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Axle Swap on '88 and '97...Same Old Same Old?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 subaru1988

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:47 PM

Hi...I've been a lurker on here for a long time and I recently inherited an '88 Subaru DL Wagon. It's a great car, and I've known how this car has been maintained since it had 10,000 miles on it. It now has 244,000 and still runs great. I did a search to try to find a quick answer for my questions, but I didn't have any luck.

 

My Subaru is like any other Subaru..It wears axles out after a decent amount of miles. I'm looking to maybe try this myself on both sides. I've swapped and rebuilt carbs, done brakes on this Subaru, and pulled a head and replaced intake and head gaskets on a little Datsun truck. It honestly doesn't look that hard to R&R axles in this video...

 

My question to you Subaru experts is is the setup on the knuckle spindle, suspension, and of course axles the same on an '88 as it is on a '97? Or was there a change in that 9 years that makes it easier for ETCG to swap out those axles?

 

I tried embedding the video, but it keeps linking to a Subie ad..Sorry..

 

https://www.ericthec...on-and-steering

 

Looks to me like he gets the axle out of the knuckle spindle pretty easy. My Haynes manual states that it is too tough to do, but then again as some of you may know, that book is more geared toward older stuff.

 

Thanks for any insight!


Edited by subaru1988, 16 March 2013 - 12:56 PM.


#2 AKghandi

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 03:19 PM

axle swaps are very easy, takes about an hr,  basically  pull the axle nut, and loosen the lug nuts. jack the car up, undo the roll pin on the transmission side of the axle(there is a correct punch for this but I found a normal Philips screw driver will work), make note which way the dimple on the axle is facing, IIRC you push it out through the non dimpled side and put it in through the dimpled side. this is important, as the axle will go on wrong and the roll pin will not go all the way back in.

after you have done that pull the 4 14mm bolts holding the hub to the rotor and remove the hub.(some people remove the caliper and pull the rotor and hub together, which in my eyes is a waste of time.) . now comes the fun part the Ball Joint, pull the 14mm BJ pinch bolt at the bottom of the knuckle, and spread it carefully with something then pry the control arm down against the knuckle, the BJ should pop out of the knuckle. if it doesn't, then remove the 2 17mm bolts holding the radius rod to the control arm, then remove the 14mm bolt holding the control arm to the front sub frame.  now you should have the bottom of the knuckle free to move out ward, pull it outward and it should pop off the transmission, if it doesn't you may need to pry it a little bit. once that's off use a block of wood and a hammer to tap the axle out of the knuckle, using the block of wood to protect the end of the axle from the hammer. and now your axle should be out!

 

to get the axle back into the knuckle push it through till you can put the axle nut on and then prying it out with either 2 claw hammers, or 2 screw drivers.one on each side. once it's pried out enough you can put the hub back on and use to axle nut to pull it more of the way through. then remove and add the cone washer and flat washer and tighten it up to pull it completely through

 

 

this is how I do it and in ideal conditions I can do it in under 20 mins. but I have also done it about 15 times.

 

 

others will hopefully step in and share something i might have missed, but thats the basics of it.



#3 grossgary

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 03:58 PM

there are differences between 88 and 97.



#4 subaru1988

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 04:17 PM

axle swaps are very easy, takes about an hr,  basically  pull the axle nut, and loosen the lug nuts. jack the car up, undo the roll pin on the transmission side of the axle(there is a correct punch for this but I found a normal Philips screw driver will work), make note which way the dimple on the axle is facing, IIRC you push it out through the non dimpled side and put it in through the dimpled side. this is important, as the axle will go on wrong and the roll pin will not go all the way back in.

after you have done that pull the 4 14mm bolts holding the hub to the rotor and remove the hub.(some people remove the caliper and pull the rotor and hub together, which in my eyes is a waste of time.) . now comes the fun part the Ball Joint, pull the 14mm BJ pinch bolt at the bottom of the knuckle, and spread it carefully with something then pry the control arm down against the knuckle, the BJ should pop out of the knuckle. if it doesn't, then remove the 2 17mm bolts holding the radius rod to the control arm, then remove the 14mm bolt holding the control arm to the front sub frame.  now you should have the bottom of the knuckle free to move out ward, pull it outward and it should pop off the transmission, if it doesn't you may need to pry it a little bit. once that's off use a block of wood and a hammer to tap the axle out of the knuckle, using the block of wood to protect the end of the axle from the hammer. and now your axle should be out!

