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    Thread: CV Axle replacement DIY

    1. Member
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      1996 Jetta GLX VR6
      09-20-2011 09:16 PM #1
      I am going to be demonstrating the Drivers side CV Axle replacement on a 1994 Jetta GLX
      I cannot guarantee that a different model or year will be identical, I take no responsibility for what you do to your car, this is merely a guide.

      Tools Needed:

      Jack
      Jack stands
      30mm axle nut socket
      17mm lug bolt socket
      13mm socket
      8mm Triple-Square (12 point) Torx socket
      Ratchets
      Torque Wrench
      A buddy to step on the brakes

      Optional Tools (Highly recommended):

      Impact Wrench ($30 compact model from harbor freight works great )
      Service Manual

      1) Park the car on a hard level surface

      2) Place the car in Park/In gear and the Emergency Brake "ON"

      3) IMPORTANT: "break free" the axle nut while the car is on the ground, but DO NOT remove it. The axle nut *should* be very tight and/or rusted, a breaker bar or "cheater bar" would be very useful; or just use an impact
      Also, if not using an impact, loosen the lug bolts now
      Photobucket

      4) Locate the front jack points in the frame, underneath the front doors; the frame is notched where the jack should go

      5) Jack the car up and put it on jack stands (only one side is "required", but i put mine up on two because it has to sit for a few days while the axle is being rebuilt)

      6) Finish loosening the lug bolts and remove the wheel
      Photobucket

      7) Finish removing the axle nut

      8) Behind the hub, there will be three (3) 13mm bolts that hold the ball joint assembly to the control arm, remove them (I have already started removing one)
      Photobucket

      9) I used penetrating oil and a hammer to get the ball joint assembly out of the control arm
      I am sure there is a better way, but mine was pretty rusted in there... Damn Wisconsin

      10) Now the CV axle needs to come out of the hub assembly
      There is no good way to explain this, once you start doing it, it is just a combination of turning the wheels and wiggling it around to achieve this
      Photobucket

      11) I never got a picture of them, but if you follow the CV axle up towards the engine, it connects to the transmission via six (6) 8mm tripple-square (12 point) torx bolts
      I used an impact wrench because mine were very tight, but if using a ratchet, you would need someone stepping on the breaks to lock the axle (in my case, the passenger side of the differential is the one normally locked, so stepping on the breaks cause both sides to lock up )
      If you dont want to buy the socket, my dad has a friend who is a mechanic and let me borrow his socket
      It looks like this:
      Photobucket

      12) The CV Axle should now be free
      This is where it attaches to the transmission:
      Photobucket

      Photobucket

      Here are the bolts that were removed during the process:
      Photobucket

      To install, repeat in opposite order

      The same mechanic who loaned me the socket recommended that I have the CV Axle rebuilt instead of replacing it, so my car has to stay on stands for a few days
      If anyone is in the Milwaukee Area, he recommended A-1 Driveshafts off of 35th & Burleigh
      Remember to get new seals and boots for the CV Axles, as well as new grease
      Also, axle nuts are considered "one time use"...
      IF your bolts were as rusted as mine, getting replacements would be a good idea

      Torque specs for re-install:

      CV Axle 8mm 12 point bolts (six) - 33 ft-lbs
      Ball Joint to Control Arm 13mm bolts (three) - 18-22 ft-lbs
      Axle Nut 30mm (one) - 195 ft-lbs
      Lug Bolts 17mm (five) - 81 ft-lbs

      Thanks for reading and good luck

      Comments Appreciated
      Last edited by samiam0295; 09-20-2011 at 09:41 PM.

    2. Member sk8too's Avatar
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      97 Jetta VR swapped. 2010 CC VR Executive
      09-20-2011 09:29 PM #2
      nicely done, but to whoever else might read this make sure you get all new CV axle seals and new grease. also since your already waiting on parts to show up order a few extra bolts just encase you strip one or two out. and the axle nut's are a "one time use" item, but I've reused mine with out any problems.

    3. Member
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      1996 Jetta GLX VR6
      09-20-2011 09:41 PM #3
      Thanks, edited

    4. Member SVTDanny's Avatar
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      09-20-2011 09:49 PM #4
      Not sure if it's a VR6/2.0 difference, or if it was just because it was a MK2 VR6 w/ 4 lug, but on my old MK2 VR I could unbolt the axle at the tranny and there was enough room to wiggle it out that way instead of having to pull the ball joint out and screwing with the alignment.

