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Guest Message by DevFuse

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1987 GL CV/DOJ Boot Replacement

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2 replies to this topic

#1 BirdMobile


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Posted 18 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

OK then...

My '87 GL sat in the yard for 8 years before my recent (approx. 3 months ago) engine rebuild and general purpose resurrection. During this time, the CV and DOJ rubber boots all developed cracks due to age and heat. The CV and DOJ joints themselves are all in magnificent condition, as I replaced both front half-axles with new factory parts just before the extended "storage" of the car. I had a different mechanic replace them, I was too busy with work at the time to do it myself.

I began the job last night, plan to finish it today. Bunch of dumb new-b questions, as I've never done a subaru half-axle myself before

The lowest sheet metal piece with the ball joint (I think this is the "control arm") is what I loosened on both sides of the car. I did NOT undo the ball joint, just the 2 bolts at a "slant" that hold the arm to the support rod, and the "upper" cross bolt at the opposite end from the ball joint. This gave me enough play in the system to remove the half axle from the transmission, then hammer out the splined wheel end of it with a sledge hammer (with wood block in between). I set the Emergency brake to keep the brake rotors in place during all of this.

I've disassembled the axles, re-greased with CV grease, and re-assembled with the new boots. I then cleaned and ran a bead of Ultra Gray around the boot edges to insure I never lose any grease if the bands fail. I used only DOJ boots (OEM from Subaru) on all 4 joints - the extra length on the CV end will most likely help with boot life due to more rubber length to handle the flexing.

My questions:

Once I re-assemble, how tight do I re-torque the 3 control arm bolts, and the wheel hub castle nut? The manual says 145ftlb plus 1/3 turn on the hub castle bolt, is this right? That seems like a whole lot... can it take it? Also, on the control arm bolts, do I need thread locker or something other than just tightening them? If just tightening, what is the ft-lb spec for the 2 diagonal bolts and upper "cross" bolt and nut?

Finally, what should I do with the wheel bearings in terms of lube while thiey are open?

Thanks for any input!

#2 BirdMobile


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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:36 PM

Finished. Really, really, REALLY glad that's over!
Half axles suck.

#3 BirdMobile


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Posted 19 July 2014 - 12:05 PM

Still recovering from that nonsense... but here goes. This is what I did.

VERY painful axle re-installation:

I decided to swap the axles left-right, in order to give the bearings a relatively new surface to ride on in their "channels". The drivers side axle went into the hub so smooth and easy it was like butter... took less than 1 min. of wiggling and it slid right through.

The passenger side fought me like an enraged demon... NOTHING I could do for over an hour would make even the slightest progress. I noticed the brake rotor seemed a little loose during all of this, and realized my dumb @$$ had not set the E-Brake very strongly. Finally gave up, undid and hung the brake calipers from the strut spring (with zip ties), and tried to get the shaft through the wheel bearings with the brake rotor out of the picture.

Bloody impossible. I finally ended up using the castle nut and a bunch of redneck-rigged nut and washer stacks as an improvised puller... finally got the shaft through then re-installed the brake rotor and calipers. Good times! :(

The 3 control arm bolts gave me JUST BARELY enough play in the system to get the DOJ splined sockets over the transaxle shafts... but made it EXTREMELY difficult to get them back off. So what does genius do? Get the rollpin holes mis-aligned by one tooth on BOTH half axles, insuring a prolonged, painful bit of rework on them both.

The final bit of fun was losing one of the control arm "slant" nuts inside of the control arm sheet metal cavities, where it naturally had to wedge in and defy all attempts to retrieve. Half a cursing, yelling, banging hour later an exhausted moron finally pulled it out, with the help of an amused friend who stopped by in the middle of the whole screaming fiasco.

Tightened the control arm "cross" bolts very tight, then tightened the slanted support arm bolts as tight as I possibly could by hand without using a cheater bar. Put on tires snd dropped the car. Tightened the castle nuts to 145 ft-lb, then a little extra on both to line up the retainer wire holes.

Holy he11... that is the most painful bit of mechanic-ing I've EVER done... so glad it's over! I'd rather pull the engine again than go through another half-shaft repair. Seriously.

Test drive went fine, though I anticipate a full recovery for the driver will take many days.

Whatever they pay mechanics who do this crap all the time, it's just not enough!

Edited by BirdMobile, 19 July 2014 - 12:24 PM.

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