How to Replace Toyota Axles
Axles on a Toyota vehicle are secured to the transmission with a snap ring and held in place at the wheel hub with a drive axle nut. The axles have two joints on them, called CV joints, that provide flexibility in the joint. When these joints fail, you will hear the axles "click" when you turn left or right. This is the sound of the axles grinding on each other. When this happens, you'll need to replace them.
- Tire wrench
- 2 jack stands
- Spindle nut socket
- Impact wrench with air compressor
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Hard grease
- New cotter pin
Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels where you will be removing the axles. Turn the lug nuts on those wheels 45-degrees counterclockwise with a tire wrench.
Raise the vehicle onto jack stands. Lift up the vehicle using the front (or rear) jack points, depending on which side of the vehicle you are trying to access.
Place jack stands under the pinch welds of the vehicle and lower the Toyota onto the stands.
Finish removing the lug nuts and pull the wheel off the wheel hub.
Remove the center hub nut with an impact wrench.
Pull the cotter pin out of the drive shaft nut with a pair of pliers
Remove the drive shaft nut with an impact wrench.
Remove the tie-rod end nut, lower control arm to shock assembly bolt and steering knuckle to control arm bolt with an impact wrench.
Pry the steering knuckle away from the control arm using a ball joint separator tool. Wedge the tip of the tool between the ball joint and the control arm. Then, hit the end of the tool with a hammer to separate the two components.
Swing the hub assembly away from the vehicle and pull the axle out of the wheel hub. Then, pry the axle out of the transmission with a flat-tip screwdriver.
Install the new axle. Grease the snap ring on the axle before inserting it into the transmission. This will make installation easier. You must hear the axle snap into the transmission before it is secure. When replacing the drive shaft nut, insert a new cotter pin through the nut and bend it down over the face of the nut. Otherwise, installation is the reverse of removal.