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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Axle removal tools...success...thanks to Edrach!!


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28 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_xenongod_*

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Posted 10 November 2002 - 11:25 AM

What size punch and ball joint separator do I need to remove a front axle on a '81 Wagon? I have the rest of the tools....might as well invest in these because it looks like I'm gonna be replacing them every once in a while. Thanks:smokin: Replaced both front axles today in 1.5 hours...and it is all thanks to message board user Edrach...Thank you If you have done it the hard way like I have done it in the past and would like to make it the easiest and quickest way to do it...Read his instructions and you will never do it another way again! :smokin:

#2 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 10 November 2002 - 11:38 AM

Go to Sears; Craftsman # 42885 WF (the letters are not important but the numbers are correct). I don't use a ball joint separator since what you don't take apart, you don't need to put back together. Instead remove the single bolt (pivot bolt) holding the lower control arm. With the wheel and pin removed, you can tug on the wheel hub and just barely remove the DOJ from the stub axle. Sometimes it helps to loosen the nuts at the top of the strut tower to free up the strut a little more. In hard core cases, you need to pry the control arm out of the holder it's in to get the strut far enough out to get the DOJ to drop off the stub axle.

#3 Guest_Skip_*

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Posted 10 November 2002 - 11:42 AM

1918 Subaru wagon???

Ed is right on the money, 36 mm socket and you B gidtago

#4 Guest_baccaruda_*

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Posted 10 November 2002 - 02:32 PM

don't forget to undo the sway bar bracket on the control arm too.

#5 Guest_xenongod_*

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Posted 11 November 2002 - 04:37 PM

K...now...don't you have to disconnect the tie-rod end to get the axle out? I separated the tie-rod end and lower ball joint last time I did the axle...friend just handed me the tools needed and he gave me a 36mm socket...punch for the pin...and the separating forks...I completely disconnected everything around the axle....leaving just the axle there...the hardest part was getting the hub off and on. So...am I just doing way too much work or what to get the axle out? Any more pointers? This must be one of the most popular topics...but it is "must do" on Subarus...hehe.:smokin:

#6 Guest_Skip_*

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Posted 11 November 2002 - 09:24 PM

nope

yep

#7 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 11 November 2002 - 10:27 PM

Yes, Jeff, you are doing way too much work; in addition to possibly murphing the ball joint. Check out the How to keep Your Subaru Alive book for details. Altho they suggest bringing it to a shop with the hub attached to remove the spindle.

If this isn't in the archives, it should be:
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.

Thanks to Andy and Skip, the trick of removing the swaybar clamp is definitely less work than loosening the strut tower nuts and certainly is easier to remove the DOJ from the stub axle this way.

#8 Guest_baccaruda_*

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 12:07 AM

nice job, ed.
i'd add that this is a great time to give your front brakes a once over. I snagged an extra set of front rotors and hubs from the yard, so i can have them turned in advance and have them ready to go on the car as soon as i take the old ones off. this helps those of you with only one car a lot :)

#9 Guest_Skip_*

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 10:30 AM

Excellent write up, Ed.
My expierence has shown
If the car is equipped with an antisway bar it's link and the brake hose clip should be removed
I believe.

Ed could this be why you have to loose the strut bearing plate??
I have never had to do this,
I have always been able to pull the stub out of the transaxle with only the swaybar link disconnected (one 12mm nut/bolt assm)
I also stretch a bungie cord for and aft under the axle so when I pull the hub away from the trans
the axle falls onto this cradle.
NOTE: My expierence here is with EA82 cars only

Archive or USRM this would be an excellent idea.

#10 Guest_xenongod_*

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 01:37 PM

I was thinking about buying that book about keeping a Subaru alive...but haven't got around to it yet...been buying parts instead...hehe. VERY...VERY helpful and informative...Thank you very very much. Going to Sears in the morning to get some more tools...fun fun...and I will definitely try it that way instead. I just had the brakes overhauled...so no worries on stopping power...but...do you think I may have damaged the ball-joint last axle replacement then? The boot is still intact..but a little grease is leaking from the bottom of the boot...hrmmm? Anyhoo...thanks...let me know if you think I might need to replace the ball-joint....because then I would need some guidance on tools needed for that job also...argh! Thanks:smokin:

#11 Guest_Martin90_*

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 07:33 PM

well i just am doing it now and undid the lower control arm and loosened the strut and it came off with a little tugging. now i just cant get the second washer to come off... so what are these special tapping skills...

#12 Guest_UltimateRX_*

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 08:07 AM

And people wonder why I call Ed the axle King, nobody I know can remove an axle faster then Ed, not even me, I've tried. Great write-up Ed, I may have to copy that and add some pictures and put it on my web site.

#13 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 16 November 2002 - 08:05 AM

Next time I do that, I'll try to photgraph what's going on and maybe add that to the write-up. Thanks for the kind words; with 5 of these older cars in the family I have lots of practice.

#14 Guest_PoorManzImpreza_*

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 05:24 PM

Hey guys,
why do you loosen the strut tower nuts? I've found that using a crow bar and releasing the ball seat from the steering knuckle gives you enough clearance to put in and remove an axle, that way the antiroll bar doesn't have any affect and you can literally swing the strut/knucke assembly on the tie-rod joint which gives you plenty of room to work...one bolt, one crow bar...is something screwed up with my car that I can move these parts the way I described so easily?

