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Guest Message by DevFuse

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CV Joints ???

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Chip


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Posted 26 November 2003 - 11:59 AM

My 98 OB is starting to make clicking noises in the front when I turn left or right . I'm thinkin' it's the CV joints. The car has 190,000Kms on it.
Has anyone tried rebuilt joints as replacements ?
Is it a do-it-yerself kinda job ?
How much $$ are we talking about ?

#2 applegump


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Posted 26 November 2003 - 12:36 PM

I got a rebuilt CV joint/axle and its PERFECT (after 40k miles)! Mine was rebuilt by Subaru and it costs SO MUCH less:banana: than a new one. Definately happy with that purchase.

#3 99obw


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Posted 26 November 2003 - 12:41 PM

Where did you buy it and how much did it cost?

#4 alias20035


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Posted 26 November 2003 - 02:27 PM

I got rebuilt CV's from Canadian Tire for my Legacy, and they were cheap (like $85 in 1997 after core return). They lasted over 140,000 km (at which point I wrecked the car).

Subaru has recently lowered their cost of CV joints so check with your dealer.

Replacing a CV is not overly hard to do. I suggest getting the latest Haynes service manual for assistance.

You need the following tools and parts

* liquid wrench penetrating oil
* 1/2 drive torque wrench
* 1/2 drive breaker bar
* 1/2 drive 32mm socket
* wrench for the tie rod nut (17 or 19mm?)
* tie rod separator tool (either a fork (which can damage the ball joint (be careful) or a tool that clamps to the control arm and a threaded bolt pushs the tie rod out (best tool)).
* small punch to knock the DOJ joint transmission outdrive pin out
* hammer (for the above punch)
* hub tamer or big puller to push axle out of hub (usually not required)
* replacement CV joint
* replacement axle nut (DO NOT REUSE the old one)
* replacement cotter pin for the ball joint nut

Step 1: spray the axle nut, tie rod nut and DOJ pin with penetrating oil once a day for a few days before the work is to be done.

Step 2: using the 32 mm socket and breaker pull remove the axle nut (this is difficult) (you should use a hardened impact wrench socket, I have seen regular ones shatter)

Step 3: remove the cotter pin and tie rod nut.

Step 4: using the tie rod removal tool, remove the ball joint from the lower control arm

Step 5: remove the pin from the inner CV joint.

Step 6: with the lower ball joint loose you should be able to pull the inner DOJ joint off the transmission outdrive.

Step 7: re install the ball joint temporarily

Step 8: use a hub tamer or big puller to push the CV axle out of the hub. Sometimes you can reinstall the axle nut loosely to protect the axle threads and hammer the axle gently loose. If using a hub tamer or puller the brake rotors and brake shield have to come off.

Step 9: pull the axle from the hub

Reverse for installation of new axle.

While you are at it I suggest the following work (since at 190,000 km you are likely due for it):

replace front wheel bearings (or if recently done, replace the inner bearing seals (they seal against the CV joint)). If using new bearings you MUST clean and repack the new bearing with proper bearing grease, the clear grease that it is shipped with is unsuitable.

replace the ball joints (again if not recently done)

While this is a relitively easy job (at least I now find it to be), the first time you do it is usually quite gruesome when it comes to removing the axle nut and tie rod from the control arm.

Where in Canada are you? I know a few mechanics that work for a more reasonable cost in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

The CV joint replacement work on Subaru's is similar to all front wheel drive cars, so it is unlikely that your corner mechanic can screw it up. It is the wheel bearings that can be difficult without the proper hub tamer or Subaru specific tool.

#5 Opie


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Posted 26 November 2003 - 02:32 PM

That's the hard way :D Skip steps 3 - 7, instead of dissassembling the ball joint, remove the bolts for the sway bar end-link and front lower control arm mount. This will give you enough clearance to remove the axle without dissassembling the tie rod & ball-joint.

It's a real time saver! Unless you need to change the ball joints as suggested above :D

#6 alias20035


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Posted 26 November 2003 - 02:40 PM

Originally posted by Opie
That's the hard way :D Skip steps 3 - 7, instead of dissassembling the ball joint, remove the bolts for the sway bar end-link and front lower control arm mount. This will give you enough clearance to remove the axle without dissassembling the tie rod & ball-joint. It's a real time saver! :D

I assume you mean the two bolts that are on the back of the control arm going into the body of the car, and the one bolt that holds the front of the control arm to the crossmember.

If so that will also work, but these bolts can be difficult to remove (like the axle nut), but likely easier than popping that darn ball joint. I find that coating the ball joint "rod" in anti seize really helps future disassembly jobs. I also can change an axle without taking the tie rod off, just the ball joint.

Just use threadlock on these bolts and nuts when reassembling.

At 190,000 km the ball joints are gone unless replaced and the front wheel bearings are near or past the usual failing point. If this is the case, he might as well stick to the ball joint method, or leave it to a mechanic.

#7 Legacy777



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Posted 26 November 2003 - 04:20 PM

I'd suggest www.cvaxles.com

Just replaced my axles, and they are very good....they do rally cars as well as overseas work. If you get your axles there, ask them to include new roll pins and axle nuts....they normally don't include unless you ask.

I took the two bolts off for the struts......My alignment may be off slightly, but I scribed the spindle so it's very damn close to where it was.

I started doing the ball joint method and new it was going to be a major pain in the butt.

#8 avk


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Posted 26 November 2003 - 08:36 PM

With the control arm method, you only need to remove one, front mount bolt (17 mm head and nut), plus the sway bar link bolt. There is enough play in the other bushing for the inner joint to clear the stub shaft. The caveats are that re-tightening must be performed with wheels on the ground, or at least on low ramps, and the nut is officially not reusable (mine is OK with blue Loctite). But same things already apply for the sway bar bushing bolt.

#9 edrach


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Posted 26 November 2003 - 09:12 PM

My choice is www.cvaxles.com also. For an EA82/81 car they charged $55 plus shipping plus a returnable core charge. One of the few re-builders who actually use new joints when rebuilding axles. The $55 is a special USMB price so if they quote you more, mention that; it could be the price has gone up some since I last bought an axle from them.

#10 Legacy777



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Posted 27 November 2003 - 11:24 AM

it's 55 bucks for all car axles

#11 theotherskip


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Posted 27 November 2003 - 12:38 PM

i'll give another vote for cvaxles.com. very nice people, good rebuild. i ordered one for a maxima, it cost $65 shipped, took 3 days (fl-pa), and return shipping cost $7. lifetime warranty on the rebuild. very pleased...

#12 frag


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Posted 27 November 2003 - 02:01 PM

Am I blind or am I right in finding they have no axles offered on their page for a 96 Leagacy AWD ?

#13 ru4x4ever


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Posted 27 November 2003 - 02:04 PM


#14 DerFahrer


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Posted 27 November 2003 - 09:34 PM

I am cvaxles.com's beotch now! I have posted their site on every CV axle thread I see! frag, call em up, they'll find some for you...

The fastest way to do it IMO is pop the balljoints out of the knuckle. There is absolutely no need to do anything with the tie-rod ends or swaybar links...

#15 avk


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Posted 28 November 2003 - 02:00 AM

The tie rod doesn't have to be touched, the sway bar bolt is 12mm and not too tight.

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