    5. Member
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      1996 Jetta GLX VR6
      09-20-2011 09:52 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by djsheijkdfj View Post
      Not sure if it's a VR6/2.0 difference, or if it was just because it was a MK2 VR6 w/ 4 lug, but on my old MK2 VR I could unbolt the axle at the tranny and there was enough room to wiggle it out that way instead of having to pull the ball joint out and screwing with the alignment.
      Maybe it could be done, but I didn't want to risk damaging anything on my CV Axle because I was getting it rebuilt not replaced.

    6. Member sk8too's Avatar
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      97 Jetta VR swapped. 2010 CC VR Executive
      09-20-2011 10:38 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by djsheijkdfj View Post
      Not sure if it's a VR6/2.0 difference, or if it was just because it was a MK2 VR6 w/ 4 lug, but on my old MK2 VR I could unbolt the axle at the tranny and there was enough room to wiggle it out that way instead of having to pull the ball joint out and screwing with the alignment.
      Yep

    7. Member
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      1996 Jetta GLX VR6
      09-21-2011 10:34 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by djsheijkdfj View Post
      Not sure if it's a VR6/2.0 difference, or if it was just because it was a MK2 VR6 w/ 4 lug, but on my old MK2 VR I could unbolt the axle at the tranny and there was enough room to wiggle it out that way instead of having to pull the ball joint out and screwing with the alignment.
      It may have been possible to get the axle off, but after putting it back on today, I deem it impossible to put it back on without the ball joint mounting bolts off.

      It also did absolutely nothing to my alignment...

    8. Member AJmustDIE's Avatar
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      97 Black GLX, RIP 97 White 8vT Jetta Trek
      09-22-2011 01:52 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by root beer View Post
      It's Timmy with mmmmMojo, i have returned
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    9. 09-22-2011 02:02 AM #9
      I knew as soon as I saw 13mm there was going to be an issue.

      Removing the balljoint from the control arm screws up the alignment. Period.

      The ball joint to control arm bolt is 1" above them, and doesn't screw up the alignment, and accomplishes the same thing.

    10. Member Sallad's Avatar
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      09-22-2011 02:55 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by djsheijkdfj View Post
      I could unbolt the axle at the tranny and there was enough room to wiggle it out that way instead of having to pull the ball joint out and screwing with the alignment.
      I just did both of mine a few weeks ago. I didn't unbolt anything either.

      ...but nice write-up nonetheless.
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    11. Member SVTDanny's Avatar
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      09-22-2011 08:53 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by samiam0295 View Post

      It also did absolutely nothing to my alignment...

      You'll get it close since there is not much play in the ball joint/control arm bolt holes, but it will be off. You'd be better off unbolting the ball joint from the knuckle, but that nut is a bitch to get to, and the ball joint is a bitch to get out.

    12. Member Danny P.'s Avatar
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      96 Jetta 2.0, VR6 with no home.
      09-22-2011 09:19 AM #12
      if you mark where the ball joint was prior to removing it you should be able to put it back on without messing up your alignment. i did this on both my axles and the car was still straight after i put everything back on

    13. Member
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      1996 Jetta GLX VR6
      09-22-2011 11:55 PM #13
      My Wisconsin car has rust and wear marks around that rust that allowed it to go back into the same position it came out of

    14. Member Sallad's Avatar
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      09-23-2011 04:27 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Danny P. View Post
      if you mark where the ball joint was prior to removing it you should be able to put it back on without messing up your alignment.
      An old trick, is to just use some spray paint and spray over the joints/bolts. When reassembling, just line up the edge of the bracket with the paint lines. (use black, so you can finish it all in black when it's back together)
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    15. Member FARRK007's Avatar
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      97 GTI VR6, 10 MK6 GTI/M6, 04 GTO/M6
      06-27-2012 08:05 PM #15
      GOOD WRITE-UP INDEED!! i think i can now tackle this job. op, would this apply to the pass. side as well?
      Thats the one giving me issues at the moment.
      and why do you recommend rebuilding over just buying a replacement?

