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Steering knuckle and drive axle


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Russell

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 11:11 PM

I've been trying to find a thread related to this question but with no luck. What is the easiest way to separate the driveaxle assembly from the steering knuckle. It's recommended to be taken to the dealer as it requires a special tool. Last time, when I replaced the boots I had no idea of this and carefully used a sledge to reassemble. Any help would be great? I really don't want to take the whole assembly to the dealer. :-\

#2 Caboobaroo

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 11:21 PM

is it still on the car? If it is, here's the easiest way I found to do it....

1. Put the axle nut on just enough to protect the threads for abuse so you don't screw them up.
2. Smack that with a sledge hammer hard until it starts to pop out then once it starts to move, gentle hit it until it you hit the nut.
3. Remove the nut and finish hittin it out but do it carefully so you don't bum your threads.

I also found its easy to do it once you remove the other side of the axle from the tranny.

Hopes this helps:D

#3 Wasteland

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 12:22 AM

I pull the tie rod end from the steering knuckle and pop the ball joint out of the bottom of the knuckle so the knuckel is only connected to the strut. then hit the end of the axle with and impact hammer (after the nut and cone washer are removed). most of the axles have a tapered hole in the end that fits the pionted chisel tool perfectly.

#4 subusolo2nut

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 01:27 AM

Agree on the punch--a small one fits in the end hole great--to re-assemble--there is a OTC tool that makes the job VERY easy--just thread it onto the CV & it pulls the CV thru the bearings--tool is about $35--without it, you have to "bash" things together--I would poke the CV thru as far as possible & position the hub--then use a LARGE socket (bigger than the threads on the CV) & tap it in--brutal--but it works--:grin:

#5 rallyruss

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 11:46 AM

I agre with caboobarooo with just one adition. apply lots of penitrating oil first. and when you reassemble use antiseize to make it easy the next time. on reinstall I have used a dead blow hammer to gently hit the edge of the cv to help push it through. if you drive it out with a dead blow too you will not damage the threads(still put the nut on to save it when you get pissed and slam it with a sledge)

#6 Russell

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 01:07 PM

:) Alright thanks guys. I'm hoping some of your tips will make it less of a PITA this time. What is the OTC tool called, or should I ask a auto store about it? Gettin it out of the steering knuckle for me has always been way easier then reassemby...

#7 rallyruss

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 10:45 PM

you can look in here for that tool
http://www.otctools....es-catalog.php3

I just clean and lube it real well then tap it in.

#8 Qman

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 10:59 PM

The tool is called an axle/cv installer. Very useful little tool.

#9 Beavis

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 11:42 PM

Why is a special tool needed?

I replaced a front axle on my gl-10 today. After pulling the DOJ from the transmission, I was able to pull the other end out of the bearings in the steering knuckle. The book said not to hit it with a hammer, as it would damage the bearings. I had to wiggle it around quite a bit, but I got it out in a few minutes.

#10 rallyruss

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 12:33 AM

well you were lucky. some times they can be a pain in the rear. espically if the splines got rusty. still possible with out the tool but I am sure the tool would simplify it a good bit. wish I had one.

#11 calebz

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 01:06 AM

I have used the BFH method a number of times.. never any damage.. just requires some care.. its also a good thing to put a chunck of wood over the end of the axles so the threads don't get damaged.. having that tool to get the axle back in can be really handy (BTW.. thx Qman for letting me borrow that that one time).. However, using the castle nut and a couple of large flat screwdrivers can make short work of reinstalling an axle if you don't have access to the special tool... Have removed/reinstalled 2 axles in the past 2 weeks with the above methods

#12 teasdam

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 12:47 PM

for what it's worth....I just finished my halfshaft replacement and I was caught off guard by how difficult it is to pull the axle through the bearings on reassembly. What I ended up doing was going to Ace and had them cut about 4" of PVC pipe into 1/2" "spacers"...I forget what size pipe it was exactly, something like 2", but whatever will work. I added spacers as I went and it worked out great. I don't know how much the fancy installer tool would cost, but this only cost me about 50 cents for the PVC.

#13 Beavis

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 01:10 PM

So is this tool for removing or installing the axle?

#14 MorganM

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 01:25 PM

So is this tool for removing or installing the axle?

It's for pulling the stub axle back through the bearings and knuckle.

#15 ByTheSea

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 05:53 PM

If you want to be high tech and never trash another axle( Iv'e done that once and never again ) you can get a large three jaw puller from any of the cheap discount stores like Ocean State Job Lot . They are low quality from China but work fine for the occasional DIYer. You use that to pull the outer hub off the axle stub rather than beating the stub inward with a hammer, which can cause the end of the stub to collapse where the cotter pin holes are and that makes the threads NFG. Also on the installer tool,,,great tool. putting axles in is easy when the axle and bearings are old but with new bearings and a reman shaft it can be pretty sticky to use the "screwdriver behind the nut" technique.


