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So my rear axle fell apart while I was driving


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15 replies to this topic

#1 l75eya

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 11:48 AM

The outer joint just ...came apart. No bearings left. I'm guessing they just started wearing and then decided not to hold together anymore. Long story short I drove another 150 miles with the outer-joint of the rear axle just rattling and bouncing and skipping around in the axle cup. It was extremely noisy.

Just yesterday I took the axle apart...well...kinda.
I figured because of how the rear suspension is and how the axle failed, I could run my car without it. So what I did was jack it up yesterday and remove the 3 bolts from the rear trailing arm

IMG_2813.jpgPhoto credit 987687

So I removed those bolts and that gave me a little play to pull the wheel towards me. When I pulled the wheel toward me that allowed me to maneuver the axle out of the cup on the back-side of the wheel hub.
IMG_2811.jpgPhoto credit 987687..again. (thanks!)
after I did this the axle literally fell out of the cup sticking out of the diff.

Thanks for reading so far haha because here's my question. Is it safe to drive around with no rear axle? I've got the cup part of the axle still in the wheel and the cup part of the axle still in the diff...but no axle between them.

Should I remove the cup from the diff?
Could driving like this damage my diff?
Just out of curiosity, what would happen if i put the car in 4wd like this?

I took the car for a drive after and all seemed well, except there is a rubbing noise coming from back there now that sounds like a slight tire rub. It's NOT a tire rub, but it sounds like what a tire rub would sound like, and it goes away temporarily when the back suspension loads up; for example if you drive over a little hump in the road at speed, the noise gets louder just after the hump, when the suspension drops and the whole weight of the car has been lifted a bit, but when the car comes down on the suspension after a hump like that and the suspension is all compressed back there, the noise goes away momentarily. On level ground with no body weight shifting, the rubbing sound is constant but not too loud.


What say ye? Thanks for the helps!



#2 mikaleda

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 11:59 AM

IMHO If you want to drive it without the axel you need to do both sides, take the axle out of the other side and leave the cup on the wheel side to hold the drum and bearing together and don't shift into 4wd. I don't know how safe this would be but the cup is really the only thing holding it together since the axle slides freely back and forth normally.

#3 NorthWet

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:27 PM

There should be no problem with driving around without one of the axles.  From what I understand, off-roaders with welded-up rear diffs often pull one axle when they are not playing in the dirt.

 

Edit:  As pointed out in the next post, the spider gears will turn more if just one axle is removed. :endEdit

 

I have pulled both axles and driven for many months that way (summer in the city).  The rear axles are not necessary for the rear hubs to function (unlike on the front).  Putting the tranny into 4WD won't help or hinder:  It will have no real effect if you have an open rear diff.


Edited by NorthWet, 06 April 2013 - 02:38 PM.


#4 mikaleda

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 01:16 PM

There should be no problem with driving around without one of the axles.  From what I understand, off-roaders with welded-up rear diffs often pull one axle when they are not playing in the dirt.
 
I have pulled both axles and driven for many months that way (summer in the city).  The rear axles are not necessary for the rear hubs to function (unlike on the front).  Putting the tranny into 4WD won't help or hinder:  It will have no real effect if you have an open rear diff.

Wouldn't driving around with just one axel make a lot of excess wear in the spider gears (the gears that control which tire is spinning). I know a posi or welded diff wouldn't care.

#5 l75eya

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:12 PM

How would I go about taking out the other axle? That whole cup that mikaleda mentioned is necessary to keep the wheel assembly together (and spinning) correct?

The only reason it is the way it is on the pass. side right now (that's the side that broke) is because it seperated from the cup on it's own.

Is there a way for me to pull the other axle and seperate it in the same manner? And is leaving the cup on the diff a bad idea, because all I have to do is pop the roll pin out and I can take that off.

Still not sure about the rubbing sound though, I took another quick peak at everything and everything looks to be in order, save for the missing axle shaft of course.

Thanks for the ideas.



#6 NorthWet

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:37 PM

Mikaleda has a point about the spider gears... Probably negligible, but why risk it?  Pop it into 4WD and everything will turn pretty much as normal.  Or take the other axle off.  4WD is easier for a temp fix.

 

Your axle cup is not needed in any way for the hub to function or stay together.  It really will do just fine without it.  All of the loads are taken by the stub-axle/spindle in the hub.

 

Speaking of which:  Are the wheel bearings still sound on that wheel?  Grab the axle/cup and give it a wobble around; should be no movement.  This might be causing your squeak.

 

If the axle was loose enough to whack the backing plate of the brake, this might be the cause of your squeak.



#7 l75eya

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 05:43 PM

Good call on the backing plate. I should check that out.

I can run the wheel with no axle stub in it? What do I do, just pop the axle nut off and take out the roll pin and tap the cup out....what keeps the bearings together and what-not?

I'll take a look at it all tomorrow and see what I can do; should be warmer, not to mention I was busy running around all day today.

 

Thanks NW!



#8 zukiru

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:31 PM

You have to leave the stub in. But the cup attaches to the stub with a roll pin.
Just look at it again. You'll see.
Hadn't thought about removing an axle for the sake of having a welded diff. Really good idea!

Edited by zukiru, 06 April 2013 - 08:31 PM.


#9 scoobiedubie

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:31 AM

Why not just get used parts from a junk yard and fix it for about $50? All this time spent figuring out how to modify it to get an inferior car, seems pointless.

#10 NorthWet

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:57 PM

You have to leave the stub in. But the cup attaches to the stub with a roll pin.
Just look at it again. You'll see.
...

+1. The outside joint attaches to the stub/spindle in the hub just like it does at the diff end.  Knock out the roll pin, slide it off of the splines.

 

Scoobiedubie: Sometimes, you just need your car to work, like in order to drive to get parts.  And New Jersey is not the PNW, Subaru parts wise. :)



#11 l75eya

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:26 PM

Nearest junkyard with a 4WD GL last time I checked was 6 hours out in Pennsylvania. Also, don't have $50 to spare right now lol.

I'll take another look at it and see what I can do. Thanks for all the suggestions.



#12 bratman18

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:30 PM

I have a spare set of rear axles, but another member has them. Let me see if he got them off the rear diff. I could hook you up for less than that.



#13 l75eya

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:37 PM

Definitely interested. Also, any luck with shipping off that EGR sol.?

Have to get some moneys together, but count me in!

These forums rule.



#14 bratman18

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:47 PM

Yeah I sent him a text but haven't heard back yet. I know he used on of them, but wasn't sure if he was keeping the other one too. If not, I would think someone on here would be able to send you one. But I will let you know.

 

And no I haven't sent the EGR yet. The smallest box I can find is quite large and wouldn't be worth the cost. But I'll try to get something!



#15 l75eya

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:52 PM

Cool, thanks again. Still no rush. Whenever haha



#16 rdweninger

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:10 PM

hey scoobiedubie.  this forum was designed to help fellow Subaru owners.   Telling someone that removing a rear axle is "pointless" is NOT helpful.   Now... a good example of being helpful is demonstrated above when bratman18 offers him a set of rear axles.

I wonder if you could have done that ? ... Lots of JY near Aloha.  






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