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Old 12-19-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
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CV Boot Q - Drive Axle

One of my winter projects is to replace a ripped driver's side CV boot. Well, it has been a difficult project for me to follow the various instructions and remove the driver's side half axle. I had a lot of difficulty with the ball joints, but after using the HF ball joint tool shaped like the Porsche tool & increasingly more force and manipulation, I arrived at the point where I think I can remove the driver's side axle -- and I am stuck. I toyed with dropping the exhaust but I think that route is problematic in my case, so I'd like to finish this if I can. I am following the CV instructions from Pedro's site. Anyways, I am a little confused about removing the half axle because I am uncertain how the shaft separates from the wheel. Do you drive the end sticking out of the wheel with hammer & wood block or are you supposed to pull / remove by applying force on the inside of the rotor? I've tried heat & lots of "manipulation" by applying force from the outside end of the rotor, but I get no movement at all. Suggestions? Please don't say search, I've read everything I can but this impasse is driving me crazy. Thanks in advance for your help!

Here's a pic of where I am in process. Wheel carrier extended out from car with wood dowel and all joints out, interior CV joint disconnected, but can't get the axle removed.

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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Separate the header from the mid pipe.
Seperate the mid pipe from the muffler and undo the bracket that holds it.
You won't be able to remove the mid pipe but you can drop it a couple of inches and that should give you enough room to manipulate the axle.
Buy a brass plumbing fitting from a hardware store.
Remove the big axle nut on the end of your axle where it passes through the bearing.
Hold the brass fitting on the end of the axle and hammer it; the brass will marr instead of the steel axle and it should come out.
Use this approach and there's no need to disassemble your suspension.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:58 AM   #3
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Thanks TRK! I will try this and will provide an update.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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Have you already removed the axle nut (I hope so)? No need to do all the exhaust stuff as you already have the ball joint free. With the axle nut removed, hit the outboard end of the axle to drive it inward and out of the wheel hub. As mentioned above, having something sacrificial to hit (instead of the axle) is a great idea.

Once you have the axle free of the hub, just pull out on the wheel hub assembly and remove the axle.

I used an air hammer and had it out in about 5 seconds!
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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Hitting the axle end with a hammer will potentially damage the wheel bearing, and that's when the real fun begins.
Remove the brake rotor (real easy), and use a large gear puller to push the stub-axle out of the hub.

Either way, squirting some PB Blaster in between the splines with break things loose much faster.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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OK, here's the update. Yes dghii, I had originally removed the axle nut, just wasn't 100% that I should pound the axle in. It was really stubborn, so it made me doubt my efforts. Using TRK's suggestion & yes, some PB Blaster & heat, was finally able to pound it through. THANKS TRK! Then was able to remove the axle without dropping down the exhaust system which I am hesitant to do.

Anyways, the axle seems cursed after 11 years of aging. I've removed the boots but again I'm having a devil of a time removing the inner CV from the axle. I've removed the cap & circlip, but I'm unsure how to drive the inner CV off of the axle. I've read about using a brass drift to pound out the CV joint, but my uncertainty is do I :
1. drive the axle (pound it out from "the inside of the CV joint") in direction towards the outer CV? or
2. drive the back side of the CV joint (or perhaps the back side of the metal exterior) out so it comes off the inner axle?

I realize this might sound odd, and probably I'm a bit hampered by not having a proper vise, but this isn't coming off easily even now that I have the driver's side axle out of the car.

Another simple Q, should I use any other heat or lubrication to break the CV out? I'm hesitant to use anything because, well, the damn thing is bathed in CV grease already! I've assumed I shouldn't use either, but if I'm wrong, correct me on that also.

OK one last Q, this winter project started because my outer driver CV boot was ripped. So how do I know if the outer CV is good or bad during inspection? There still is CV grease in the joint & I've removed some dried grime from the interior portion of the axle with a rag, but I was just planning to pack it full with new CV grease. I never heard any evidence of a bad bearing or anything & I'm only at 30K miles, never drive it in the rain & I think I caught this early, so that was my plan. Advice on that point would help too!

The saga continues....
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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If the joint is still full of grease and it only has 30k on it with no symptoms of failure, then just pack it with grease and move on. If you were going to do the joint, I would have just recommended you buy the whole axel...
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
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i put mine in a vise and hammered it off. didn't come easy and i decided to replace the cv just to be safe given how hard i'd hammered on it (just the cv is cheap). outers aren't serviceable and if the boot wasn't torn then I'd just repack and replace the boot (the boot is going to fail if it hasn't already, so may as well replace it while the axle is off). if the boot was torn then i'd clean and inspect it for wear. if it is worn or marked-up then go for a used oem from a wrecker as new oem is expensive and jobbers of questionable quality.