      Any and all please feel free to chime in.
      "slow as molasis"

    16. Junior Member MackIUP's Avatar
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      98' Jetta GL
      06-28-2012 06:39 PM #16
      Did you have any problems with the new axle? I see in your picture it was a 90mm flange on the old cv axle, when I got a cv from Autozone for my 98' jetta it was the wrong flange size. When I did find the right size they said it was for the mk2's... but when I installed the right sized one it broke within 300yds after properly installing. im in need of a little help

    17. Member FARRK007's Avatar
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      06-29-2012 12:22 AM #17
      Im not sure if your question was for me. i have not done mine yet. my question was for the op or anyone familiar with this project...bump
      "slow as molasis"

    18. Member 16VWOLF's Avatar
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      1988 Wolfsburg Gli, 1992 Gti 8v
      06-29-2012 03:48 AM #18
      MackIUP- What do you mean it broke?! I bought an axle of ebay by searching for my axle flange size(100mm). I have an mk2 and as far as i know the axles can be used in both cars. Mine didn't come with a vibration reducer(a cuff located by the inner axle on newer cars). Either way I figure they are a direct replacement. most of the suspension stuff is anyway...I just did mine and I'm gonna drive it for the first time tomorrow...your scaring me lol

    19. Member FARRK007's Avatar
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      06-29-2012 09:39 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by FARRK007 View Post
      GOOD WRITE-UP INDEED!! i think i can now tackle this job. op, would this apply to the pass. side as well?
      Thats the one giving me issues at the moment.
      and why do you recommend rebuilding over just buying a replacement?

      Any and all please feel free to chime in.

      Bump again...still looking for an answer to this.
      "slow as molasis"

    20. Member Juggy's Avatar
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      06-29-2012 09:45 AM #20
      Off topic...

      Those rockers look like they are done.

    21. 01-27-2013 02:34 AM #21
      Sorry to revive an old thread, but i thought i would share my frustrating experience doing this job on a '96 GTi.

      Someone had previously done the axle on the drivers side of this particular car, which the owner wasn't aware of. For whatever reason, the bolts they used were not the 12pt torx bolts. They used conventional hex head bolts. Well, for 5 of the 6 they did. For the 6th they managed to put one of the oem style in. Of course i didn't realize this until i had already damaged it trying to get it out with a hex bit. Now i have 1 bolt stuck in there all stripped out, and it appears to be as tight as all get out. So thats going to be fun to get out.

      Anyhoo... i go do the passengers side, assuming that those too will be hex head bolts. No way no how i get the hex bit in there. So i got to cleaning it all down to see what i was dealing with. Turns out the passengers side was the oem 12pt torx bolts. Which i managed to get out ok.

      The point of the story being, if you're unsure of the repair history of your car, make sure to clean all the bolt heads out thoroughly so you can see what you're dealing with and you use the right bit and don't end up like me, with one stripped out bolt head that i have no idea how i'm going to get out. Oy.

      Also, on the drivers side, i managed to pry the knuckle off the ball joint without too much drama. The passengers side was a different story. I ended up removing the three bolts securing the ball joint to the control arm. In fact i ended up removing the whole strut assembly just to allow myself some more room.

      Here's some photos of some detailing work i had done on this car previously...

      https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1380461&type=3
      Last edited by dodgeyaussie; 01-27-2013 at 02:37 AM.

    22. Member CorradoFuhrer's Avatar
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      01-27-2013 04:15 AM #22
      sweet, just pulled my axles to replace my trans, bearings everywhere. I found a good picture of how to clock the CV to get the bearings in. I typically thought with the halfshaft bolts through the CV the balls wouldn't fall out of the or the middle cage thing sticking out with the bearings still in the outer race like my other one.

      Sucks getting greezy!
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    23. 03-23-2013 11:49 AM #23
      How did you end up getting that bolt out. I have the same problem but with two of them.

    24. 03-23-2013 02:14 PM #24
      What bolts are you talking about? The triple square bolts on the inner CV? If you stripped them, you're going to have to use vice grips, bolt out socket, or some other creative method. The bolt out sockets are your best bet. Just bang them on the heads.

    25. Member FARRK007's Avatar
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      03-23-2013 08:03 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by repeatthat View Post
      How did you end up getting that bolt out. I have the same problem but with two of them.
      i took it to a shop..they did all the work
      "slow as molasis"

    26. Member detepeslk's Avatar
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      08-10-2014 01:41 PM #26
      Bolts that are on axle to tranny are a bit tight. Is it ok to use dw40 on those?

    27. Member Shaniqua's Avatar
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      08-11-2014 02:56 AM #27
      If it hasn't been said, always put loctite on the axle flange bolts.

      Personally, I replace the stretch bolts with regular 13mm hex heads. I have had cv's on multiple cars fall off (3 cars, dozen times) whether its old bolts, new aftermarket, or new dealership. Stretch bolts always come out for me.

      Also, almost every single CV axle is able to be done without taking apart the susp. This being the case, to add, removing the balljoint in any way will alter the alignment, may be miniscule but nonetheless

      Lastly, I always replace with rebuilt, usually come with a lifetime warranty (orielly does). ~$80

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