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CV axles doesn't fit differential stub easily. Diff. stub slides out. am I doomed?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 yarikoptic

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 06:58 PM

I got a torn inner boot on 2001 Outback LL Bean. Since I drove for a bit (2 weeks) in rain/snow conditions, I've decided to replace whole CV axle. First I got an aftermarket rebuilt one... whenever I got to install it I mentioned that outer joint is way too stiff and felt like there is no grease in it. Ok - I rushed to another store (Advanced Auto Parts) and got a China-made new CV which felt and looked much better (even had both sides baffle plates which rebuilt didn't have) but when we tried to sit it onto the differential stub - it didn't want to get on easily -- with each try though it kept getting a bit further (we kept pulling/prying it off and pushing it back onto differential stub). At the point when CV hub covered the pin hole on the stub and I tried to pry it out once again, differential stub went out like 10mm out. I got freaked out. So the first question:
Is that normal for differential stub to go out that much?
I pushed the stub back in and here is the picture (phone camera so pardon crappy quality:) - so there seems to be under 1 cm to go deeper to match the pin holes
Posted Image

Since I got freaked out, I decided not to force it out any more, and I didn't have really a clue how to force it in and how safe is that. So 2nd question: can't I apply some pressure on the differential stub to get axle seated? how much would be safe for the differential? (I don't have a plot of differential construction to assess)
I collected everything back with this axle not sited and drove in the parking deck a bit -- looked underneath but it seemed to stay in the same place and I could not push it further from underneath. Then I drove home on highway with speeds up to 80mph... there was some vibration but it was there before -- tires, which I have, go out of balance quickly also there is some vibration on acceleration (which is my next project to troubleshoot) - so I could not feel/hear something really abnormal for the car.

We had 1991 legacy where we managed to lock the pin before axle even sited far enough to don't allow to do that and subi drove fine (just with some noise) for a while, so I decided to drive mine a bit with a hope that axle hub would sit further onto differential stub due to friction etc... probably I am wrong -- I will be able to look under it tomorrow. 3rd question: any suggestions on how to force that hub onto differential stub? Anyone had experience with a given replacement axle?

Since due to freaking, sliding out, differential stub I am not sure if I can remove this axle now safely. If it is ok, then I could probably remove it, heat it up a bit (:Flame:) and try to sit back - hopefully heating it up would give me those micrometers... ??

Thanks anyone in advance for ideas

#2 tcspeer

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 07:08 PM

I think it is normal for that to side in and out, at least I have noticed that mine will move in and out sometimes with the axle on. What I mean is one time when I was looking under the hood I got a hold of the axle and it moved in and out, I also was concerened but that was many years and miles ago so maybe it O.K.

I got a torn inner boot on 2001 Outback LL Bean. Since I drove for a bit (2 weeks) in rain/snow conditions, I've decided to replace whole CV axle. First I got an aftermarket rebuilt one... whenever I got to install it I mentioned that outer joint is way too stiff and felt like there is no grease in it. Ok - I rushed to another store (Advanced Auto Parts) and got a China-made new CV which felt and looked much better (even had both sides baffle plates which rebuilt didn't have) but when we tried to sit it onto the differential stub - it didn't want to get on easily -- with each try though it kept getting a bit further (we kept pulling/prying it off and pushing it back onto differential stub). At the point when CV hub covered the pin hole on the stub and I tried to pry it out once again, differential stub went out like 10mm out. I got freaked out. So the first question:
Is that normal for differential stub to go out that much?
I pushed the stub back in and here is the picture (phone camera so pardon crappy quality:) - so there seems to be under 1 cm to go deeper to match the pin holes
Posted Image

Since I got freaked out, I decided not to force it out any more, and I didn't have really a clue how to force it in and how safe is that. So 2nd question: can't I apply some pressure on the differential stub to get axle seated? how much would be safe for the differential? (I don't have a plot of differential construction to assess)
I collected everything back with this axle not sited and drove in the parking deck a bit -- looked underneath but it seemed to stay in the same place and I could not push it further from underneath. Then I drove home on highway with speeds up to 80mph... there was some vibration but it was there before -- tires, which I have, go out of balance quickly also there is some vibration on acceleration (which is my next project to troubleshoot) - so I could not feel/hear something really abnormal for the car.

