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Axles and air suspension?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 DerFahrer

DerFahrer

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 10:29 AM

My new XT needs axles pretty bad up front. I can get axles from www.cvaxles.com for about $120, so I'm not worried about that. I've done axles several times on my Legacy, and the XT seems to have the same suspension setup...

Except for the fact that my XT has air suspension. I would normally unbolt the balljoint bolt, pry the knuckle off the balljoint, and swing the strut/knuckle assembly away from the car to allow the axle to come freely out of the hub. Now this requires the strut to move around in the strut mount. No problem with the Legacy, but will the XT allow me to do the same thing?

TIA...

#2 electryc_monk

electryc_monk

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 01:34 PM

fun with Air Ride....

I'd suggest JAcking the front end up (once you loosen the front lugs of course) and the unplug the fuse for the height control.

then you can loosen the 12mm cap on the top of the struts and slowly let the air out **Don't fully remove the cap just yet!!!****

when the air is no longer seeping out of the cap then you can safely remove it and not chance a O-RING flying away. they usually stay on the airline BUT.... I have had a couple try to fly away over the years.

this will allow you the opportunity to then unbolt the two lower strut bolts and swing the spindle etc. outta the way as your planning on doing.

#3 DerFahrer

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 01:24 PM

Okay, I tried to do it ignoring your advice. I tried to leave the air suspension alone completely. I just jacked up the car, pulled the balljoint bolt, and tried to pull the balljoint out of the knuckle.

The control arm wouldn't go any lower, therefore the balljoint would not come out of the knuckle...

Two questions:

1) If I were to remove the cap as you suggest (which is the one you can see in the top mount when you take the mount cover off, itt has the solenoid wire running through it right?:o ) this would let all the air out of that strut, then theoretically it should not push as far down as possible, leaving me room to pull the control arm farther down, and the balljoint out of the knuckle???

2) I bought a Haynes for the Subaru 1600-1800's which covers pretty much all 4cyl models between 80-94. It said that the axle was pressed into the knuckle in between a set of bearings, meaning the only thing I could do would be to remove the knuckle and axle together and then I would have to take them to a shop to have them separated... Is this true??? I did bop the end of the axle and it did start coming out of the hub, but since I didn't get the balljoint undone, I couldn't hit it all the way out. I didn't damage the bearings, did I? If I hafta take the axle/knuckle somewhere else, forget it. I'll let the dealer do this :madder:

Thanx in advance... and remember, I'm an older-generation n00b... :boohoo:

#4 Snowman

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 02:05 PM

Good thing I never actually read my Haynes manual. Maybe the axle is pressed in when it's new, but you don't have to take it to a shop to change the axle. Just continue tapping on the axle stub as you did. Only hit it as hard as is required to get it through, and hit it straight on, and you won't damage the bearings. Also be careful of the bearing seals when doing this. When installing the new axle, carefully work the stub through the bearings (pay attention to the spacer between the inner and outer bearings, as the axle can hang up on this if it's not lined up just right) until you can start pulling it through by cranking down on the big nut. When using the "cranking-on-nut" method, you can start out with just putting the big washer up against the inner race of the bearing, but be VERY careful not to to too far, as it will press-fit the washer onto the axle stub, which sucks big time. If the axle stub won't quite get far enough out to use this method yet, you can pry against the bearing housing with two screwdrivers jammed into opposing holes on the end of the stub. Again, be careful of the seal when doing this. Hope this helps.

#5 DerFahrer

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 02:15 PM

Thanks, Snowman. Damn Haynes manuals!!!! I figured that since I was able to get it to move quite a bit that this pressed-in business was a pile o' BS.

I did this on my Legacy without any hiccups, but the Legacy doesn't have air suspension :rolleyes:

Well, it started raining, that's what stopped me today, so now I just hafta figure out how to get the suspension to allow me enough room to get the axle out completely :temper:

#6 DerFahrer

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Posted 07 September 2003 - 05:46 PM

Okay, I let the air out of the shocks, got the balljoint loose, bonked the axle out of the hub, and got the other end off the tranny shaft.

Now I can't get the new axle into the hub!:banghead: That spacer you mentioned, Snowman, seems to be a smaller diameter than the bearing journal on the axle stub. Meaning, that hitting it out isn't that big of a deal, but putting it back in definitely is...

I mentioned that the Haynes manual said the axles have to be pressed out of the hub. Well, I've already proved that to be untrue. But is is true that some special thigamajic is necessary to put an axle into the hub?

#7 DerFahrer

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Posted 07 September 2003 - 08:15 PM

Okay, I got it in. I put the axle on the tranny, and then I finally realized that I would have to hammer the hub against the axle to force it into the hub, the same way that I got it out.

So I got one axle done today, looks like I'll hafta do the other one some other time. At least I know how it works this time, but isn't that what always happens??:brolleye:

I will give you 80's Subaru people credit. They're fine automobiles, but quite difficult to work on. You all that can tear em apart in no time flat must really know your stuff!!




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