 

to get the axle back into the knuckle push it through till you can put the axle nut on and then prying it out with either 2 claw hammers, or 2 screw drivers.one on each side. once it's pried out enough you can put the hub back on and use to axle nut to pull it more of the way through. then remove and add the cone washer and flat washer and tighten it up to pull it completely through

 

 

this is how I do it and in ideal conditions I can do it in under 20 mins. but I have also done it about 15 times.

 

 

others will hopefully step in and share something i might have missed, but thats the basics of it.

 

Your instructions are practically step by step right along with the ETCG video. The one thing I noticed he does in the video, which is a pretty good idea, is to partially put the roll pin in before putting the axle on the differential. One reason I think he is able to get that axle on without prying or ? is that he's using an impact wrench to draw the axle nut tight. The tips you posted are great, and make sense. I can see you have an '87 and and '86, which I would assume is identical to my car. I don't really want to shell out the $300 per side for this to get done when I can do the whole job for 1/2 provided I can get it all separated without destroying it or needing a "special tool".

 

there are differences between 88 and 97.

 

In the knuckle spindle and the way it interacts with the axle? The rest from above seems to be pretty much the same.


Edited by subaru1988, 16 March 2013 - 04:19 PM.


#5 tractor pole

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 06:29 PM

The axles are different in that the 88 has a cone washer and washer under a castellated axle nut.
The 97 has a flanged nut that is held in place by peening over the top portion of the axle nut on the flat portion of the axle shaft.

As far as compatibility unless your 88 has at least a 5 lug swap they will not work.

Edited by tractor pole, 16 March 2013 - 06:31 PM.


#6 subaru1988

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:37 PM

The axles are different in that the 88 has a cone washer and washer under a castellated axle nut.
The 97 has a flanged nut that is held in place by peening over the top portion of the axle nut on the flat portion of the axle shaft.

As far as compatibility unless your 88 has at least a 5 lug swap they will not work.

 

I'm not wanting to use the '97 axles on my '88. I know what you're talking about with that cone washer and other washer as I've taken the hub off the car when I swapped out rotors. I did see in the video that he secured the nut by staking it while my axle nut requires a cotter pin.

 

I can see I kinda messed up my first post and it could have been clearer..What I'm trying to garner any info on is any changes in the knuckle spindle from '88 to '97 that would make axle replacement easier for '97 than '88. As I said earlier, the books I have (Haynes, How to Keep Subaru Alive) seem to make taking the axle out of the spindle a monumental task that requires special tools. If I could simply hammer the thing out like ETCG does in his video, I'd be fine with penetrating oil and just knocking it out. I can see how you can save yourself a step by leaving the caliper on and just taking off the hub. I'm just not sure if there is something on pre-97 spindles that DO make it a job that isn't doable.

 

*EDIT*

 

After looking at another post here on the board, I happened across an embedded Miles Fox(?) video and he had a video in his series about r/r of front axles! Looks to me like the same procedure on his '89 as on the '97 I saw in the video. Only thing he did different was remove a tie rod bolt. Great Video!


Edited by subaru1988, 16 March 2013 - 10:25 PM.


#7 TomRhere

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:59 AM

One really should never use an impact to draw any shaft thru a bearing. It can/will damage the bearing, shortening it's life.

 

Always a better idea to draw the shaft in by prying on the nut, even if one has to remove the hub to do so.



#8 86BRATMAN

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:06 AM

I never removed the hubs when I did axles on my old subarus but I can see how that would make the job easier.




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