How to Change the CV Joint on a 1989 Buick Skylark

The CV joint is the joint where the half shaft connects to the wheel. When a CV joint is damaged the whole half shaft should be replaced. Typically the CV boot, the rubber part around the CV joint, will be damaged also, which will cause contaminants to get inside and damage any repairs made. Replacing the half shaft can be accomplished in just a couple of hours, with basic tools.

Tools Used: Jack, Jack stands, Lug wrench, Socket wrench, Adjustable wrench or open-end wrenches, Pry bar, Impact gun (optional), Grease

Change CV Joint

Park the Buick Skylark on a flat surface. Set the parking brake. Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel with the damaged CV joint by half a turn each. Jack the vehicle up and set it securely on jack stands. Finish removing the lug nuts. Remove the wheel and lay it on its side on a flat surface.

Remove the two bolts holding the caliper in place. Detach the lines leading into the caliper and remove it.

Remove the cotter pin from the large nut in the center of the rotor assembly. Remove the retainer. Remove the nut. This nut is typically very hard to remove, so an impact gun can be used. Because the end of the shaft the nut is connected to leads to the transmission, it could cause further damage. An alternative to an impact gun is a long, hollow bar that fits over the socket wrench handle to add torque to the wrench.

Remove the two bolts that connect the strut assembly to the steering knuckle. Pull the control arm down and move the splined section of the half shaft out of the hub in the center of the brake rotor. The splined portion is the portion that has fins or ridges around the circumference that fit into slots in the sleeve.

Place a bucket or pan under the area where the half shaft meets the transmission. Carefully remove the half shaft from the transmission with a pry bar. Completely remove the half shaft.

Cover the splined section of the new half shaft with a thin layer of grease and insert it into the transmission. Make sure the C-clip on the end of the half shaft seats solidly into the differential. Seating it correctly may require a little force and care should be taken not to damage the transmission.

Replace everything in reverse order. Remove the car from the jack stands. Open the hood, check the transmission fluid level and replace any transmission fluid that was lost when the half shaft was pulled from the transmission.

Tips & Warnings

After a repair job like this, the car should immediately be realigned before it is driven any great distance.

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