The following is a scanned copy of the original document written by Ronald S. Chong. His web site is no longer available and I felt that his write-up was very helpful when I replaced my clutch on my '96 G20.

PLEASE NOTE: I tried my hardest to keep the integrity of the information as original as possible due to OCR Text scanning is not always 100% accurate. The document as been slightly altered as I have tried to remove any and all email addresses from the document as well as other non-pertinent information. 

Also, there are NO LINKS, NO EMAIL ADDRESSES, AND NO PICTURES that work on this document. 

It is entirely in a text format.

Personal disclaimer:

DO NOT EMAIL ME IN REGARDS TO THE CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT. I take no responsibility for the accuracy or content of this document, nor will I take any responsibility for any damage or mishaps done to an individuals vehicle, body, tools, or any other materials by using this document. This document is only here to provide a source of information to the SR20DE powered community.



Ronald S. Chong

Last revision: June 22, 1998 


My dad and I recently (12.29.96) did a clutch job on my '91 SE-R. I had 126k and though the clutch wasn't slipping as yet, I would tell/feel that it was about time for a change. I probably could have easily done another 10k miles (and after seeing the disk, i probably could have), but I just wanted to play it safe and change it while I had my dad's help and his garage. And plus, it was another great bonding experience for father and son. But I digress.

I chose to install a JWT pressure plate with stock disk. I've become an autox freak, so it seems appropriate to have a stronger clutch. I also changed my clutch cable at the same time.

For my install, I used both the Nissan service manual and the Haynes service manual. They had slightly different procedures, but essentially accurate. If someone doesn't have the official service manual, but a Haynes manual and this webpage, they should have no trouble at all. I found the Haynes to be much clearer, thought it was convenient to have the Nissan manual to quickly check torque specs, breakout illustrations, etc. 



My motivation for making this page was to assist my SE-R colleagues on the net who have yet to change their clutches. As more and more of us have to do this job, it would be handy to have a page that captures the collective experiences of those who have done the job.

Also, I have the hope that it may inspire those who feel they don't know a 12mm socket from a hip socket. This isn't the kind of job to take on as your first DIY (do-it-yourself) project, but with a little experience, a good (and maybe experienced) assistant, a Haynes or Nissan manual (don't try to do this job with just these pages), some time and patience, and the right selection of tools, this is a very doable job. And you could save yourself $500+ in Nissan labor. :)


Thank you to the following who have contributed to this page:

            Wayne Cox, Brian John, Joseph Stewart, Fred Miceli, Matt De Haven


I claim not even the slightest responsibility for any ill effects you may experience because you took advice found within these pages; even if it's because of some editorial mistake on my part. I did my best to recall what steps were needed. As I warned above, don't try to do the job with just these pages. Needless to say, I don't get paid for this. If there is a glaring error, please notify me. Thanks.


Here are a list of tools you'll wanna have handy:

  1. Safety glasses!
  2. Ratchets and ratchet extensions along with the usual metric socket and wrench sizes that we need for our car (10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, etc).
  3. An eletric or pneumatic impact wrench would be awesome, but not necessary.
  4. Torque wrench.
  5. A 32mm (36mm if you have a G20) deep socket for removing the driveaxle nuts. (I've been told that a 1 1/4" deep socket would work too and they're easier to find and are cheaper.) You can find this at Pep Boys or other auto part stors. Some places may rent the socket to you. I found one at Pep Boys for $17.1 then went next door to one of those cheapo tool places that sells Taiwanese tools. I got one (good stuff: chrome vanadium) there for $7! I took back the Pep Boys socket. :)
  6. A 1/2" drive ratchet or breaker bar. A piece of pipe to fit over the end of the ratchet will come in hand. Don't buy cheapo breakers! At that cheapo tool place I mentioned above, I found a 1/2" breaker for $6! I couldn't turn it down. I shouldn't have. When trying to removing drive axle nuts, the shaft bent like it was a piece of solder! The breaker eventually broke, with the ears being bent out and the pin sheared. The moral: cheapo sockets are good, their breakers (at least the one I got) break.
  7. Two jacks. One hydraulic floor jack which will be used under the transaxle. You the second jack (the standard scissor car jack will suffice) to support, raise, and lower the engine. The service manual shows supporting the engine from underneath on the aluminum oil pan. Procure appropriately sized pieces of wood to do this job. The bigger the piece, the better since you wanna distribute the weight as widely as possible.
  8. Jack stands. I put the front and back up. I don't feel safe running around under there with just the front up. Also, you'll wanna put the car up as high as you can so that the tranny will easily clear the wheel well when you remove it. It would be bad timing to have to raise it after tranny is one it's ways down.
  9. A crowbar, prybar, or a ball-joint separator for separating the control arm from the knuckle (or the tie rods from the knucle, which ever you prefer).
  10. Some heavy duty, multi-purpose lithium grease.
  11. Miscellaneous pliers, screwdrivers, a hammer, some blocks of wood (2x4s) of various lengths.
  12. Many zip-lock haggles. Use these with paper slip labels in them to positively identify all the assemblies, bolts, nuts, washers, etc. you remove. [Tip courtesy of Wayne Cox]
  13. A friend.



