How to Replace a CV Axle on a Toyota Corolla

Updated April 17, 2017

The Toyota Corolla uses CV axles to transfer engine power from the transmission to the front wheels. To keep from damaging transmission components, the vehicle uses a constant velocity joint on the axles. Similar to a U-joint, a CV allows for movement in all directions while maintaining power transfer to the wheels. This article is intended for Corolla model years 1983-1989, not including four-wheel drive.

Park the Corolla on a level surface and turn off the engine. Loosen, but do no remove, the front wheels' lug nuts with a lug nut wrench. Raise the vehicle's front end with a floor jack, and position a set of jack stands underneath. Lower the vehicle onto the stands.

Remove the front wheels by removing the lug nuts with a lug nut wrench. Remove the centre cap on the hub by prying it off with a flathead screwdriver. This will expose the hub nut and cottar pin. Remove the cottar pin with a pair of pliers and throw the pin away. Remove the nut with a ratchet and socket.

Follow the CV joint from the hub to the transmission. At the point where the CV joint attaches to the transmission, remove six nuts with a ratchet and socket.

Remove the two brake caliper retaining bolts with a ratchet and socket. Remove the brake caliper and hang it with some metal wire to keep it from hanging by the brake line.

Remove the brake rotor by pulling it with both hands. Remove the bolt and two nuts securing the steering knuckle to the lower arm. Separate the knuckle from the steering arm; use a pry bar if needed. Pull the CV axle from the hub and lower it to the ground by hand.

Install the new CV axle by first pushing it into the hub assembly. Reattach the steering knuckle to the lower arm and tighten the bolt and two nuts with a torque wrench. For 1983-86 models, torque to 47 foot-pounds. For 1987-89 models, torque to 105 foot-pounds.

Reinstall the brake rotor disc by pushing it on with your hands. Remove the metal wire holding the brake caliper. Position the brake caliper over the rotor and slide it on. Be sure to align it to the retaining bolt holes.

Insert the caliper retaining bolts, and tighten to 65 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Attach the other end of the CV axle to the transmission, and tighten the six nuts to 27 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Install the centre hub nut and tighten to 137 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Insert a new cottar pin and bend it over with pliers. Push the centre cap back on by lightly tapping on it.

Reinstall both front wheels and tighten the lug nuts with a lug nut wrench. Raise the vehicle high enough to remove the jack stands. Remove the stands and lower the vehicle back down to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts again.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • 2 jack stands
  • Lug nut wrench
  • Screwdriver set
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Metal wire
  • Pry bar
  • Torque wrench
  • Hub nut cottar pin
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About the Author

Nicki Callahan began her literary career in 1989. Her work has appeared in "The Charlotte Observer," "The Patriot Ledger," "The Wasatch County Courier," "Utah Homes & Garden Magazine" and "The Retired Officer Magazine." Callahan studied English literature and creative writing at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Utah.