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Old 12-20-2012, 02:32 PM   #9
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hi barkinfool.
i had the same experiences (including getting tips from TRK ).
you can read about it here:
Rear axels rebuild - Pelican Parts Technical BBS
and here:
http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/33814-rear-axels-rebuild-o1-s.html
i also had an issue removing the CV joint from the shaft.
you will have to tap it to the direction of the transmission.
tap on the inner ring of the joint.
make sure you install it in the correct direction, and don't move it to much when it is of the shaft.
as you probably noticed by now, this is a messy job you don't want to do again anytime soon.
i decided to replace all 4 boots, replace the CV joints (even though mine was still fine) clean and grease the outer joint.
i had 76K on the car when i did it, and i intend to keep it for as long as i can, so it made sense to me.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:25 PM   #10
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Wow. When I got my PPI, I was told my boots were torn and that they should be replaced soon. That was 2 years and 6000 miles ago. My plan was a DIY too, but after reading all this, I guess I'll just pony up the money and have it done. I was quoted $250, which I thought was great until I was told, $250 each ($1,000). I applaud you that can do this work yourself. I wish I had your skills.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
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Everything you have experienced so far matches exactly what I experienced when I did this last month. I used a drift to remove the joint. It took a surprising amount of force to get it started but once free, it came off without a lot of fuss.

Congratulations! you are approaching halfway. Wait till you see how easy the other side is to do once you get one side done.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gforrest2 View Post
Wow. When I got my PPI, I was told my boots were torn and that they should be replaced soon. That was 2 years and 6000 miles ago. My plan was a DIY too, but after reading all this, I guess I'll just pony up the money and have it done. I was quoted $250, which I thought was great until I was told, $250 each ($1,000). I applaud you that can do this work yourself. I wish I had your skills.
That's probably $250 for each axle, for a total of $500. Even that is a little on the high side.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:02 AM   #13
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Sorry for the delay in writing this up, but with the Christmas holiday & then the snowstorm, was only able to get back to this today. Well, I'm happy to say that after many hours of effort, I was able to successfully complete this project last week! I couldn't have done it without the help of forum members. Thank you all!

This project to replace a torn CV boot looked at the outset to be fairly simple, but in fact it took an enormous amount of time due to my lack of prior experience and some challenging conditions. It seemed like every step I took that sounded simple was actually pretty difficult (for me) for some reason or another. A few of my experiences that might help another who is working on the driver's side (LHD) CV boot in particular:

1. To remove the driver's side axle without dropping down the exhaust, you should definitely invest in the ball joint tool shaped like the Porsche version. Mine was about $17 at Harbor Freight & it was definitely the tool for the job. Prior to purchasing that I bought two generic "pickle" forks which weren't effective for getting the joint initially popped, but they did end up being helpful for completing separation & also in reassembling so they weren't wasted.

2. Heat, a brass drift & hammer & PB Blaster were all very helpful in breaking the half axle free. It took a lot of force to pound the axle to get it removed. Once the axle was free, it was pretty easy to manipulate it and free it from the tight confines and get it removed.

3. Removing the inner CV from the axle again took some pounding with the drift. As Meir posted, you pound it from the inner edge so it is driven off of the axle, but again it needed a pounding.

4. Repacking with new grease was a very messy job. Nitrile gloves or better are a must because you will break through cheap latex gloves many, many times.

5. Getting the CV boots over the CV lip required heating the boots up with hair dryer because the garage was fairly cold & even then lots of hand strength on greasy and tight surface. Then getting the clamps stretched to their locking position using a couple flathead screwdrivers was a struggle. I had a pinch clamp tool, but it really wasn't the correct type of clamp tool and hence the screwdrivers -- so it was a struggle especially with the grease residue even with things wiped off. I ended up replacing the boots and repacking the joints on both the outer and the inner side, but the CV joints were in good shape so no change needed there.

6. I thought reassembly would be easy, but it took some extra time to get the outer wheel in the proper position so that I could slide it onto the splines & then pound in the axle. I used the pickle forks to reconnect the ball joints and I'm not sure how I would have been able to do so without using them for leverage -- and it still took some time to get it figured out. From that point on, finishing out the job was finally simple.

I'm a novice and while it is good to accomplish this, it took a LONG time. If I was looking at the driver's side again, I think I would buy the half axle and at least the job would be a little easier vs messing with it as much as this required. The cost of having an indy do this seems very reasonable vs what it required of me. This was one job that really wasn't fun imo. Now for me the question is should I tackle the other side next winter or when the other boot fails...

Hope these notes helps someone else. Thanks again to all that assisted me!
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Last edited by barkinfool; 12-28-2012 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:16 AM   #14
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it was that experience that has me religiously treating my cv boots with rubber protectant on an annual basis.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:02 AM   #15
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great job.
just for the one to follow.
it is much more easy to remove the catalytic convectors then disassembling the suspension (in my opinion at least)
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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Thank you both for your comments during my time of need! TRK, I think your suggestion to apply protectant each year is a highly recommended practice and something I would have happily done if I had known. Now I know & hopefully others will benefit from this advice as well! Have a great weekend.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
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it was that experience that has me religiously treating my cv boots with rubber protectant on an annual basis.
which product are you using?
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:53 AM   #18
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armor all, but have heard good things about 303.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #19
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armor all, but have heard good things about 303.
thanks for the tip.

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