Part #


JWT pressure plate



Clutch disk



Throwout bearing



Bearing clips


$6.06 for two

Axle seal (drivers side)



Axle seal (passenger side)



Clutch cable



Circular clip, aka “Ring Snap” (for the transaxle end of the driver-side)



O-ring (speedo pinion gear assembly; ‘91/’92 only)



Replacement cotter pins (for driveaxles and control arm or tie-rod)


Very cheap

Redline MT-90 (SE-R tranny takes 3-7/8 qts.)



 Phase 1: The simple stuff

1.   Put the car up on/oMrjack stands. I bought the 3-ton Pro-Lift stands you can find at many department or auto parts stores. Put the car up as high as your floor jack would go so you're assured the transaxle will clear the driver's side wheel well. When using a floor jack, there are two acceptable jack points. In the front, use the center member (be careful not to accidently use the downpipe from the header; it's been done before, but not by me). The rear jack point is that "hangy-down-thing" in the back center of the car near the rear swaybar. On the 200SX SE-R, there is no "hangy-down-thing". I believe the factory says to use the multi-link axle/beam.


2.  Drain your tranny fluid.


3. Remove all the black plastic undercovers under the front of the engine and the front of the wheel well.


3.   Break the driveaxle nuts. These are 150-200 ft-lb nuts! First, remove the cotter pin. This may be easier with the wheel off. Have a friend jump on the brakes. Use the 32mm (36mm if you have a G20) socket and a good breaker or ratchet with pipe to remove the nuts. OSHA says "Use your legs not your back."


5. Crack the sp lined connection between the axle and the hub by striking the end of the driveaxle with a hammer. Pad the axle with a piece of wood so that you won't muck up the threads. The axle will start to retreat back into the hub. Just hit it enough for it to move back a bit. Don't wanna pull it out just yet.


6. We removed the hood since we were gonna support the engine from above. But after doing this job two other times on friend's cars, I now know this was unnecessary. It is sufficient to support the engine from below on the aluminum oil pan. There is a small space between the cross member and the header/downpipe; about 2" wide and about 7" long. (This picture from the factory service manual doesn't show the header, but you get the idea of where the support should be placed and what kind of wood pieces to use to sufficiently distribute the weight on the aluminum oil pan. (In case you didn't know, there are two oil pans which are stacked on one another. The steel oil pan is where you drain the oil. It is bolted to the aluminum oil pan which is in turn bolted to the block.) You can use your standard scissor car jack here. Raise the jack by placing it on a brick or two stacked 2x4s.


7. Remove the battery and all the intake stuff from the box down to the throttle body. Just disconnect the whole mess from down at the thottle body. There are a couple hoses to disconnect from the main big rubber air intake hose and box. No need to label anything, unless you want to.


8. Disconnect the clutch cable. The end of the clutch cable is threaded. Just loosen it until you can take the end off the withdrawal lever (as the manual calls it). Also, pull the cable out of the bracket that holds it to the tranny. Remove this bracket from the tranny.

If you're gonna replace the cable, you might as well pull it out all the way now. The manuals say to remove the two bolts against the firewall. You don't have to do that. Just disconnect the cable end from the pedal and the cable can be easily drawn out. [Tip courtesy o/Wayne Cox (wcoxCca.erinet. corn)] To disconnect the cable from the pedal, you'll have to feel around on top of the pedal frame since this end of the cable can't be seen, but the end is like a clevis.


