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How To Replace C5/C6 Corvette halfshafts

GForce Performance Engineering offers you two choices of brute-tested tough halfshafts for your C5 or C6 Vette

Jim Smart Feb 13, 2019
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It seems impossible to believe the C5 (1997-’04) and C6 (2005-’13) Corvettes have been on the road for as long as they have. Quite a few were purchased new and put away in the garage for sunny pleasure cruising and canyon cutting. Others have racked up a lot of miles and are becoming long in the tooth. It is these ones that may be begging for a little close attention.

Regardless of your C5/C6 Vette’s usage status, it’s probably ready for a fresh set of halfshafts because these guys do a lot of work. They transmit power to the drive wheels and they have to articulate with the independent rear suspension. Because the Corvette has had a fully independent suspension system since 1963, it is safe to assume yours is fitted with a centrally located differential with two halfshafts, free-floating control arms and disc brakes on each side.

GForce Performance Engineering offers you two levels of halfshafts. The all-new GForce Renegade halfshafts are a direct replacement for the factory units and are designed for high-performance cars with everything from mild bolt-on items to those running superchargers and turbos. The Renegade shafts are designed and engineered for outrageous amounts of power.

The all-new Outlaw halfshafts have been upgraded from their previous design with premium CV joints. The Outlaw CV maintains the 108mm design but features a better alloy in the billet machined internals. This is what makes it the better choice over the Renegade axle. Each Outlaw CV receives an isotropic surface finish for a mirror-like polish for reduced internal friction and heat. Less internal friction means more power where the rubber meets the road. This high-tech surface finishing provides smoother operation for the CV joint, which dramatically reduces heat and premature wear. This technology also aids in grease migration throughout the CV to keep all the moving parts lubricated. Additionally, each Outlaw halfshaft uses high-end premium fasteners for solid security.

Because these guys are machined from proprietary aerospace billet alloy they offer unequalled strength for your Corvette’s greatest power and driving demands. You can run them hard mile after mile and they come back for more. The Outlaw halfshafts feature upgraded 31-spline axles along with 31-spline billet machined CV joints. The additional splines offer more engagement surface area and allow for larger diameter axle bars. In addition to more spline engagement, the billet machined 31-spline CV’s provide more travel and increased operating angle than original factory CV joints.

GForce Performance Engineering Outlaw axles also include one-piece CNC-machined billet steel inner and outer stubs. Because they’re machined from a single piece of billet steel, GForce inner and outer one-piece stubs are brute-tested tough. Each component is meticulously designed, machined and assembled by GForce in Kansas in the middle of the American heartland. Because GForce carefully controls the production process, each axle assembly is hand-assembled using only premium materials. Although the C5/C6’s rear suspension is rather intimidating at first sight it is actually quite simple to knock apart in order to get to the halfshafts. You should be able to get this completed in a day. Vette

(Sidebar 1)

Renegade Features

Anti-Wheelhop Technology

Direct Bolt-In Fit and Finish

31-Spline Severe-Duty CV Joints

One-Piece Inner and Outer Stubs

Aircraft Grade Certified Alloys

CNC-Machined for Precision Construction

Powdercoated Axles for Corrosion Protection

Black E-Coat Finish on Inner and Outer Stubs to Protect Against Harsh Conditions Without Impeding Spline Engagement

 

(sidebar 2)

Outlaw Features

Anti-Wheelhop Technology

Direct Bolt-In Fit and Finish

31-Spline Severe-Duty CV Joints

Isotropic Surface Finish on CVs and CV Internals

Upgraded Premium CV Fasteners

One-Piece Inner and Outer Stubs

Aircraft Grade Certified Alloys

CNC-Machined Components

Powdercoated Axles for Corrosion Protection

Black E-Coat Finish on Inner and Outer Stubs to Protect Against Harsh Conditions Without Impeding Spline Engagement

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Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll need to disassemble to get to the halfshafts. First, support the lower control arm on each side, then disconnect the upper control arm at the riser (orange), along with the tie-rod end (blue), and unbolt the upper control arm at the chassis (yellow). Next, unbolt the bottom shock mount (red) and remove the shaft locknut (white). Do not disturb the lower control arm alignment eccentrics.

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Here’s a closer look at the left-hand side looking rearward showing the halfshaft, also called the axle by GForce Performance Engineering. The halfshaft splines into the transaxle and can be popped loose with a large common screwdriver or pry bar.

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The upper control arm is disconnected here at the frame to allow some freedom of movement of the brake assembly. Once you swing the brake assembly to the side, access to the halfshaft is easy.

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The lower control arms are adjusted via one eccentric on each side. Do not loosen or disconnect the lower control arms here because you will alter the alignment.

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The tie-rod ends are disconnected here at the lower control arms.

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The shaft locknut is removed here at the hub, which will free up the halfshaft.

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Support the hub and lower control arm as shown, which enables you to disconnect the coilover shock and riser. With the upper control arm disconnected it becomes easier to swing the brake out of the way. Also remember to disconnect the antilock brake sensor and parking brake cable. Be very careful with the antilock brake sensor and connector.

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The halfshaft gets popped out at the transaxle with a pry bar or very large common screwdriver. Once it is popped free it becomes easy to remove.

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Renegade axles are machined from proprietary aerospace billet alloy featuring 31-spline axle bars and billet machined CV joints. These CV joints provide greater travel and increased operating angle. Renegade axles also include one-piece CNC-machined billet steel inner and outer stubs machined from single pieces of billet steel.

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Full Throttle Kustomz installs the Renegade axle by first popping it into the Corvette’s transaxle. Once we’ve confirmed the axle has seated, the rest comes easy.

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The brake assembly has to be moved well out of the way to clear the halfshaft CV output splines. You can disconnect the upper control arm at the riser or swing it out of the way.

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The GForce output splines are inserted through the hub as shown, which is not an interference fit. The splined shaft slides through the hub and is secured by the locknut.

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Once the shaft is splined into the brake hub, reassembly begins with the bottom shock mount, stabilizer link, tie-rod end and upper control arm. Although the C5/C6 rear suspension looks involved it is actually quite easy to service.

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The parking brake cable and antilock brake sensor are reconnected next. Check the antilock brake connector for debris and moisture.

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The left side comes apart the same way as the right, beginning with supporting the lower control arm as shown, disconnecting the upper control arm from the chassis and even at the ball joint to make access easier. Next, disconnect the stabilizer link and tie-rod end. Do not change the tie-rod end adjustment. Detach the shock’s bottom mount.

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Remove the axle halfshaft locknut and swing the brake away, which makes room to remove the old halfshaft.

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With the halfshaft free at the brake end, use a large common screwdriver or a pry bar to pop the inner CV joint from the transaxle.

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Swing the brake toward the front of the vehicle in order to insert the GForce Renegade axle into the transaxle. You’re going to have to push hard on the halfshaft until you feel it pop into the transaxle. Do not move ahead until you are positive the halfshaft is seated.

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With the brake well out of the way, the splined output shaft is inserted into the hub.

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The CV shaft locknut is installed hand tight. We will make the rounds with a torque wrench and make sure all the fasteners have been tightened to GForce specifications.

22/24

Next, reconnect and tighten the stabilizer bar endlink.

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The lower shock mount is next, tightened to 107 ft-lb.

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The halfshaft locknuts get Permatex Threadlocker and 140 ft-lb of torque. Next, road test your Corvette at low speeds and listen for any noise or abnormalities. Once you are confident of your installation take it out for a little road work.

Photography by Jim Smart

Sources

Full Throttle Kustomz
www.ftkustomz.com
GForce Engineering
316-260-8433
www.gforce1320.com

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