How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

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How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Ryki » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:30 am


DISCLAIMER: Do not take anything apart until you mentally note how it is currently put together, knowing full well that you could put something back wrong and have to go through everything again. Paying attention to everything that you take apart can save you time, money, headaches and even entire parts that you'll be working on. I've done my best to do a complete write up because I went into this the wrong way and have explored every option of how things could go together. I'll make note of any nuances or issues I had and the best way I found to do it. If you feel you want to deviate, that's fine, but it may not turn out well for you.

I'm writing my own up simply for the purpose of those who want to get their rear boots replaced but if you have any questions or concerns there is a How To on replacing front CV boots for an ix by ten2doyle here:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=630
As well as a How To on replacing rear wheel bearings with notes on removing the CV Axle as well by Yoshi here:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=623


If you're wondering how to fix, repair or rebuild CV axles this should be able to help, at least to an extent. I believe in OEM parts and I really like the build quality of E30 axles, thus my reason for not going for cheap half shafts. This is not a perfect problem solver but hopefully it'll help whomever needs it.
Last edited by Ryki on Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: How To: (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Ryki » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:31 am


CV Axle Removal:


Parts:
I went ahead and got new axle shaft nuts from Pelican Parts as these things carry some stress and are cheap enough to buy that there's no reason to add them on a $75+ purchase from them:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/ksearch/PEL_search.cgi?command=show_part_page&please_wait=N&make=POR&model=BE30&section=SUSaxl&page=4&bookmark=&part_number=33-41-1-125-664-M36

Tools:
Big Flat Tip Screwdriver
Rubber Mallet
Hammer
Set of Triple Squares (For Diff Bolts, they're kind of like an alan head but 12 pointed)
3/8" Drive Ratchet
1/2" Socket
30mm Socket (For Axle Nut)
17mm Socket (For Lug Nuts)
Impact/Breaker Bar
Wrenches (For Exhaust bolts, mine were 1/2" and 12mm)


So, first things first. You can break loose the lug nuts on your wheels before getting in the air. You can either get the car on a lift or the rear end on the air but make sure the e-brake is on and the car in gear. I would also suggest blocks on the front and back of a front tire if you're just jacking it up.

Having someone to help with the next step would save you time but you can do it yourself, make sure you do everything on one side and move to another before you let them leave you though. You want to break loose the bolt that you can get easily with the ratchet, socket and triple square with the e-brake on and the car in gear. Then you need to take it out of gear and undo the e-brake, rotate the axle until you can get the next bolt easily and set the e-brake and put it in gear again. This is why having someone helps -- they can set/undo the e-brake and put the car in/out of gear.

Image

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Once all of them are loosened you can have your helper undo the e-brake and take it out of gear and proceed to remove the bolts. Make sure to keep the three collars that come off with them as you don't get another set as you do bolts with the CV boot kit.

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Once they're all removed the axle may be able to drop, but worry not! That's okay.

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Next up, remove the wheels and you should be looking at the end of your CV axle shaft with the axle nut threaded on it and a washer behind it. As we don't have to mess with anything on the passenger side we'll begin there. Use an impact and the 30mm socket to remove the axle lug nut, and you may need a flat-tip screwdriver to get the washer out:

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To get the axle out I reversed the large flat tip screwdriver so the nice plastic handle was on the axle shaft and the tip was facing me (opposite this picture as I was getting the washer out but it helps with the idea):

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(Me putting it back in but with the screwdriver in the right direction)
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Hit it and it should come out just fine (if you need more dire measures or what tools to use if it's stuck see Yoshi's post as it is completely possible to take a lot of oomph to get your axle out). To pull the axle out it's best to pull it directly away from the wheel hub like such:

Image

Now you have the passenger side axle out! Sadly I was too tired by this point so I forgot to take pictures when removing the exhaust; good news is that the driver side axle is removed exactly the same way once the exhaust is removed. To remove the exhaust you need to loosen and remove the bolts/nuts between the exhaust that goes from the cat back. There're two sleeves to each pipe and bolts going through them with a nut on the end. My bolts were 1/2" and the nuts were 12mm brass ones. Other than that you just have to loosen the strap that goes around the muffler and get the hook out of the rubber holders. Fun part is getting it out. I laid down underneath the car and used my feet to hold the end near the cat and my hands/knees to pull it straight towards the bumper of the car. A little twisting and pulling at a direct angle towards the bumper should net you a free exhaust!

Once both axles are out it's a good time to go ahead and clean the grooves of the axle hub and the cv axle ends. There is the possibility of a lot of drime built up that made it difficult to get out and won't help going back in. Take time and a screwdriver with a rag around the end to clean all the grooves.
Last edited by Ryki on Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How To: (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Ryki » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:31 am


CV Axle Rebuild:


Parts:
I bought the complete boot kit as it comes with new bolts, inner boot with dust cover already on it as well as inner dust cover, large cv boot clamp and small screw clamp. The other boot is just a boot with no dust cover, so make sure to not mess up the outer joint dust cover.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/catalog/shopcart/BE30/POR_BE30_SUSaxl_pg5.htm#item25

Tools Needed:
Hammer
Rubber Mallet/Hammer
2-3 Flat Tip Screwdrivers of small-medium size
A pack of latex gloves are recommended
Snap Ring Pliers (8-14 bucks at the local parts store)
CV Clamp Tool (8-9 bucks


Once the axles are off the car and away from things you can bring them to a bench and get ready for the real work.

