Normal Stuff

00. If you kill yourself, it is not my fault. :-)
01. Place tire blocks in front of the front wheels.(Or behind if on a decline.)
02. Jack up both rear wheels and place car on jack stands.
03. Remove both of the rear wheels.
04. Disengage parking/emergency brake.
05. Place car in neutral.

Halfshaft Removal

Well, here is what we are going to remove....

C4 Halfshaft

06. Place a jack under the Leaf Spring on the side you are working on.
07. Jack leaf spring up approximately 3 inches.

For reference, here are the 3 main pieces that are required to be removed in order to pull the halfshaft.
Peices to be Removed

08. Remove cotter pin from leave spring nut.
09. Remove cotter pin from tie-rod nut.
10. Remove leaf spring nut. First count the number of threads showing before removal and note it, then you can install it to the correct ride height again. You need a long socket on the bottom, and closed wrench on the top. Use WD-40 liberally.
11. Remove leaf spring bolt. Use WD-40 liberally.
12. Remove tie-rod nut. Use WD-40 liberally.
13. Seperate tie-rod from knuckle with a suspension fork. Be careful not to split open the rubber fitting.

Progress so far.

Leaf spring and Tie-Rod End Removed

14. Mark camber bolt for realignement after reinstallation.

It is tough to see, but you need to scribe a line from the bracket to the wheel on the camber bolt. When you reinstall this later you have to line them up in order to maintain your car's alignment.
Camber bolt marked.

15. Remove camber bolt. Use WD-40 liberally.
16. Gently hammer strut rod down and out of its bracket.

Just knock it down out of it's bracket. Be careful not to lose the two washers that will fall out with it on each side of the bushing.

Strut Rod knocked out of place.

17. Rotate assembly so that two of the 5/16" strap bolts are accessible on the top of the halfshaft on the differential end.

You should be able to see them like this. There is lots of WD-40 on them right now that I sprayed on right after taking the wheels off.

18. Remove two 5/16" strap bolts from differential side of halfshaft. Use WD-40 liberally.
19. Rotate assembly 180 degrees.
20. Remove the last two 5/16" strap bolts. Use WD-40 liberally.

Now it is time to remove the wheel side ones. These will need WD-40 also.

Wheel side Strap Bolts

21. Remove two 5/16" strap bolts from wheel side of halfshaft. Use WD-40 liberally.
22. Rotate assembly 180 degrees.
23. Remove the last two 5/16" strap bolts. Use WD-40 liberally.
24. Pull wheel knuckle away from the car to drop halfshaft out. You may have to get a screwdriver or other prying device in between the universal joints and mounting surface to help pry the halfshaft out as they can be stuck in place.

     Before you do anything, this may be a good point to take a little extra time to make reassembly much easier. I took the 5/16" strap bolts that came out of the halfshaft, mounting straps, and leaf spring bolt and cleaned them up on a wirewheel on my bench grinder. They were coated with years of surface rust and they went in like a dream comparitively when I reassembled everything.
5/16" Strap Bolts Uncleaned and Cleaned

5/16 Strap Bolts, uncleaned and cleaned.

Mounting Straps Outside Uncleaned and Cleaned.
Mounting Straps, uncleaned and cleaned.

Mounting Straps Inside Uncleaned and Cleaned.
Mounting Straps, inside uncleaned and cleaned.

No picture of leaf spring bolt.

Universal Joint Removal

Note:     At any point that you have the halfshaft itself in the vice, use very very little pressure. Use just enough to keep it in place. The halfshaft itself is hollow aluminum, and you could easily squish it if not careful. I know this sounds too easy to break, but it is the design. The halfshaft's design is not made to withstand squeezing pressures from the outside, only twisting forces of which it is very very strong at doing.

25. Remove the 2 snap-rings from the halfshaft end you are working on.

Squeeze the two ends as seen in the picture together, and slide a flathead screwdriver under it and pop it out.

Snapring removal

26. Find two sockets. One must be slightly smaller than the outter diameter of the u-joint (I used 18mm I think), and one slightly larger than the outter diameter of the u-joint (I think I used 1.5"). See the picture for what I mean.

Smaller Socket

Smaller Socket

Larger Socket

Larger Socket

27. Setup the u-joint and sockets in a vice as seen below.

Small socket on the outside of the vice lined up with u-joint, large socket on the inside of the vice lined up with u-joint.

Initial Vice Setup

28. Now press the vice inward which will also press one end of the u-joint into the large socket.

Pressing out U-Joint

29. Once the u-joint has been pressed over as far as possible, remove the setup from the vice and pull off the cap from the large socket end with your hands.

Pull cap off.

30. You should be able to now pull the rest of the u-joint out of the halfshaft easily.

     At this point I took the time to clean the halfshaft thouroughly. I cleaned all grime, gook, and whatever else off of it with a bath in kerosene, and then clothed it down and hit it with some compressed air to fully dry it. You could easily use something like brake cleaner, or anything else that you know works good at breaking down grease.

Universal Joint Installation

31. Press the halfshaft into the vice. See not about being gentle above.
33. Lubricate the innerside of the halfshaft loops with some sort of press libricant.

Coat as seen with lubricant, you don't need much as excess will just be pressed out anyways. Even something like motor oil would probably work here.

Press Lubricant

34. Set the new u-joint in place exactly as the old one was (with one cap off) before you removed it.
35. Install one snapring on the loop of the halfshaft on the outside of the vice.
36. Place the cap on by hand and press it on as far as you can gently making sure all is lined up.

Setup the new u-joint to be installed.

37. Setup the u-joint and sockets in the opposite manner as when you removed it. Larger socket on the outside loop where the installed snapring is, and small socket on the inside.

Setup as seen here, so that when the vice is pressed in, the u-joint will be moved in the opposite direction pushing it into the halfshaft. In this shot you can see the white grease from inside the new u-joint that has pressed out during installation. That is fine.

U-joint Pressing In.

38. Press the new u-joint in smoothly until you can feel it come up against the installed snapring. The pressure will increase, this is how you can tell.
39. Install the snapring on the opposite side now.

The u-joint may be a little tough to turn as pressing it in loads up everything to the side that had the large socket on it during install. What I do is take something like a chisel with a very blunt end on it, and whack it with a hammer where the green arrow is pointed. You want to whack it towards the side you put the cap on by hand with. You don't need much, be very gentle, just a slight tap should work. You should notice that the u-joint moves much more freely after doing this as the load will be distributed throughout both sides now evently.

So here is the halfshaft all clean and ready to go in.

Finished Halfshaft


     Installation is basically the exact same as removal, just in the opposite direction. There are a few things to consider when reinstalling.

A1. Remember to line up the Camber Bolt with the score marks when you reinstall it.
A2. Remember to install the leaf-spring nut so that the same amount of threads are showing.
A3. Remember to use new cotter-pins where you removed the other two.
A4. Remember to use some locktite on the 5/16" strap bolts upon reinstallation.
A5. Remember to make sure the u-joints are on the inside of the little blocks that hold it in place side to side when it goes back in. They are hard to see, but can be seen here in this picture at the end of the red arrow.

All Done

Look any better? :-)

All Done

It might be smart to check the strap bolts after a couple hundred miles of driving to make sure they are still torqued down nicely.