Changing a Front Axle on a B5
In this write up, I will change the passenger side, front axle, as stated, but the procedure is the same for the driver’s side. However, the axles are NOT the same. One is longer than the other! So don’t go ordering two passenger side axles.
I ordered mine from Raxles. Pretty cool people! They sent me the axle, a pair of gloves, a rag, a new axle bolt and a cool little pocket knife. Plus, they include a set of loaner tools that you just ship back to them with your old axles.
Ok, well, here’s what you’ll need:
-Breaker bar extension
-17mm hex socket (for your axle bolt… It can vary for different years)
-Sockets – Make sure you’ve got a 16mm in there! Cheap kits don’t like to include them, for some reason.
-A 16mm wrench
-Another person, doesn’t matter who. Just makes things a lot faster come one part.
-PB Blaster and maybe some holy water if your pinch bolt is the original one
-New pinch bolts if yours are the originals
P/Ns: N 034 790 7 <- The M10x100 bolt
N 102 861 02 <- The M10 self-locking nut
-Depending on who you ordered from, you’ll need a 12 pt, triple-square hex if not included in the kit.
-New axle bolt (if not included with kit)
Alright, let’s get started. Pop off your center cap, and break your axle bolt. Breaker bar and extension are needed here:
Then break your wheel lugs, jack your car up and put it on a jackstand. You don’t need to take the belly pan off. Note: You can only do one axle at a time! The opposite wheel must remain on the ground. Take your wheel off and set it aside.
Finish unscrewing your axle bolt:
Grab your breaker bar, extensions and 12pt socket… And your other person.
Grab the axle, and rotate one of the bolts to 6 o’clock.
Get your other person to stick the car in first gear. No clutching is necessary. Just stick get ’em to stick the thing in first.
Well, I forgot to take a pic of the tool apparatus when the old axle was in the car, so I had to use a pic with the new one. A little anti-climatic, I know, but I wasn’t about to put my other axle back in the car.
Now, if you noticed, the 6 o’clock bolt in that other pic was stripped. If that happens to you, try this:
Dremel a slot for a screwdriver. Take the bolt out on the other side of that cashew-shaped washer, and then take a hammer and screwdriver to the washer. Tap it so the washer moves counter clockwise, and the bolt should break. Then unscrew it w/your little slot thing.
Anyways… If all went well, ask your other person to stick the car in neutral, rotate, unscrew, put in 1st, repeat. Having a second person change gears for you is very helpful. I got lightheaded squatting, standing, shifting and squatting doing it by myself.
Just yank on your axle a little, and it’ll look like this:
There’s small chance that you could fanagle your axle out as is… But, there was no way on my car. So, it’s pinch bolt time!
There’s your pinch bolt. 16mm on both sides… Get the nut off, and tap out the bolt with a hammer. Good luck…
When you get it out, use the old pinch bolt to tap out the upper control arms from the upright. Carefully and slowly. They’ll come out.
Pull the upright down some, and then get your other person to turn the wheel all the way to the right (if you’re working on the passenger side, like I was).
Just wiggle it out…
Once out, you should stick an old latex glove or bag or something over the greased end of the axle so you don’t get grease everywhere.
Get your other person to turn the wheel back to center and carefully stick your new axle in the upright:
You don’t want to let the upright just hang b/c you can damage the bushings on the lower CAs. Hand screw the bolts back in…
Looks familiar, eh? Get your other person to stick it in 1st again, torque the bottom bolt to 30ftlbs, go to neutral, rotate, repeat.
Screw your *new* axle bolt in (hand tighten):
Take your new pinch bolt, and coat the sucker in anti-seize:
Lightly tap your upper CAs into the upright. Small taps, and eventually, it’ll settle back in. Put your new pinch bolt in and give it a few twists to get anti-seize everywhere.
Torque the pinch bolt to 30ftlbs.
Put your wheel back on, torque your lugs to 89ftlbs, and then torque the axle bolt to 89ftlbs. Do this again:
And give the bar another 180 degrees, tighter.
Put your center cap back on, and you’re done!
Let me know if there’s errors or if you’ve got questions.