Suggestions on removing CV axle while working on car on the ground

:
2003 Mazda protoge 5
Hello,

I'm now in the middle of removing the CV axle on the passenger side from the jack shaft spline since removing it all the way back at the transmission is one impossible (no room and can't reach) but also, even the Mazda P5 manual says to drain the transmission (true?) before popping the jack axle from said transmission (sport stick auto) to start with, but do show removing the CV axle via the jack shaft spline with a rod and a mallet, but assumes you have room for a proper swing to do it.

I don't and have the car up as high as we need to get it with the factory jack and 2 jack stands so the car is on the stand's lowest setting. With tire removed I can reach back to the axle jack and the CV joint cup OK through the wheel opening and that's it.

It's taken me days of swing a hammer/mallet on said cup to remove the CV axle to avail, it moved, maybe an inch or so but it's taking a long time to get there. and the swings are small and via wrists, with my left arm helping assist. It's tedious and tiring I might add.

The reason I'm removing the axle is the entire assembly needs to be replaced due to a bad bearing that has caused the axle to seize to the hub/knuckle assembly as many strikes later with a mallet at the axle, I got it maybe to budge half an inch, if that and it should be a few whacks to free it from being torqued down and then you can push it with your thumbs all the way back until it stops before you rotate the steering knuckle to remove the axle completely from the knuckle/hub assembly before you remove the entire knuckle assembly to get the bearing pressed out and the new one pressed in. I saw a video where a guy tried to remove the axle using a 20Lb press and could not get it all the way out without excessive resistance since the bearing was too far gone.

In the process, discovered issues with a few other parts, the brake bracket had the guide pins totally stuck, I could not get the lower out out, at all even with an impact cordless drill, it barely got the 2 14mm (I think) bolts that hold the brake pad bracket in place, thanks to Midas when they did my brakes in 2016. I think they used locktite and reefed on them to where they were almost impossible to get of, but eventually did but that lower guide pin, not so much.

So ordered up all new parts, outside of the ball joint (looks and feels fine), the lower control arm, tie rod end, that includes the knuckle (brand new from Dorman (Advance Auto) and several places sell it), a new hub (from Autozone), new bearing, C clip, a new brake pad bracket, new guide pins, brake pad hardware as the pads fell out and I lost one of the springs in the process. The rest of the parts came from Advance and all had to be ordered in as none were available locally.

Also got a whole new reman CV transaxle from Wearever, also through Advance.

The issue is, getting the axle out. The only way now is lying on my side in the gravel, with both arms outstretched above my head, at my wrists to whack at the CV joint cup to remove it from the jack axle and got it to move about an half an inch inch since I can't get a decent swing at it. In the meantime, was able to break the band around the boot and the axle came out of said cup and beat in the cup some more, now that the weight is off, but can't tell if actually moving or not when I whack on it.

So this morning had an epiphany. Why not use a pneumatic air hammer, like this Kobalt unit that Lowes sells. I tried to find a place that rents it, but no, just the overly large ones for construction sites for chiseling off mud etc. The lightest one is 20Lbs anyway to hammer it out. Even Harbor freight sells two similar type units for under $20 and includes the nipple and chisel in the box and think I'll get that as my friend has the compressor handy.

Do you think that's a good idea or not?
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
if you're not removing the joint shaft you don't need to drain your transmission oil.



Try removing the axle from the knuckle by disconnecting the ball joint and that will give you room to get the axle out of the knuckle.

You shouldn't have to pound out the axle from The Joint shaft you only have to pop it past the c-clip then it should slide right out.
Try wedging something in there like a crowbar and prying with it instead of pounding on it you just need to pop it past the c-clip.



The axle moves in and out a bit and with it removed from the knuckle you can push it in all the way and quickly pull it out to see if you can pop the c-clip.

You could even put the knuckle back on the axle and use its weight to help pull the axle.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
It's these things that can be a PITA.
You just need to pop it out of it's slot.

 
:
2003 Mazda protoge 5
It's these things that can be a PITA.
You just need to pop it out of it's slot.

