Chrysler PT Cruiser Passenger Axle Replacement

Courtesy Tim (Mr2Tim), SC ToyZ RacZing

To begin, you have to remove the 19-mm plastic lug-nut covers from the steel lug nuts and also just loosen the nuts slightly. Next get the car up off the tire, prop with a jackstand (required), and remove plastic hubcap and tire.

Remove the 12-mm caliper bolts and hang the caliper (out of the way) from the coil spring with wire; then remove the 17-mm caliper bracket. Loosen the axle nut (you may need a breaker bar) and remove/unbolt the 10-mm ABS pickup. Move it upwards and out of the way. Loosen/remove the passenger-side sway bar bracket under the car. Here’s how it looks:

stripped carrier

loosened sway bar

Here comes the real work. Loosen and remove the ball joint cinching nut and bolt and pry apart its steel clamp. Pry the lower arm down and remove the ball joint stud/shaft from this clamp. I had to beat the lower control arm to get mine loose with my 5-lb. hammer nicknamed “The Persuader.”

ball joint bolt

If you can get the old shaft out at this point do so. If you cannot, loosen the two big bolts at the bottom of the strut and remove these studs. Note that these bolts are splined and you may/will have to “drift” them out using a smaller-diameter bolt or rod, as shown in the picture below. Do NOT hammer on the ends of the bolts as this will render the bolts unusable for reassembly.

removing strut bolt

After this procedure you will be able to remove the shaft from the bearing carrier. Observe the position of the inner shaft at the transmission. Using a large screwdriver, pry the inner shaft from the tranny.

Wipe the transmission seal clean and dab grease on the it. Coat the new shaft end with transmission oil and insert it into the seal with some force so as to assume the same look as the old one. It “locks” into place.

At this point it is wise to cover the bolt end that sticks up from the sway bar mounting with a cover to avoid damaging the new boot end. Install the new outer shaft back onto the bearing carrier after having greased the splines on the end of the new shaft. Add the two big bolts back onto the strut, if removed. Lever the lower control arm down and slide the ball joint stud back onto the bottom clamp of the carrier.

Secure the ball joint stud, strut bolts and fasten/torque the axle nut. Note: My new axle did not come with a cotter-pin hole so I glued the axle nut on with RED Loctite. Personally, I think this is a must if you don’t have a cotter pin. Here it is glued:

glued axle nut

To make the caliper much, much easier to put on, you can compress the piston with a 4-inch C clamp. Why make things hard for yourself? I don’t.

C clamp on brake piston

In putting back on the caliper you want to be sure to align the flat-sided “washer” on the bottom bolt of the caliper. I’m sure it’s there for some goofy reason, otherwise the caliper bottom won’t go in.

Oh yeah, and put the tire back on.

I suggest you check the transmission level at idle in park, and drive. Test the brakes if you used the C clamp on the caliper piston. This procedure took me about 2.5 hours, but I’m slow and clean everything I touch. It’s a nasty habit I picked up from racing.

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