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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Busted CV boots are a common problem that comes with age and heat cycling. Mine just busted so, I figured what better time to do a write up. Now I could just go out and buy a remanufactered axle and throw it in but, personally I prefer to keep the oem one. Luckily I caught it soon enough that there was no damage to the axle. If yours has went too long and is dry of grease or clicking, you will need a New one. This particular one is on my 06 WRX. Should be the same or very similar on other Subaru models.

Start by jacking the car up and supporting it on jack stands.

Remove the wheels 1414876707511.jpg

Now you want to use a small punch, nail, chisel, or something of that nature to straighten the indentation in the axle nut that prevents it from coming loose. It's hard to see in this picture but, its the best I got. 1414876905994.jpg

Now with an assistant holding the brake pedal, use a 32mm socket and breaker bar to loosen and remove the axle nut. Never loosen or tighten the axle nut with weight on the suspension. This could cause damage to the bearing.

Now remove the lower nut on the sway bar endlink using a 14mm socket. You may have to use something on the backside like pliers or vice grips to keep it from spinning. 1414877191944.jpg
Pull it out and let it hang to the side like so. 1414877249543.jpg

Now remove the 2 brake caliper mounting bolts with a 17mm socket or wrench. 1414877364848.jpg

Pull the caliper off and hang it by zip ties or a bugee cord or something of that nature like so. 1414877457817.jpg

Now pull the brake rotor off. It may be seized up on there. If it is insert 2-8mm bolts in the screw holes in the rotor and work them evenly until it comes free. 1414877595002.jpg

Now remove the cotter pin and castle nut that secure the tie rod end to the knuckle arm using needle nose pliers and a 19mm socket wrench. 1414877767482.jpg

For more clearance and room to work you can remove the brake dust shield using a 12mm socket wrench. 1414877860391.jpg 1414877904548.jpg
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
You will have to use a puller to get the tie rod end out. I rented a adjustable pitman arm puller from my local auto parts store. They give you a full refund upon returning it. 1414878088097.jpg
Attach the puller like so and crank until it pops out. Then move the tie rod to the side. 1414878167730.jpg

Now remove the 12mm bolt holding the abs sensor in. Also remove the mount for the wire on the strut. 1414878464041.jpg 1414878548557.jpg

Now remove the cotter pin and 19mm castle nut from the lower ball joint. 1414878529806.jpg

You will once again have to use the puller to free this one. 1414878607870.jpg

Now scribe or mark the position of the two bolt heads that secure the knuckle to the strut. 1414878695642.jpg
The upper bolt is cammed and needs to be returned to this exact position in order to keep your alignment camber settings the same. With a 19mm wrench and socket wrench remove these two nuts and bolts by turning on the nut while holding the bolt in place.

Now you can pull the hub assembly forward and off so that the splined part of the axle comes out. Mine was stuck so I had to use a hammer and punch to free it. After it is free you should be able to remove the whole hub assembly. 1414879143694.jpg My camera crapped out on me at this time so some pics are missing.

Now crawl under the car with a prybar and GENTLY pry between the axle and transmission to pop the axle out. Some models have a small pin that you will have to take out with a punch. Remove it from the vehicle and this is what you should be left with. 1414879116042.jpg

I have ordered my parts to reboot this axle already. When they arrive, I will continue this write up.

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Discussion Starter #3
Since I have lost the app for our forum on my phone, it is just too much of a hastle to upload pics now. I am going to ask mods to rename this how-to axle removal instead of it's origional name "axle service". I was going to show how to reboot it and all but, what good is a how-to without pics?

Right now would be a optimal time to replace ball joints, wheel bearings, or anything else in this area while it is easily accessible.

Anywhoo...axle installation is reverse of removal.

Replace the oil seal that goes in the transmission where the axle goes in.

Make sure the circlip is still on the splined end that goes in the transmission before re-installing the axle.

Push the axle in to the transmission straight so that you don't damage the oil seal.

Line the splines up and a good shove should lock it in. You will hear it snap when it locks in and cannot easily pull it out. If yours has the roll pin type then replace the pin to hold the axle in.

The rest of the procedure should be just reversal of disassembly. Here are some torque values for my particular model (2006 wrx). Remember never to loosen or tighten the axle nut with weight on the wheels and to restake the axle nut after it is torqued to spec. Always use a new axle nut and cotter pins.

Hub knuckle to strut 129 ft lb
Tie rod end ball joint to knuckle 19.9 ft lb
Brake caliper bolts 59 ft lb (non STI) 114.3 ft lb (STI)
sway bar endlink 22 ft lb (non STI) 33 ft lb (STI)
Axle nut 162 ft lb
ABS wheel speed sensor 24 ft lb
Lug nuts 65.7 ft lb
Brake dust shield 13 ft lb
 
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