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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Help getting wheel nut donut off

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11 replies to this topic

#1 subaru420


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Posted 11 July 2004 - 09:25 PM

That tappered donut thingy under the castle nut.... Is there a good way to get it off???? Or do I have to sacrifice another flat head screw driver to pound around the edges of it untill it finally for no reason other than persistance it comes free???

Theres got to be a better way!

#2 84Scoobaroo


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Posted 11 July 2004 - 11:00 PM

screw the axle nut onto the stub axle, until it sits flush with the stub and then one good whack with a hammer will loosen the concave washer (donut thing). By putting the axle nut on to the stub, it prevents the threads from being messed up, stripped, etc.

Heres a copy/paste of Edrach's axle removal/install directions.

Remove the cotter pin in the axle nut while the car is still on the ground and "break" the nut loose with the 36mm socket and a long breaker bar. Remove the wheel after jacking the car up (wheel chocks and jackstands are VERY important here). Knock out the pin on the DOJ with a drift-tool from the UNBEVELED hole and remove the pivot bolt from the lower arm. I don't remove the sway bar mount (never had to). Pull the DOJ away from the transmission; it should move freely now but won't quite come off. Tug on the wheel hub and pull on the DOJ and often it will pop off the stub axle. If not, loosen the nuts at the top of the strut tower a bit (don't take them off!) and/or pry the lower pivot arm away from its support with a crowbar or large screwdriver. This should allow you to get the DOJ off the stub axle. Now remove the castle nut, and both washers (tapping the hub smartly with a small hammer will help get the spring washer out). Now the trick is to get the spindle out of the hub. Either get a large gear puller (6 or 7 inch version) or a sledge hammer and a block of wood. You can push the spindle out with the gear puller or smack the spindle with the sledge (MAKE SURE THE BLOCK OF WOOD IS THERE to prevent damaging the threads--hard to get your core charge back if the threads are bunged). You might need to use your drift and a smaller sledge and pound the spindle out the last inch or so via the small hole in the end. Now carefully remove the axle from the car.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Feed the spindle into the hub first; once you get the nut started on the spindle you can use two screwdrivers to pry the spindle out of the hub. I have a number of large washers that I use for spacers to help that along. In really difficult cases I remove the four bolts holding the outer portion of the hub and put the hub aside to give me more purchase on the end of the spindle. Once you have the spindle through the hub reinstall the washers and castle nut and tighten (not completely yet). Now re-install the DOJ (line up the splines first and note that the splines only line up one way--one hole has a tooth in the center and the other has a groove in the center). Tugging on the hub you should be able to slide the DOJ back onto the stub axle again. Line up the holes and knock the spring pin back into the BEVELLED hole. Put the pivot bolt back into the lower arm and tighten. Tighten the nuts at the top of the strut, replace the wheel and drop the car back on the ground and tighten the castle nut to 145 ft-lbs of torque (or more--more is better and won't hurt anything). Torque the wheel lugs to 75 ft-lbs replace the cotter pin in the castle nut and you're done. Retorque the lugnuts after 300 miles again and check the castle nut for tightness (yes they can loosen up--I'll explain the mystery of that some other time if you ask nicely). Start to finish takes less than 45 minutes unless you run into a snag.

#3 [HTi]Johnson


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Posted 11 July 2004 - 11:45 PM

HIt the damn axle straight on with a hammer, just a normal hammer. THen it will pop off, after a couple hits.

#4 [HTi]Johnson


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Posted 11 July 2004 - 11:46 PM

Oh and, I think i used two hammers, one on the axle then another one hitting it to transfer the force.

#5 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 11 July 2004 - 11:52 PM

I use a copper or brass hammer, and smack the axle - this slightly pushes the axle out of the knuckle, but it will suck back in once you torque the axle nut.

I highly reccomend a soft faced hammer for this type of work if you do it often (I can't even count the number of axles I've done...), and they are only about $10-$12 at Harbor Freight..


#6 [HTi]Johnson


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Posted 12 July 2004 - 01:43 AM

Fine then, use a spiffy hammer when you plan on saving the axle. But why when you are going to replace it? :grin:

#7 rallyruss


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Posted 12 July 2004 - 02:39 AM

Fine then, use a spiffy hammer when you plan on saving the axle. But why when you are going to replace it?

I have done both ways and I have to say the proper way is the brass hammer way. mostly for safety. hamers of similar materials suposedly can shatter when whaked together. never have seen it happen but thats what the old school mechs say.

If you are going to reboot the axle then you want to be carefull and save the threads.

#8 MilesFox


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Posted 12 July 2004 - 10:43 AM

if you have a pickle faork(ball jooint separator) pop the ball joint, makes it easier. use a long bar to push the lower control arm down to pop the ball joint out. WHACK

#9 mr.radon


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Posted 12 July 2004 - 12:31 PM

A long time ago I smashed the end of the axle and had to re-thread the darn thing. I find the best way to get it off is this:
Get a medium screwdriver, grint it down a little to make the point a bit finer. Find the split, insert the screw driver, gently tap with a mallet. The washer will expand ever so slightly and pop right off. No big hammer needed, no chance to miss and damage anything.

#10 mcbrat


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Posted 12 July 2004 - 12:55 PM

and be careful with the wood. :) I had to pull lots of splinters out of my bearings once....

I use a VW axle bung tool (KD 52), that threads onto the axle, and sits squarely on the end of the axle, so when you smack it, the force is directly applied to the axle stub, and not the threads.... cause if you are off just a bit, you can damage the threads.....

#11 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 12 July 2004 - 07:34 PM

I have never had the brass hammer fail, or damage a thread. I have had blocks of wood shatter, and I've damaged threads, and destroyed axle nuts with regular hammer's. The 2 acceptable ways are the brass hammer, and the VW tool that Mick described. I would still use a brass hammer on the VW tool so as not to damge the tool, and that fact seems to make the tool irrelevant it would seem - at least in my case. Not to mention it's another extra tool I don't need, and the brass hammer I can use for other stuff. The VW axle nut removal tool however is a MUST - it's for the rear nut on pre-'68 bugs and busses. Works wonders for removing axle nuts.

As to why I would want to save the axle.... well the inner joint is rebuildable and I frequently do rebuild them, or reboot them (did one yesterday in fact). And the other reason is that maybe he simply wanted to replace the disc, or have it turned.... removal of the axle wasn't the question - it was how to loosen the hub and disc.....


#12 lagwagon


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Posted 13 July 2004 - 12:11 AM

If it's the thingy I'm thinking of it has a slot on one side. That's the cone shaped centering nut just after the washer that say's out on one side that is before the castle nut and coter pin. If you take a flat head screw driver and lightly tap it into the slot it expands that nut and, it will pop out like a spring. I know it sounds weird to hammwer something in to make it come out but it works easily not much force at all. Good luck

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