Axle swap simplified, stock Neon axles
Jack up the car, set it on something secure and remove the wheel/tire assembly.
Remove the cotter pin, and the washers from the end of the axle. 32mm deep socket to remove the axle nut. Stick a phillips screwdriver into the rotor or have someone stand on the brakes to keep the axle from turning while removing the nut.
15mm and 18mm socket or wrenches to remove the clevis bolt. The 18mm nut on the clevis bolt is in the center of this pic:
Using the long pry bar, slide it into the hole in the frame and pry the a-arm down slightly to slide the clevis bolt out. Then pry the a-arm down farther to pop the ball joint out of the bottom of the knuckle. Rotate the strut assembly to the rear of the car while pushing the axle out the back of the knuckle. Optional - some people loosen the end link on the sway bar - this makes it easier to pry the a-arm down (Sgt. Craig!).
Slide under the car and pry the axle out of the trans. If you get that side of the car up high enough or you are fast enough, you will only lose a small amount of fluid.
Wipe a little oil/grease on the new axle where the seal rides. Snap it into place to be sure is seats completely.
Start the axle back into the splines in the hub while rotating the strut assembly back into place. Pry the a-arm down again and line the ball joint stud up with the knuckle. Slowly raise the a-arm to seat the ball joint and then slide the clevis bolt back into place. Tighten the clevis nut. Service manual recommends to buy a new clevis bolt and nut - your choice. Put the washer and nut back on the axle, tighten to 150+ ft/lbs. Put the outer washers and cotter pin back in place. It's a good idea to carry spare cotter pins in your tool box. Put the wheel/tire back on and set the car on the ground. If you lost fluid, replace it either thru the speedo sensor at the back of the transmission or thru the reverse light sensor under the battery, whatever is easiest for you. The speedo sensor is in the center of the first pic below, you need a 10mm socket to remove it CAREFULLY. The gear is easily knocked off and will quickly fall beyond reach into the trans. The reverse light sensor is under the battery tray in the second pic.
Properly filled, the fluid should be at the bottom of the hole sealed by the rubber plug on the side of the transmission by the left side axle.
List of tools:
15mm wrench and an 18mm
socket for the clevis bolt
32mm deep socket and 1/2" drive ratchet
pliers for cotter pin
pry bar/pipe, about 3' long
large screwdriver or flat-end pry bar to pop the axle out of the trans
container to catch leaking fluid, funnel and extra fluid
phillips screwdriver for rotor
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