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My cv axle story (long) but very informational to anyone wanting to change one.


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26 replies to this topic

#1 Meeky Moose

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 08:05 PM

alright first off, i've changed so many friggin cv axles in hondas, mitsu's, dodges, and a cavalier or 2, but OMG this CV axle in my wagon was the worst one i have ever changed..:madder:

so i start by jackin up the car, and puttin it on blocks. then i take off the wheel. i think gee this is going good... then i go to pull the brake caliper off and the damn thing wouldn't come off.. the friggin rotors have got to be original like the rest of the car (288k) they got a lip on them so big the brake pads wouldn't slip off.. after beating in it a few min i gave up takin it off.. so i pull the nut off the axle, pull the washer and flange washer out, pull the rotor (with caliper attached) off. tied it to the coil spring so it wouldn't dangle.. so about then i start thinkin this isn't gonna be so bad... i got the hub off the strut fairly easy (broke 2 screw drivers tho) then, i beat the pin outa the axle (the one that holds it onto the transmission). and there wasn't enough clearance to pull it off the trans, i ended up havin to take the sway bar and A arm off just to get it off the trannsmission. so then I go to pull the cv axle out of the wheel bearing and OMG it was all i could do with a 8lb sledge to get it outa the bearing.. the damn thing musta been jb welded in there (sure felt like it anyways).

that was just the first half, took me almost 2 hours. so i get out the new ebay cv axle, laid the old and new side by side, count splines, etc. it was acctually the right one (Amazing huh). so i start thinkin this is gonna go back together fairly easy since i know how it all came apart.. well i started to put the cv axle in the wheel bearing and damn, what do ya know, it wouldn't just slide in nice and smooth. i got it in far enough i could get the washer and nut on it and had to crank on it to get in in the wheel bearing.. so i got it in a littel ways, and left the nut on to hold it in place. i crawwl under the car line up the cv hole and trans hole with a small allen wrench, slide it on real easy.. go to put the pin in (the one that holds in on the trans) well lets just say i never got it in all the way (flush) its still stickin out 1/8" and that was after beatin on it with a pretty hefty hammer.. i figure its in far enough, and it sure as hell aint gonna fall out. so now back to gettin the axle all the way into the wheel bearing.. :banghead:

Smoke break first :brow:

so i wrench on it some more to get in in far enough so i can put the a-arm and sway bar back together. that wasn't too bad, went together easy.. the i go to put the hub assembly back on the strut and whadda ya know, the damn thing won't just slide back on (broke 2 more screwdriver and pinched my finger (made it bleed) so i cuss at it a little, and it decides to agree with me finally... bolt that all back together, no problems there. so i untie the rotor and caliper from the coil spring, stick it on. then the axle had to still come in some more to put the washers on it. so i flip the nut wrench on it a bit, just enough to get the flange washer on, then wrench on it more to get it all the way in.. (using a 1 1/2 ft long crescent wrench) so after wearin myself out doin that i take another smoke break.. then take the nut off, put the other flat washer on and retighten. almost stood on the crescent wrench to get it on as far as it would go to get the cotter pin in... done. so i bolt the hub back to the rotor, put the wheel on and friggin strip a lug nut off (had to have 288k on it). no biggy i still got 3 other tight ones..:eh:

so i go drive the car,:burnout: take nice tight turns, everything seems fixed.. started about 5:30p.m finished in the dark with spotlights on at about 8:30. so all in all it was a pain in my :moon: really. but it had to be done. the old cv axle had a 2 piece boot that slid up and down the shaft, it was so toasted, clicked while drivin straight too...

well this pretty much describes how to do the drivers side CV oxle on a 86 turbo wagon 2wd, in case anyone wanted to know.. i looked like this here :dead: when i was done..

I'm not gonna do the pass side when it needs it, i'd rather hand a shop the new axle and let him worry about it.. well worth the $120 labor imo :brolleye:

#2 archemitis

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 08:13 PM

it shouldnt be that hard... cant you just knock off the ball joint with a pickel fork, move the spindlewith brakes and all out of the way and pull it off?
the first time is always the hardest though...next time it'll be easier. i had a friend that was charged 800 dollars for a new axle and labor at a shop... so i bet it was worth it.:drunk: they can always find a way to charge you way too much

#3 Meeky Moose

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 08:28 PM

na, i took off the ball joint, couldn't get it out of the way far enough to get the axle out, besides i had to beat the crap outa that old axle to get it out, (looks like a mushroom now)

i know on most cars ya can do it that way, and its simple and easy.. not my soob :madder:

#4 NV Zeno

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 10:01 PM

I had the same problem as you with getting the axle separated from the bearing..it seemed to be welded on, it was so tight. I thought the problem would be solved with the new axle. Went on just as hard as the old one came off. I replaced the bearings later on, and it seemed to have cleared up that issue.

