now we're going to go ahead and install the cap right here, making sure that the hole for the cotter pin lines up with the tabs on the crown. Should slip right in and with your pliers, just roll those on over there.

At this point here, you can now go ahead and lower the vehicle back onto your jack stand and remove your jack. So another alternative way to torquing down your hub nut is to simply pop the center cap from behind. This'll give you access to use your torque wrench and socket. So you want to pop that center cap, install the wheel, torque it down, and then lower the vehicle down. Put it on the ground, and go ahead and finish torquing to the specification. Go ahead and reinstall the center cap. You're all set.

All right, so now we're going to go ahead and tighten the ball joint nut here. The range for the torque spec is 57 to 76 foot pounds. We're right in the middle. There we go. So since I went right in the middle of the torque range spec, you have to match up the hole and the ball joint to the notch in the castle nut. I'm off just a tiny bit. So I'm just going to go ahead and tighten this just hair bit more.

So now we're going to go ahead and reassemble the brakes. So we're going to take the original rotor and we're going to install this component here. Then next we want to go ahead and take that caliper, slide that right back on over here. Just going to thread in the two bolts into the back side here. So we're using an 18 millimeter socket with ratchet to go ahead and snug this up. All right so we're going to take the 18 millimeter socket and put it on the torque wrench, and then we're going to tighten this to 136 foot-pounds.

All right, we're going to go ahead and reinstall the tire. We're going to go ahead and reinstall the lug nuts here. You want to get a few threads caught on all of these here. These lug nuts are a 19 millimeter. So we're just going to snug these bottom and out. Bottom of the wheel out to the rotor. We're going to lower the vehicle down onto its own weight and then to a final torque. With the vehicle on the ground, we're going to do its final torque of the wheel which is between 83 and 112 foot-pounds. We're going to do it in a star pattern. She’s all set.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Large C-Clamp
  • Hammer
  • Jack Stands
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Bungee Cord

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Needle nose pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

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

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 35mm Socket
  • 18mm Socket
  • 19mm Socket
  • 12mm 12-Point Socket
  • 22mm Socket

1997 - 2003  Ford  F150 Truck
1997 - 2002  Ford  Expedition
1998 - 2002  Lincoln  Navigator
2004 - 2004  Ford  F150 Heritage Truck
1997 - 1999  Ford  F250 Light Duty Truck
2000 - 2000  Ford  F150 Truck
1997 - 1999  Ford  F150 Truck
2000 - 2000  Ford  Expedition
1997 - 1999  Ford  Expedition
2000 - 2000  Lincoln  Navigator
1998 - 1999  Lincoln  Navigator
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