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Old November 14th, 2012, 14:42   #1
rudall42
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Default Inner CV Joint Swap. Possible without yanking axles?

Hi. I've got a bad inner I believe. If I get the car 12 inches into the air,
can I drop the inner cvs without removing the axles, and reinstall on the
other side, as others seem to do?

Or is it better, much easier, and so forth to pull the entire axle?

Related question: As a rule, how many miles do people get out of these cv joints. my 03 jetta has 215k. Perhaps it would be better to just spring for Raxles and get both the inners and outers done at the same time?
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Old November 14th, 2012, 15:13   #2
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I changed mine at 271k miles (complete axles and joints).... however, I saved them because they appear to be okay. In this case, as indicated, I removed the complete axle and replaced with a package... CV joints, boots, etc.

I doubt you are going to get the CV Joint off with the axle still on the car. Actually, I've never changed the CV joint on an ALH. But, assuming there's little difference in them and older models, it ain't going to be easy. The CV Joints on many of the older Jettas, Rabbits, Golfs, Vanagons, Buses, etc., were sometimes very difficult to get off even with the axle clamped in a vise on the work bench..... just saying.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 16:38   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudall42 View Post
Or is it better, much easier, and so forth to pull the entire axle?
I just did my axles and its not difficult at all. You'll need an alignment afterwards, but over all it was not hard. You'll need one of two sized triple-square sockets to get them off though. M8 for manual and m12 for autos IIRC.

Edited to correct socket size.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 17:49   #4
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The manuals take a M8 tripple square bit for the inner CV joint bolts.

--Nate
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Old November 14th, 2012, 18:03   #5
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Originally Posted by 02DslPwr View Post
I just did my axles and its not difficult at all. You'll need an alignment afterwards...
I saw a post from Jeff Roberts awhile back about loosening and retightening the 3 lower ball joint nuts on both sides with the weight of the car on them before realigning it. This slides the ball joint to the end of the slots. Once you do that, you can service axles, clutches etc. without the need for realignment. Works good.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 18:26   #6
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There is a little bit of adjustment on the three lower ball joint mounting holes. I generally set these to the farthest outboard position before getting an alignment just to maximize negative camber (however small). I fail to see the point of placing the car on the ground to accomplish this unless you are very weak. Possible he meant tightening the control arm pivot bolt so as to reduce tension on the bushings?

You will notice the ball joint bolt heads leave marks. Very carefully re-install in the same marks and you will not alter your alignment. Even if you had them off by the slightest of margins the alignment shop would never be able to tell. Only a HIGHLY skilled alignment tech that is in LOVE with you will do more than get his equipment in the "green" and lock it down. Of course that does not apply to MK4 and up as there is no camber adjustment.

To the OP. You should remove the entire axle to swap the inner. If you flex the outer CV joint too much a ball can pop out and ruin your day.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 18:27   #7
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Default how do i find that post

hi. you mentioned Jeff Roberts. What is his screen
name, so that I can search for his post.
this!
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Old November 14th, 2012, 18:28   #8
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You start loosening the three bolts on the bottom of the Ball-joint, you will definitely need an alignment. Those three bolts will affect both Camber and Toe adjustment(s).

Loosen and remove the big nut on top of the ball-joint. Using the appropriate punch and heavy hammer, knock the control arm down and the ball joint will separate from the steering knuckle ......... If I remember correctly, tie rod end needs to come off too.... to provide room for the steering knuckle to move back far enough for the CV Joint/axle to drop off the axle flange once it is unbolted. And, of course, the big nut on the end of the axle must be removed (impact gun works good).

When you go back, there's no need to do an alignment as long as you didn't loosen the bottom bolts on the ball joint or loosen the tie rod end on the tie rod........ at least I've never done one and no tire wear either.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 18:36   #9
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I don't seem to remember having to remove the ball joints or anything on the suspension when I've removed the axle?

Take the transmission end off first, then slide (or hammer if it's stuck) it out of the spindle.

And yes, it may be possible to change the inner CV boot/joint without removing the axle from the car, but unless you like a challange, I wouldn't recommend doing it.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 19:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bengone1 View Post
There is a little bit of adjustment on the three lower ball joint mounting holes. I generally set these to the farthest outboard position before getting an alignment just to maximize negative camber (however small). I fail to see the point of placing the car on the ground to accomplish this unless you are very weak...
6'5" 225#. I have never been described as weak Just too easy to allow the vehicle to register the ball joint to that outermost position this way. I simply leave them loose and snug 'em back down last.

Andy, I agree your way would work too, just more work IMO.

Either way, I can't see struggling with replacing that inner joint in situ when it is sooo easy to just drop the axles out.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 19:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudall42 View Post
hi. you mentioned Jeff Roberts. What is his screen
name, so that I can search for his post.
this!
"jsrmonster" is his screen name. Good luck finding that post, he has been around here a long time and posted much.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 19:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudall42 View Post
Hi. I've got a bad inner I believe. If I get the car 12 inches into the air,
can I drop the inner cvs without removing the axles, and reinstall on the
other side, as others seem to do?

Or is it better, much easier, and so forth to pull the entire axle?

Related question: As a rule, how many miles do people get out of these cv joints. my 03 jetta has 215k. Perhaps it would be better to just spring for Raxles and get both the inners and outers done at the same time?
I am at 303Kmi and climbing with the orignal CVs. I did, however, do the inner CV left and right swap + repack as around 250K I was getting some bad vibes on accell. the outers seem to last forever if the boot stays in tact.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 10:45   #13
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Some last, some don't. It would be extremely difficult to figure out what the factors are as far as what makes them last.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 11:53   #14
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I thought it was heat from the exhaust that affected the inner CV on the right side, IIRC. This is just hear-say; I have no experience in this matter.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 23:26   #15
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on MKIV 02J it's unnecessary to loosen the ball joints when removing the axles.....just loosen both the lower sway bar end link bolts and rotate the sway bar up and out of the way.....if you're removing the drivers axle turn the wheel full left (full right for the passenger side), unbolt the axle from the flange and shove the inner joint up and over the trans while slipping the splines out of the hub...it's tight but they both come out this way....no alignment necessary
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