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Old 09-07-2010, 08:45 AM   #1
asp
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2004 4WD EX MT
 
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Location: Richmond Hill, ON, Canada
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Front driveshaft replacement

I had a significant driveline vibration and the front driveshafts were the problem. I installed some aftermarket driveshafts. The vibration improved but was still there. OEM Honda driveshafts solved the vibration 100% and so I do not recommend after market shafts.

FRONT DRIVESHAFT REMOVAL:

Raise the front of the E, and support with stands.

Remove the wheel nuts and front wheels.

Lift up the locking tab on the spindle nut and remove the nut.

The manual recommends draining the transmission fluid and reinstalling the drain plug, however, no fluid leaked from the MT without draining.

The manual recommends removing the flange nut, separating the front stabilizer link from the lower control arm, but this step can also be omitted by using a pry bar later on.

Remove the lock pin from the lower arm ball joint castle nut and remove the nut.

Using hand tools only on the oiled separator, separate the ball joint from the lower control arm with the "ball joint remover, 28 mm" (tool number 07MAC-SL00200). To avoid damaging the ball joint, install the "ball joint thread protector" onto the threads of the ball joint (tool number 07AAF-SDAA100). Be careful not to damage the ball joint boot when installing the remover.

Carefully remove the ball joint completely from the lower control arm. Note that you can use a prybar to do this without disconnecting the stabilizer link from the lower control arm. Unless you want to replace the stabilizer links at the same time, I would recommend this as the links can be difficult to remove if the fasteners are corroded.

Pull the knuckle outward, and remove the driveshaft outboard joint from the front wheel hub using a plastic hammer.

Left driveshaft: Pry the inboard joint from the differential case with a prybar.
Right driveshaft: Drive the inboard shaft off the intermediate shaft with a hammer and drift.

Remove the driveshaft as an assembly. Do not pull on the driveshaft because the inboard joint can come apart. Pull the driveshaft out straight to avoid damaging the oil seal.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:13 AM   #2
asp
EOC Rank: Helium
2004 4WD EX MT
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Richmond Hill, ON, Canada
Posts: 145
front drive shaft installation

FRONT DRIVESHAFT INSTALLATION:

Install a new set ring in the set ring groove of the left driveshaft. The manual recommends this, although it is common practice to use the old set rings.

Sparingly grease or oil the entire splined surface of the right driveshaft. If grease is used, remove the grease from the splined grooves at intervals of 2-3 splines and from the set ring groove so that air can bleed from the intermediate shaft.

Clean the areas where the driveshaft contacts the differential thoroughly with solvent or brake cleaner, and dry with compressed air. By hand, insert the inboard end of the driveshaft into the differential or intermediate shaft until the new set ring locks in the groove.

Install the outboard joint into the front hub, being careful not to pull on the driveshaft, because the inboard joint can come apart.

Clean off any grease contamination from the ball joint threads, then install the knuckle onto the lower arm. Wipe off any grease before tightening the nut at the ball joint. Torque the new castle nut to the lower torque specification (59-69 N.m), then tighten it only far enough to align the slot with the ball joint pin hole. Do not align the nut by loosening it.

NOTE: If the ball joint boot is damaged or cracked, replace it.

Install the new lock pin into the ball joint pin hole so that the point is facing the wheel, the hairpin loop is facing the engine and the hook is facing the front.

If disconnected previously, connect the front stabilizer link to the lower control arm. Hold the stabilizer link ball joint pin with an Allen key hex wrench, and tighten the new flange nut (39 N.m).

Install a new spindle nut, then tighten the nut (245 N.m). After tightening, use a drift or chisel to stake the spindle nut shoulder against the driveshaft spindle.

Clean the mating surfaces of the brake disc and the front wheel, then install the front wheel and wheel nuts (108 N.m).

Turn the front wheel and make sure there is no interference between the driveshaft and surrounding parts.

If the transmission fluid was drained, refill the transmission with the recommended transmission fluid.

The manual recommends to check the front wheel alignment, and adjust if necessary.

Last edited by asp; 09-07-2010 at 09:20 AM. Reason: spelling errors
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:16 AM   #3
a dog's car
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After driving around with the 40-60mph shakes for the past few months I just replaced both axles without messing with the lower ball joint. Disconnecting the struts allowed just enough room to pull the axles out, also disconnected the abs wiring so's not to snag or pull on them, whole job took less than 30min.... ok, I did have a lift and air tools, but it was much easier than I anticipated. Drives like new!
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:40 PM   #4
ramblerdan
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A Dog's Car, just to be clear, are you saying you removed the lower control arm at the frame (two bolts, #19 in illo below), and left the end link (#11) and ball joint connected?



More on the stabilizer link here.

More on ball joint removal here and here.

Note that the driveshaft spindle nut (Honda p/n 90305-SD4-003), a single-use item, is not included with a new driveshaft.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:40 AM   #5
a dog's car
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Nope, I didn't touch the lower control arm. I removed the two capscrews/nuts at the top of the spindle/hub (from the holes to the right of the end-link in your pic), then, after popping the axles loose, pulled out on the spindle and moved it around until the axle had enough room, just barely, to come out. I thought I might have to remove the end-link but that wasn't needed. To be fair I had an extra set of hands on the job, I think two hands can do it but it's a bit tricky with all the push/pull/tugging going on to find the spot where the axle has room to come out.

Last edited by a dog's car; 12-29-2010 at 11:46 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:28 PM   #6
asp
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2004 4WD EX MT
 
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well done

Hey dogs car, well done. How did you know that the axle would come out? I wish I did that! It would have been less work (fewer disconnections) and it would have been best to replace the struts and shafts at the same time (without separating the ball joints). However, if you have the proper ball joint separator tool, it's pretty quick and easy too.

We should start a new section called the 'pearl' section!

Last edited by asp; 01-02-2011 at 06:29 PM. Reason: remove extraneous punctuation
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:30 PM   #7
slimerdogs
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I did the same thing on mine with the lift added into the mess and it worked great by removing the strut but I now have one adjustable strut bolt to deal with for camber adjustment so I marked it and it came out great. Now to do the other side. Its snowing...
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:33 AM   #8
a dog's car
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asp View Post
How did you know that the axle would come out?
Got a tip from a mechanic. Having read the stories about pickle forks not working and even the proper tool ruining ball joint threads I thought it worth posting.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
MME4me
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I replaced the passenger side drive shaft assembly today without removing/separating the balljoint (without damaging boot too) and without removing stabilizer bar endlinks. I was able to just remove the two flange bolts near the bottom of the suspension assembly and pivot the knuckle down at the ball joint ( THANKS to - a dog's car).
The most difficult part was pulling the inboard joint from the intermediate shaft.
Went back on real nice though.
I didn't pull the ABS sensor out, but was careful I didn't damage it.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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Since you removed the bolts that attach the strut to the spindle you should have the alignment checked now. The bolts you removed are used to adjust the camber.
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