Just my 2 bucks

#5 SubaruImpreza_Power

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 11:39 PM

/me shudders... Ok I have a 1995 Impreza L that needs a new Cv joint.. How the heck to you take it out of the transmission? And better yet How do you disconnect it from the rotor?

If it's not too big of a job I can do it myself im 18 btw and also the car has 129K miles on it.

#6 calebz

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:32 AM

its not usually that hard.. one generally doesn't have to take the spindle off of the strut.. but yeah, they can be a real pain to get back through the hub.. there is a special tool for it that made my life a lot easier when I did mine.. did 'em both at once.. hopefully I won't have to do them again for a while

#7 SubaruImpreza_Power

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:42 AM

I thought the knuckle part was the part on the Cv joint were the boot was..

To make sure I get this right..

1. you losen the lug nuts on the wheel

2. take the wheel off then take the rotor off??

3.pull the axel out of the hub then I guess you wack the inner axel a few times and it pops off?

Sounds a bit too easy :eh: it's a bit too late to go outside now 1:40Am but I will inspect it more when it's day out..


And the tool you used.. What was it called?

#8 calebz

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 12:55 AM

There's a bit more to it than that.. disconnecting the tie rod end and such.. use the search function of the board, there are some really good breakdowns of axle R&R somewhere around here.. plus you are doing it on an impreza.. the rules may be a little different.. Don't know.

The tool was an axle puller.. it pulls the axle through the hub.. real subaru part.. borrowed it from Qman back when I was close enough to do that, instead of being down here in this subaru wasteland

#9 gravelRX

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 08:42 AM

When your doing this job, it's a whole lot easier to break the axle nut loose with the car on the ground. Wheel won't spin.

didn't see that tip in the posts.

I've gotten very efficient at doing this job. I run my 86 GL with the height adjustment cranked half for snow tire clearance and the extra stress seems to do the CV's in earlier.

Jay

#10 SubaruImpreza_Power

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 09:36 AM

I have a stupid question...

Im looking on the net and their are core charges for the drive shafts... Buying the product instore wont have a core charge will it? I know you get the money back for that but it does add on to the price...

#11 archemitis

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 09:45 AM

theres usually a core charge, even at junkyards.

#12 SubaruImpreza_Power

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 09:47 AM

*Sigh..* I don't know what for.. I guess anyway was thinking about getting this drive shaft..

http://www.partsamer...ype=945&PTSet=C

#13 SubaruImpreza_Power

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 09:49 AM

or this

http://www.partsamer...ype=945&PTSet=C

#14 NV Zeno

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 03:17 PM

Way to go Tim!!

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

#15 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 03:20 PM

Ive had CV's on the bearings so tight, the bearing actually came out with the CV. That sucks, cause after that happens, you need to replace the bearings. That was only once, every other CV ive done they were simple to get out. And I cant even count how many ive done.

Tim, how much did those new axles run you?

-Brian

#16 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 05:35 PM

Thats not bad at all. Remember to keep us informed. Are these on the lifted hatch? I would like to know if REAL cv's will last longer for off-road use. Im pretty happy with the CV life I have now. One CV in my wagon is actually a used CV i got from EdRach a LONG time ago. The other CV is a new reman. I had 2 new reman's, but one of them didnt make it longer than 1200 miles before it blew... had to replace it with another reman that is starting to click now. Edrach's used CV has held up through 2 reman's.

-Brian

#17 RelicGL

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 09:44 PM

Subie newbie making first post.

I just bought a new to me [in all aspects] '83 GL 4x4 Cosmic Blue wagon, the color the birds just LOVE to ************ on [I assume because they think it's a body of water]. 109 cubic inches according to hood sticker. I'll put the engine# and year in that engine deciphering thread soon.

$100 loonies. Drove it home...the experience of which could best be described as a bag of square marbles rolling around a cement mixer drum coming from the front end. Steers reasonable but the axle shafts and/or wheel bearings and possibly struts complained loudly and frequently with every turn or bump.

....but it made it home, which is a good thing. Engine runs like a Swiss watch and the body is not too bad, far far better than some of the rot buckets that some of these vintage cars have unfortunately been reduced to. Underneath not too bad either. Some rust, sure, but where suspension components mount all looks ok.