L-series ea71 DL fwd

Kaz

#15 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 05:40 PM

Andy and Skip--thanks for the tip on releasing the swaybar. Pulled two axles that way today at PAP--definitely easier than loosening the nuts at the top of the strut tower. See you can teach an old dog new tricks.

#16 Guest_baccaruda_*

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Posted 18 November 2002 - 10:12 PM

*gives ed a dog biscuit* :D

It never even occurred to me to loosen the struts.. Funny how people's brains work differently...

#17 Guest_beauregaardhooligan_*

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 08:19 AM

Caveat emptor on re-man axles. Always check the threaded end of the CV stub shaft.
Make sure the threads go all the way to the end.
If it's not fully threaded it can be ech ee double toothpix to get the nut started.
A lot of people booger up the end taking the old one out. The rebuilder just grinds off the flattened threads.
If the stub shaft isn't threaded to the end, tell them it's no good and ask for another.

#18 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 08:21 PM

You know, I've not had much success with re-manned axles (with the exception of www.cvaxles.com/ and I haven't bought enough from them as yet to have a good statistical base. I've had my best success looking at the axles of cars in the yard at the local Pull a Part yards. One can usually tell from the condition of the boots how old the axles are and when I find one that looks good I usually pull it so I have spare axles for emergencies. When I use one of my emergency spares, I usually think about ordering a remanned unit from Florida as soon as the used one starts to make noise. I'm still waiting.

#19 Guest_BigBusa_*

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 12:42 AM

Hey guys,
why do you loosen the strut tower nuts? I've found that using a crow bar and releasing the ball seat from the steering knuckle gives you enough clearance to put in and remove an axle, that way the antiroll bar doesn't have any affect and you can literally swing the strut/knucke assembly on the tie-rod joint which gives you plenty of room to work...one bolt, one crow bar...is something screwed up with my car that I can move these parts the way I described so easily?

L-series ea71 DL fwd

Kaz


this is how I did both axles on my 86 brat. It was quite easy for a first timer.

#20 Guest_Hondasucks_*

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 03:12 AM

YEah I did mine that way too, although on my GL-10 (83) I ended up having to take the entire knuckle and axle assembly down to the dealer and had to have them press the axle into the knuckle, they only charged me 15 bucks though. The old axle was so stubborn I ended up having to drive it out with a sledgehammer (Bunged the threads but still got my 50 bucks back) Sucks too cuz the axle was perfectly good, except both boots were shredded. Axle on the other side is starting to go now, and the axle that I replaced, the outer boot is torn on it and has been since about a month after I got it (Damn Schucks axles..) so I am going to try to take it back...

#21 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 09:27 AM

I've found that removing the ball joint is often more destructive than releasing the sway bar or loosening the upper strut nuts (nut loosening not needed if you release the sway bar). You can save the threads on the axles if you need to drive it out with a sledge hammer (many axles require that) if you put a block of wood between the sledge and the axle. Once you get the axle to move inwards about an inch for more, you can use the drift tool on the axle end (it'll clear the small hole) and drive it out the rest of the way. I've no problem with those of you that remove the ball joint end to free up the strut enough to get the DOJ off the stub axle. Whatever works for you will do the trick.

#22 exister99

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 01:25 PM

Has anybody used a copper faced hammer to avoid bunging the threads? I've used a cheapo one on everything from halfshaft replacement to disty rebuilds, and the copper face alway takes the bulk of the abuse.

Also, how long a breaker bar do you use to break the castle nut loose? I have used an air ratchet in the past but I fear I may be banging the life out of my regular (non pneumatic) 36mm socket.

#23 Nug

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 06:19 PM

I have a Craftsman 36 mm socket that I've thrown the impact to a number of times. There is a risk of splitting it. Also a small risk of it flying to pieces, but i'll take my chances.
I have a brass hammer. As long as you don't bash the threads directly, it won't hurt them. The brass hammer is the greatest invention :) for sucky suspension work, because you can wail away with impunity and not hurt anything.
Watch out for brass shrapnel, it will imbed into cartilage.
Ball joint boots don't survive, either.

#24 the_bard

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 10:08 PM

I ended up knocking my axle out of the housing with a good 3 lbs. hammer and a short piece of 2x4... it came out surprisingly easily, too. Getting it back in wasn't so fun... I ended up using a hefty screwdriver, the castle nut, and a few washer to pry it back in, just like Ed said. That worked for a while, until I was forced to put the hub/rotor rump roast'y back in to get enough leverage (once again, like Ed said... I'm seein' a pattern here ;) ). Broke the screwdriver doin' it, though... :rolleyes:

To get the drive shaft off the stub, I ended up pulling the lower bolt from the sway bar attach point, along with the bolt holding the "upper" end of the lower control arm. That gave the housing enough play for me to remove the shaft.

Here's one for Ed :drunk: :D ... without his tips & hints, I'd have gave up.

#25 SubaruImpreza_Power

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 02:55 AM

Said By Ed...


If this isn't in the archives, it should be:
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.

Thanks to Andy and Skip, the trick of removing the swaybar clamp is definitely less work than loosening the strut tower nuts and certainly is easier to remove the DOJ from the stub axle this way.


Hey Ed, Is this the same way for a 95 Impreza L? When you guys say tapping on the Inner axel Where are you tapping at? on the inner axel it's self? Im confused with the steps.. I got the taking off the wheel and all that.

But what comes first? And whats this so called nut I have to take off? It seems stright forward Im lucky with the 1.8l engine I have getting to the axel wont be much of a problem.




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