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Old 08-12-2015, 07:56 AM   #1
UnknownAlly
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Default Replacing front axles - alignment

Is it possible to replace the front axles without touching the camber bolts? I just got an alignment done a few weeks ago and noticed a ripped boot recently.

Front has four camber bolts total.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:08 AM   #2
zoe60
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Try undoing the just ball joint. You can mark where the camber bolts are with white out or something otherwise, but the ball joint should give enough clearance.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:18 PM   #3
bushflyr
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Remove ball joint and tie rod end. Swing hub out of the way. It's super easy and no need to touch the strut bolts at all.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:33 PM   #4
MAJRMSA
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I did this two days ago.

I left the tie rod alone. I popped out ball joint and disconnected end link. Afterwards you can swing the hub to the side.

If you need an alignment after an axle change you are not doing it efficiently.
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:09 PM   #5
Bpat1218
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Its much harder to disconnect at the ball joint than the struts if the car is older... BUT you also have to pound out the tie rod end if you remove strut bolts just don't mess with the alignment on it

Only the top bolt adjusts the camber (I'm talking about where the strut connects to the knuckle) so either pound a notch on the bolt head in a place you can remember (Directly up, parallel to floor, etc) or paint a mark on the bolt and strut and match them up when you reassemble.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:02 PM   #6
UnknownAlly
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If I mark where the camber bolts are set, would that really preserve my alignment? I've seen people do that and still have a messed up alignment.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:37 PM   #7
Max Capacity
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If you pull the bolt, just watch tire wear and how the car drives on a level road.

I always pull the ball joint and end link.

You can hit the LCA with a 5lb hammer, after a few good hits the ball joint will pop out when you pry the LCA down.

Do not mess with the pinch bolt unless you know its has anti-seize compound on it.
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:57 PM   #8
TwistedAxles101
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I just replaced mine today. Just undo the castle nut on the ball joint then knock the ball joint out of the control arm using a hammer (hitting on the control arm itself). Stick a long pry bar into the slot were the control arm is connected to the rest of the frame, pull down and move the strut and hub assembly towards the front of the vehicle while pulling the shaft out of the hub. Make sure to remove the axle nut first of course. Knock the roll pin out of the inner part of the shaft (roll pin tool is like $13 from cornwell tools), then pull your shaft out. Replace the shaft, install your roll pin, install the outer part of the shaft into the hub, pry on the control arm and insert the ball joint stud back in.

Install your new axle nut (32mm torque to 112lbft.), make sure to indent the nut where there is a slot on the shaft. Install a new cotter pin into the castle nut. This is the easiest pain free was to do it. Took me about 30 min on a lift w/air tools.

***There is no need to mess w/ the sway bar end link, don't even touch it!
***Do not screw w/ your strut bolts either! If you ever need to remove the camber adjustment bolt, just make a notch on the bolt/strut with a chisel and put it right back into the same position.
*** Don't even bother with removing the tie rod end from the knuckle, there is no need to what so ever .

Hope this helps.... Oh and just so you know, just the top strut bolt is the camber adjustment bolt. So there is one per strut, not 2.

Last edited by TwistedAxles101; 08-13-2015 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:51 PM   #9
Elbert Bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnknownAlly View Post
If I mark where the camber bolts are set, would that really preserve my alignment? I've seen people do that and still have a messed up alignment.
Short answer - No it won't.
Just to demonstrate - when I have a car that the ecentric bolts won't give me enough positive direction adjusting camber there is enough slop to give additional degree or so movement by pulling or prying the wheel. I then tighten ecentric and lower bolt where I want the camber to set.

When I replace axles I always pull the ball joint only, but then I have about 37 years of practice and 300 lbs. to put behind my hammer. Rarely take more than 3 swats to knock one loose. YMMV
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:29 PM   #10
snake2332
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Thanks for the info, all. I just got an '06 WRX Wagon Limited and it had recent alignment done so I don't want to screw with the camber, but both front CV boots are shot. If they are OEM Subaru axles, I might try a boot-only replacement. However, if they aren't OEM, I want to replace the whole axle but HOLY COW they are expensive on subaruparts.com. Seriously $439 each? Does anyone know of a good alternative brand that is closer to $100 each?
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snake2332 View Post
Thanks for the info, all. I just got an '06 WRX Wagon Limited and it had recent alignment done so I don't want to screw with the camber, but both front CV boots are shot. If they are OEM Subaru axles, I might try a boot-only replacement. However, if they aren't OEM, I want to replace the whole axle but HOLY COW they are expensive on subaruparts.com. Seriously $439 each? Does anyone know of a good alternative brand that is closer to $100 each?
You could check out your local parts store (autozone/oreily/napa/advance/etc); I have seen mixed reviews (negative to positive) on these.

Seems like the consensus is that the OEM are very good. these guys usually have better deals on OEM parts: http://parts.bestbuysubaru.com/

Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:10 AM   #12
snake2332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwollRX View Post
You could check out your local parts store (autozone/oreily/napa/advance/etc); I have seen mixed reviews (negative to positive) on these.

Seems like the consensus is that the OEM are very good. these guys usually have better deals on OEM parts: http://parts.bestbuysubaru.com/

Good luck.
Thanks SwollRX. I read several people claim that the NAPA axles are decent, so I'm probably going with those. Too bad Subaru doesn't offer their OEM ones for a reasonable price. I only plan on going stage 2 with my WRX so NAPA ones should hold up fine. I'm going to measure their length to make sure they aren't the longer sedan axles. Lifetime warranty, so if they vibrate or anything I'll take them back.
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