Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Illinois, United States
Drives: 2008 Kia Rio 2007 Kia Spectra
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07 Spectra cv axle tips
I have an 07 Spectra with about 101,000 miles. The front end began making a grinding noise, and while checking out the CV axles, I noticed that the driver side axle was throwing grease from the outer boot. Replacing the axle wasn't easy, so I hope these tips will help others who may have to replace one.
1. The axle did not "pop" out with a pry bar. It was really stuck in, so I used an impact driver with a long flat-head screwdriver attachment. The shaft was so close to the transmission that even a pickle fork wouldn't go in enough to make much of a difference. I put the flat-head attachment between the shaft and transmission, pushed back on it to pry, and hit the driver with a hammer while twisting the handle towards me. It took a little over an hour to dislodge the axle (!), but it did come out and there was no noticeable damage to the transmission or seal.
2. Installing the new CV axle was no easier. In my experience, it has to have a light coating of grease on the end (past the splines), and then it has to be forced in by grabbing the middle and outer shaft and ramming it in. Tapping it with a mallet and hammer did nothing. It took strong arms for the ramming part (I got a stronger relative to do this part). I've seen YouTube videos recommending that WD40 could do in a pinch, but in my case it required grease.
3. Instead of loosening the strut bolts, which is commonly recommended by instructional videos, I tried separating the lower ball joint, which is also a recommendation for getting the knuckle out of the way. However, I chewed up the ball joint with a pickle fork (it must be welded on), so I recommend doing what you can (impact gun, breaker bar) to get the strut bolts off and leave the ball joint alone if it's not showing signs of needing replaced.
Anyway, just some thoughts for others contemplating this repair.
Strangely, replacing the axle did not stop the grinding noise although it took several short drives for the sound to return, so I'm back to hunting down the source of the noise.