9. If you have a '91/'92, you have a mechanical speedo system; i.e. the speedometer is cable-driven off the

speedo drive gear in the trans. Remove the speedo pinion from. the tranny. There's a single bolt that's way down there. I usually tape together about 18 inches worth of ratchet extensions and a socket to get the bolt out. (Your might be able to get at this nut from underneath the car, but I don't recall.) Once the bolt is out, you can just pull the pinion out of the tranny. I then put a sandwich bag around the pinion to keep grit away. It's a plastic gear so it's more likely to be affected by grit.


The manuals show the procedure described above. However, this can be done more easily. The cable comes down to a knurled nut about an inch diameter onto the drive gear assembly. You can remove it by hand, especially if you reach through the fenderwell to get at it. The pinion drive stays in, keeping it clean and avoiding messing with that retaining bolt. A word of caution: be sure to pull the cable off from the tranny completely, making sure the inside part stays inside. [Tip courtesy of Wayne Cox]


BTW, if you have a '93+, you have an electric speedo system; the speedometer is driven by an electrical signal from the speed sending unit which is driven off the final gear. [Exception: (I've heard from Andy Radin that his '93 G20 used a mechanical speedo system.] In this case, the sending unit says attached to the trans, but there is an electrical connector way down there that needs to be disconnected. It's a challenge, but keep at it.

10. Disconnect the two tranny switches from the harness. The switch connector nearer the firewall is kinda tricky to figure out. It's best to undo the bolt holding that thin bracket to the tranny. To separate the connector, roll the connector over, slip a nail or small screwdriver in the crack and press. When putting that bolt back in, be sure to torque it to spec since it is one of the bolts that keep the tranny cover on. The other switch connector is a squeeze and pull just like the one on the power transistor, TPS, etc. Also, remove that ground wire that's near the switch connectors.


Phase 2: Removing the driveaxles


To remove driveaxles, you need to free the wheel-end from the hub and disengage the transaxle-end from the tranny.

To free the wheel-end from the hub, you basically need to disconnect enough of the "things" connected to the knuckle so that the wheel-end can be wiggled out. There are three points of connection to the knuckle: the control arm connects to the bottom of the knuckle, via the ball-joint; the tie-rods connects to the back side (firewall side) the knuckle the another ball-joint; the strut connects to the top of the knuckle. There are two approachs to accomplish this by disconnecting the knuckle at:

• the strut and the tie-rod. This is the procedure that the Nissan manual shows.

• the control arm. This is the procedure the Haynes manual shows. 

I used the second approach. The only reason was that I didn't want to be bothered getting a front-end alignment. An alignment is typically required/recommended when struts are disconnected and reconnected to the knuckle. However, the risk with doing the second approach is that you may cut the dust boot on the ball-joint at the end of the lower control arm. According to the manual, if the boot is torn, you'll need to buy a new control arm since the ball-joint isn't sold separately and cannot be replaced. (An experience contrary to this is reported in the FAQ). An alignment is around $80 (??); one new control arm w/ball joint is around $130 (??). Pick your poison.


Separating the control arm from the knuckle isn't trivial because the ball-joint uses a taper lock bolt to secure it to the control arm. The top of the ball-joint shaft is threaded while the body is tapered — wide at the bottom than at the top. When the shaft is inserted into the knuckle and bolted, the taper in the shaft creates an extrodinarily strong joint. As a result, even after the ball-joint nut is removed, it takes a surprising amount of prying effort to break the lock. But you can't just jam a bar in there and twist and yank because the ball-joint itself is protected by a rubber dust boot.


The G20 axles can be removed without seperating any balljoints. Just remove the upper link bolt, steer toward the side of the car you're on, pull down, and the axles will pull out of the hub with som tugging. This might, however, be hard on old rotten CV boots. [Tip courtesy of Andy Radin]


1. Disconnect the swaybar endlinks from the control arm. This is optional; it just

   makes it a little easier to manipulate the control arms later.


2. Remove the cotter pin from the ball-joint. Then undo the ball-joint bolt as much as possible. It won't be able to come out all the way.


