Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board

Removing Gen 1 Outer CV joint

Recommended Posts

My How to Keep your Subaru Alive book says that the outer CV joint and Axle shaft are inseparable - but I know they're not as I have replaced one a few years ago. I couldn't find any advice on how to pull them apart so I thought I'd share how I did it. Not many photos sorry. It's kind of an afterthought.


Feel free to add further advice -  I might learn something about an easier way to do it next time.


Also,  I'm not a mechanic so my terminology might be a bit off.


The CV joint is basically 3 parts:

- The outer cup and axle stub which fits through wheels bearings and wheel rotor.

- A star-shaped "gear" that attached to the axle-shaft (used wikipedia for this description)

- A circular ball-bearing cage with fits into and pivots inside the cup.


I'll work off the assumption that you know how to remove the inner CV Joint (technically a Double Oscillating Joint).


The picture attached shows a split star-shaped gear (with the splines that fit around the axle shaft) and the clip that holds it in place. Note the groove on the left (inward) side of the "gear". Also note that the right (outer) side of gear opens slightly to a larger diameter. As you will see when fitting a new CV Joint; the clip is slid over the end of the axle-shaft until it slips into the groove on the axle-shaft (both ends of the axle-ahaft look the same). That slightly larger diameter mentioned above compresses the clip so that is slides inside the splines in the "gear" on the CV joint until it snaps into the groove shown on the left side of the picture.


The bottom line here is that the clip which holds the CV joint on the axle-shaft is completely concealed!

When the CV joint is attached to the shaft and the clip is in place, it can't be hammered off as easily as it goes on because the abrupt edges on groove inside the "gear" and on the  axle-shaft are designed to hold the clip in place so the join doesn't fail! Hammering the joint off might damage the edges of the groove on the axle-shaft which might make the new CV Joint come loose?


So here's how I removed it:


With the boot removed and the CV joint at an angle and the circular ball-bearing cage exposed, I whacked it with a standard claw hammer until it broke. It's quite brittle and breaks fairly easily. Rotate the CV joint expose more of the ball bearing cage and repeat. Without much effort the ball-bearings will fall out and the cup can be removed. This leaves you with the star-shaped "gear" on the axle'shaft - held in place by the concealed clip described above.


Not wanting to damage the axle-shaft by smashing it with a hammer I elected to use an angle-grinder to cut the star-shaped "gear" off - being careful not to cut right though and into the shaft! I finished off with a chisel just to be careful. I think last time I did it I just bashed it with a hammer until it broke though. Up to you if you want to try it.


Installing the new CV joint is pretty easy. Pretty much descibed above. My new CV Joint came with a new clip but I didn't notice it was there until I'd installed it using the old one! Have a look what's in the CV joint box before it's too late!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't know you could buy just the cv joint.   Do you have a source available - in US or only AUS?




I bought a bunch of CV boots from these guys and they list outer CV joints as well; but not where I got mine.


I've had mine on the shelf since I did the last one 4 years ago. I think I found the one I did such a pain that I just reused the old one on one side. I bought it at BNT Automotive - "Drivecraft" brand part#SUB223. I googled this and got nothing. From memory there's 2 different spline counts so pays to check that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

or just stick one end in a vise or something solid and smack the other end with a sledge hammer or pop the little tin cap off the inside of the cup rears only and pull the clip


Pretty sure there's no removable cap on any of the CV joints I've seen. Old one was NTN brand. Only way in is throught the CV boot end. Even if I had managed to knock the CV joint hard enough that the pin ended up on the inside of the cup then I wouldn't have a way of removing the clip. I would still need to break the ball cage to remove the clip. It might save me having to grind through the "gear" though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one of my first jobs in the auto world was rebuilding cv axles powersteering racks starters and alternators ive rebuilt more than my share of cv axles and yes behind the stub there is a tin cap that can be poped out to get to the clip but only on the rear axles the fronts use a different stub end and there isent any other way than brute force to get them apart but if you hit them just right they pop right out after a few hundread you get good at it im alittle out of practice but im running my custom built axles on the rear i did have one fail last time out on the trail but that was because i dident cut the grove for the clip deep enuff and it pulled out and scatered the pieces out on the trail i rebuilt it in the middle of the desert and its still on the car now

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...