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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1997 Grand Caravan recently snapped the left front transaxle. Will this damage the already weak transmission or will simply replacing the transaxle get it back on the road? The axle snapped as I was accelerating from a dead stop so the vehicle came to a halt quickly with no apparent time to cause other damage. Thanks in advance.
 

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Get a used one from a junk yard. Are you doing this yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I am going to repair it myself. A new one from a local parts store cost $80. I have looked at a Haynes repair manual and it appears pretty simple. I would appreciate your exerience with this though. TX
 

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That is precisely what happened to me on my '96 GV. I went to remove the half of the axle that was in the transmission, and no matter how easy any one said it should be, it simply would not come out.
I eneded up dropping the transmission out myself and taking it to a shop for repair. They had to dissasemble the differential, use heat, and hammer out the axle stub. The complete rebuild was $1100. I know the shaft was weakend already (the diameter of the shaft was reduced from rust around the balancer), but I believe a seized bearing let to the total failure.
Now that I've scared you enough, try replacing it. If you can change it and it drives fine after, then you're good to go. If not, you still need a new axle so you're not out anything by trying.
If you dig back there is a really good thread by Rick99 about removing the transmission if you need it, it helped me.
I found on my van though, that I did not have to disconnect the steering at all to get the shafts in and out, just unbolt the lower ball joint and swing the hub out of the way.
 

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wow
snapped one off in mine once. the long one on the passenger side changed it out in the driveway no trouble at all

had to coax it out a bit with a pry bar from underneath. but I didnt have to remove the transmission

swapped in the new one and was back on the road in an hour
 

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If you can't pull it/pry it out then you have big problems like machjeff says. It should basically jut "pop" out once you get the hub off of it. Nothing really special in removing things. Just lefty loosey, righty tighty. Very much easier with a pneumatic impact wrench. Oh, and spraypaint (white) all around your strut where it mounts to the knuckle. That way you can get it back in the same place...at least close enough.
 

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Again, on my '96 I did not have to remove the two bolts that hold the strut to the steering knuckle to get the CV shafts in/out. I did not want to because I feared that would mess with the alignment. There is a pinch-bolt that holds the knuckle on the lower ball joint. Remove that bolt to free the ball joint and separate the lower control arm from the knuckle/hub assembly. You should not even need to remove the steering tie rod end. With the ball joint separated the whole hub swings out of the way and the shaft will go in/out. Driver and passenger side. This way everything goes back together exactly as it was and there is no need for an alignment.
 
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