2. I carefully used a crowbar to separate the ball-joint from the knuckle. (Haynes

   suggest using a picklefork. I got one, but found that the gap in the fork wasn't big

   enough to accomodate the ball-joint so I abandoned this idea.)


I found it useful to first turn the steering wheel so that it opened up access to this area. Put the bar in there, be careful not to abuse or squash the dust boot of the ball-joint, then just put all your weight into it. I'm 210 and it took several bounces on the end ofa2+ft bar before BANG and the taper lock surrendering.


An easier approach is to use a prybar; it looks like a long screwdriver with a bent, flat blade. I put the tip in the space between the knuckle and the control arm near the ball joint. Then with a hammer, I whack the end of the prybar. This drives the wedge-shaped tip of the prybar into the space. A few strikes and it pops, everytime. [Tip courtesy of Bob Liu]


3.   Remove the ball-joint nut, pull the control arm downward to free the ball-joint from the knuckle. Inspect the ball-joint again to make sure it isn't hurt. While the ball-joint is out, make sure that it doesn't harm the outer CV boots of the driveaxles.


4.   Remove the wheel-end from the hub.


5.   To remove the passenger side axle from the tranny, unbolt the support bearing bracket from the block. The Nissan service manual shows that you should pry at the gap in the support bearing; weird. Do not do this. Just unbolt the support bearing and the axle will effortlessly pull out of the tranny.


6.  To remove the driver's side axle, just do what the manual shows: use a prybar or crowbar to pry the axle out of the tranny. This will cause the axle to slide out about an inch or so. Then it will seem like it's stuck. What's holding it in is the circular clip at the end of the shaft. What I did was to kneel at the wheel well, grasp the slide joint housing (the big green scalloped cup), push the axle in a bit, then sharply yank it back. It will eventaully come out. Inspect the circular clip at the end of the axle. 

Phase 3: Removing the transaxle

1.       We've saved the removal of the starter until now because with the passenger side driveaxle removed, you'll have more room to dig around to disconnect the starter harnesses, etc.


Disconnect the power connection to the starter's solenoid. Then disconnect the ground harness connector. If you have a '91/'92, this is trivial. But if you have a '93+, you'll find it is much more difficult to disconnect the ground because the connector slides onto a metal tongue (for strain relief) and it simply cannot be removed. I think it's best/easiest to break the connect off the metal tongue.


When reinstalling, you should use a strap this connector to anything available near there. Or, if you're braver than I, you could just let the starter hang without disconnecting anything. I wouldn't do it though.


While under the car, have your assistant remove the two bolts (they are on the tranny side) that hold the starter. Be ready to catch it when the bolts are removed.


2.       Put the car in gear. This could come in handy when you're doing Phase 5: Installing the transaxle.


3. Disconnect the control rods from the transaxle. Both manuals say to unbolt the support rod, but this isn't necessary since it isn't attatched to the tranny at all; it's attatched to the rear motor mount.


3.       Place the floor jack underneath tranny. I positioned the jack so that it's cup (or saddle; whatever you wanna call it) underneath/near the drain plug. Raise the jack so that i contacts the tranny. It's hard to reason where the cg (center of gravity) of the tranny might be. But don't fret too much about it. The tranny itself isn't terribly heavy. It seemed like 80 Ibs to me. I was hefting it around pretty easily.


5. Remove the four bolts that connect the rear motor mount (the one near the firewall that's anchored to the center member). There are five bolts need to be removed on the G20. [Tip courtesy of Andy Radin] You don't need to remove the mount as the service manual says. Just those four bolts. Notice that they're different lengths and different torques, so be sure to keep them straight.


One of them — the lower left one — is inside the mount and is a terror to deal with because it's down in like a hole. If it falls in, you'll need two hands to get it back. You'll see. It's doable, but, like me, you'll wonder why Nissan designed it this way. It was probably to get the strength they needed for the mount in that size package.



6. Remove the left motor mount. It's attatched to the tranny under where the battery would be. There are four bolts; three mount-to-tranny and one mount-to-body.


7. Now remove the eight tranny bolts. This is where it's helpful to have two people. One person can be removing bolts while the other makes sure the tranny won't drop and fall off the jack.

