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  #11  
Old 09-03-2018, 04:59 PM
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Had to work yesterday and I had some tools on order. Damn Star Sockets... Everything showed up, so I hit it hard today! First up was finishing removal of the subframe. Very straight forward, no surprises, just a bit cumbersome.

What did surprise me is how much room I had with the subframe removed! I decided to try and disassemble the differential while it was still in the X5. I didn't get very far, but it took a long time to figure that out. The bolts holding the carrier ring were stupid tight, and holding the carrier still while torquing wasn't the easiest thing to do. I didn't have enough clearance for air tools. I tried a lot of different techniques, none of which made a dent. Getting fed up....sooo.....

Time to CUT!!! With the subframe removed I was certain I had enough room to cut the CV shaft on the passenger side and push it through the oil pan. Had to make 2 cuts though. The right side oil pan CV housing was in the way, couldn't get down to the skinny part of the shaft until the bulk of the CV was cut and removed. Luckily all the sparks were directed at the exhaust and heat shields on the car. Any long cut like that and fire hazard is a concern, but not today! Only burned up one 4" cutting wheel after 2 cuts. I was impressed.

So now the diff is on the bench with a drive shaft stuck in it. But I was finally able to use air tools again! Busted the carrier ring off, pushed out the pin from the diff, and finally had access to push instead of pull. Trusty hydraulic press to the rescue! It came out so easy. Honestly it was too easy. Pissed me off! You cannot imagine how depressing it was using a slide hammer for hours on end with no result. Hydraulics are awesome!

It was hung up on the clip, no doubt about that now. It was also exactly where I thought it was, right next to the splines on the oil passageway. There was a bit of damage done to the diff, but it wasn't too bad. Since this isn't a friction surface I decided to de-burr it with a Dremel. Cleaned up very nicely. I removed the clip from the new CV and test fit. Slides in and out like butter!

Reassembled the diff and sealed it. There's no gasket, so black RTV it is. Been a long day, so I'll let it set up over night.

Tomorrow, gotta work again... Hopefully by late afternoon I'll be putting parts back in! I'm so relieved.... there are no words. Many moments of serious doubt and wanting to throw up have come and gone. Glad I persevered though. Can't imagine what a shop would have charged me for this!

So now the million dollar question. Does the CV axle REALLY need that clip on it??? If this were to happen again...
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2018, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nauticare94 View Post
Had to work yesterday and I had some tools on order. Damn Star Sockets... Everything showed up, so I hit it hard today! First up was finishing removal of the subframe. Very straight forward, no surprises, just a bit cumbersome.

What did surprise me is how much room I had with the subframe removed! I decided to try and disassemble the differential while it was still in the X5. I didn't get very far, but it took a long time to figure that out. The bolts holding the carrier ring were stupid tight, and holding the carrier still while torquing wasn't the easiest thing to do. I didn't have enough clearance for air tools. I tried a lot of different techniques, none of which made a dent. Getting fed up....sooo.....

Time to CUT!!! With the subframe removed I was certain I had enough room to cut the CV shaft on the passenger side and push it through the oil pan. Had to make 2 cuts though. The right side oil pan CV housing was in the way, couldn't get down to the skinny part of the shaft until the bulk of the CV was cut and removed. Luckily all the sparks were directed at the exhaust and heat shields on the car. Any long cut like that and fire hazard is a concern, but not today! Only burned up one 4" cutting wheel after 2 cuts. I was impressed.

So now the diff is on the bench with a drive shaft stuck in it. But I was finally able to use air tools again! Busted the carrier ring off, pushed out the pin from the diff, and finally had access to push instead of pull. Trusty hydraulic press to the rescue! It came out so easy. Honestly it was too easy. Pissed me off! You cannot imagine how depressing it was using a slide hammer for hours on end with no result. Hydraulics are awesome!

It was hung up on the clip, no doubt about that now. It was also exactly where I thought it was, right next to the splines on the oil passageway. There was a bit of damage done to the diff, but it wasn't too bad. Since this isn't a friction surface I decided to de-burr it with a Dremel. Cleaned up very nicely. I removed the clip from the new CV and test fit. Slides in and out like butter!

Reassembled the diff and sealed it. There's no gasket, so black RTV it is. Been a long day, so I'll let it set up over night.

