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Old 04-02-2010, 03:57 PM   #1
tomkovacs
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2004 2WD DX MT
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Angry Front axle replacement

Hi everyone, I have an 04' orange lunch box. I bought it new and loved it up until now. Since I have reached the 60.000 mile mark, I decided to fix everything then decide to keep or sell this cool car. Everything was fine until I wanted to fix the "clicking sound at sharp turn" issue. I got a new cv joint/axle assembly (left). I tried to take out the old axle but everything is breaking and I am simply stuck!

Someone PLEASE HELP and tell me what is trick to get the axle out? I already took off the nut on the axle, took out the 2 screws from the rotor (one broke) disconnected the upper portion of the hub and ready to push out the axle with a puller mounted on the rotor by the lug bolts (the rotor broke too so I got a set of new rotors and pads) took off the brake calipers. The axle seems to be "welded" into the hub. What am I missing? Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:44 PM   #2
slimerdogs
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Sounds like you went the wrong way. After removing the axle bolt remove the 2 bolts holding the strut to the spindle and remove the steering link and the 3 upper bolts and remove the strut. Also unhook the link for the swaybar. spray some WH40 and tap the shaft inward to remove inward. as for the inside joint use a large screwdriver or prybar and pop out the inner joint. Fluid will leak out of the transmission so you will have to refill it afterwards and reinstall the axle. Just be careful not to pull out the inner cv while installing the new shaft. I just replaced mine and it took about an hour taking my time.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:11 PM   #3
tomkovacs
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Thanks for the quick response! First I tried to simply "tapping the shaft inward". I did not move at all so at that point knowing that I have a new axle, I started hammering the axle as hard as I could (see mushroom on pic.). Still nothing. Then I decided to remove the 2 screws that hold the rotor. I wanted to remove the rotor to see what on earth is preventing the axle to move. So I grabbed an imapct driver and proceeded to remove the 2 srews that hold the rotor. The bit in the impact driver broke in half! I grabbed a new bit and continued when one of the screws broke in half. Then I tried to pull the rotor off, that is when it borke too. At this point I just want something to give!!! I sprayed - I soaked - this whole assy with PB Blaster still nothing. So my question is: Is there anything on the inside of the spindle that stops the axle from moving? A pin or anything? I guess there should be nothing so all I can think of that I live in Iowa and they dump a bunch of salt on the road every winter which resulted the parts simply corrode together in the past 5 years so bad I might just start cutting things out with a grinder...The other thing I don't get is that there is a shoulder of some sort on the outside that is actually in the way of the rotor...how am I supposed to pass that if its diameter is bigger than the hole diameter on the rotor...this whole thing came to full stop for me.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:21 PM   #4
Flat Lander
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Slimer pretty much nailed it, but just to clarify a few points....

You don't have to completely remove the strut from the car, just remove the 2 big bolts that hold the strut assy to the spindle. Also, you don't need to remove the steering linkage. It saves a little time doing it this way, and you stand less chance of breaking bolts or tearing the boot on the tie rod. As for the broken screw in the rotor, it's not a necessity, it just holds the rotor in place when you remove the wheels. Slimer's comment "Just be careful not to pull out the inner cv while installing the new shaft", is a little misleading since you bought the entire shaft. Hold the spindle and pull it outward while hitting the threaded portion of the old shaft with a large hammer, it will slide through the spindle. Once it's free from the spindle, the only thing keeping the shaft attached to the transaxle it the inner cv. The inner cv is held in by an internal circlip (snap ring). Put a pry bar between the transaxle and the cv joint and pry them apart. Once it's past the circlip it will slide out easily. As Slimer said, transmission fluid will leak out.

When going back together with the new shaft, be careful not to damage the seal on the transaxle. When it slides in to the point where it stops, you'll need to tap it past the circlip to lock it back in place. Be careful not to damage the threads on the new shaft. You may need to start the nut on the threads to protect them. DON'T hit it too hard or you can damage the transaxle. Just tap it to the point that the clip is engaged. The 2 large bolts that hold the strut to the spindle effect the camber setting. Make sure you torque the new axle nut and make sure to get it aligned asap. Everything else is pretty much self explanatory.

