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Honda Odyssey Axle Replacement

Look at this guide to see how to remove either the passenger or the driver side half shafts, also known as axles, on a Honda Odyssey minivan. The most important part is getting a quality axle. You have several options. Option 1 is to buy an OEM axle and last time I checked the price for that was around $300. Option 2, and the one that I prefer, is to buy a replacement axle from Raxles.com. Their prices are around $130-$160 for a replacement axle and you send your old one back to them. Their axles meet or exceed OEM specs. Option 3 is to buy a cheap axle for around $50 but there is a big risk of the axle failing soon after installation. Unless you are really strapped for cash do not go with option 3. I recently tried one of those $50 axles and during the test drive the axle began grinding. Enough said.

Vehicle Specs:

  • 1999 Honda Odyssey
  • ~ 156,000 miles

Removing The Drive Axles

Remember, if you are removing the driver side axle you will need to drain some of the transmission fluid. If you are doing the passenger side axle then you will not need to drain anything.

1. Put the front of the van on jack stands and take off the wheel of the axle that you wish to remove.

2. You will need to remove the axle nut. The lip of the axle nut will be dented in one place so you will need a flat head screw driver to straighten this out as much as possible. Use a 36mm socket to remove the nut. An impact wrench works really well for this sort of thing. If you don't have one laying around you can have someone step on the brakes to keep the axle from spinning or do what I did below.

No need to remove all the brake components. I was replacing the rotors at the same time so that's why all of the brake stuff is missing from this photo. honda odyssey axle nut removal

3. In order to remove the axle you will need to move the steering knuckle out of the way. There are two ways of doing this. The easiest way to do this is to remove the knuckle to strut bolts (#1). With the bolts removed the knuckle is free to be moved out. To reduce stress on any brake lines and/or wheel speed sensor (2), you need to remove the bolts that hold them to the strut (3) and the knuckle. This will give them some slack when you start moving the knuckle out of the way. Do the same for the brake lines on the other side. honda odyssey knuckle removal

Or you can also separate the knuckle at the lower ball joint. Remove the ball-joint nut and separate the knuckle from the control arm, you may have to use a separator tool. odyssey lower ball joint

4. A couple of nice hits with the hammer should pop the axle out of the knuckle. Now that you have one side of the axle out of the steering knuckle, grab a pry-bar (or a huge screwdriver) and pop the axle out of the transmission and remove the whole thing from the vehicle.

Driver side honda odyssey driver axle

5. The passenger side axle is made out of two parts - the half shaft and the intermediate shaft. You can either remove the half shaft by knocking it out (I do this in the next step) and leave the intermediate shaft in place or you can remove the intermediate shaft mounting bolts (1) and slide the whole assembly out. Even though it takes more time, I removed the whole assembly because I could not separate the two halves while the assembly was attached to the van. honda odyssey passenger axle

6. Separate the the intermediate shaft from the half shaft by knocking it out with a hammer. honda odyssey intermediate shaft

Installing the Axle

1. Get the new axles and install them into the transmission and then into the steering knuckle. Obviously you will have to connect the two passenger side shafts before installing them into the vehicle.

2. Tighten the axle nut to 181 lb-ft. and use a punch or a screw driver to dent the lip of a new axle nut. honda odyssey axle nut install

3. Tighten the intermediate shaft mounting bolts to 29 lb-ft.

4. Finally tighten the steering knuckle to strut nuts to 89 lb-ft.

5. If you removed any of the bolts that hold the wheel speed sensor or brake lines, those bolts should be torqued to 7 lb-ft.

6. Install the wheels and torque to 80 lb-ft.

Comments

ray 11-16-2013 19:16
I have been trying to put the hub/knuckle back to my new strut, but the knuckle wont push in to be perpendicular to the ground. I can get the bottom bolt in, but the top one cant go into the strut.
I have been trying to rotate the drive axle back and forth by moving the lug bolts and pushing in while lifting the whole assembly up and down and something just seems to not fit correctly even though the inner boot is not ripped and looks good. I even tried putting the old strut on and to no avail, so I know it's not the new strut. Please help
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Artem Vestsorov 11-17-2013 00:51
I'm having some trouble following what you're saying. I'm not sure why you're messing with the drive axle? You should be able to slide the spline of the axle into the hub/knuckle and have the metal ring on the end of the axle line up with the wheel speed sensor (#2 in the second picture from the top). Sometimes you may have to tap the axle in gently with a hammer or a rubber mallet. If you have to use excessive force to get it into the hub/knuckle then something is not right (most likely you got the wrong size axle).