Note that five of them (the ones marked #1 in the manuals) are trans-side bolts and the remaining

three are block-side bolts. Two of these three bolts are on the bottom of the trans and are right beside the cross member. They're are number #3 and #4 in the Haynes and Nissan service manuals. You'll have to use a 14mm wrench. To remove #3, you'll need to raise the engine a bit so that it can clear the center member. #4 shouldn't be a problem.


8.       With all the bolts out, the tranny can be removed. But don't just lower the jack. There are guide pins on the block to align the tranny so you need to pull the jack and tranny back from the block first. Also, you need to disengage the input shaft of the tranny from the clutch disk and pressure plate. Pull back until the you can see the flywheel. Then you can lower it. Now just do what you need to do to wiggle the tranny out of the wheel well or out the front if the car is high enough.


9. You're halfway there. Here are some pies:

• Looking down through the engine compartment at the plate

• Looking at the plate from the driver's side

• Bad shot of the input side of the tranny

• Exterior of the tranny

 Phase 4: Removing and installing clutch components and seals

1.       Remove the pressure plate bolts. You may need to tap/pry the ends of the plate for it to release from the flywheel. You will find that the engine will turn as you try to remove these bolts. You can have your assistant prevent the engine from turning by holding the main pulley (passenger side wheel well) with a 21mm or 23mm socket.


2. As you remove the plate and the disk, be sure to note which side of the clutch disk faced the flywheel and the pressure plate. The stock disks have "T/M SIDE" written on one side, so you know that's the transaxle side (or pressure plate side). If you're going to use a non-stock disk, be sure you know which way the new disk goes back in. Don't breath the dust in there.


The fingers on my pressure plate were grooved from the throw-out bearing. This is expected. The flywheel side of the disk looked fine also. I had less than 1mm or so to go - wear limit is 0.3mm. However, the pressure plate side looked pretty bad. As you can see, the inner 3/4" of the disk was worn down past the radial slots. This wear pattern- struck me as really weird until Bob Liu told me that his SHO has a similar pattern. I guess it's a sign of how squarely (or non-squarely in this case) the pressure plate clamps onto the disk when the clutch is engaged.


2.       Inspect the flywheel. If you've worn your clutch disk down to the rivets, the flywheel will probably be grooved or scarred. If it is, you'll have to have it resurfaced. My flywheel was still incredibly smooth since I still had some clutch disk left so I didn't resurface mine. Good thing cuz there wasn't a shop nearby and I didn't have the time.


4. Changing the clutch components is the really easy part. I won't describe it since you'll be using a manual and it details it better that I could. But don't screw it up and put the throw-out bearing on backwards or put the bearing clips on wrong. Also, don't get too liberal with the grease. And never touch the disk, flywheel, or pressure plate with greasy fingers.


The Haynes manual shows all these steps about removing the withdrawal (clutch engagement) lever. Just skip that stuff since we're not changing those parts.


4.       To removing the driveaxle oil seals, i just used a prybar, crowbar, or heavy screwdriver. The passenger's side came out easily, but the driver's side took a bit of work. Just be careful not to touch the seal lip with your tool.


Seal installation is pretty easy. Put the seal on the hole. You won't be able to put it in by hand, so you'll have to hammer it in. Since this seal is crucial to keeping the tranny blood in, I wouldn't hammer on the seal directly. (Plus it would suck to have to rip the tranny back out just to change the seals which were hammered on.) First, put a piece of cloth, paper towel, whatever, on top of the seal, then put a piece of 2x4 across the seal and hammer on it until the seal seats flush with the tranny case. (The cloth is to keep wood bits or other crap from falling into the hole.)


5.       To install the new clutch and plate, I'd recommend you getting a good clutch alignment tool. This is an example of a common, inexpensive kind. But this one is awesome. It's called a "Metric Clutch Alignment Tool" and is made by Lisle. The part number is 61750. (If you have the Haynes manual, it looks like they're using the same tool. See picture 4.14 on page 8-4.) If you never plan to do a clutch again, you may not want to spend the bux, but I think it's worth. Hey, if you need one, I'll gladly mail it to you for you to borrow. You gotta return it though.