Not trying to step on your toes or pi$$ you off Slimer, just wanted to clarify some of your points for him.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:27 PM   #5
Flat Lander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkovacs View Post
Thanks for the quick response! First I tried to simply "tapping the shaft inward". I did not move at all so at that point knowing that I have a new axle, I started hammering the axle as hard as I could (see mushroom on pic.). Still nothing. Then I decided to remove the 2 screws that hold the rotor. I wanted to remove the rotor to see what on earth is preventing the axle to move. So I grabbed an imapct driver and proceeded to remove the 2 srews that hold the rotor. The bit in the impact driver broke in half! I grabbed a new bit and continued when one of the screws broke in half. Then I tried to pull the rotor off, that is when it borke too. At this point I just want something to give!!! I sprayed - I soaked - this whole assy with PB Blaster still nothing. So my question is: Is there anything on the inside of the spindle that stops the axle from moving? A pin or anything? I guess there should be nothing so all I can think of that I live in Iowa and they dump a bunch of salt on the road every winter which resulted the parts simply corrode together in the past 5 years so bad I might just start cutting things out with a grinder...The other thing I don't get is that there is a shoulder of some sort on the outside that is actually in the way of the rotor...how am I supposed to pass that if its diameter is bigger than the hole diameter on the rotor...this whole thing came to full stop for me.
The shoulder in your pic is NOT larger than the hole in the rotor, it's an optical illusion. The shaft is probably just rusted in the bearing and the rotor is rusted onto the spindle. Worst case scenario, remove the spindle (leaving the shaft in it), separate the inner cv from the trans and take it to a machine shop, they can press it out. It may damage the wheel bearing, so be prepared to buy a new one. It will also have to be pressed out and the new one pressed back in. Patients...save the grinder for other projects.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
ramblerdan
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The procedure per the service manual (available from Helm and site sponsor HandA) is to separate the ball joint from the lower arm, allowing the hub to swing out and away. That could be your problem; the axle has nowhere to go.

See also:
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http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...d.php?p=807130
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...d.php?p=842503

Looks like you're doing the passenger's side. No tranny fluid will leak out when you remove that axle.

Good advice on not forcing the new axle in on the tranny end.

Last edited by ramblerdan; 04-02-2010 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:38 PM   #7
slimerdogs
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It does look like the spindle is frozen in the rotor bearing and no I am not misleading on the install as the inner is a trunion and not a CV joint and from experience after the lift job on mine and others that have done the same thing there is no stop on the rollers in the trunion and if you pull a little too hard they will come out of the socket and you will find it impossible to get them back in without removing the boot ring. The removal of the strut just gets it out of the way but not necessary as again mine has a lift kit. If you cant get it to move the worst thing you will have to do is get a replacement spindle assembly from ether a junk yard or Honda. Salt is a big contributor on the sticky parts and thankfully they don't do that up here so mine came right out with a couple taps.
Also forgot. You can just remove the whole spindle off the lower control arm and take it to a shop that has a press and get it pushed out but I would replace the bearing after that as it could damage the bearing and its cheapier to do it now then removing it again. I love graves.
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Last edited by slimerdogs; 04-03-2010 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:37 AM   #8
Flat Lander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimerdogs View Post
...and no I am not misleading on the install...
Maybe my choice of the word "misleading" was improper. My point was just to clarify what you had already stated, but in a more descriptive manner as well as giving him the option of not removing the strut assy. As for the inner joint being a trunnion vs. cv, I understand, but since he's replacing the entire shaft assy. and the old unit is a core, who cares if it comes apart since it's not being reinstalled. There's always more than one way to get something accomplished.

I apologize if I offended you Slimer, I was just trying to help.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:57 AM   #9
slimerdogs
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Its not the removal that would be the problem its the install that he has to watch. When you install the new shaft and the spindle is hangine like it is in the photo it will pull apart the inner CV and then its a heck of a time to redo it. Trust goofy me as it happened to me when I did the CCM lift on mine and a few other have had it done to theirs. I used a strap from the upper bolt to something on the body after that and it held it from doing that. Like I said from my stupid experiance.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:43 PM   #10
Flat Lander
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I understand your point now. I thought you were telling him to be careful not to pull the old shaft apart. It's all good....
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