The end that we'll be starting with is the inner CV joint (as a note, I did this stuff after taking it apart and cleaning everything up so that people get a cleaner picture of what they're dealing with):

Image

The end cap is a dust cover for the joint itself and has to be removed. You'll need a medium size flat tip screwdriver with a skinny tip and your hammer for this part. As seen below, you'll want to position the screw driver as to be as close to parallel with the outer joint so you don't scratch the outer joint housing's metal. Place the dust cap end against something soft and sturdy, wadded shirt against the wall, or your foot if you want to do it on the ground. The screw driver will be gently hammered in between the dust cap and the joint itself, taking scare to not smash into it as you've just got get the tip in there a good bit:

Image

That's about as far as is needed to get down in there but you can certainly get it further in if need be. Continue this process around the dust cover in small increments until you start to see it move. The aim of doing this is the get the entire lip opened ever so slightly as it doesn't take much to get it to come off. When you've gone all the way around and it hasn't come off you may continue going around this time aiming the spots in-between where you were hitting before. When it comes off it should come off like this:

Image

Take note that the outside portion of the joint that the dust cover goes over is the double groove portion towards the differential, or the letters on the same face sitting on the diff as well. Next up you'll want to take a look at the face of the joint. It's worth it to note the center part of the mechanism (I'll call it the gear) is smooth as when taking it off later you'll notice the other side of the gear to have a raised lip. You'll also want to note that the gear is offset from the outer portion of the joint that we've been dealing with, small tooth on the gear points towards the large part of the outer part of the joint housing. And the joint has medium-large and medium-small portions of the outer joint housing (this is the side with two grooves), also important for later:

Image

You'll be able to see the joint itself now that the dust cover is off; above is what it should look like cleaned. To remove the center gear and spider cage you simply need to wiggle the entire joint while pulling down on the outer housing; getting the balls out of the mechanism is a little weird and will take a little maneuvering. Getting the joint pressed down on the outer housing to one angle or another will help, you'll notice whichever way they come out easier. This part is a little funky but:

Image

As that comes out you'll have to place the 6 balls aside to be cleaned later. Next step is to remove the snap ring with the snap ring pliers, don't worry if it goes flying as you have new ones in the kits above, but I'd keep track of them just to be safe. Set the gear and spider cage aside to be cleaned later as well:

Image

Now you should have a nice empty joint to look at:

Image

You can do your best to remove the boot and clamp carefully or you can cut them off as I did. You should have a nice set of parts to clean up from the inner joint, like such:

Image

You'll want to cut and remove the outer CV boot as well, being careful to not damage the boot cover as the kit doesn't come with one. I apologize for the lack of pictures here but it was pretty standard. Clean the inside of that outer joint as absolute best you can. Move it around, stick your finger up there and get as much of it out as you can while taking care to not add any sediments to the joint. Once you feel you've gone around a few times and it's as clean as it gets, installing the lower CV boot is quite simple. Big end towards the joint, pull it down over the end and slide it right up to the joint. I suggest placing the skinny portion of the boot between the grooves on the axle and putting your clamp in place, a little bit of loctite does wonders to keep the small screw clamp from loosening up over time:

Image

Next you'll want to pack grease down in the boot and in the joint, with the only rough part being getting the boot over the dust cover's lip. You'll want to grasp it with all four fingers on the boot itself and your palm/thumb holding the joint. Press down on the boot with all four fingers and use your other hand to press the boot down, walking around while never moving that main hand, it should pop on with a less-than-triumphant sound. Now all that's left is the CV boot clamp, at least for the outer boot. I would highly suggest against using screw-tightened water hose clamps here. Spend the couple of bucks on a:

Image

8 bucks online (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/wmr-w83013/media/images) or at a local parts store. With the tool all you you have to do is get the clamp around it, situate and then place it over and use it as such:

Image
(Img Borrowed from http://audi-diy.blogspot.com because this helped me want to buy one and because my picture was corrupted somehow -.-)

Now we need to move back to the inner joint. Go ahead and clean up everything we've taken apart thus far. You need a clean space to set all of the cleaned items so no sediments get stuck to them, as well as clean hands/gloves and a clean rag/paper towel to wipe everything down. Take your time and clean the gear, spider cage, all 6 balls, joint and CV axle itself.

