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CV joint replacement or new axle kit?
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floggingmolly
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject: CV joint replacement or new axle kit? Reply with quote

I have an 85 Weekender that I bought about a month ago (my first vanagon). 185K miles. The shop (who I trust) says I may need new CV joints, how many will be determined when he takes it apart. I also may need new stub axle bearings. But I got other advice from another shop and a fellow Vanagon onwer that said I should just replace the axles with either rebuilt axles, or new ones from Go Westy. But my shop doesn't do that, so I have to go somewhere else. It seems it will be a cheaper and faster repair just to replace the whole axle that comes with new CV joints. Any advice?

Thanks,
Scott
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gbrandt
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check the cost! I got a new axel with two CV's attached for only a bit more than a rebuilt CV would cost. something like 140 CAD for the CV and 165 for the entire axle.

Gregor
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had mine replaced. 4 new German Lobro CVs where like $50 US each, plus boot kits. Total was like $250 US for all parts. Add some labor to install

Please note my CV boots failed after just one year for some reason nobody can explain.

The rear bearings do not go bad very frequently. Mine now have over your 185K on them and seem just fine.

Do the axles first and then see about the stub axle bearings.
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not hard (even for a newbie) to repack those CV joints. Just buy the "repack kit". The 4 of them can be repacked in about a day or less.

The originals were the good lobro joints and when well maintained would outlive the vanagon. Asian joints have not shown to be machined to as tight of a tolerence as the german units.

http://www.type2.com/bartnik/cvjoints.htm

http://www.busdepot.com/catalog.jsp?model=58&category=24

If you do it yourself, make sure you buy the "triplesquare" socket.

http://www.busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=5796
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Pascal
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tackled this job a few years ago. I had to replace the two inner CV. It was a full day job for me, spead over a weekend. I used brake cleaner to get all the grease off everything for inspection. Finding a brass drift to get the old CV's off and put the new ones on was not easy. I ended up usung a copper pipe to set the new CV's on, subsequently found some for next time. Like most jobs, gettign everthing lined up takes alot of time. I found lots of instruction on the web for doing the job. This was the one I used the most http://www.benplace.com/vw2.htm go to the CV section.
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kasdtech
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go the new axle route this place looks like they have a pretty good price on new axles.

http://importeccatalog.com/

Sorry I couldn't get the direct link. You can search for your year, model, etc. It is under Driveshaft and axle. Good Luck.
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am getting my van ready for a summer trip to Canada and I'm planning to install new CV joints since my inner boots on both sides are in bad shape and I don't know how old the joints are. From other people I've talked to it sounds like replacing the whole axel with the boots is eaiser? I was planning on ordering them from Van-cafe, it's only a few bucks more. Anyone have any other thoughts?
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just noticed VanCafe has 4CV's and boots on special, about $240 for the whole lot. Didn't look at entire axles, though. I just orederd a single joint from them, and it was OEM Lobro.

It's a little easier to R&R entire axles, especially if they come prelubed. Getting the old joints off the axle shaft and the new ones on can be a bit of a bear if you haven't got a press. Some come off pretty easy with a drift, others are a much tighter fit. I just redid the one bad joint on mine, and it was the tightest fit on the splines I've ever seen. I was glad I had a press in my shop, best hundred bucks I ever spent, that day at least.

There is a real difference in joint quality, though. Don't buy entire axles just because they're cheap, if they're not German quality replacements. You'll end up throwing good money after bad somewhere down the road.
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Van-cafe:

Description:
NEW-Axle comes assembled with new boots and new joints. These are made in the USA and far superior to the worn out remanufactured ones out there. This is quicker and cleaner job than replacing the boots and joints, but do note that the axle comes with grease that you can squeeze in the boots following installation to get it into the joints. We do recommend getting one additional tube (14 oz.) of grease per pair of axles to add to the joints during installation. Making sure that they are well lubricated insures that they will last longer.

Price is $135. each. total $270. OR

They sell a 4 CV joint "kit"for $234. but they don't say where they were made, which leads me to my next question:

Has anyone out there used the Van-cafe axels or joints, and if so, do tell!

Thanks
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buggnuttz
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why replace your CV's? If they are not noisy or REALLY loose why not just service them using new cv boots? I have 245000 miles on my 85 and it still has original joints just serviced when needed.
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mattcfish
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go the whole axle route. It only costs a little more, but the time you save and lack of mess is totally worth it.
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Van-go108
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't cheap out. Buy quality parts. I just recently "cheaped" out and bought 2 Brazilian CV joints for the drivers side and one just shattered within a week and a half. I could'nt believe it Confused I had already done the passenger side with good quality German CV's 2 months prior. There easy to do thank god. Make sure you swap out the axel bolts. I'm wierd about re-manufactured items too. I never had good luck with them.