Electrics seem to be excellent, everything WORKS, except the cigarette lighter...damn! Soon to be rectified.

No cracked glass, trim missing on passenger door.

Oil leaking from somewhere on to Y-pipe, and I think that's what gave me a headache on the drive home. That, and the fact the clutch cable was so maladjusted that the clutch wouldn't disengage all the way and had a hell of a time getting into gear when stopped at lights. Couple of times I had to shut it off and restart it in first gear to get rolling again. Ya gotta love the looks the yuppies indebted up their eyeballs with their overpriced houses and choking mortgages and crap bling cars give ya when that happens. :lol: eff 'em all anyway! :Flame:

Anyhow, I would just like to praise the powers that be that made this site possible because the few days of surfing here have saved a whole lot of grief in dechiphering the mechanical mysteries of this car. As this is my first Subaru, ever, the wealth of knowledge and experience here makes me so happy I bought this car. I didn't think it could be possible to get this excited over a $100 buck car!!!

Over the years the popularity of these cars here in the Pacific Northwest, north of 49, intrigued me enough to check this one out when I saw it offered for sale. Previous owner seemed clueless about anything mechanical, the clutch cable as a prime example. Adjusting the cable first and then the hill holder cable has made it perfect again with one benefit being all the slop in the manual transmission [4-speed] went away and the shifter now finds every gear PERFECTLY! Wheww! All the synchros seem excellent now that it's adjusted properly.

The fabled Edrach Axle Tutorial is also a Godsend and has helped huge in approaching the front end work, currently underway, sort of. I do thinks slowly but methodically and have to wait for middle of the new month to spend any sheckels on it.

Anyway...so far so good and I haven't run into any rounded nuts or bolts yet. So far it's a joy to work on when forearmed with the right info from this great site.

Thank you all!!!

#18 Gloyale

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 01:51 AM

na, i took off the ball joint, couldn't get it out of the way far enough to get the axle out, besides i had to beat the crap outa that old axle to get it out, (looks like a mushroom now)

i know on most cars ya can do it that way, and its simple and easy.. not my soob :madder:


Only part I've ever had to undo to replace an axle(besides the axle nut and roll pin) is the Ball joint pinch bolt. Then wedge it a bit and step hard on the control arm and it drops out. no need to Pickle fork you're balljoint boot to death, or disassemble the front end. Trick is to turn the steering wheel so the tie rod on the side you're working on is extended. reason to remove the rotor/brakes? well the rubber line will only flex so far. You need to be able to really swing the knuckle outwards. Once the rotor/hub and the seal behind them is removed, 2 pieces of angle iron or even stout flat iron across the opening provide an excellent base to pull the axle through with washers and the nut.

For Impreza I would undo the 2 top strut bolts instead, way easier. Also impreza it's easy to pull the axle in and out of the hub. One of my favorite changes in design.

#19 RelicGL

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:08 AM

For removing the pin that holds the cv axle to the transmission stub I didn't have a suitable pin punch. However, a search through the toolbox found a Robertson screw driver that appeared tailor made for the job at hand. This one had a shaft that just perfectly matched the diameter of the hole the pin sits in, with very little play once it starts in. The machined lip that was turned down to the smaller Robertson head was nice and flat providing a good driving force without distorting the pin. Plenty of penetrating fluid the day before probably helped a lot too. I removed the starter on the driver's side for easy access. I then used a long half inch ratchet extension that had a nice flat surface machined at the socket end. With care, and the shock absorbing help of the rubbery hand on the screwdriver, I could hold and brace the arrangement with one hand and nice solid coordinated blows with my big rubber mallet removed them very effectively without damaging them.

I also got lucky loosening the two axle nuts for a preliminary check to see if I have to run out and find a 36mm socket which I don't have.....but will.....eventually....like when reassembling the new/replacement components. I used my biggest crescent wrench, carefully, with as tight a jaw bite as possible and voila...they came loose with only an estimated 30-40 ft/lbs of torque. The cotter pin probably should have been one castle parapet tighter to line up with the hole. So what was mentioned in above posts about the wheel bearings lossening off after rolling awhile is most definately gonna happen.

