Changing out axle shaft

Hey, I have some play in the front end that I have read some posts about. Seems to be common. I can grab the drivers side axle and shake it by hand and it appears loose at the transmission. The other side is not as bad. I can also rotate the tires when it is jacked up and there is play between the two wheels. I figure I need to replace something but I have never torn into the front end before. Just wanted to check and see if there were any special surprises for taking out the axles and would I need any parts if I decide to put it back together with the original worn parts. Do the axle shafts have to be replaced as one complete unit? Or can I replace bearing and (cv joints?) separately? Also, any recommendations on where to get parts? I was also thinking of getting a 2009+ steering rack to make my steering easier… assuming it will bolt right up. Thanks for your help.


As far as I know, the axles are only available as complete units with the attached CV joints. You may be able to take your worn axle/CV joint to a local axle rebuilders and get it repaired. Check the accordion boots for cracks or leaks and replace as necessary.

You don’t say what year your GEM is. I suggest you put it in your signature (user CP link at top-left of page).

Thanks, will do. Its a 2002. Is there a bearing that needs to be replaced at the transmission? Or is that all part of the axle shaft?

As far as I know (and I’m no expert), the axle shaft sits in a bearing that’s part of the transaxle. It doesn’t appear to be listed as a spare part but should be a common bearing.

Why do you think the bearing needs replacing? The play is probably the CV joint, not the bearing.

Thanks! I can grab the axle close to the transmission. When I shake it back and forth there is a slight amount of play at the input into the transmission. I’m sure the cv joints are bad too. When jacked up the wheels have rotational play as well. Is the axle a pretty straight forward removal and install? I have plenty of mechanical experience just none on a GEM. Thanks.

I would think that transaxle lube would be leaking if the bearing was bad as the stub-axle would wallow out the seal over time. I’d first try pulling the axle out and see what it look like.

From what I remember, you remove the axle nut and then, from the back side, release a circlip that allows the axle to slide in the steering knuckle to gain more clearance. You need to remove the outer CV boot to get at the circlip. The inner shaft is press-fit into the transaxle and needs to be popped out with a couple of screwdrivers or pry bars.

I think you need to remove the lower shock mounting bolt to get the swing-arm to the correct position first. There are directions and a full service manual available online somewhere. Can’t remember exactly where I downloaded them but do a web search for GEM Service Manual and something should pop up. Remember, the 2005+ is different from the pre-2005 models.

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

I have driver’s front axle in the box to sell.
Rule Number ONE: Do not order anything from Kim Hanover at GO GEMCARS in Port St. Lucie, FL
Beck Dodge in Palacka, FL is the best source of parts
I had the same problem… I took my GEM to the local Big O here in Roswell, NM the fixed it well. There are some bushing that need to be replaced too. I don’t have and air driven tools at home and they are needed to change the bushings.

Still have the axle for front- right side?

Slight play between the axle and transmission is normal. The best price for new axles is NEV Accessories in Arizona.


Hi Daniel,
Can you provide the contact details for NEV Accessories AZ. I did a quick google search and didn’t find them. I need a replacement Tie Rod end
1999 Rebuilt Gem Car