Thanks. I knew that intuitively that just to get it past the clips, but no amount of banging did the job.

As I said in my initial post, a video showed where a bearing left too long before replacing caused the axle to seize in the hub. And due to the small amount of room between the axle shaft and the ground, I can't get room in there to get it out. There is a metal sleeve around the bracket I can't get enough room to wedge it out past the clip, hence the banging on it. So will the air hammer work in this case.

As to removing the axle shaft, thought as much so that's definitely out of the question.

So the issue is small amount of room to work between axle and ground and I can only hit it upwards with small swings and I think that's not enough to get it past the clip or it was a replacement at one point and it's maybe jammed on?

Anyway, trying to remove at the axle stub but now the entire axle/knuckle is out, thanks to undoing the boot so the CV joint is now free to come out of its cup, thinking just getting the weight off might help (no).


BTW, you found clearer photos in the manual than I did, but did find the same info though.
I have tried to wedge it off, but can't get the wedge tool in a position to be able to do it and NOT hit the ground - hence the pounding.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I don't know about the air hammer but my thought is it would just sort of do a bunch of light tapping and what you really need is a good solid thud.

I've pulled my axle a couple of times but simply just pulled it out from the knuckle end.

I don't know if you partially disassembled your axle but if you've got your knuckle attached to the axle but free of the balljoint and all other connections you can use its weight to your advantage.

You can use it a bit like a slide hammer.
The axle has about an inch or more of play in and out. You can push it in and then slam the whole thing towards you and out.
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
PS..
Installing your new axle into the joint shaft is another PITA.
The best thing to do to install it is to line it up perfectly straight and hold it. Compress the axle all the way in (no slack) then get an assistant to use a sledgehammer to Pop that C clip into the joint shaft.

The knuckle end of the axle shaft likes to wobble to the side if it's not perfectly straight and square. Be prepared to take a sledgehammer hit to your hands while you're at it. LOL
 
:
2003 Mazda protoge 5
PS..
Installing your new axle into the joint shaft is another PITA.
The best thing to do to install it is to line it up perfectly straight and hold it. Compress the axle all the way in (no slack) then get an assistant to use a sledgehammer to Pop that C clip into the joint shaft.

The knuckle end of the axle shaft likes to wobble to the side if it's not perfectly straight and square. Be prepared to take a sledgehammer hit to your hands while you're at it. LOL
Thanks for the advice on getting it back on, that will indeed be helpful.

Yes, the knuckle itself was completely free of all connections and still, could not get the back CV joint cup to move much. I do have molly grease to help install the new axle, BTW.

I did get the axle separated by undoing the clamp at the back boot and the entire axle etc is out but the cup remains.

We did try pulling and still no go, it was worth a try though. My best friend pulled on the axle as I tried to swing the mallet, a 2.5 Lb dead blow mallet at that, no go.

Anyway, going to give the air hammer a try. There is a YT video channel called South Main Auto and he's used the large heavy duty Astro air hammer, the same type as what I'm considering from Harbor Freight, he dubs "Big Nasty" that breaks rusty bolts etc free as he lives in upstate NY - in the rust belt and it usually hits with lots of hits, breaking the rust free and is often tough to beat.

Anyway, won't be able to try again until the weekend as I work and get off at 5pm when it's almost completely dark.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I never thought of the axle shaft being seized into the joint shaft. My splines were still clean.

The only other thing I can think of is to remove the three bolts that support the joint shaft hanger and pull the entire joint shaft and Axle out of the car and then separate them.
You'd have to drain the transmission fluid though.

Is there any way you can get the car lifted up any higher? Maybe invest in Jack?
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
PS.
If you you get a Jack this is the lifting point. That point fits right into the cup on the Jack.



 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I took some pictures if my parts car...











Just Thinkin..

If your axle comes out of the joint shaft and it's all rusty, it probably means your joint shaft hanger bearing is shot..?

I figure if water got in it probably wrecked the bearing too.
 
