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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Frozen Tripod joint

I have been hearing a growl coming from the drivers side when above 30 MPH. I put the car on jack stands and listened while I brought the speed up. It was either the hub or the CV joint on only the left side. Rotating the wheel by hand while having the steering wheel turned to the limit I could feel and hear the CV joint clicking. Since I have close to 300K on the car I decided to replace both the hub and the halfshaft. I was able to swap out the hub but when it came to releasing the tripod joint I couldn't get any movement off the transaxle stub. I've tried PB Blaster, pry bars, rapping on the joint with a 8# mallet, rigged up a reverse c-shape puller (applying extreme pressure between the transaxle and the tripod to the point where I feel any more pressure will distroy the stub's ballbearing). I removed the boot and the axle so that only the tripod was on the stub. Then I went through all the past steps again, also trying heat (from a heat gun) while prying it with rapid strokes...nothing even budges it. There is no play on the stub, it's frozen solid.


So, I believe that I saw a post recommending to remove the stub from the transaxle and work on it on the bench (where I could better soak it with PB Blaster, apply a torch etc.). Has anyone done that? Is it as simple as removing the bearing snap ring and again prying on the tripod joint to remove the stub with it's bearing? Do I need to drain the differential fluid first? Should it just slide out or is it locked in by some means? Or do other parts of the transmission need to be disassembled first?

I've invested more than 12 hours over multiple days so far trying to get it to budge. Working under the car just isn't going to work for this issue. Any info on the stub removal process would be welcomed.

Bill
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 11:27 AM
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Autozone rents a axle puller that may work for you. However if it does not You have a really crappy process before you on removing it.

In short, You will need to remove the pass side Knuckle and strut. Drop the Cradle and exhuast. And remove the bolts holding the diff side cover in place. And you must very carefully and annoying remove the cv axle cup, stub shaft, diff side cover, and entire diff from the transaxle.

The you will have to take apart the diff to get to the c-clip that holds the stub shaft to the diff assembly to beable to remove the stub/cv axle cup[ from the diff. And maybe then you may be able to use a press to remove it. Otherwise you will have to get another one (stub shaft).

I had to do this once. Extremely painful and frustrating. However, I will suggest that if the Inner Cup is not damaged or extremely worn, keep in on the car and just slide the new axle into it and have the boot re-clipped on to it. I swear this is the easiest way to go. I had to do this the second time I had this issue.


The problem is the Clip on the stub shaft gets either stuck or rusted inside the axle cup and will not release.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks EagleESI. I didn't realize that it was that involved to remove the long stub. Glad I asked. I don't believe that any other puller will be able to budge the joint on the stub. I've applied a lot of force and have not gotten any movement, up/down, left/right or in/out. I hadn't considered using the old tripod joint and just replacing the boot clamp. I don't know if I'll be able to get a replacement clamp but that seems to be the easier solution. Thanks again!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 12:59 PM
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This is the puller that EagleESI is talking about and they work great,

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks crypt keeper, I've tried a ball joint separator (Y fork) between the stub and the tripod and couldn't get it to budge with may raps with a hand sledge hammer. I have a slide hammer but not the adapter for the joint. I may try a piece of chain around the joint with the slide hammer if I can rig it up and/or try the Autozone loaner.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 04:58 PM
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I had this problem a couple weeks ago (although not as severe it sounds like) with my passenger side shaft. What ended up working for me was hammering a piece of wood in tight underneath the tripod joint to support it in a nice horizontal position and then wedging a very large pry bar between the joint and transmission, and then hammering at the very end of the handle on the pry bar.

I thought the differential was on the passenger's side?

Good luck
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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The differentilal is on the passenger side but the stub from the drivers side is long and mates up to the differential. I was hoping that it was splined on the differentail side without an internal C-clip securing it in place but it sounds like that is not the case. Otherwise I was going to try to just remove the long stub with it's bearing and work on it off the car. Thanks for the encouragement.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypt keeper View Post
This is the puller that EagleESI is talking about and they work great,

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996VisionTsi View Post
...I may try a piece of chain around the joint with the slide hammer if I can rig it up and/or try the Autozone loaner.
The slide hammer with that adapter is the best. The key to that is to get it as parallel to the axle shaft as you can and full stroke available. I had to detach one end of the sway bar end link to clear the way for almost totally parallel arrangement and unobstructed slide stroke for maximum impact. Until I did that, it wouldn't break loose. And keep your fingers out from between the leading end of the slide and the stop bump - if it catches your finger, you will loose a hunk of muscle and need a trip to the ER. I learned that first hand - fortunately it was only a casual practice stroke, so my finger was only slightly bruised - thank you God.

Autozone doesn't have the adapter to loan out with the slide hammer. But they have them to sell for $20 to $25 (none of the other chains even stock the adapter). The employees may not recognize what you're asking for unless you give them the manufacturer and part number - then when they look it up in their computer, it will tell them they have it on the shelf.

It is made by OEM (yes - the name of the manufacturer) - P/N 27058. I was so pleased with the results that I bought a slide hammer (a used professional mechanics quality off of ebay, with an extension so the end links don't have to be disconnected for being parallel and max. stroke for best impact) for any future needs.


'98 LXi - Later Concorde gages (black w/ chrome rings)/'99 LX - LHS gages (white) - HIR bulbs
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the details PEVA. I won't get back to it until this weekend. I hope to get it back on the road without breaking anything, including fingers.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 10:51 PM
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WHOOPS. I was thinking passenger side was your issue. My mis read. However the Driver side shaft does not have a c clip that secures it to the diff.

It looks via the FSM you need a special tool # 6669 and a slide hammer to remove the stub shaft on the driver side. I will investigate further. on what is required. The instructions are pretty dang vague.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the post that I saw from ME93 (203217 page=2) "One way, for the driver's side only, is to remove the snap ring retaining the stub shaft bearing, then pull the entire axle + stub shaft out as a single assembly. It will come out with very little effort. Then, remove the large inner boot clamp and separate the main part of the axle from the stub shaft + metal housing. Then the stub shaft can be pressed out of the housing with an arbor press, or removed with a 3-jaw puller. Reinstall the stub shaft and retaining ring into the transmission and you are ready to install the new axle. "

Sounds like there's no internal snap ring and the fluid doesn't need to be drained. If so, it's the way to go with this if the slide hammer w/Axle puller adapter doesn't break it free. I hope that the new axle spider rollers are the same size as the old. I expect to get back to it tomorrow.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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After 90 minutes of using the slide hammer w/adapter I gave up trying to remove the Tripod and resorted to putting the new axle into the old Tripod. The car is once again on the road and the growl is gone. Thanks for the guidance and encouragement.
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