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Honda Civic: New Boots Or Axle Shaft?

Q. Hello, I have a 1996 Honda Civic. For the past two months the car has been making a loud clicking sound when you turn left and right, they told me it was the CV joints. Would it be better to replace the entire axle assembly instead of replacing the boots, and could I be able to do it myself?

Thank you...

Honda Civic: New Boots Or Axle Shaft?

A. Chances are if they are making noise, they have gone past repacking with grease and new boots. So I think you would be better off replacing the whole axle assembly.

Quite often the difference in price between new axle boots, you need to replace both boots per axle, and a complete rebuilt axle assembly is so small that even if you just need boots, it makes more sense to replace the whole axle. A new axle shaft from Autozone is about $80.00 or so.

Can you do it yourself? That depends on your skill level. I would say that a skill level of intermediate or higher would be needed. I'll outline the procedure for you and if you think it's something you can handle, then go for it!

NOTE: Replacement procedures for left and right driveshafts are the same.

  1. Raise and support front of vehicle, then remove front wheels.
  2. Drain transaxle.
  3. Raise locking tab on spindle nut, then remove nut.
  4. Remove damper fork, then the cotter pin from lower arm ball joint castle nut and remove nut.
  5. Install hex nut on ball joint. Ensure nut is flush with ball joint pin end, or threaded section of ball joint pin might be damaged by ball joint remover.
  6. Separate ball joint and lower arm using ball joint remover tool No. 07MAC-SL00100, or equivalent. Be careful not to damage ball joint boot.
  7. Pry driveshaft assembly with screwdriver to force set ring at driveshaft end past groove.
  8. Pull on inboard joint and remove driveshaft from differential case or bearing support as an assembly. Do not pull on driveshaft, as inboard joint may come apart. Use care when prying out assembly, and pull it straight to avoid damaging differential oil seal or intermediate shaft outer seal.
  9. Pull knuckle outward and remove driveshaft outboard joint from front wheel hub using plastic hammer.
  10. Reverse procedure to install.

There was a TSB issued on this problem and replacing the outboard CV joint is the fix. So a new axle shaft would seem to be the best way to go.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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