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Front axle procedure for early EJ series


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12 replies to this topic

#1 edrach

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 03:32 PM

I keep finding this question popping up all the time so I finally got around to updating my EA series instructions for the early GL/Loyale series to the early Legacy and Impreza series cars. Perhaps a mod will review this procedure for accuracy and move it into the USRM since I'm not sure how to do that. You'll find the EJ's are much easier than the EA's.

Early EJ axle replacement

Loosen the axle nut while the car is still on the ground and "break" the nut loose with the 32mm socket and a long breaker bar. Remove the wheel after jacking the car up (wheel chocks and jackstands are VERY important here). Do not remove the axle nut yet. Knock out the pin on the DOJ with a drift-tool from the UNBEVELED hole side. Refer to my photo album for suggestions on a drift tool (Craftsman #42885 is my favorite). Note the orientation of the hole and rotate the DOJ ½ turn to place the beveled hole in position for replacing the roll pin later. Pull the DOJ away from the transmission; it should move freely now but won't quite come off. Loosen the axle nut most of the way.

Check out the two large bolts holding the hub to the lower portion of the strut. The upper bolt is an eccentric used to adjust the wheel camber. The lower bolt is just a bolt. Mark the outline of the hub or the orientation of the camber bolt so you can re-install it later without changing the camber. Now remove the two large bolts. This should allow you to get the DOJ off the transmission stub axle when the hub portion falls forward. If you use a small bungee cord to cradle the DOJ end of the axle it will keep it from falling down and make replacement easier by holding that end up. Now remove the castle nut and you can push the CVJ out of the hub; sometimes you need to tap it out with a drift tool but it should come out easily. Remove the axle from its bungee cradle and put it aside.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Lube the CVJ and DOJ splines with grease and feed the CVJ spindle into the hub first and start the axle nut enough to hold that end in the hub. Rotate the hub so that the beveled hole is up and line up the splines to slide the DOJ back onto the transmission stub axle. Once the DOJ is on, I use a small (about 1/8th inch diameter) Phillips screwdriver through the DOJ hole to make sure everything is lined up properly. Swing up the hub now and install the lower bolt to hold it in place and install the upper camber bolt and rotate it to match the markings you made earlier to insure proper camber. Tighten the nuts on both bolts; I don’t know the torque but “good and tight” is necessary.

Now remove the screwdriver from the DOJ end and knock the roll pin (new is better, but you can re-use the old pin if necessary) back into the DOJ and stub axle from the beveled hole side. Remove the bungee cord cradle if you used one. Snug up the axle nut a bit and replace the wheel and lower the car to the ground. While someone else steps on the brake, tighten the axle nut to 145 ft-lbs of torque (or more—a little more is better and won't hurt anything). Peen over the axle nut skirt to prevent it from loosening. Torque the wheel lugs to 75 ft-lbs. Re-torque the lug nuts after 300 to 500 miles again.

I’ve done this replacement on many ’90 to ’98 Legacies and a ’97 Impreza and I’m sure the technique works for many of the later EJ models but can’t vouch for it since I haven’t personally done it. Pictures to help can be found at my photo album ‘site:
http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/photos/showgallery.php?cat=1011
I will add more pictures next time I do another axle.

Just an additional thought although I covered it in instructions. If the DOJ holes don't line up and inspection shows you have only 1/2 hole available, the DOJ is 1/2 rotation off; slip off the DOJ rotate it 1/2 turn, line it up again and it should be okay.

#2 Olnick

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 03:58 PM

Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Ed!

#3 edrach

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 06:21 PM

Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Ed!

You're very welcome. I love the EJ series. Almost everything is easier to replace than on my old '86 wagon.

#4 northguy

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 08:47 PM

Only edit I can see is changine EA to EJ in the first line.

#5 edrach

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 09:36 PM

Only edit I can see is changine EA to EJ in the first line.

You got it mostly right and I did write what I meant and not what was quite accurate. I basically took my old EA series instructions and then modified them where necessary to reflect the differences in the EJ series. I'm too lazy to have started this from scratch. Nice catch Matt. I think I corrected it now.

#6 Andyjo

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:10 AM

nice writeup, now get some pics
:-p
and have it added to the USRM!

#7 RenHoek

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 05:28 PM

For us noobs, what's considered an "Early EJ"? I have a 2000 Outback with a blown CV boot that I'm trying to read up on. I've got the replacement axle ready to go, but don't want to booger up anything in the process.