We had 1991 legacy where we managed to lock the pin before axle even sited far enough to don't allow to do that and subi drove fine (just with some noise) for a while, so I decided to drive mine a bit with a hope that axle hub would sit further onto differential stub due to friction etc... probably I am wrong -- I will be able to look under it tomorrow. 3rd question: any suggestions on how to force that hub onto differential stub? Anyone had experience with a given replacement axle?

Since due to freaking, sliding out, differential stub I am not sure if I can remove this axle now safely. If it is ok, then I could probably remove it, heat it up a bit (:Flame:) and try to sit back - hopefully heating it up would give me those micrometers... ??

Thanks anyone in advance for ideas



#3 yarikoptic

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 07:21 PM

I think it is normal for that to side in and out, at least I have noticed that mine will move in and out sometimes with the axle on. What I mean is one time when I was looking under the hood I got a hold of the axle and it moved in and out, I also was concerened but that was many years and miles ago so maybe it O.K.

Well, there is seems to be some normal freeplay (2-3 mm I guess)... did your also slide out about 1/2 inch (slightly more than 1cm?)

#4 yarikoptic

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 01:08 AM

Ok, got more details finally :banana: although not that happy about them :-\

So, what has happened after we pulled axle shafts (correct name for differential stub) is that we "abused" the circlip which is a plastic o-ring like thing which is used to keep axle shafts in their 'optimal' position. according to AT-60 axle shaft can be pulled out immediately after I take off differential side retainer. But that circlip has to be installed to axle shaft and axle shaft has to be installed before oil seal and outer race (tapper roller bearing), and only then differential side retainer.

ok, my summary would be, we did some harm by pulling it out but not as much as if I pulled it out more. Probably we pulled it out all the way to the seal and hopefully it didn't jump off the axle shaft.
Forcing it through the seal one way or another might break it I guess and seal would start leaking. Also, probably, it would not get through the side retainer at all without taking it off..

As for the pressure on axle shaft toward inside -- I guess it then immediately 'meats' pinion shaft (due to sub-mm clearance according to the specs). Too much pressure (how much though) would bend penion shaft I guess... and that would be really a mess...

So, as the 'repair' for the abused circlip (for such paranoid as me), I guess following should be done:
Parts: circlip, oil seal, O-ring.
Procedure (as the book writes pretty much):
  • drain oil
  • mark position of differential side retainer, take it off (special tool is needed or I guess some ad-hoc tool should be erected), pull the axle shaft, remove o-ring, seal, outer race of the bearing.
  • circlip to axle shaft, place axle shaft in all the way until it seats, install outer race, install seal, install o-ring, install diff side retainer to old position and fix it.
  • fill differential with oil
For now I will just check if it axle shaft holds fine it its location or can come out too easily (ie circlip is bad now) -- if that is the case I bet I better change it following above procedure.
Also if I am not able to push a drive axle on an axle shaft with not too much force, I might need to perform extraction of axle shaft to "match" it with the axle outside somehow... (need to consider that in the morning since at night it seems I get too many bad ideas)

Any comments are welcome!

#5 Gloyale

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 11:50 AM

When I did my legacy axles, the stubs pulled out completely. I replaced the circlips, changed the stubs to the new axles, installed pins, AND THEN installed the whole deal back in the diff. It just slid toghether with a"click" when the circlips caught. 20,00 miles latter, and no leaks or other problems. Honestly, this is how 95% of all axles install in other types of cars. I don't think removing the side caps is a good idea, as they determine the spacing and preload on the diff bearings. There is a detailed proceedure that is supposed to be performed with the trans removed and on it's side to set this preload. If you're worried you could pry the seals out and replace, but don't mees with those caps. You don't have the proper tool anyway, you'd have to punch it out a few tabs at a time, chances of getting it all assembled properly when done are not great. It's supposed to be adjusted within .020 inches or so. and with a car that new I would not want to screw with it.

