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Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace the halfshaft/axle on the passenger side of the car. The boot is split and the grease is flying out of course, so its days are numbered.

I can find the shaft for a reasonable cost locally. My question is what else needs to be swapped with the axle? I assume there is a C-clip on the transmission end of the shaft, and that the nut and cotter pin on the hub side should all be replaced.

What about that carrier bearing? Is there anything needed for that? Does it have to be pressed into the carrier?

I know I will need a realignment after the job, which is no problem - I have a lifetime align at a local shop.

Any other tips or tricks around the job would be greatly appreciated. I have done this job many years ago on a '75 civic, and expect this to be pretty similar. Just concerned about anything that may have changed in the 20 or so years since I have had to R&R a halfshaft/axle.

TIA for any advice.
 

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I believe the passenger side axle doesn't have a c-clip to hold it in. The carrier bearing keeps the axle in place from moving. The driver's side is the one with the clip on the splines.

Make sure to inspect the strap and mount for the carrier bearing. They can wear out over time. I would figure that the new axle would have the bearing pressed on already.

I believe the axle nut is 32 mm if I remember correct and the basic tools should get the job done. It wouldn't be a bad ideal to replace the axle seal on the tranny while you have the axle out. Maybe even put some fresh tranny fluid in.
 

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No prob, I'm not positive with the clip on the axle splines...maybe the other poster is correct. Either way a prybar will work to pop it out. I actually have a tool that looks like a field goal post that slips in between the axle and tranny to pop it out nice.
 

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I can't remember about a clip either, but I know it was a simple pry it out deal. Once you have everything disconnected i used a "pickle fork" thing my friend had to get the shaft out. Wedged the fork in around the shaft and some light tapping with the palm of my hand popped it out.

Try something like this:
 

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Oh here ya go, found this on my Picasa album for my suspension rebuild (I replaced both the trans output shaft seals, drivers side was leaking)

Obviously with my pickle fork suggestion be careful not to scrap up any part of the shaft or nick the trans shaft seals. I wedged the pickle fork in between the trans case and the CV joint housing. (This must be the drivers side since the CV joint is so close to the trans)

But here's what the half shaft looks like:


I am pretty sure the passenger side has the same little circlip, but it doesn't require any tools, just a proper yank. Be sure to pull straight out and be careful not to muck up the seal!
 

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When I replaced the axle seal on the passanger side, not slip held it in other than the carrier bearing race/sleeve. As mentioned, go ahead and do the seal! Its an additional 2 min job and will keep the trans from leaking fluid (and you disassembling everything to replace it!)

Also, since you have to get the axle out of the hub to replace it, thought about going ahead and having the bearing replaced? Its not recommended to do one side and not the other, but since you'll be pretty close to pulling the hub...a quick trip to the machine shop to do the pressing will do the trick! (And yes, these bearings have to be pressed on/off)

And no, there isn't a coder pin for the axle nut. Just good ol' fashioned elbow grease and a dap of lock tite!
 

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Just a word of advice...I jack up both sides when I work on the suspension, takes tension off the sways.

If your pulling the hub, I suggest this, because having the play to wrigle the hub off of the strut and ball joint without the sway bar link connected to the strut helps! The hubs are connected to the axle, and by the pinch bolts for the strut and ball joint. Thats it. The caliper bolts to the hub. Itll be an extra half hour to disassemble the drivers side and pull the axle out of that hub once the wheels off. Then both bearings are done and you wont have to worry about them.

But, if you dont have any qualms running a new and older bearing on the front, then nvm.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am half way through this job, having started Sunday. Once I got the axle out, I discovered that it is not a simple task to find a replacement, since the SVT has a different transmission and more/finer splines on that end of the shaft. I tried to find an axle shop locally to just rebuild the one I have, but the one I identified said he wouldn't do a Focus axle, just order a new one. O'Reilly wanted me to give them my core to send off and have rebuilt. NAPA will sell me one, but it has to come from the warehouse in Abq, NM, so it'll be nearly a week either way.

If you are planning this job, be sure and have the new axle in hand, or at least on order before you get into it, or you will face a lot of down time. I should have done more homework on that issue before I got into the job.

Luckily, this is giving me an opportunity to drive my other SVT ('01 Lightning) for a week or so :) so I can't complain too much. But I sure would like to get my little car rolling again.

PS no circlip on the passenger side shaft, for those who are keeping score.
 

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Got mine at O'reillys

I used to circle track race an SVT, until we discovered how light duty the hubs and bearings were.
When the new Oreilly's came to our town I had to take a trip in the store. the manager asked me if I needed anything and being a smart ass I said "yeah, I'd like a pair of CV axles for an 03 Focus SVT" He said 'don't have em in stock, but I can get em tomorrow'. I ordered them, not believing he could really get them, but they were there the next day. Still got both of them in the boxes on the shelf, was just gonna put a stock axle back in the box for the $24 core, but never did.
Anyways if you run into real trouble I have one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I used to circle track race an SVT, until we discovered how light duty the hubs and bearings were.
When the new Oreilly's came to our town I had to take a trip in the store. the manager asked me if I needed anything and being a smart ass I said "yeah, I'd like a pair of CV axles for an 03 Focus SVT" He said 'don't have em in stock, but I can get em tomorrow'. I ordered them, not believing he could really get them, but they were there the next day. Still got both of them in the boxes on the shelf, was just gonna put a stock axle back in the box for the $24 core, but never did.
Anyways if you run into real trouble I have one.
Thanks man, that's a kind offer. Hopefully I am just out a little bit of time but if procuring a replacement becomes more of a fiasco I may consider taking you up.
 

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If your part deal falls through, Rock auto has one listed for "6 speed manual trans" which I can only assume is our getrag. They list 2 left. I haven't heard of the brand, but its up to you if you want to trust the brand. Listed at $115 for the half-shaft assembly.

I have ordered a bunch of parts from Rock Auto and they are darn quick with shipping. On multiple occasions I have placed orders on a Monday afternoon and had the part on my front porch Wednesday evening when I get home from work.

Perhaps a fall back plan if you need it. Best of luck with the repair!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks - all of the shafts I have seen are rebuilds with a store brand, including the one I am waiting for from NAPA. Well not including Motorcraft, but they are over $300. Thanks for the tip on Rock auto.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just a quick update. Shaft arrived at NAPA Friday and my wife picked it up while I was at work. Got home in time to iinstall it, and get it on the alignment rack before the shop closed. Toe was sligthly out but camber and caster were well w/in spec. Got back home in time to get cleaned up and watch the Rangers drop game 7. :-(

Thanks again for all the help!
 
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