Thx-
RenHoek

#8 edrach

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 07:19 PM

For us noobs, what's considered an "Early EJ"? I have a 2000 Outback with a blown CV boot that I'm trying to read up on. I've got the replacement axle ready to go, but don't want to booger up anything in the process.

Thx-
RenHoek

My own experience is with a '91 Legacy, '97 Impreza and up to a '98 Outback wagon. I suspect the procedure is similar (if not exactly the same) but can't really say since I haven't worked on any of the 2000 and up models.

#9 ShawnW

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:32 PM

I really dont see any need to remove the axle ANY different on an EJ than an EA.

With air tools of course I:

-Remove wheel (19MM lug socket)
-Remove axle roll pin with above craftsman punch or even Better Snap-on one (TONS LONGER and makes it easier).
-Remove ball joint bolt with 14MM socket and pry it out of the bottom of the knuckle.
-Remove Axle nut. You might have to unstake it with a drift punch but usually an 1/2" impact gun will re-round the nut naturally. (32MM socket EJ/36MM EA)
-Pull inboard end of Axle out of Transmission
-Pull Outboard out of knuckle.

-Install new/reman axle to knuckle.
-Install Axle nut, stake nut using a drift, punch, or similar but the punch that removes the pin wont work well, needs to be sharper or flatter.
-Line up axle onto splines on transmission and make sure your punch will go thru the hole easily and that the caved hole on the axle and the caved hole on the trans stub are on the same side. Otherwise you are in for 20 minutes of cursing while you try to get the rollpin out of the axle and transmission.
With axle loose on the trans pop the knuckle back onto the ball joint being coordinated enough to not have the axle fall off the transmission. :)
-Install 14MM bolt into ball joint.
-Install roll pin. A 1/4" 1' long extension works wonderfullly. Put the pin into the end of the extension that your socket wrench normally goes into and tap with the other end. When its almost all the way thru finish it off with your punch. On the side with the catalytic converter sometimes you have to get it from the top instead...extend with more extensions to suit if necessary but usually the 1/4" extension will sneak around the cat.
-Install wheel and lug nuts tight. Lower car to ground, and torque lug nuts to 58-72 Ft pounds.

#10 Blue Whale

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 01:26 AM

In doing this a few times, I've also loosened the knuckle by disconnecting the ball joint instead of the strut; I'm sure the latter will work, but the former takes only one bolt and doesn't disturb the wheel alignment.

#11 97ws6

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:18 PM

Great timing on the write up fella's. My sons 93 Imprezza needs the axle replaced and I will start this tomorrow. I will try the knuckle version first and see where that gets me.

#12 RenHoek

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:22 AM

Thanks for this write-up, guys-
FWIW, I tried the knuckle 1st, but couldn't get it off (w/o proper de-knuckler tool), so I just did the strut bolts as detailed. VERY EASY!! Just mark the top bolt and bracket with a chisel so you know where to put it back. I also took off the bolt holding the anti-sway bar to the lower arm to get a little more room. I removed the mounting point bolt for the ABS cable, to give that cable some slack. Getting the old shaft out of the hub required a bit of convincing with the 20lb sledge (and a block of oak). It was good to know that it was just a slide-out job, and there weren't any ojesus clips to remove too...

All in all, not a tough job. This was the driver's side on a 2000 Outback, BTW...The passenger side will be a little tougher someday, since the exhaust is right there.

Oh...BTW - the two holes for the spring pin on the DOJ-end on my new/rebuilt shaft were BOTH beveled. So, that was a good tip to know that one of the holes is between splines, and the other one was on a spline. I can see where that'd be easy to miss. Thanks again!

-RenHoek :headbang:

#13 97ws6

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 06:53 PM

The knuckle version worked great. I removed the 14mm bolt then put my jack underneath the rotor to keep the suspension from moving and then pryed between the knuckle and the arm with a screwdriver and it came apart quite easily. I also removed the sway bar link from the lower arm to manuever the assembly. The old axle slid out smooth as butter. The new axle (GCK Autozone) went in just as easily. An extra hand comes in handy to hold the hub assembly out and forward a bit while sliding the new axle into postion. This took less than an hour thanks to the tips I read in this thread. I was dreading this job too.




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