"What's all the fuss?" you ask? The tool I used fits snuggly into the end of the crankshaft with very little play. You can let go of the tool and the disk will stay put, allowing you to use two hands to tighten down the pressure plate to the flywheel. The other tool doesn't engage in the crankshaft so there's a lot of play. Also, you would have to hold the tool with one hand, tighten the pressure plate bolts with the other, and maintain a good alignment at the same time. I guess I'm being nitpicky — just about any tool would probably work - but it was hard enough getting the input shaft in the clutch disk when installing the tranny with the disk perfectly centered. If the disk wasn't perfectly centered, I can't imagine how one would get the trans on. After all, that pressure plate is holding the disk to the flywheel with its full clamping force (992 lbs for stock) so there's no sliding the disk around to get the trans on.

 Phase 5: Installing the transaxle

  1. First, look at the pressure plate and remember what it looks like. Then put the trans in place and move it towards the shaft. When it contacts, move the tranny around a little so you can picture where it is touch, and hence where to move it. For the initial contact, you can stick your fingers in the space and kinda feel around to get a better sense of where the shaft is. Be sure to keep the tranny level.


If you can get the shaft end in the hold in the fingers, but can't get the splines to line up, you can try this. If you left the car in gear before you removed the transaxle, you can have someone slowly turn (clockwise) the engine at the main pulley (a twenty-something millimeter socket). This will turn the input shaft and may aid in getting the splines lined up. You won't have to turn the engine over very much to get things to line up.


Once splined, you should be able to look in the driveaxle holes and see the gears/splines turning when the engine is turned over at the main pulley. When everything is right, the trans will slam onto the block cleanly. What a beautiful hollow sound!


        Now it make it sound easy, but this can take as much as 20 minutes to get it right. I've always    had to pull the tranny back, scratch my head, then retry. One simple tip, peek the tranny straight and level so that the input shaft will be inline wih the clutch disk hole and crank.


  1. Oh man! Watch out for that @#$*!@(#!% bracket.

When I did the install of the transaxle, I accidently sandwiched a small bracket that supports some hoses above the tranaxle. This bracket is bolted to the tranny - actually, one of the bolts that connects the tranny to the block goes through a hole in this bracket - so the bolt holds this bracket, tranny and block together; you get the picture.


Anyway, I'd forgotten about this bracket, and you can't see it when you're under the car with a tranny on your face, fighting to wiggle it onto the input shaft. When I did the install, I got the tranny splined onto the shaft, started to put bolts on, then came to that final hole on top and the bolt would not go it. After about 30 minutes of retracting and resplining the transaxle, I discovered that little bracket was sandwiched between there. Once removed, the bolt-up was trivial. Save yourself the headache and twist-tie the bracket up outa the way before you introduce the tranny.


  1. Use the correct bolts in the correct holes! The Haynes manual shows numbered bolt holes, but doesn't tell you that they're different lengths or the torque spec for each bolt. Here is that information from the Nissan service manual.


Bolt No.

Tightening torque

N.m (kg-m, ft-lb)

“l” mm (in)


70 - 79

(7.1 – 8.1, 51 – 59)

55 (2.17)


70 - 79

(7.1 – 8.1, 51 – 59)

65 (2.56)


30 – 40

(3.1 – 4.1, 22 – 30)

35 (1.38)


30 – 40

(3.1 – 4.1, 22 – 30)

45 (1.77)


Note: bolt length "l" does not include the head of the bolt.


  1. Finger tight all bolts then torque down to spec (given above) in a crisscross order.


  1. Reconnect the rear (firewall) motor mount bolts. In case you didn't keep the bolts straight:

• the top-left bolt is a long 14mm bolt

• the bottom-left is the shortest bolt; also 14mm

• the bottom-right bolt is the other long 14mm bolts

• the top-right bolt is a long 17mm bolt


  1. Install the left (driver's side) motor mount.

Phase 6: Installing miscellaneous components

1. Bolt the clutch cable bracket to the top of the transaxle and torque to spec. Install the clutch cable and adjust to spec.

2. Reconnect the speedo. If you have a '91, replace the rubber o-ring on the speedo pinion assembly and reinstall it. You may need to turn the pinion itself to get it to line up with the speedo drive gear in the tranny. If you have a '93+, you just have an electrical connector to reconnect.

3. Reconnect the shifter control rods and torque to spec.

4. Install the starter now while the passenger side axle isn't in there taking up space. Don't forget to reconnect the power and ground, and if you have a 93+, strap the ground connector to one of the hoses above to provide some strain relief.

