If one of your axle assemblies starts to go bad, here's the best way to replace it: quickly.
Without a functioning axle, your car can’t move. If you decide to try your luck and drive with a failing axle, you may find yourself stranded on the side of the highway when the axle finally gives out.
The best way to deal with a failing axle assembly is to replace it. This article has all the information you need about replacing an axle assembly in your Eclipse.
Why is it Recommended to Replace the Entire Assembly?
Even if the CV joints or boots are the only parts of the axle to fail, it is always recommended to replace the entire axle assembly. It’s easier and cheaper.
While CV joints and boots generally cost less than axle assemblies, they can be quite difficult and time-consuming to replace. Unless you’re an expert with all the right tools and equipment at your disposal, you’ll save a lot of time and trouble by replacing the entire axle assembly.
Replacing an axle assembly is much quicker than taking an axle assembly apart and replacing a component or two. That alone can save you hundreds of dollars in labor (if you have a shop do the job for you) or hours of your own time.
The Costs of Replacing an Axle Assembly on an Eclipse
Speaking of axle assembly replacement costs, it’s so much cheaper to replace the axle assembly yourself than having a shop do it. Why? Two reasons:
- Labor: Unless you value your time at more than $100 per hour, you’ll save quite a bit of money on labor costs. Mitsubishi dealerships charge about $100 per hour for labor, which can add up quickly for a lengthy job like replacing an axle.
- Replacement part prices: When you buy a replacement axle assembly from a dealership, you’re looking at a hefty markup. It’s so much cheaper to buy an OEM axle assembly online at a steep discount. For instance, we offer up to 30% off on genuine OEM axle assemblies.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive tutorial on replacing an axle assembly on your Eclipse, read on for one that's based on the 2006 Eclipse GT. If you have an older or newer Eclipse model, you should be able to follow the instructions, too.
Tools You Will Need
- Car lift or jack stands
- Impact wrench (or a big breaker bar)
- 32mm socket
- 24mm socket
- 17mm socket
- Small pry bar (or very sturdy flathead screwdriver)
- Torque wrench
1. Remove the Axle Nut on Both Sides
First, take off the dust cap in the center of the wheel. Underneath, there’s a 32mm axle nut holding the axle and hub together. If you have a non-2006 Eclipse model, the axle nut might be a different size. Using a impact wrench with a 32mm socket (or the appropriate sized socket for your car), remove the axle nut.
If you don’t have an impact wrench, then you will need a large breaker bar.
2. Lift Your Eclipse
You can either use a two-post car lift, four-post car lift, jack stands, or any other type of lift that is 1) safe and 2) designed to suspend your tires in the air. You don’t want any weight on your tires.
If you’re using jack stands, you can just lift the end you’re working on, but be sure to do it safely.
3. Remove the Wheels on Both Sides
You can use a lug nut wrench or an impact wrench.
4. Remove the Brake Calipers
There are two 17mm bolts on the rear side of each caliper. Remove them both. When you pull the caliper off, find a way to keep your brake caliper suspended so the brake line doesn't get damaged. A short bungee cord should do the trick.
Also, don’t forget to remove the speed sensor wire from the hub.
5. Disconnect the Outer Tie Rod From the Steering Knuckle on Both Sides
Behind the rotor is the steering knuckle. The outer tie rod is connected to it via a 17mm bolt. Remove the bolt to disconnect both parts.
6. Remove the Wheel Hub From the Strut Tower
There are two 24mm bolts holding the steering knuckle to the strut tower. Once these parts are no longer attached to each other, you should be able to slide the hub off of the axle.
7. Pry Loose the CV Joint and Then Slide the Axle Out
Pry the CV joint loose where is inserted into the transaxle. You can do this with a small pry bar or a long flathead screwdriver. It’s a good idea to put a container directly underneath the CV joint because some transmission fluid might leak out.
8. Install the New Axle Assembly
Install the new axle assembly in the reverse order of removal. Basically:
- Slide the axle into the transmission housing. It should snap in place.
- Position the hub assembly over the new axle on both sides.
- Bolt everything back into place. It's very important that the axle nut and other nuts are torqued to the correct specification.
- Put the wheels back on.
Depending on your level of experience and the tools you have on hand, this project should take anywhere between 2 and 4 hours. Please contact us if you need assistance replacing your axle assembly.