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