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#16 Beavis

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 11:40 PM

I used a 6" puller from harbor freight to get the hub off. I've also heard that after removing the axle nut, you can put the wheel back on, drop the car, roll it back and forth, and then the hub should come off.

#17 DerFahrer

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 02:47 AM

I used a 6" puller from harbor freight to get the hub off. I've also heard that after removing the axle nut, you can put the wheel back on, drop the car, roll it back and forth, and then the hub should come off.


Definitely NOT a good idea. You can seriously screw up the bearings by putting weight on the hub without the castle nut on the axle.

Just hammer the old one out, put the new one on the tranny FIRST, then feed it into the hub as far as it will go. Then hammer the hub against the axle and it will come through. You shouldn't damage anything as long as it's lined up correctly when you start hammering at it. The hydraulic press that you're supposed to use does the same thing, just more gracefully...

#18 richwolf

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:22 AM

Well last night I removed my axle from my 85 4WD wagon and it was a disaster. Everything went smooth untill I hammered it out with the nut on. Well I buggered up the threads on the axle because the hammering caused the nut to cross thread. Had to cut the nut off with the dremel tool. Now I removed and replaced one a few years ago and didn't have the same problem. Well a lesson learned!

Well let's cut to the chase. Has anyone successfully replaced the pressed in wheel bearings themselves? How do you get them out? How can you tell if they are good or bad? I have a press that I use for pressing in bicycle headsets which I think will work for getting the bearings back in but I am reluctant to do the old hammer mechanic approach to removal unless you guys give me the go ahead.

Thanks!

#19 calebz

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:46 AM

Just hammer the old one out, put the new one on the tranny FIRST, then feed it into the hub as far as it will go. Then hammer the hub against the axle and it will come through..

I always have better luck doing the hub end first.. and using the axle nut and a couple of long screwdrivers to pry it through.. The tranny end is real easy to do at that point... I would probably avoid beating on the hub.. but thats just me.


For those that are following this and have never done an axle swap before, you can see that there are many differing opinions and methods for R&R on an axle.. I recommend you try them all and see which one works for you.

#20 subusolo2nut

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 09:35 PM

The hub bearings are a "no sweat" deal--The hub has (in order) Inner grease seal--inner bearing--spacer--outer bearing & outer grease seal. The center spacer kind'a moves around without the locking pressure of the CV joint on the bearings--You can push it to one side & get a punch on one bearing or the other--just tap towards the race part of the bearing & that bearing & seal will come out. Then do the same with the opposite bearing--when the hub is cleaned out, you can see the cut-outs for bearing removal--just hard to see them with all the old grease in the way. As for lifespan--I normally see the bearings go about 200,000 before problems--with the CV out, you can roll the bearings & check for roughness or rust--if either is seen, replace both sides. I do mine on a regular basis--after all, they are all that holds the front together..;)

#21 richwolf

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Posted 02 April 2004 - 10:35 AM

Well after inspection I have decided to leave the old bearings in. There is plenty of grease in them and they turn smoothly. I have decided that the click was problably coming from the remanufactured CV axel. I will buy a new one vs. a remanufactured one. About $30 more but I think worth it.

I am just not ready to pull the whole steering knuckle out and the whole can of worms that opens up nor do want to punch (aka bash) out the old bearings.

Thanks for all your guys help! This board is great.

1985 GL 4WD wagon with roofracks (Thule and Yakima) and an avid skier, snowboarder, off road skateboarder and even a gas powered skateboarder! But my real passion is bicycling. Subaru Wagon and 4WD is perfect for me. Not a lot of guts but fun to drive!

#22 Alex12

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 12:18 AM

I've been trying to find a thread related to this question but with no luck. What is the easiest way to separate the driveaxle assembly from the steering knuckle. It's recommended to be taken to the dealer as it requires a special tool. Last time, when I replaced the boots I had no idea of this and carefully used a sledge to reassemble. Any help would be great? I really don't want to take the whole assembly to the dealer. :-\


Driveaxle slides out of the steering knuckle. Just remove the axel nut and free the knuckle from the strut and the lower ball joint. Caution: make sure you do not shear the bolt holding the ball joint. I learned the hard way. Bolt is acting as holding pin. It has to be removed completely before you can remove the ball joint from the knuckle housing.

Make sure you are using plenty of penetrating fluid and use an impact socket and driver to remove the bolt. Back to the assembly… It is misleading in the Heynes manual. You do not need to take the whole assembly to the machine shop. The instruction is for the bearing replacement. Bearings are press fit onto the knuckle housing and you need a hydraulic press to take them out and put them in. Here is my dilemma, which way to push the bearing out whether there is an internal boss. I have not figured out the bearing yet. So if you do not need to replace the bearing then the next task is very straightforward. Good Luck…




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