Axel/CV Joint Rebuild
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This is a discussion on Axel/CV Joint Rebuild within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Has anyone ever rebuilt their front axles before? I'd like to replace the boots on one of mine. The boot ...

  1. #1
    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    Axel/CV Joint Rebuild

    Has anyone ever rebuilt their front axles before? I'd like to replace the boots on one of mine. The boot on one of the CV joints tore somehow and I fear this happened due to age. Since I didn't have time to mess with it at the time, i bought a reconditioned cv joint. At $150, that was a nice chunk of change that I didn't want to spend on something that was perfectly fine aside from the boot.

    I searched but I haven't found anybody that had pics or instructions on how to do it.
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    Registered User indytruckboy's Avatar
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    Check Autozone.com .... they have a good technical page. It's not really hard. It's just a couple of clips.
    I work on vehicles that make 650hp and 2400ft/lbs.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentH View Post
    Has anyone ever rebuilt their front axles before? I'd like to replace the boots on one of mine. The boot on one of the CV joints tore somehow and I fear this happened due to age. Since I didn't have time to mess with it at the time, i bought a reconditioned cv joint. At $150, that was a nice chunk of change that I didn't want to spend on something that was perfectly fine aside from the boot.

    I searched but I haven't found anybody that had pics or instructions on how to do it.
    Extremely simple procedure...will you be replacing the inner DOJ or the outer CV? Is the joint itself making any noise or is the boot just torn? if so, How long has the boot been torn? USUALLY, unless extremely neglected for like years subaru CV and DOJ joints dont usually go bad with just a torn boot (obviously eventually they will with all the road grime/salt whatnot getting in there)...Either way If you arent hearing any odd noises or noticing any vibrations I would just replace the boot...The boot,grease, and clamps arent that expensive even from the dealer + its a pretty simple job.Also did you get a Subaru OEM joint? Its absolutely ridiculous what aftermarket problems joints/axles cause for these cars..seen it once and ill see it again..Whenever you get an axle/joint assembly for a Subaru go OEM or MWE..dont laugh Ive seen some odd problems from aftermarket it terms of vibrations at idle/clearances not in spec etc etc etc..We can also obviously argue the easiest way to remove the axle from the vehicle but different strokes for different folks...
    Last edited by EvoEatr; 06-15-2009 at 03:00 PM.

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    I've read and heard that non-Subaru remanufactured axle boots are usually made of sub par materials than is not near as durable as the original Subaru material.

    A remanufactured axle from Subaru is $240 with a $40 core charge. (I know this because I have one sitting in the garage needing to go on.)
    Last edited by brfatal; 06-15-2009 at 03:10 PM.

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    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    Extremely simple procedure...will you be replacing the inner DOJ or the outer CV?
    The inner boot needs it bad. I can see it starting to dry rot on the inner most crease... which is where the other one cracked and leaked out of.

    A remanufactured axle from Subaru is $240 with a $40 core charge. (I know this because I have one sitting in the garage needing to go on.)
    They can be had for substantially less $ than that. But yes, I bought a Subaru re-manufactured one.

    How long has the boot been torn? USUALLY, unless extremely neglected for like years subaru CV and DOJ joints dont usually go bad with just a torn boot (obviously eventually they will with all the road grime/salt whatnot getting in there)...Either way If you arent hearing any odd noises or noticing any vibrations I would just replace the boot...
    This sounds reasonable. I didn't have the time to think it through, but it couldn't have been popped for much more than a week or 2 as I'm constantly checking stuff on my car, so it's probably fine... like you said. I couldn't tell if it was squeaking as my wheel bearings were making too much noise.

    The sh*tty thing is, I replaced that axel and wheel bearing and now my car is making a squeaky wheel bearing sound again, only a couple days later. It comes from the driver side when I turn in only one direction (I forget which direction right now). I won't get a chance to put it up on jacks so I have no real idea what is going on yet. The two things that could be making a squeaking noise have been replaced! My only guess is, the wheel bearing wasn't installed correctly and I already killed a wheel bearing, or the axel nut somehow came lose and I Already killed a wheel bearing... .

    Any ideas???

    Thanks for the responses!
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    The only thing I can think of about your squeaking sound from the info you've given is the hub...Did they need to replace the hub when they replaced the wheel bearings (was the hub damaged)? I have seen some extremely worn hubs make kind of a squeaking noise before...However you said this is only when you turn? does it make this noise when your sitting still and just turn the steering wheel or do you have to be moving to hear it? Is squeak the best way to describe the noise? are you sure its coming from somewhere under the car and not maybe your drive belts or something (power steering)?? Also you said your located in the philly area?

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    Yea, I'm right outside of philly in Blue Bell.

    It's definitely coming from the front left, under the car up front. It's not engine related. I know what your saying with the accessory belts, but that's not it. It makes that noise when I am in a turn.

    The front right hub was SHOT. I had to replace that, unfortunately. The machinist that pressed the bearings identified the problem for me. While I didn't see the front left hub when it was removed, I would think he would have noticed it was shot. But then again, maybe I'm wrong.

    I still did not get the chance to diagnose the problem... One thing is for sure, unlike the last time, I don't plan on driving my car w/the problem still unfixed.
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Ah yes blue bell...in the vicinity of shady maple is it not?... anyways was the squeak there before they replaced the left front wheel bearings?