I found a receipt in the car from two months ago which kind of explains some things about the clutch. Apparently the clutch cable broke in traffic. The bill indicated towing, replacement of clutch cable, labor, taxes to tune of about $230. Canadian Tire....:eek: more affectionately known here Crappy Tire, a chain hardware, housewares, sporting goods etc...car parts and shop place coast to coast. The mechanic that worked on it got the pedal end ok but never adjusted it properly up top where the adjusting nut is. I had to turn the adjusting nut a good half inch tighter for a nice pedal feel and preplay and correct pressure plate travel.
The plus side now is it's a new clutch cable with reasonably proper adjustment. I haven't tested the hill holder yet but that cable was not far off its adjustment. A bit of refining and testing will surely be in order.

Oh....the srewdriver I mentioned above? It was a cheap but good one available as sets on sale frequently for up to 70% off, check their flyers for sales. It always comes up. The Robertson set all have the same shaft diameter so the smaller head gets the extra machining to form that nice shoulder that drives the pin. They have a blue rubbery material for a handle.
I got 'em where you say?

......Canadian Tire! :lol: :lol: :lol: :eek:


Question: If the stub pins are in good enough condition can they be reused with replacement cv axles again or do the new axles come with new pins?

#20 RelicGL

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:32 AM

Only part I've ever had to undo to replace an axle(besides the axle nut and roll pin) is the Ball joint pinch bolt. Then wedge it a bit and step hard on the control arm and it drops out. no need to Pickle fork you're balljoint boot to death, or disassemble the front end. Trick is to turn the steering wheel so the tie rod on the side you're working on is extended. reason to remove the rotor/brakes? well the rubber line will only flex so far. You need to be able to really swing the knuckle outwards. Once the rotor/hub and the seal behind them is removed, 2 pieces of angle iron or even stout flat iron across the opening provide an excellent base to pull the axle through with washers and the nut.

For Impreza I would undo the 2 top strut bolts instead, way easier. Also impreza it's easy to pull the axle in and out of the hub. One of my favorite changes in design.



ooh ooh wonderful! Great tips to utilize. I'm starting to really visualize the rest of the procedure. The next item I have to prepare for is something that fits into the spindle center that won't wreck the threads upon banging it out. Somehow I don't think a Crappy Tire screwdriver will do that job. :lol:

#21 Scott F

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 10:11 AM

New axles come with new pins. I recommend GCK new axles, not reman.

Castle parapets? :lol:

#22 robm

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 12:33 PM

GCK axles might be hard to acquire in Canada. I have found that rebuilt axles sold by NAPA here in Canada have new outer CV joints, that don't have to be hammered into the hubs. The Crappy Tire ones are rebuilt using original parts (just add grease, and a new boot) and they are more work to install. Mind you, this is for EA82 axles, the EA81's might be a different story. The NAPA's cost more than CT's, but the extra $25 is worth it for the ease of installation.

I have also found that it is not necessary to take off the hubs. It is easier to just undo the sway bar and inner bolt on the A-arm. That can be a pain too, but compared to breaking the pinch bolt, and trying to pound off the rusted-on strut, it is a joy by comparison. Again, this is for an EA-82, the EA-81 might be bit different.

The Robertson screwdriver is a good tip. Phillips don't work, as the point tends to wedge itself into the hole in the pin.

Good luck.

#23 edrach

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 05:04 PM

Meeky Mouse: Sorry you had such a hard time with it. Some axles are that hard, but you took way too many things apart. I'm a firm believer in what I don't take apart, I don't have to put back together. Anyway, I finally found my write-up in the USRM for axle repairs. Next time I do one, I think I'll take photos and re-post it. Anyway read the thread for the next time you think about doing an axle. Generally, I've been able to do them in under an hour without special tools (other than the Craftsman 42885 WF drift, 36mm socket and a sledge hammer). Sometimes things are so rusted together it could take longer. Here's the thread:
http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=49959

#24 robm

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 07:02 PM

Ed's write-up is truly the best, easiest method. It belongs in the USRM. I have used it 2 - 3 times, and only once had a problem with the pivot bolt. If the pivot bolt is bad, I can't imagine trying to remove the pinch bolt and strut.

Enough salt is used on the roads in BC to make this a less than easy task.

Rob.

#25 edrach

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 01:33 AM

Just a comment, axle replacement is essentially the same for EA81 and EA82 vehicles (at least up to '89). I suspect it's the same for the '90 and later EA82's, it's just that I haven't done one of that vintage.

One change I need to make to my original write-up. After replacing the pivot bolt, do not tighten it until the repair is complete and the car is back on the ground. Tighten the pivot bolt then with the suspension under load. I got that info from the Subaru Guru and it makes sense to take some pressure off the rubber bushing.




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