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Car and Truck Axle Parts

The axles of an automobile provide the ability to travel from one location to another. The axle system is made up of several parts that you can replace in your car.

What is a floating rear axle?

The full-floating rear axle design features a rod that connects to the wheel hub. In this design, the wheel mounts on the car axle housing and is not directly mounted on the rear axle itself. This means that the car axle only experiences the torque and not the bending that can occur.

How do you install a new CV axle?

When your automobile has hesitation or makes an audible noise when turning, this may signal the need to replace the CV axle. Here are the steps to help you complete a full CV axle installation when necessary.

  • You must first remove the car axle nut when you want to change the CV axle. To do this, you will need to remove the automobile's hubcap. Using straight pliers, remove the cotter pin that holds the car axle nut in place. Remove the axle nut with the appropriate sized socket.
  • Remove the wheel and brake assembly to get better access to the CV drive axle. Start by jacking up the appropriate side of your automobile. Place the vehicle on jack stands for a more stable working condition. Take off the tire itself. Using care, remove the brake caliper on the side of the automobile you are working. Locate the outer tie rod and unbolt it from the steering knuckle. Unbolt the hub assembly from your strut tower.
  • Pry the old CV axle shaft from the CV joint. Insert your new CV axle shaft into the transmission housing. Reinsert the CV axle shaft back through the hub assembly. Reinstall and fasten the assemblies in the order in which they were removed. Reattach the tire and tighten your nut securely.
How does a wheel and axle shaft work?

In a vehicle that utilizes a live-axle suspension system, drive axles provide the driving torque that is sent to the wheel. Car axles also serve to maintain the positioning of the wheels so that they are relative to one another as well as the body of the automobile.

How do you know when to replace the wheel bearings?

The wheel bearings contain a set of steel balls and metal rings known as a race. This part sits on the drive axle shaft and fits within the hub. With the hub holding the lug bolts used to secure the tire in place, the wheel bearings provide a smooth operation and secure the various parts in place. It is important to the operation of the automobile and the safety of the driver to have the system in good condition. The following symptoms will help you determine if these parts need to be replaced.

  • Noises such as snapping, popping, or clicking when the automobile is making a turn
  • Vibration or wobbling when the wheel is turning
  • Grinding sound when the vehicle is in motion
  • Uneven brake pad or rotor wear
  • Shimmy or vibration that is not normal when the vehicle is traveling at a constant speed