5. Reconnect the two tranny switches and the one ground wire.

 Phase 7: Installing the driveaxles

1.       When installing the driveaxles, be careful, more than ever, about stressing the CV boots. No need to accidently tear a boot when you're this close to being done.


2. The passenger side is a breeze. Grease up the splines on the transaxle-end of the axle. Then just slide the shaft into the transaxle. You may need to turn the shaft a bit to line up the axle splines to those on the side gear in the tranny. You can also use the support bearing bracket as something to push against to drive the shaft so that is seats tightly. Bolt up the support bearing to spec. Grease up the splines on the wheel-end of the axle and put it into the hub. Put the axle nut one. You probably won't be able to tighten it down to spec until the car is on the ground so you won't want to put the cotter pin in now.


2.       Connect the control arm/ball-joint back to the knuckle. It will go in a lot easier that it was to take out. When putting the nut back on the ball-joint, you'll need to be cognizant of the orientation of the cotter pin hole; I like to have the hole aligned in the front-to-rear line of the car. As the nut begins to clear the hole, use a nail or something to try to turn it how you want it. I then used my car jack under the control arm (under the ball-joint) to compress the suspension and pretighten the taper lock so that when I tighten the nut further, it wouldn't turn and screw up the hole alignement. It worked for me.


4. For the driver's side, first remove the old circular clip on the transaxle end of the axle and install the new one. Then grease up the splines on the transaxle-end of the axle.


5. Getting the axle in takes some patience. To begin with, just slide the end into the tranny and get the splines lined up and seated in the side gear. You'll know when this happens when turning the axle give some resistance and the passenge side axle turns also. There'll be about a 1.5" gap between the tranny and the slide joint housing (the big green scalloped cup on the inboard side of the inner CV boot).


Getting rid of this gap is gonna take a little technique (unlike the passenger side) because of that circular clip. PLEASE DON'T EVEN THINK TO INSTALLING THE AXLE WITHOUT THAT CLIP. IT HELPS TO KEEP THE AXLE IN THE TRANNY. You may end up killing yourself if you install without it.


The technique my dad and I used was this: I crawled under the car and pulled the slide joint housing towards the transaxle; my dad knelt beside the wheel well, grasped the drive shaft (the shaft between the CV boots) with one hand and supported the wheel-end CV boot with the other so that it wouldn't flop around excessively. Then, as I pulled the slide joint housing towards the transaxle, he pulled on the drive shaft to extend the slide joint (about an inch or so), then he would quickly push in on the drive shaft, compressing the slide joint. After a few impacts, the axle seated itself perfectly.


Why does this work? My dad's action essentially used the slide joint as a backwards slide hammer. And my pulling on the slide joint housing just kept pressure on the circular clip as my dad extended the slide joint. We didn't think this technique would hurt the slide joint at all considering how much abuse that joint gets when on the road. I realize that the joint probably doesn't "bottom out" under normal driving conditions, but surely it's designed to take a few blows.


8. Now that the axle is installed, grease put the wheel-end of the axle, insert into the hub, connect up the control arm/ball-joint as was done on the passenger side.

9. Finally, reconnect the swaybar endlinks if they were disconnected.

Phase 8: FLUID! Don't forget the fluid!

1. For goodness sakes, remember to refill the transaxle with fluid. It's really easy to forget as you near the end of this job. And be sure to use some Redline MT-90. Great stuff. But that's just my opinion.


 Phase 9: No-load testing

1. Start the car when it was still on up stands. Everytime I've done this, there was a weird very short-lived ratcheting-rattling-like sound. Still dunno what it is but nothing to worry about.

2. Shift through the low gears; first and second. Don't touch the gas pedal. Idle is sufficient. The wheels should spin as one would expect.

            Phase 10: Torque the driveaxle nuts and test drive

1. Tighten driveaxle nuts to spec: 150+ ft-lbs.

2. Put on the nut covers.

3. Put on new cotter pins on the driveaxles.

4. Put the wheels back on and torque to spec.

5. Take the car off the stands.

6. Take it for a test drive. Be gentle. Remember the break-in period. (500 miles??)

7. When you return, check for leaks from the newly installed axle seals.