It must be bad Car-Ma Wink
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Van-go108
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fyi...Get the Bentley's Vanagon Bible. It will be a huge help to you. Many times, it would have saved me from those "DUH... it's right there in black and white" senarios. Razz
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bucko
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buggnuttz wrote:
Why replace your CV's? If they are not noisy or REALLY loose why not just service them using new cv boots? I have 245000 miles on my 85 and it still has original joints just serviced when needed.


You are one of the few that service your CV's from time to time. If a survey was done here, I'm willing to bet that less than 30% service their CV's like you have done. Me included, as I've only owned my 84 for about 8 months, and have not inspected nor serviced them yet. No idea if a previous owner did either, but based on the mechanical condition of this van when I got it, I'm willing to bet they were never serviced. So, once I have the additional monies, I plan to replace both axles, with the new CV's already done, for piece of mind, as I don't want to be on the road somewhere broke down with a bad CV joint(s).

If I were to buy your van, I'd certainly feel different about the replacement.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Has anyone out there used the Van-cafe axels or joints, and if so, do tell!


Uhh, I kinda covered this in the post right above yours, Kevin. I just got one joint, and it was an OEM Lobro. I would think it safe to assume that VanCafe offers the same brand of joints with their complete axles.

Quote:
Why replace your CV's? If they are not noisy or REALLY loose why not just service them


Absolutely, although the intial post was about already having gotten a diagnosis that the joints needed replacement. If floggingmolly doubts their mechanic, they should get a second opinion. Whether to buy individual joints or axles complete is mostly a matter of personal preference, provided the parts are all OEM quality. But if the existing CV's aren't played out, by all means, save a bundle and service them. I try to do mine every so often, usually whenever there's a torn boot. If I'm pulling one to replace a bad boot, I'm going to service them all. When you have them out and cleaned of old grease, they can be inspected internally if you're not sure they need replacement. Blue-black heat marks and surface galling of any of the balls means you'll be wanting new. Any more than a little bit of radial or circumferential play says the same (huge axial play is normal and necessary).

The one I just replaced had been filled with muddy water years ago, so all 4 got cleaned, new boots and repacking, and that one lasted for about 6 more years and 70k miles at least. I always had a clicking in the right rear on right cornering, and finally went under and could feel, in place, about 2mm of circumferential playin the outer right CV, which is pretty extreme. The others had less than half that. I flipped it to the inside and my noise disappeared. So I ordered up a new one for that bad joint.
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ChesterKV
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattcfish wrote:
Go the whole axle route. It only costs a little more, but the time you save and lack of mess is totally worth it.


2nd.....just be sure to get a good quality part....either German or perhaps Empi which I used to replace a driver front drive axle on my Audi A4....so far so good...... ...
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I'm even thinking of doing this (replacing the joints) is that I have no idea if and when they were ever serviced, I've got a torn boot that's been that way for over a year (this is my fault) and I'm getting ready for a long trip this summer (about 4000 miles) so I'm just thinking of items I don't want to have to deal with on the road, CV's being one of them. I guess the low cost option would be to yank em' out and re-pack them if they are ok but if I had to guess they are probably have not been serviced in years
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GeorgeL
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevinbassplayer wrote:
The reason I'm even thinking of doing this (replacing the joints) is that I have no idea if and when they were ever serviced, I've got a torn boot that's been that way for over a year (this is my fault) and I'm getting ready for a long trip this summer (about 4000 miles) so I'm just thinking of items I don't want to have to deal with on the road, CV's being one of them. I guess the low cost option would be to yank em' out and re-pack them if they are ok but if I had to guess they are probably have not been serviced in years


One of the last things I would worry about on a long road trip is the CVs. They are quite durable and give lots of warning (rumbly noises) before giving up the ghost. If one starts to go, you have plenty of time to round up a replacement.

Your best route it to service the joints you have, replacing any torn our doubtful boots with new Rockford boots. If the joint is really dirty take the joint off the axle and disassemble it. If the boot is just weeping a bit remove the boot, wipe away all the old grease with many paper towels, and relube the joint. You only have to remove one CV from the axle to replace both boots.

I'm leery of the replacement axles, as the quality of these is somewhat suspect. Sure they give you a warranty, but that doesn't do you much good if you have to remove the whole works again.
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floggingmolly
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for some good advice. The diagnosis, without inspection, just a road test, was the CVs and maybe the stub axle bearings. Since my guy will only replace the CVs and won't consider replacing the axles, I have found another reputable shop that can do whatever I want. The noise from the rear is a bit disturbing, and something I want to have checked before heading out on a road trip. I suppose I will have him check the CVs to make sure that is what the problem is, then either go with a reman or new axle from either van-cafe or bus depot (empi). Go Westy says theirs are Chinese and guarantee they are worse than German. Never heard someone guarantee they are worse!

Thanks again for all the feedback, and I'll let you know what we find out.

Scott
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Captain Pike
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On day 2 of ownership you look at ths front wheel bearings,ALL brakes,CVs, exhaust system, ALL filters and fuel lines.
Why worry?
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