Before you start working on the vehicle, disconnect the negative
battery cable, apply the parking brake and place wheel chucks
on the rear wheels, remove the wheel hub cap and proceed to
remove the cotter pin located in the center of the drive
axle as shown in the image.
Once you have removed the cotter pin and the locking washer,
proceed to loosen the axle nut with the vehicle still on the
ground, don't remove the nut completely, just loosen it, do
the same with all 5 wheel lug nuts, next, lift the front of the
vehicle with a floor jack and support it with jack stands for
safety, remove the left front wheel.
Remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint as shown
in the image.
Loosen the lower ball joint nut, unscrew the nut just slight over
the end of the ball joint stud.
Using a ball joint separator tool similar to the one shown in
the image, separate the lower ball joint from the lower control
arm, remove the tool and the ball joint retaining nut.
Remove the drive axle nut and washer, using a long pry bar
separate the lower control arm from the steering knuckle, pull on
the steering knuckle and push the axle shaft out at the same time.
If your transmission pan has a drain plug, drain some of the
transmission fluid out to avoid spilling it on the ground while
removing the axle, if your transmission doesn't have a drain plug,
place a clean pan under the transaxle to catch the fluid, using a
pry bar pry the axle out as shown in the image.
NOTE: you don't need to apply excessive force to the pry-bar,
all you need to do is to apply a fast movement against the axle
shaft and it will slide out, once you have broken the axle loose,
carefully slide it out maintaining the axle in a horizontal position
to avoid damaging the output shaft seal.
Before you install the new axle, inspect the output shaft seal,
lubricate the inner lip of the seal with petroleum jelly to allow
the axle to slide in without damaging the seal, lubricate the splines
of the axle that go inside the transmission with a light coat of
transmission fluid prior to installing it on the transmission, apply
a light coat of anti-sieze to the splines on the outer side of the axle.
Install the new axle on the vehicle and proceed to install the
remaining parts in the reverse order you took them off, make
sure that you tighten all the bolts to the proper specifications
recommended by the manufacturer, the new axle should come
with a sheet that specifies the proper torque for the retaining nut.
Test drive the vehicle and listen for unusual sounds, when you
come back from your test drive, look under the vehicle and inspect
for transmission fluid leaks, if there aren't any leaks the job is done.