1998 Lexus ES300 Change CV Axle
The constant velocity, or CV, axles in your Lexus ES300 transmit torque from the transmission to the hub assemblies to which the wheels are bolted. When they become worn or damaged, a loud clicking or popping noise can be heard during a turn. If left unrepaired, the noise can turn to a vibration and ultimately the axle will break and the vehicle will not move under its own power. Replacement of the axle is strenuous and requires a certain amount of physical fitness and strength to perform.
Change CV Axle
- Set the parking brake. Raise and support the front of the Lexus using a floor jack and jack stands positioned under the front sub-frame. Remove the wheel on the side that has the bad axle, using a lug wrench.
- Remove the cotter pin and castellated locking washer from the axle nut using a wire cutter. Remove the axle nut using a breaker bar and socket. Remove the two 12 mm brake caliper bolts using a 12 mm socket and ratchet. Lift the caliper off the rotor and hang it from the strut using a piece of stiff wire.
- Remove the lower ball joint nut and pry the lower control arm down until the ball joint stud pops out of the steering knuckle. Slip the axle out of the hub by pulling the steering knuckle outwards until the axle can be pulled from the hub assembly.
- Place a drain pan under the transmission, below the inner axle joint. Pry the axle out of the transmission using a pry bar, and slip the axle out of the fender well..
- Insert the new axle into the transmission and tap into place until it slides into the transmission and seats fully. Pull on the inner joint to be sure the axle is fully seated. Pull out on the steering knuckle and slip the axle into the hub assembly..
- Pry the lower control arm down and slip the lower ball joint into the steering knuckle. Reinstall the ball joint nut and tighten it securely. Tighten the axle nut to 165 foot-lb. using a torque wrench.
- Reinstall the brake caliper and tighten the caliper bolts securely. Reinstall the wheel and torque the lug nuts to 80 foot-lb. using a torque wrench. Test drive the car to verify the problem is solved.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear safety glasses and work gloves to prevent serious injuries.