This happened to me on a 93 leagcy with a 4eat auto. It's possible there is a difference in you're 01. But I don't think so. Subaru changed their drivetrain stuff very little in the Legacys(outbacks) I think you can pull the stub all the way out and do the axle fitting on the bench. If you're axle won't pin to the stub you've got a seperate issue there. but if you get it toghether. install a new circlip, shove it back in.

#6 tcspeer

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 04:38 PM

I would say mine had close to 1/2 in. play but I did not measure it. Also I am talking about the front axle. I dont think the front ones have the cir. clips but I dont know that for sure, are you working on the front or back?

Well, there is seems to be some normal freeplay (2-3 mm I guess)... did your also slide out about 1/2 inch (slightly more than 1cm?)



#7 yarikoptic

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 05:57 PM

I dont think the front ones have the cir. clips but I dont know that for sure, are you working on the front or back?

I am sorry for not being clear on that -- it was front.

Today I succeeded to place drive shaft onto differential stub! yeay - after a friend mechanic said that light knocking with hummer will not destroy CV joints, I just pushed it by hand from harder than I though yesterday I should, and I managed to place it far enough so I could finish placement by prying with a screwdriver in the pin hole.

If I am to do that next time, I guess, I will buy a circlip to have it handy if axle shaft comes out. And since I have old CV shaft since finally I got a new drive shaft, I am ordering a replacement boot kit to make it ready to install if any front one goes bad.

Next project is to figure out vibration on load at 18-25 mph ( seems to be regardless of the gear)

Thanks everyone who shared their experience in this thread!

#8 OB99W

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 09:07 PM

[...]Next project is to figure out vibration on load at 18-25 mph ( seems to be regardless of the gear)[...]

Road-speed-related vibration can be "fun" to diagnose. Here are some links to possibly useful info:
http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/ChaseEWAug06.pdf
http://www.aa1car.com/library/vibrations.htm
http://www.aa1car.com/library/tires2.htm

#9 yarikoptic

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 10:56 AM

some links to possibly useful info:
http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/ChaseEWAug06.pdf
http://www.aa1car.com/library/vibrations.htm
http://www.aa1car.com/library/tires2.htm

Very mucho thank you - very informative articles -- 2nd link is the best imho. I am still wondering and aggregating the symptoms, and those pages seems to be of help! Thanks once again!

just of the sake of sharing, here is my situation at the moment:
I have a problem: you can feel vibration while accelerating at speeds 15-23 mph. Specifics:
* seems to be coming right under the driver seat, ie in the middle of the car, but I can't be definite about that
* seems to be not present at speeds not in the mentioned range
* seems to don't depend on the gear (tried in 1st)
* seems to be absent while cruising (without acceleration) at the problematic speeds
* occur also in FWD mode
* seems to be only at acceleration. I didn't feel it while going at the same speed down steep hill so the load might be similar but in opposite direction
!State of the mechanism and changes which didn't impact vibration:
* AT was flushed recently
* CV joints:
** left one was recently changed
** right one visually alright but who knows
!What it is not probably
* it is not tires which were balanced recently and since it occur only at acceleration
* it is not a propeller shaft/rear driveline since it occur in FWD mode (when it should not be loaded) as prominent as in AWD
!What it could be
* that right front CV axle... I felt that there is a bit too much of freeplay (up/down) in comparison to the tight left one I just changed. Also right CV is a bit "wet" so the differential seal seems to be not that great, although diff level seems to be staying ok
* front differential (hopefully not)
* anything else

#10 hanssteinke

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:48 AM

I think we need to revisit the quoted thread below because I have the same issue and can't for the life of me figure it out. Same symtoms as in quote below. I have changed every, and I mean every front end part and still have this wobble/vibration under slow load. This is what has been changed or done:

-CV's
-Brakes & rotors
-Wheel bearings and seals
-Struts
-Ball joints
-Tires balanced & rotated twice
-Complete alignment
-Rims not bent (but thats what it feels like)

After replacing a "clicking" left axle, car drove great. I wanted to update the other side so I installed a right axle and new struts since it was torn down. Thats when the wobble/vibration started. I have since done everything listed above and it still is not resolved.

