CV Joints – Replacing an Axle

We have all been here, at some point or another. We all know the tell tail signs, grease on the inside of the wheel, and clunking coming from the front and well, more grease on everything, literally. The classic signs of a CV boot failure. This means a boot kit and rebuild or just replacing the whole damn thing. Well we were faced with this common problem just the other day, so we went ahead and ordered our axle. It was cheaper than we expected, so that was a plus. CleanAudi recommends Raxles for the best replacement. (They don’t regrind there parts, meaning the axle is far less likely to fail prematurely)  For those of you that may not know, the CV boot is packed with grease to keep the ball bearings in the constant-velocity joint working correctly. Over the years this rubber boot can succumb to weather and age. This often leaves a clear sign of grease on everything down there. Annoying, we know. It’s really clear when the joint has gone bad, as you can see the crack most times. So what to do? Well there are rebuild kits out there, but more often than not, it’s easier to just replace the whole axle. (We were like wut? But it’s true, the cost to rebuild and the price of an aftermarket axle are close) Once you have the axle the job is pretty simple. Except if you have a custom exhaust, more on that later. You will need to crack the axle bolt, it’s a brute (128nm) but with a good bar, not too hard. Once that’s out the six bolts around the inner joint are next. They are harder to get to, but not nearly as tight. Now you should be able to slide the axle out and towards the back of the car. Should being the key word here. If you have, per say, aftermarket down pipes, or stuff like that, you will hate your life. No, really, you will. We should note that there is a heat shield around the inner joint that must come off. As for the aftermarket exhaust, it will make it much harder to get out, but not impossible. After some cursing and banging you can remove the CV joint without taking apart the whole car. (We only took out the shock tower, again) We also found that jacking up the suspension helped get the new axle into place. Finally make sure you pack the inner joint with grease to keep the bearings nice and slick. While we were in there, we also replaced the sway bar end links with units from Febi Bilstein, the old links were clearly worn. We are happy with the overall job, even though it took longer than expected. Also we were surprised at the light weight of the Febi end links. Good Stuff. As always we have some pictures below, as well as the DIY we used. Don’t try this if you aren’t sure you can get it right. Happy wrenching.

-CA Staff

DIY: http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/444975-DIY-front-CV-axle-replacement

 

And some videos for gigs:

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