:
2003 Mazda protoge 5
Fortunately, no rust that I see, I live in Western Washington so rust is generally not an issue for us and my green cup still looks quite good for an old part.

The closeup of the CV joint cup at the jack shaft looks to be about where mine is now. When I began, that recessed ridge that slides into the jack axle bracket is now showing roughly the same as yours is in that photo, though sans the rust.

It's green like yours but neither boot was torn.

That said, here is a shot of the car as it sits.

lack of clearanc.JPG

Here is axle shaft with the CV cup left to take off

car jacked up.JPG

And here is the slightly out of focus shot of the cup itself and how far I've gotten with it.

movement.JPG

And finally, how much clearance under the car.

lack of clearanc.JPG
 

Attachments

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 MP5
I think you should remove and replace the joint shaft.
Three bolts and it will slide right out.

There's a good chance the splines of the joint shaft will be all buggered up and then the new CV joint won't simply push in and you'll have to hammer it on from the knuckle end of the shaft which could damage your new CV shaft.

If you remove the Joint Shaft from the car and then pull off the cup, you can test the Joint shaft on your new CV joint to see if they couple up nicely. You could leave the c-clip off the CV joint just to see if the splines slide in without binding.

The book says to install a special tool to keep the gears from falling but I remember that apparently, they won't fall if you only remove one side from the transmission.
Some guys just put a handle from a screwdriver in or a dowel of some sort.

I'm pretty sure there's no C clip on the joint shaft where it goes into the transmission because the joint shaft can't move in or out.



If I had your car, I'd just replace the joint shaft but my car is a rusty turd so I don't know what I'd do. Lol
 
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:
2003 Mazda protoge 5
With your latest suggestion, you are NOT helping! LOL.

Well, let me see what I can do with the air hammer, and if it fails, then yank out the joint shaft and then go from there, maybe replace it if one can be found in a reasonable amount of time.

I wonder if it WAS replaced at one point, but put on dry, without molly grease?

I won't drain the transmission pan as there is no room for the pan and get the bottom of the transmission off without making a horrendous mess as you can probably tell, that right front corner is not much higher than the actual car on its wheels...

You know how tight it is under there when on all fours and about the ONLY way to work under there is on ramps, or use a decent sized floor jack and jack stands. We're not dealing with the driver's side at all as it has a newer bearing, installed in 2013 and I think the boots are OK, not gotten around to looking at them closely as yet to know if the boots are in good shape like they are on the passenger side.
 
:
2003 Mazda protoge 5
Hello,

Just want to close this by saying that I finally got this thing fixed. Just before the C-19 19 stuff and shut down, my best friend managed to get a deal on getting it fixed with his mechanic and it's now back on the road and running great, but in the process some other items needed replacing and 2 mistakes.

One, I put the old pads onto the new brake pad bracket, backwards and not realized I'd done so due to poor lighting in my buddy's garage and thus when the mechanic went to put the new bracket and pads back on while reassembling stuff noted the mistake and that the wear indicators were showing worn out front pads. They'd been replaced in 2016 but a year and a half stop/go rush hour commute that means an hour and a half, if not closer to 2 hours each way for a "mere" 38 mile trip had done them in, and in the process discovered that the left front bearing that was replaced in 2013 was also shot and that the hub I'd purchased was for the 4 bolt wheel pattern of the standard Protege sedans, not the 5 bolt pattern of the P5, and it was all pressed into a new bearing and hub. He was able to pop the axle off the old hub assembly and replace the bearing in that and put it on with the new axle. Either I was sent the wrong one and simply didn't notice the discrepancy, or I inadvertently ordered the 4 bolt version instead.

Also, the sway bar linkage had to be replaced as the lower knuckle on the passenger side got split at the boot from the balance weight of the old axle while I tried working on the car. I don't think it was split initially until I began working on the car.

So now it's back on the road and runs great.

Sorry for taking so long to close this thread but it sat for 5 months in my buddy's yard due to cold winter months and taking so long to get the old cup off the jack shaft and the car was fixed 3 weeks ago, right before the lockdown here in Washington State.
 
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