This is my first Subaru so any help with this problem would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


just of the sake of sharing, here is my situation at the moment:
I have a problem: you can feel vibration while accelerating at speeds 15-23 mph. Specifics:
* seems to be coming right under the driver seat, ie in the middle of the car, but I can't be definite about that
* seems to be not present at speeds not in the mentioned range
* seems to don't depend on the gear (tried in 1st)
* seems to be absent while cruising (without acceleration) at the problematic speeds
* occur also in FWD mode
* seems to be only at acceleration. I didn't feel it while going at the same speed down steep hill so the load might be similar but in opposite direction
!State of the mechanism and changes which didn't impact vibration:
* AT was flushed recently
* CV joints:
** left one was recently changed
** right one visually alright but who knows
!What it is not probably
* it is not tires which were balanced recently and since it occur only at acceleration
* it is not a propeller shaft/rear driveline since it occur in FWD mode (when it should not be loaded) as prominent as in AWD
!What it could be
* that right front CV axle... I felt that there is a bit too much of freeplay (up/down) in comparison to the tight left one I just changed. Also right CV is a bit "wet" so the differential seal seems to be not that great, although diff level seems to be staying ok
* front differential (hopefully not)
* anything else



#11 yarikoptic

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 09:16 AM

Damn me, I has been planing to write up a proper "solution description", or actually "workaround" which I came up with... in just few words for now: I took old CVs, where I needed to change one internal boot, and then I "clamped" the boots in the position when the axle is the longest, so now boots are pretty much "pumped with the air" whenever you assemble CVs back into the vehicle. That causes inner SFJ to be "pressed into" the differential, so there is no easy freeplay of the studs. That almost completely eliminated my 20mph vibration issue and it goes along with another post somewhere else when the guy bought replacement CVs and they were "shorter" because boots were clamped (I speculated) in the "shortest CV" position, ie whenever turnion is deep within SFJ.

I have driven the car with "pumped up boots" for approx 6kmiles by now. Boots didn't blow up, and vibration is close to none (ie someone who doesn't know would not detect it at all)

Hope this would helps someone ;)

#12 hanssteinke

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 07:50 PM

yarikoptic,

I think I may have solved this issue. I jacked the right side, started the car and put it in drive. As the CV was spinning I watched the stub at the differential and accelerated the engine slightly. I was surprised to see the stub push out under centrifugal force approximately a 1/2 inch or little less. If this happened under a load, I predict that while pushing out, the CV joint would spin out of round which would cause my wobble/vibration.

I am going to pull the CV this weekend and see how much I can pull the stub out of the differential.

Let me know what you think or if you have other opinions.

Thanks.

#13 yarikoptic

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 09:37 PM

yarikoptic,

I am going to pull the CV this weekend and see how much I can pull the stub out of the differential.

Let me know what you think or if you have other opinions.

Thanks.

I bet you will pull out just as much as you already saw it going out... unfortunately studs (afaik) cannot be pulled out without taking those bearings out... ie without "unscrewing" those covers on top of them, which you should not do since it would break differential alignment which would be the beast to get back into proper position... so I would recommend not doing what you have planed, but rather trying my 'solution' (pump the boots with air so they press the CFJ (and studs) inside the differential, hence acomplishing the job of those o-rings on the ends of the studs inside differential) ;)

The reason for all this mess, I guess, is weak 'o-rings' which sit at the end of the studs inside the differential, which should forbid studs from jumping out of the differential (few mm freeplay seems to be within the norms, but 1/2 in is way too much, means that those o-rings either already fell down into differential already, or just too weak and don't forbid them been "pressed" into the bearing when the stud is pulled out.




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