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Front axle disaster: post-mortem comments.


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5 replies to this topic

#1 jdub

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 11:48 AM

Hey all:

Well, armed with instructions I went ahead and tackled the front driverside axle R&R on my 4WD GL Wagon.

Total disaster. 36mm comes off not problem, lift car, all set to go. Pin came out of DOJ no problem, undid pivot for lower control and sway bar link from control arm as well just to play it safe. Slipped axle off stub at the trans easy as you please. Hung the axle via bungee, floating free.

Then I turned to the axle end at the outboard side. Tried small hammer with wood. Tried sledge with wood. Tried gear puller. Tried sledge directly on end.

No, no, and no again. The axle will not move, period. It is now scrap.

So, for all thinking of doing this procedure, do youself a favor and take a good hard look at that axle in the rotor/hub side. For example, if the rotor and hub look heavily rusted, consider finding out early if the axle is not going to come out by trying to slip the rotor off the car by undoing the caliper and hanging it off to the side. Chances are that, if the rotor/hub is not slipping off by hand or by careful tapping via rubber mallet. you probably are going to need to use an OxyAcet setup to heat cycle the hub with plenty of PB Blaster or similar.

Mine is not going anywhere. I buttoned everything back up and now the car is at an independent Subaru shop and I am really, really disappointed I am going to have to shell out big bucks to have someone else do it.

Jw

#2 edrach

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 11:56 AM

Sometimes they come out hard. I've ALWAYS used a ten pound sledge hammer and block of wood to persuade the axle out. Worked every time; sometimes hard and other times, easier. Sorry you had so much trouble. The really hard part is pulling the new axle through.

#3 NV Zeno

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:16 PM

I had that exact problem, but on the passenger side. I'm not going to get into how we dealt with all the cheap-rump roast axles I had to replace on that side, just suffice it to say that I ended up replacing the bearings on that side. They weren't grinding or anything like that, I was just sick of working so hard to R&R the axle over there. The new bearings made the present axle go on as easily as it should. I figured the bearings' ID was just a hair smaller than it should have been, causing the tightness problem.

#4 frag

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:17 PM

Sorry to come too late but I had a similar problem with my 92 Loyale and I used a small pneumatic hammer (20$ or less) when you already have the compressor) with a hard wood block.
These hammer deliver a series of very rapid and sharp blows that in my experience can disloge about anything with minimal damage. BFHs deliver heavy blows that cause damage. Sharp is better than heavy.
Some think that hitting the axle with anything damages the bearings though. I'm afraid they are probably right. The Loyale was stolen soon after so I could'nt verify that.

#5 TROGDOR!

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:18 PM

Make sure that conical washer comes out! Sometimes they don't like to drop; a little tapping around the side with a screwdriver helps loosen them up. Also some pounding on the flat surface of the hub will shake it looks.

If the conical washer is still in place, the axle WILL NOT POUND OUT. PERIOD.

I was just as frustrated as you the first time I found that out.

#6 jdub

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:23 PM

I do anticipate the Independent calling and telling me the bearing will have to be replaced. I am just sick about this, esp. since I diagnosed a bad miss on #1 and successfully R&R'd a valve spring in a '90 Golf that was given to me and sold that for a nice tidy profit. I was on a roll friends and neighbors!

It kills me to go to a shop to have something done, but it is even worse when they have to remedy what appears to be a total screwup on the owner's part. They have me over a barrel and I am dreading The Call this AM!

Reminds me of the time, 20 years ago, when I tried to pull the harmonic balancer off a TR4 and unknown to me the woodruf key had gone sidewasy in the crankshaft slot. Days later, torched, we split the balancer from top to bottom and peeled it from the 'shaft.

Live and learn. I shot some great pool later in the day. Life's little mysteries keep us on our toes....

Jw

TROGDOR: Oh yes, that little item came right out. I have a pin tool set I am very proud of and the use of the proper pin tool at the edge of the split cone washer drops it like butta!




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