First up we want to put the actual joint together, trust me as you don't want to do it with the boot on and it on the axle itself. You'll want to hold the outer joint housing with one hand and do everything else with the other, get this mixed up and the joint will end up backwards and won't move once you get it on the axle and the other dust cover on. You'll want to have a good place to work, put the gear back in the spider cage and grab hold onto the outer joint like your hand is the boot, with the double grooved side facing you and the single sided groove face in your palm. Place the gear and spider cage in the middle of the housing with the flat face of the gear facing you as well as the grooves offset (big in line with little and little in line with big). Now you'll want to maneuver the gear and spider cage to extreme angles and get one ball in at a time. This will take a bit of time to get it to work but at least it isn't on the axle or covered in grease at this point. Once the last piece has gone into place you should have a complete joint looking at you like such:

Image

Now we have to place the boot, with dust cover already attached, onto the joint that we just put together. I turned the tip of the boot inside out for better control of it while working with it. Make sure to line up the dust cover with the holes as well as you can before applying any pressure, as well as making sure the boot and cover are going on the outer joint housing with the single groove side, double grove facing away, like such:

Image

Give it a good press down with both hands. You'll need your rubber mallet, six bolts that came with the kit and a flat surface. Place the bolts through backwards and make sure the dust cover is properly aligned before smashing it into place, you don't want to run the risk of ruining the dust cover. You'll set the joint with the bolts on the ground/flat surface and hammer in circles around the dust cover on the spaces in-between the bolts:

Image

It'll have one side normally go down first then you'll be stuck going back and forth in half circles on the raised side. When the dust cover gets close to being on all the way, trust it to go straight. Pull the bolts and rubber hammer around the edges of the dust cover until it is completely flush:

Image

Now you can feel free to get some grease in the boot from the small hole side as well as packing some grease in from the joint side. Make sure to get some in and around the joints backside. To get the boot and joint on the axle I found it easier to hold everything, get two fingers onto the inside of the small lip and use a flat tip screw driver to pry up the lip itself then move while applying constant pressure until you see it get off the small edge at the end of the axle shaft:

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Now you just have to slide the gear onto the end of the axle, while aligning the grooves and teeth correctly. It should slide on with relative ease, only needing a gentle nudge from the rubber mallet to get on completely:

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Now you can add the snap ring to the end of the shaft to keep the gear and joint in place as well as putting the small boot clamp on, make sure it sets well in between the grooves and to add some loctite. Add what little grease you have left to the open end, packing in as much as you can:

Image

Last step for the axle itself is to put the other dust cover on. I suggest the good ol' thigh hug. I lined up the dust cover as best I could and pressed evenly and gently. Then I placed the six bolts in to line her up proper, grabbed it as good as I could with my hand between my thigh and where I was hitting and started hitting circles:

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If you can think of a better idea where you don't mar the dust covers, that's great -- just be careful to not set it on a vice and hammer circles as you run the risk of demolishing the lip where the boot came pre attached to the dust cover. When it's pretty well on there you can remove the bolts and rubber hammer like a madman until the dust cover is on flush, you may end up looking something like me with my method but it worked like a charm and nothing was messed up:

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TADA! You have now rebuilt your CV axles and you can simply put them back in!

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My face after figuring all this stuff out the hard way. To put them back in simply follow my guide to taking them out, backwards. Seems weird huh, but I actually did the write up for taking them out by putting mine in. Only trick you need to know is to get the axle straight on with the teeth aiming towards where it needs to go and wiggling it in. Trust me when I say that no other angle, effort or hammering will get it in. A little bit of lube on the cleaned splines of the axle will help as you shouldn't be hammering it in, if it takes too much effort you've got it in wrong.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or need help, please feel free to ask. This is a great community and someone will certainly be able to help you!
Last edited by Ryki on Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How To: (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Ryki » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:34 am

Reserved For Possibly Needed Corrections

3-20-2013 - Added the suggestion to clean the splines and hub of any debree or goop as well as a little lube on the splines when placing the back in, as suggested by Nsquared.
Last edited by Ryki on Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Yoshi » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:42 am

WIN
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Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby M20_fever » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:26 am

Simply awesome! Sticky.
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Ryki » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Thank y'all kindly, hopefully people get use out of this : )
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby ten2doyle102 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:59 pm

Nicely documented and written! Weird how different the IX front Axles are compared to the rears. Not even close.

Next time, I might suggest a work bench of some sorts to save your shorts from destruction.. :)
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Ryki » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:14 pm

Heh, that's what I get for being in the middle of trying to get stuff settled to PCS :P Thanks and I'll be taking a look at those front ones soon on Igel!
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby AustinR » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:44 pm

Nice writeup!
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M20_fever wrote:Austin is right.
Nsquared97 wrote:You were right again Austin!
87e30 wrote:Austin is right yet again!

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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:48 pm

Why has this not been stickied yet? Using it right now to rebuild one of my axles, can't thank you enough for doing this.
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Ryki » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:38 pm

AW YAY! Seriously though, makes me happy that it was used! Hope it's going well, if you have any issues I can pm you my cell and you can call : )
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Nsquared97 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:31 pm

Only issue I have been having is my car hasn't been in Florida all it's life, it's been a lot more difficult to get everything apart lol.
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby Ryki » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:17 am

Heh, I can only imagine. My ix lived a good life and was still :/
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Re: How To: A (Nearly) Complete CV Axle Removal and Rebuild

Postby M20_fever » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:43 pm

stickied. Thought I already did it.
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