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Unread 10-31-2019, 03:36 PM   #1
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2005 MTX Half Shaft End Play

Hi All,

I was under my car recently, replacing the flex pipe (thank god that's over) and noticed some leaking coming out of the differential seals, where the axle meets the differential on the passenger side.

Upon noticing that, I gave a quick tug on the axle to see if there was any movement, and the axle started to move out a lot. I also started to get some serious dripping from the axle seal. I stopped when I saw the fluid, as I didn't want to get totally covered in the stuff if the axle popped out.

I was wondering, is this normal? The car was lifted up with the front wheels off, so the CV axle was lower than normal (suspension without any load on it). I wasn't sure if this might pull the half shaft out of the differential, at least more than in normal operation.

I'll post a pic or something if need be, but maybe you guys can diagnose without it.

Basically, how much end play should I expect out of the passenger side half shaft on my MTX75?


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Unread 10-31-2019, 03:54 PM   #2
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Shouldn't be very much. Look to see how loose the carrier bearing is.
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Unread 10-31-2019, 05:40 PM   #3
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Bearing may be walking on the axle...............
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Unread 10-31-2019, 05:51 PM   #4
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Pretty easy to replace the whole axle. Take the old axle with you and make sure the new one has the same length and the carrier bearing is pressed onto the correct location. Seal is easy to replace. Don't forget to put a little grease on the seal before installing the axle.
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Unread 10-31-2019, 08:04 PM   #5
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So you think it's more than just replacing the seal? I'll take another look underneath tomorrow and try to get a better view of what's going on. I was preoccupied with the flex pipe replacement when I noticed it.

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.

My Miata is a CA car and that thing stays in the garage all winter...
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Unread 10-31-2019, 08:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesthemonkey View Post
So you think it's more than just replacing the seal? I'll take another look underneath tomorrow and try to get a better view of what's going on. I was preoccupied with the flex pipe replacement when I noticed it.

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.

My Miata is a CA car and that thing stays in the garage all winter...
The axle shouldn't be able to come out of the transaxle as it is supposed to be trapped by the carrier bearing.
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Unread 11-01-2019, 01:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesthemonkey View Post

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.
Im not far from you (Marlborough/Hudson) and my 02 wagon is also a total rustbucket. My 05 ZX4 isnt as bad even though it has more miles.

I also replaced the flexpipe on my 05 along with the rest of the exhaust and it was a PITA. Did you see my posts here (posts 3, 4, 5):
https://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/...confusion.html

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Unread 11-01-2019, 04:07 PM   #8
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Hi Paul,

I actually just moved to Marlborough!

No, didn't see your post about the flex pipe, as I'd done this before on another car and knew what was involved (cutting, etc.) so I didn't search on here. Those are good pics though for anyone doing it in the future. I used a battery-powered angle grinder, but effectively the same method.

They really make those mani-cat to flex pipe nuts completely inaccessible.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesthemonkey View Post
So you think it's more than just replacing the seal? I'll take another look underneath tomorrow and try to get a better view of what's going on. I was preoccupied with the flex pipe replacement when I noticed it.

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.

My Miata is a CA car and that thing stays in the garage all winter...
Your there replacing the seal, do the axle also, shouldn't have a lot of movement. What side is it?
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Unread 11-02-2019, 01:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesthemonkey View Post
So you think it's more than just replacing the seal? I'll take another look underneath tomorrow and try to get a better view of what's going on. I was preoccupied with the flex pipe replacement when I noticed it.

Side note - I'm very envious of you guys in Texas. I noticed that my rear sway end links rusted to the point where the driver side is no longer connected to the LCA. This rustbucket is just awful.

My Miata is a CA car and that thing stays in the garage all winter...
The seal in the trans is a radial seal design which allows for some end play on the axle journal, however that end play should be very small. As others have stated the carrier bearing inner race should be a press fit to the axle shaft and my guess is either the press fit has failed or the bearing itself has failed.

Is the rear bar end link itself (bolt) rusted away or is the rear LCA rotted out where it connects to the link which is fairly common in rust belt? I had an entire rear LCA failure due to rust at the outer bushing on my rustbucket 02 wagon. Luckily it failed right in my driveway but it was still a total PITA to get the old LCA out as I had to use a saw to cut all the fasteners as they were all seized. I installed new sway bar end links at that time.

Paul
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Last edited by Paul1958; 11-02-2019 at 05:26 PM. Reason: update
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