See this thread and my response to what he has been trying...
Re-installing the upper bolt AFTER getting the lower bolt hole aligned with something like a proper fitting tapered center punch that will center both lower holes... Then push on the spindle and the upper hole will be able to line up for a bolt/nut... then remove the center punch from the lower hole and install it's bolt/nut...
As MiaKia 09 said it's a matter of choice but I don't like fooling around with trying to remove the lower ball joint... I have tried the "hit the side of the spindle" method after fighting with a frozen bolt/nut that holds the ball joint in place and it seamed to me it was easier to use the method I suggested...but... to each their own
Okay went with Dave's approach to swap axle today with my daughters help. Found it fairly easy job for my first CV axle, but have to say I have some 40 years of doing maintenance on my cars and trucks and have done things like changed front end bushing on my P38 Chevy chasis on the motorhome years back so no too scared to tackle the job. It was great to have feedback and other forum posts to read to get the steps down before starting.
Here is what I did:
Used floor jack to lift using frame area just to rear of the front tire, behind the lower A arm area. Once up I put a jack stand in just to rear of jack.
Using an impact it was no issue to remove tire.
Remove cotter pin on axle nut, and had brake applied then used impact to remove nut. With nut on end of the axle using a large plastic dead head hammer from HF I already had on had, easily started to move, removed but followed with small deep socket to drive axle further back.
Then ratchet to remove the two bolts for the abs placing aside to be sure not to cause damage.
Pulled two U shaped slide clamps to allow brake line to be loose from strut, for extra slack.
Using impact pulled nut on top of swaybar link. Place floor jack under lower A-arm just behind the lower ball joint raised A arm until it easy to remove swaybar link.
Using impact pulled both nuts on strut to knuckle. Floor jack adjustment to find slack, lowering to remove both bolts from strut. When second bolt is pulled the knuckle will move. Swing knuckle rearward to allow axle spline to be pulled out from rear of knuckle.
Used long tie strap to hold knuckle up going through top knuckle to strut hole to strut to keep from damaging lower ball joint.
Two large screw drivers between inner CV joint and transmission, was able to pop axle loose. With helper at outside CV joint I slowly removed axle from transmission being sure not to put pressure on the seal as removed the axle from car.
Replaced with new axle in reverse order, with these extras items to pay attention to.
After axle laying in place but not yet stabbed into transmission, spread light bearing grease on end of spline. I did it this way to be sure not to pickup any grit with a pre-greased axle touching anything on the way in.
Placed the axle in the trans and made sure splines where engage by trying to turn. Using my dead blow plastic hammer lightly tapped axle at nut end and after a few taps I heard it pop in.
Then greased outer CV spline and inserted into knuckle.
Only thing was after installing axle nut was with center cap out of wheel put wheel on lower car and torqued axle nut, raised removed wheel inserted cotter pin and put wheel back on.
Now as to axle what I bought, was sold as a FEQ branded box (First Equipment Quality I think is a WorldPac label and most expensive of the axles I found available aftermarket) , but the stainless boot bands were stamped with GSP logo, obviously made by GPS. NCV15506 was on the box. While shopping this was the suggested model for the car by both local and several internet stores. I found the same NCV number also used on autoparts store brand. I went with FEQ when ordering thinking all so cheap that if any quality upgrade could be had for another $10-15 bucks it would be worth it. When confronted the online company price matched to the lower priced GSP label product.
What I found different on the axle was that the distance on the outside CV joint spline and thread were a longer than OEM by about 3/8 inch. The difference was the spline area was longer, this caused an issue that when the nut was torqued the hole for the cotter pin was completely outside of the nut slots. I had to add an large flat washer robbed from one of my trailer hitch balls since no local parts store had anything that large, placed on first behind the OEM lock washer allowed the cotter pin to be properly in a slot on the axle nut so it could not loosen.
Final diagnosis of why the outer CV joint leaked grease was there were two small cuts in the boot just behind the larger or more outer band on the axle boot. My guess is previous owner must have ran over some type of road debris or from previous mechanical work. Axle still felt tight and my guess is that it could be rebuilt with boot kit, however OEM boot kit was almost twice the price of the all new replacement axle. We are holding on to the old axle for a while just in case.
Car test drove to 75 mph smooth, daughter says had slight vibration before but I think it was most likely the grease and road grime stuck to back of wheel causing a slight out of balance as we had to use a paint stick to scrape it off before cleaning.
Thanks for all the advice from those who left replies, and we have our fingers crossed it stays smooth, and holds up for the rest of our ownership.
Note: While I used an impact to do some of the work it could have been completed with a breaker bar, or possibly even a short cheater pipe on a 1/2 inch socket.
Daughter now 24 years old really likes the car, getting 30 mpg to and from work combined highway and city driving and is happy with our first KIA in the family. This 80K mile 2006 was taken very good care of by original owner and the interior has held up very well, looking at it you would only think maybe 3-4 years old.