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1988 GL cant get new CV through wheel bearing. Anyone else experience this? Have tips?

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Hi, I have a 1988 GL lifted and I am replacing my CV's in the front. Problem is they are a b**** to get to go through the wheel bearings. I had purchased two re-manufactured ones (yes, I do know they are cheap crap, but I am poor) I thought perhaps they were the problem, so I got two new ones. One went in easy as pie, like a hot knife through butter. (of course I had to wiggle it gently coax it to get just right lined up) -but this second one! damn. I have the end of an old one and it goes in and out fine, but this new one....I even took the wheel bearing out and tried to put it on out of the car. no go. I now have the wheel bearing in the freezer hoping a little compression will help. Anyone experience this? If so what can you tell me? Thanks Patty

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Patty,

I recently removed both half-axles in the front of my '87 GL wagon, in order to install new CV boots. It was truly a nightmare.

 

I ended up "pulling" the axle through the wheel bearings using the castle nut as a puller (on the passenger's side of the car)... using a series of progressively thicker washer stacks as I ran out of threads each tightening cycle. NOTHING else I tried even remotely resembled a working solution. Truly the most difficult and frustrating bit of mechanicing I've ever experienced.

 

Good luck!

.

.

Edited by BirdMobile

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Yeah. I am not opposed to that. My problem is the CV hits the first wheel bearing (I dont know if yours is the same, mine has two sets of wheel bearings with a metal spacer in between, as well as a seal on either outside edge. So my CV hits the first wheel bearing then it wont come far enough to get to the threads to pull it through that way. ( I think this is the case even if I remove that outter wheel peice ...I don't know what it is called, the round metal part in front of the brakes which the lug nut studs go through...) ...hmmm. I wonder if that is true. Maybe I should have tried that first. RIght now I took the wheel bearing  closest to the inside of the car out and put it in the freezer. If I can get it to go on then I can put it on the axle and put that through far enough to thread the nut on the axle and pull it all on....

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Hmmm. Maybe I will have to end up taking the roter and calipers off. God I dont want to. First I will try this freezer thing, and I will have to press the bearing back in if that does not work. (I do that with the end of an old CV joint that does fit on for whatever reason)

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Rotor/Caliper is not that bad... just 2 bolts then hang the caliper assembly from the strut apring with some bailing wire, bungee cords, or zip ties. The Caliper/Rotor removal and re-install was actually the easiest part of the whole process when I did my half-axles.

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Okay. That is good to know.  By the way, if I need to clean and repack a wheel bearing what is the correct fluid to clean that with? Can I use break cleaner fluid or will that break down the new grease when I re-pack it? Do you know?

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I used Chlorinated brake cleaner on mine, just be careful to give it enough time to evaporate completely before putting the new wheel bearing grease on. I also took care to not get too much of it on the rubber seal on the CV side, though a bit won't hurt.

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I got it sorted. The new bearing would not fit on, but the old bearing was still good (It just got pushed out with the old CV so thought I might as well replace) and the old bearing fit on so I put it on the Cv (with seal and metal spacer) and put it through, used thread and castle nut to pull in. I did not have to take the rotor and stuff off. Thanks! 

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Bird Mobile: Thanks. Yeah, too much struggling down in the dirt over a couple days to keep my roters entirely clean. I plan to use break cleaner and clean them as good as I can before I put the wheels back on in a few minutes....

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Happened to me.  No way it was going on.  Seems they gave me a shaft for an automatic trans...or was it a 2WD, anyways it was the wrong one.  I went on the transmission just fine but only went through the bearings up to the shoulder and that was it.

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ha ive gotten to the point of its only taking 10 mins to do the axle, i dont even take the tire off lol i will say though that i have never expirienced this problem.

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AK ghandi: Wish  you were here. need to prob take mine off again because one side is making a funny noise, and I am really dreading it. Really the only problem is that I did not lower the radius arm with my transmission and engine so there is so much tension on it it takes two people to wrestle it back on. (yes, I know the obvious answer to that it lower the radius arm. nooo. I just want to drive the car for 15 minutes without having to work on the damn thing!)

Edited by BestCar/OnlyCar

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ha ive gotten to the point of its only taking 10 mins to do the axle, i dont even take the tire off lol i will say though that i have never expirienced this problem.

That -I would like to see! Care to make a video next time you do it?

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I witnessed a guy (Tom Scalzi, search his name plus corvair) replace 2 front axles, 2 front control arms, exhaust header, and removed a mangled skid plate with a cutoff wheel.. In 17 minutes SOLO at a rally service at Gorman Ridge Rally in 2009 (might have been '10). He did use air tools, but it was out in the bush with nothing but jackstands and the tools in his truck. It was a 93 impreza, but similar in principal. Made it to the next stage start with about 30 seconds before being DQ'd.

Edited by Ibreakstuff
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EA axles are not like EJ axles.

 

EJ axles slide right in.......engaging a splined hub.

 

EA axles are SUPPOSED to be a "press fit" or Zero Clearance........

 

Subaru makes a special tool for a slide hammer to pull them through.

 

If you can just slip an EA axle right in then it or the wheel bearing or both are JUNK.

 

Best way is to remove the Caliper/rotor/hub AND the outer seal.

 

insert axle so the threads poke through, thread the nut on, and use 2 prybars or the claws of 2 hammers to pry the axle through.  You will have to stack up the washers, and eventually it will be far enough through to get the hub back on then use the nut to pull it the rest of the way through.  Don't forget to put the seal back in.

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That -I would like to see! Care to make a video next time you do it?

Will do. Last time i did it i was on the trail and i rammed the rear tire up a dune to get the front off the ground. I have never gotten so much sand in my crack.

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AK ghandi: Wish you were here. need to prob take mine off again because one side is making a funny noise, and I am really dreading it. Really the only problem is that I did not lower the radius arm with my transmission and engine so there is so much tension on it it takes two people to wrestle it back on. (yes, I know the obvious answer to that it lower the radius arm. nooo. I just want to drive the car for 15 minutes without having to work on the damn thing!)

I lowered my crossmember and spaced out my radius rod with big washers. I also dont have a sway bar which saves time. All i do is take out the roll pin, loosen the axle nut, take out the 14mm control arm bolt and then i use a foot to push the wheel out i slip the cv off the trans then pull it out hub. Then re install. I had to do 3 in one day so ive gotten pretty good at it.

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Gloyal
I bought one new wheel bearing and the new wheel bearing would go on the new axle without forcing it when they were out of the vehicle. I had to put WD40 on and gently wiggle it and line it up just right so I think that it is okay (not junk axle and bearings) if it slides on when you get it lined up and gently work it? 
Interesting about the special tool for a slide hammer (whatever that is). I used a tool to push them out from the front, and my book tells of using a tool to put them in, but the guys at the subaru dealer parts department, as well as at O o o oreillys cheap auto parts both said they had never heard of using a tool to put them it. I will look into it for next time. It would have been nice. When I pushed them out one wheel bearing and the inside seal came off so I replaced them. I just put them on the new axle and pulled them in by tightening the castle nut to pull them through. This may be a bad Idea, but it was the best Idea I had at the time. I hope it does not have bad results later...
Here is another question for you :
What is up with slip yoke eliminator custom CV shafts? Is that something one could use on an EA82? Though I have dropped my engine and transmission, ultimately if it exists I would like to have custom axles that make the engine transmission drop unnecessary..do you know anything about these?  

Edited by BestCar/OnlyCar

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