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Old 09-25-2008, 11:44 AM   #1
Carlito2002WGN
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Black with some stuff

Default Please help! Can't reinstall front axles after clutch job.

I am finishing up with a clutch job, and everything went well, even easy! Most people seem to have problems with getting the engine and trans to separate, and even more have trouble getting them back together. My problem is one that NO ONE else seems to have a hard time with. I can not get the F'ng front axles to go back into the trans!!!!

My car is an 05' Saabaru (WRX wagon), so there are no roll pins. I thought it would be one of the simplest parts of the whole job. I didn't fret at the idea of taking them out one bit, because I knew that I would be able to get them to pop right back in. Well now I'm going crazy. They aren't going back in.

What might I be doing wrong?

What might I be overlooking?

What tips/tricks might help?

If you would have normally replied, "They just pop back in.. not hard at all", then PLEASE think for a moment what else might be wrong and preventing them from just popping back in. What might I have done? What might be wrong? What!?! How!?! HELP!!!!

Carlos

P.S. I've reattached all of the shifter linkage. Would it make a difference if I put it in gear instead of neutral? If so, Ok, but why?
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:34 PM   #2
WRX-17
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hey, putting in gear wont do anything. ive put axles back in id say 5 times now and i wouldnt say that it is easy sometimes but its not hard. the only things could be that the circlips are bent out of shape or too big like they expanded. sometimes they pop right in and other times its a little difficult. the circlip could be catching and not allowing you to get past them since they arent being squished down. trys spinning the axle to different positions so taht the open part of the circlip is at the bottom or at the top i forget which one works better but i think if the open part is at the bottom since there will be less of the circlip hanging down. make sure the splines are lining up too. also dont be afraid of giving it enough force to go back in. the best way i think is to use the momentum u can create from having the tip in the front diff and the axle fully extended and then pushing in really quick and hard so that u compress the axle and then that momentum is transferred into compressing the circlip and pushing the axle in. the other way is the put it in and compress it fully then use a dead blow mallet. give those things a try and if none of them work let me know and maybe try explaining a little better to see if that jogs my memory at all. good luck!
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:15 PM   #3
Carlito2002WGN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX-17 View Post
hey, putting in gear wont do anything. ive put axles back in id say 5 times now and i wouldnt say that it is easy sometimes but its not hard. the only things could be that the circlips are bent out of shape or too big like they expanded. sometimes they pop right in and other times its a little difficult. the circlip could be catching and not allowing you to get past them since they arent being squished down. trys spinning the axle to different positions so taht the open part of the circlip is at the bottom or at the top i forget which one works better but i think if the open part is at the bottom since there will be less of the circlip hanging down. make sure the splines are lining up too. also dont be afraid of giving it enough force to go back in. the best way i think is to use the momentum u can create from having the tip in the front diff and the axle fully extended and then pushing in really quick and hard so that u compress the axle and then that momentum is transferred into compressing the circlip and pushing the axle in. the other way is the put it in and compress it fully then use a dead blow mallet. give those things a try and if none of them work let me know and maybe try explaining a little better to see if that jogs my memory at all. good luck!

Thank you very much for the reply. I'll give your ideas a try. Mainly the circlip one, because I did use a decent amount of force already, including the hammer idea. It's hard to believe that those damn clips are giving me that much of a problem. I mean, even if I screwed things up and bent the hell out of them, I would think that with the amount of force that I've applied, I would have been able to get them in regardless of the placement of those damn circlips. You are referring to the paper clip-thick things at the very end of the axle, right? Well, I'll give it a shot tonight.

I was also wondering if I should go as far as to completely detach the outside part of the axle, so as to be able to more easily manipulate it on the way in the trans. I don't want to do this, but.....
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:35 PM   #4
Mechie3
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I always put grease on mine (as to not rip the seal) and to help the splines slide. I line it up underneath the car and have a friend push on the hub/wheel. It takes a decent amount of force.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:49 PM   #5
waveoff
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I had a hard time popping the axles back in on my old civic after doing a clutch job. I finally got them to pop back in by having my buddy hold the axle straight while I whacked the CV joint closest to the tranny a couple of times with a sledge and block of wood. This was only possible with the axle completely disconnected from the hub. Are your axles by chance disconnected from the hubs? If so, give my method a try.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:33 PM   #6
Carlito2002WGN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waveoff View Post
I had a hard time popping the axles back in on my old civic after doing a clutch job. I finally got them to pop back in by having my buddy hold the axle straight while I whacked the CV joint closest to the tranny a couple of times with a sledge and block of wood. This was only possible with the axle completely disconnected from the hub. Are your axles by chance disconnected from the hubs? If so, give my method a try.

They are not disconnected, but I am fearing that I may have to do that.

Thanks for all of the input guys!
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
silver-duck
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Just did this yesterday; had same problem. Turn wheels and make sure axle splines are started correctly. Turn wheels all one way to access cv joint; use plastic hammer handle against joint where rubber boot is located, strike hard with dead blow or large rubber hammer. After they 'pop' in, sit down and drink a beer; then finish job; good luck!
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:10 AM   #8
Carlito2002WGN
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Thanks Silver-Duck. I didn't get a chance to do anything yesterday, but I'll be giving it another shot today. It seems like I will have to work a bit at making sure that the splines are lined up properly, and then give it a good shove/whack.

And to think that I was so worried about getting the trans and engine to mate up again... that part was easy for me! Go figure.

Carlos
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:51 AM   #9
waveoff
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So did you ever get your axles back in? If so, how did you do it?
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:14 PM   #10
2ndGearFling
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When I put the stubs in my 6 speed i literally had to take a 2 x 4 and hit them hard to get them to pop in.
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