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    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    Actually it was. It was similar, but way less severe sounding than the passenger side. Actually, it started making the noise a couple days after the passenger side. I just figured it was the bearing going on the other side too... which seemed to make sense. When I went to repair the two I noticed the axel boot was torn so maybe the sound was comming from that instead. I checked the two shot bearings when they were still pressed in the knuckle and they were indeed shot. Excessive amounts of free play.

    My car was running smooth for a couple days after the new bearings were pressed in and then I started to hear it squeaking. It got progressively louder until now, whenever I give it a steering input (in the one direction), it squeaks a couple times until I straighten out the wheel and drive straight again.

    I'm going to be sick tomorrow (cough cough choke) and call out of work so I can work on it. The being sick thing isn't too far from the truth though... I was ridiculously hung over today My brain was mush and I probably would have yakked on my car if I tried to work on it... ugg.

    Blue Bell's near Plymouth Meeting. Is Shady Maple a big food store in Lancaster?
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    yeah man im not to sure what else to tell you to check...I wish I could hear the noise..fore the internet isnt good for noise diag...I assume with all the work done on the car recently it prob couldnt hurt to go over all the nuts and bolts down there and make sure there all tight... Yeah shady maple is a huge like smorgasborge around like honey brook area...bangin food.. but yeah im kind of interested to see what you find...

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    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    Yea, everything was tight still. The axel nut didn't back off any either. I was kinda hoping that was the problem.

    I ended up replacing the bearing... again. I took the knuckle and Hub assembly off again and tried to feel for any discontinuity in the smoothness of a couple day old bearing. It felt fine. I decided to stick the knuckle and rotor into the wheel and lock it down with a couple lug nuts. Picking it up from the knuckle and rocking it around produced an audiable knocking sound. I took it to a trusted mechanic and asked him what he thought. He told me the hub isn't secured to the knuckle unless the axel is in there and bolted down. That makes sense but foiled my knocking sound idea. He then tried something I didn't. I spun the knuckle around by giving it a quick flick of the wrist while holding a mechanics stethoscope up to a rigid part of the assembly. There was a tapping sound that was pretty apparent and could be felt through the tire.

    I went and had a new bearing pressed in paying close attention to the hub when it was pressed out. There was some slight scoring on it, but when held next to something straight and up to the light, I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. If it's the Hub that went bad, I'll be really surprised. I reused the seals since they looked brand new aside from some dirty grease on the outsides of them.

    So she's back together and I don't hear any more squealing. I'm really hoping that this will be last time I have to change the wheel bearings. Knock on wood!
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    hey at least you've come proficient at doing it..

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    Registered User AspisBlue's Avatar
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    Hello,

    So i have been reading this.
    My cv boot just took a crap this morning. i was (speeding) down the freeway and smelt a smell.
    my boot is torn, and it spun **** everywhere.

    So i will need to replace that, i was wondering if this is the right place for this?
    So reading thus far, i can buy all the parts to replace/rebuild it?

    I also have a clicking noise, when the car rocks or banks in a turn, its not a squeak, so could it be the bearings?

    i bought new bushings, not on yet.
    ( i am going buy some new springs this weekend and replace as much as i can.)

    I can turn a wrench, but i dont want to turn it the wrong way, make things worse.

  15. #14
    Registered User AgentH's Avatar
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    You can definitely rebuild your axel, but you need some special tools to tighten down the clamps that hold the boot's in place.

    ... having tried to hand tighten the clamp on the new boot after replacing it only to discover fresh grease everywhere the next day, I got (borrowed) the right tool. If you know a mechanic, I recommend borrowing the tools. Otherwise you'll have to buy em... and it doesn't seem very worth while to me.

    As far as the ticking noise is concerned... I've had brake pads make quite a bit of noise.. I was spooked with the whole wheel bearing thing, but kept driving, and eventually the noise went away.

    You can be pretty sure that it's a wheel bearing if the noise gets worse over time... to the point when you hear it all the time or to the point when all it takes is a little stab to the steering wheel while driving.

    by the way, in this post I replaced both left and right bearings. I then had to replace the front left again only about 2 days later due to a bad installation. Well earlier this year, I had to replace the front right again. I blame using neversieze on the axel nut and not doing a good job of pinging the tab down on the nut to prevent it from rotating. I made sure this time not to use neversieze on the axle. I also repacked the bearing with redline cv-2 synthetic grease and had a trusted mechanic press the bearing in. No problems since then.

    One last thing. I used this tool on my honda civic when replacing a half shaft. It saved me SO MUCH grief. I don't know if the cut out is big enough for the impreza, but if it is, you'll be grateful you have it. I tore a boot using a pickle fork and bent a ball joint stud using a hammer... Would have been nice to have this tool when monkeying around with it it the first time. Just be sure to grease the hell out of the cut out so you don't accidentally tear the boot.
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AspisBlue View Post
    Hello,

    So i have been reading this.
    My cv boot just took a crap this morning. i was (speeding) down the freeway and smelt a smell.
    my boot is torn, and it spun **** everywhere.

    So i will need to replace that, i was wondering if this is the right place for this?
    So reading thus far, i can buy all the parts to replace/rebuild it?

    I also have a clicking noise, when the car rocks or banks in a turn, its not a squeak, so could it be the bearings?

    i bought new bushings, not on yet.
    ( i am going buy some new springs this weekend and replace as much as i can.)

    I can turn a wrench, but i dont want to turn it the wrong way, make things worse.

    ok so is the outer CV boot torn or the inner DOJ boot? Are you 100% sure the clicking noise isnt the joint run dry of grease? how many miles are on the vehicle?

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