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:
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.
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Guest Message by DevFuse
Early EJ series front axle replacement
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