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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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removing/reinstalling front axle shafts.....


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7 replies to this topic

#1 mwatt

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 10:40 AM

first mistake: 8 months ago, I had a local shop replace all four CV boots on our 98 Legacy Outback wagon because the right inboard boot had split (what else is new, right?). Went to all the trouble of getting genuine Subaru boot kits and grease and band kits but didn't do it myself because I couldn't drive the outboard ends of the axles out of the hubs. So here we are 8 months/ 6000 miles later and we've got the "clunk clunk clunk" from the right axle shaft on low speed left curves during light acceleration. Somehow I knew 8 months ago that this would happen.....damndest thing is I thought I was saving money......
So I've ordered reman Subaru axle shaft assemblies from 1stSubaruparts and I'm determined to install them myself. But here's my question: the guy that did the boots 8 months ago told me "all you have to do is unbolt the control arms at the rear---that will allow room to get the axle shaft to come out". In all the previous posts I've read, no-one else does it that way. Everyone else disconnects the ball joint from the control arm. I've got the factory shop manuals and unbolting the control arms at the rear doesn't appear to be that much of an ordeal (or am I wrong?)----why does everyone else recommend the "disconnect ball joint" method?

#2 ctoth

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:44 AM

I did it in a 95 impreza 2.2 using the ball joint method. It took about 2 hours total including cleanup and beers to do both sides. It just seems easier to do it this way.

A good rule of thumb though, if the boot is ripped, you might as well replace the whole thing. Chances are that something got in such as dirt and/or grease got out. Plus I only paid 60 dollars for each axle at that price you really can't go wrong.
Good Luck
-Chris

#3 swi66

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 03:10 PM

I never heard of doing it by loosening the lower control arm. Popped the ball joint when doing mine, easy enough for me. Got my re-mans from NAPA for around $60 each, with lifetime warranty. I'm sure the Subie ones are way more.

swi66



I did it in a 95 impreza 2.2 using the ball joint method. It took about 2 hours total including cleanup and beers to do both sides. It just seems easier to do it this way.

A good rule of thumb though, if the boot is ripped, you might as well replace the whole thing. Chances are that something got in such as dirt and/or grease got out. Plus I only paid 60 dollars for each axle at that price you really can't go wrong.
Good Luck
-Chris



#4 mwatt

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 04:18 PM

I never heard of doing it by loosening the lower control arm. Popped the ball joint when doing mine, easy enough for me. Got my re-mans from NAPA for around $60 each, with lifetime warranty. I'm sure the Subie ones are way more.

swi66


Well, thank you (and ctoth, above) for your responses. I'm probably going to try the "disconnect ball joint" method on the car this weekend. Just to make sure I understand: after disconnecting the ball joint from the control arm, there will be enough back and forth movement in the strut to allow clearance for getting the splined part of the axle shaft out of the hub assembly, right?

#5 a97obw

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 12:54 AM

Jack the car and remove the wheel. Remove the center cap of the wheel and put the wheel back on the car. Lower with jack to ground. Use 1/2' drive breaker bar and 1 1/8" socket (I believe) and break the axle nut loose. Jack up the car once again and remove the wheel.

Remove the lower pinch bolt that holds the ball joint to the hub. You might want to spray a little penetrating oil there around the ball joint to make things a bit easier.

Inboard side of axle: there is a roll pin you must use a punch and hammer to drive out of the joint end that slides over the splines of the output shaft on the transmission. If it is the right (passenger side) axle, the easiest method is to assemble several 3/8 socket extensions about 2 feet long, find a socket that just fits over the top of the punch, lower this whole assembly down from the top and using the hammer drive out the roll pin. Be careful as you are in very near proximity to the oxygen sensor in the exhaust manifold. (That is why it a SOB! to try and drive the roll pin UP from underneath the car, which is how you should do for the left (drivers side).

Now that the roll pin is either completely out or far enough for the axle to slide off the splines, put your left foot on the lower suspension arm and grab the hub with both hands. Lift the hub while pushing down with your foot. It will seperate. The hub or your shoulder that is. Swing the hub outward, pull the axle off the splines, lower it so it is out of the way, install axle nut and tap on end of axle nut/axle with hammer via the 1 1/8" socket (I believe) to drive the outboard end of the axle out of the hub.

And my favorite part: reverse for assembly! Note that some of the reman axles have the metal seal protectors on them, where others don't. If they are missing from the reman axle, lightly tap them off the old axle and then tap them on the new one before you install it.

BE CAREFUL AND SAFE. HAVE REDUNDENCY IN YOUR JACKING/SUPPORTING METHODS!

#6 Gnuman

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:29 AM

Axel nut is 32mm. Pinch bolt is 12mm (IIRC). You can use the punch (3/16 Drift) from beneath on the right side of the car as well, but it is real tight. I recomend getting a length of pipe and hitting down on the lower conrtol arm to knock the balljoint loose from the hub, but be careful of the ABS sensors. Takes about an hour a shaft, unless you run into siezed components (parts corroded together). Not hard at all, really.

#7 mwatt

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:06 AM

Axel nut is 32mm. Pinch bolt is 12mm (IIRC). You can use the punch (3/16 Drift) from beneath on the right side of the car as well, but it is real tight. I recomend getting a length of pipe and hitting down on the lower conrtol arm to knock the balljoint loose from the hub, but be careful of the ABS sensors. Takes about an hour a shaft, unless you run into siezed components (parts corroded together). Not hard at all, really.


And thank you, a97OBW and Gnuman, for the great info. Back in April, when I began to pull the shafts myself, I had gotten as far as driving out the roll pins but I couldn't remove the outboard end of the shafts from the hubs. I'm lucky to have a heated garage and compressed air, but now a friend has loaned me his air chisel with one of those "hammer-head" lookin' attachments on it. I'm confident that it'll drive the shafts out of the hubs. I'm hoping that since the local shop had them out only 8 months ago, they'll come out fairly easily....

#8 jamal

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:26 AM

In the rear you take off the bolt that holds the lateral links, in the front detach the ball joint from the control arm. It's probably much easier to take the ball joint out of the control arm than it is to take out of the spindle. I've even heard of spindles being cracked from removing the ball joint.




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