Tomorrow, gotta work again... Hopefully by late afternoon I'll be putting parts back in! I'm so relieved.... there are no words. Many moments of serious doubt and wanting to throw up have come and gone. Glad I persevered though. Can't imagine what a shop would have charged me for this!

So now the million dollar question. Does the CV axle REALLY need that clip on it??? If this were to happen again...
Yes, because the inner joint moves in and out and if the clip wasn't there to retain the joint it can pop out of the diff.
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2018, 07:07 PM
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What he said. You definitely need a clip but it only needs to hold with enough force to pull the expanding part of the CV apart so if it doesn't tap in with a reasonable amount of force replace the snap ring and try again.

From my experience, if ring won't go in with three taps of a 3# hammer I take off the snap ring and test the fit without, then I'll swap the used ring on (because it's a known entity).
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  #14  
Old 09-03-2018, 07:09 PM
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I was thinking that, but really there's no way it could come out. Not unless the suspension was undone, in which case I'm thinking the CV would be the least of my problems. I could see it plausibly disengaging from the spines... gonna rework the clip so it's more round before inserting. It's kind of egg shaped now.
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  #15  
Old 09-03-2018, 07:18 PM
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I've read of people having problems when the CV pulls out of the diff. It of course as you said can't come out a the way but there are a couple problems:

1) sealing surface on the CV compromised will allow dif fluid out and dirt in if the cv isn't in all the way

2) force on the spline in the wrong place likely to cause a "Burr" that will create a similar condition to remove the part and though successful I'm quite sure you'd rather not have to cut the axle twice and remove the diff the next time CV axle needs replacing.

Did you replace just one side? If you did the other side you can probably steal the snap ring from the other old one.

I'm sure once you deburr with a Dremel you can get the snap ring to behave.

What an amazing story of recovery from the jaws of defeat! Remember you were sure that new diff was in your future. Great job. Did you take any fun pics like dif on the bench with a stub of axle?
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  #16  
Old 09-03-2018, 07:26 PM
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I honestly didn't think about that carrier bearing in the oil pan supports housing. A clip will have to be in place.

So, the original is at Napa as a core exchange. Left side original was in my recycle bin, it was picked up by the county on Saturday... I was pretty convinced I was gonna have to buy new everything, saving bits unfortunately wasn't top of mind.

Did you not see the pics from my post today? Great shot of a cut shaft standing tall out of the diff sitting on my bench.

What a ride this has been. I can fix anything usually, as long as I can get apart. This one had me wrapped up tight for a week!
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  #17  
Old 09-03-2018, 07:32 PM
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New CV Axle won't go all the way in, and now I can't get it out!

I'm in the middle of the woods on a cell phone booster to get minimal internet. I'll have to go back and check


The snap ring is a simple bent spring steel you are correct in assuming you can bend it just right to make it work the problem is doing without reference. The shape wasn't super circular if memory serves and I couldn't really tell the difference on the one that completely jammed vs the one that went right on.

If you can compress it flat lower than the deep part of the spline I think your job is done.

I would Dremel off a little material on the open end where it pokes out during the compression phase I think it's the tight bend at the end that causes the problem when not done properly.
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Last edited by andrewwynn; 09-03-2018 at 07:37 PM.
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  #18  
Old 09-03-2018, 07:43 PM
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I totally missed all the photos but did go check then out now, nice!

My one concern is for the bearing just inside the diff. I would chuck up a big drill bit that can just fit with some tape wrapped around to make it snug then turn it say 50-60 rpm like driving slow highway speeds just to make sure it didn't get damaged from the binding and pounding.


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  #19  
Old 09-03-2018, 07:47 PM
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Thanks! Yeah, that concerned me too. I very closely compared the left vs the right. They seem identical. I agree, local driving for a few days until I'm convinced it's okay. Luckily my commute to work is about 1 mile. :p
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  #20  
Old 09-04-2018, 04:52 PM
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I wouldn’t reuse that clip, get a new one or return that axle & get another axle. A lot of people skip this step but a little grease on those spring clips goes a long way towards avoiding issues like this. An additional bonus is most of the axles I do slide right in by hand. Good luck getting everything buttoned back up!
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