Over extending passenger side front axle during suspension install

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Mar 15, 2016
Pacific Northwest
This weekend I was working on replacing my front coilovers. The driver side went OK but on the passenger side when I dropped lower control arm, I rotated the wheel carrier too far outboard and I over-extended the inner CV joint. I didn't rip the boot but it seemed like I may have pulled the axle/CVJoint out of position. The axle bound up going in and out but I was able to rotate it a bit and then the axle slipped back into place and it now turns freely and without strange noises or feel.

I have read other threads about a snap ring giving way and then the CV cage pulling apart and the balls possibly dropping out into the boot.

What is the best way to inspect this and Is it possible to test for grinding over the full range of motion or is a visual inspection necessary? (For example, for a visual, is it possible to clip the inner CV boot retaining band and pull back the boot down the shaft to inspect the joint and re-seat anything or is it best to pull the entire axle?) I've replaced the axles on my Syncro Vanagon but not yet on this 200 but I've only found a couple of threads with pictures of the CV joint already out so tough to tell the best way to test.

The wheel spins OK and I don't hear any grinding but I want to be sure before I do more damage to the joint under load of the truck.

you should be able to clip the band on the inner boot and slide the boot off the inner cup and onto the axle shaft.

prepare to clean and replace a lot of grease. its a messy job, but not more complicated that replacing your shocks.

clean the cup well enough to inspect the spring clip. so long as it is in place, just add some grease and use a new clamp on the boot.
Thanks Tex- I did pull the boot and inspected. 5 balls in place... 6th was missing. Turns out that when the lower control arm dropped and the wheel carrier tilted outboard that pulled on the axle and tilted it down creating enough spaced between the inner race and cage that one of the lower balls rolled out of place and into the tulip. Bummer. (So as others have said, this definitely can happen so be careful.)

Tonight I pulled the caliper and rotor and abs sensor. With the axle sill connected on both ends, it's really awkward to try and get the balls, cage, inner race, and tulip all lined up with the grease and at axle angled in place attached to the wheel carrier. Tight space and not enough hands!

Tomorrow I plan to pull the axle from the outer hub and attempt to reinstall it into the tulip. Otherwise I will pull the tulip, clean it all up, and reinstall on the bench. The grease looks good and I was hoping to avoid draining the front diff.

A follow up question, to remove the front drive shaft, the FSM instructs to pull the front axle hub sub assembly (which has 4 bolts, needs a SST/puller, and a new o-ring). Is that necessary or should the outer axle just pull out of this hub sub assembly? I read a few threads that seem to indicate this is not needed to pull the axle. Does it easily pull out or does it need persuasion?
The axle stub requires a LOT of persuasion to get it out of the hub.
I used a piece of angle iron and the lug nuts as a press. I think there is a picture in the tundra swap thread.

Others have just wailed on it with a big hammer. That will work, but leave the nut on the end of the axle to protect the threads.
Hm. My front hubs were pretty easy to pull. I did use a puller but it wasn’t a lot of torque to get them free.

The hub bolts are behind the flange and required a box end wrench
To pull the axles is it required/recommended to pull the hub first? The way I envision this:

1) remove cotter pin, lock ring
2) zip off the axle nut

Then, looks like I might have a couple of choices:
3a) remove the 4 hub bolts and pull off the hub (which I assume leaves the axle free)
3b) or... push the axle back through the hub while it is still attached to the steering knuckle. (Using an angle iron bolted to the lugnuts and pushed out using a tapped bolt)

The FSM recommends 3a and then calls out replacing an O-ring too.

Just want to be sure I'm understanding what you have found works best.
My opinion is pulling the hub is no big deal, provided you have the hub socket and a puller. It will definitely leave the axle free. You can probably also reuse the oring but that one in particular is not an expensive part.
Just a quick update, and TLDR; took the axle to a shop to remove it, and they did... $35. The painful details leading up to that-

It was straightforward to zip off the axle nut w/ an electric impact (my new favorite tool).

To setup pushing out the axle shaft, I used parts from my OTC slide hammer set that I slightly modified to try and drive out the axle.

It was oriented actually very well and I used c-clamps to hold it.


I suspect under "normal" situations this probably should work very well. However this did not turn out normal. I cranked down on the screw drive and it simply did not have the strength to push the axle out. In fact, the c-clamps flexed about 1/8". (The picture shows a smaller clamp which quickly exceed its capacity, but i swapped it out for a larger one and still no dice.)

(As a side note, it's interesting to me, the parts on this front side of the truck were a PITA to remove compared to some other projects I've done on much older vehicles- this LC is a 2016 (new-ish). Made me wonder why, and I remembered that I took the truck to Tayula off road park for the first time a few months ago with a local club and did a few water crossings and I wonder if that accelerated rust on some of these parts. In addition to this axle, the tie rod end was amazingly stuck to the steering knuckle, as was one of the lug nuts to its stud. In fact, I stripped the key from one of the really expensive TRD key'ed lug nuts when trying to remove it... needless to say those are off the truck now, replaced with standard lugs.) I live in the PNW so no salted roads.

I ended up removing the steering knuckle from the LCA, axle and all and took it to a shop and they pressed it out. I have a 10 ton bench press but it just didn't have the geometry to work. I was also eyeing one of those Posi-lock pullers. They look pretty amazing, but pricey.

Got everything back in and buttoned up.

What a nightmare! Whatever WA is putting on the roads is very rusty. We went up to the snow four or five times this year and I didn’t do any special rinsing after, and I have quite a bit of new rust this spring.

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