Moving on... Once you get the axle into the hub/knuckle then you have to connect the top end of the knuckle to the strut (the two bolts that you are talking about). If I remember right, you won't be able to just push the knuckle in with your hands. You'll need a hammer to pound it in place. Hope this helps.
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Greg 02-16-2014 20:24
Hi Artem..thanks for the nice article.

I have a question about your statement at the beginning "Remember, if you are removing the driver side axle you will need to drain some of the transmission fluid.". Can you explain why and when/how much you should do that? There wasn't mention of it in the article and I'm sorry if I should be able to infer as much.
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Artem Vestsorov 02-19-2014 18:35
Greg, since I did not take out the driver's side axle, I went with the manual which states that some transmission fluid should be drained when removing the driver's side axle. Honestly I don't think that is really necessary as you can just have something on the ground to catch the fluid when you remove the axle.
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Greg 02-23-2014 13:10
Thanks Artem!
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Dean 05-04-2014 01:34
Really nice article - easy to follow - but I do have a question about step 4. "4. A couple of nice hits with the hammer should pop the axle out of the knuckle."

On my 06 Odyssey - I've done everything up to step 4 but when I tap the axle it does not budge. I've even tried a hydraulic wheel puller - but it won't move. I've successfully changed drive axles before but this one has me stumped - any ideas.
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Artem Vestsorov 05-04-2014 23:31
I'm assuming that you are trying to take the axle out of the steering knuckle, right? I've actually ran into this problem when changing out the wheel bearing hub on a Cadillac Seville. The axle was fused to the hub. Short of changing the entire knuckle assembly the two useful tools are a really big hammer and/or a torch. Usually a sledge hammer does the trick but do be careful not to deform the axle splines when hitting the axle. Good luck.
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Matt 05-06-2014 18:51
thankyou so much for doing this step by step i just changed out both cv axles in my friends 07 odyssey and it went great because of this info. i am a mechanic and have done stuff like this many times but it has never been as easy as this i really appreciate it. Now her kids can be safe driving in the van and she doesnt have to worry about getting stranded anywhere. Once again Thank You Artem
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Artem Vestsorov 05-11-2014 20:25
You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by :)
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Drotar 06-10-2014 16:32
Great article, Thank You, Thank You. I'm going to replace mine when the parts arrive. This article didn't mention anything about putting grease on the splines when installing the new axles. If so, what type of grease should I use and on which spline ends should I put grease on, like to the wheel end or to the tranny end?
Also, has anyone reported tranny fluid leaks from the driver's side?
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Artem Vestsorov 06-10-2014 17:30
Definitely don't put any kind of grease or anti-seize on the spline that goes inside the transmission. On the wheel end I guess it won't hurt to lightly grease the spline (it's not mandatory though). As long as the label says "High Temp Grease" then any brand will work, ie Valvoline, Coastal, etc...

No one has reported any leaks but have something to catch the fluid just in case.
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Dave D 07-27-2014 06:42
Thanks for taking the time to write.
2005 Odyssey LX
First timer for this,
Do you really have to remove the intermediate shaft like in #6??
That is just a little ominous.
Doing Both on Monday.
Thanks!!
Dave
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Artem Vestsorov 07-27-2014 23:09
Hey Dave,

Nope, you don't have to remove the intermediate shaft. I just found it easier to separate the two halves with the whole unit out of the van.
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Robert Lawrence 09-25-2014 17:33
Very nice post and write up, however removal of the entire passenger side shaft and bracket are not required. I was working on an Odyssey 2005, and it has a heat shield that protects the joint. The service manual states that you simply have to drive the axle out with a metal shaft and hammer.

This saves HOURS of time since the heat shield is a PITA to remove.
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Artem Vestsorov 09-25-2014 17:46
Correct, it is not required but when you have an axle that won't budge, as it was in my case, it is a lot easier to remove the intermediate shaft along with the axle. I'll edit the post and explain it better for future visitors.
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Leo F. 10-18-2014 18:29
Thanks! You should do this for just the wheel bearing replacement!
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