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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm in the process of replacing the front struts on my 02 ZX5. Long story short, while trying to reassemble the passenger side knuckle/strut assembly, I managed to pull the axle out of what I assume is the carrier bearing. The boot pulled apart from where it's clamped and the lube drained out on the floor. Axle is still fitted in the hub. Hub/brake/axle assembly is drooping down. I decided to quit before I took a hammer to things I shouldn't.

Can it be re-assembled, or should it be replaced? What's the procedure for both? Had the Focus for awhile, but FWD maint is pretty new to me. I had no obvious problems with the axles/cv/bearing before this.
 

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Can't tell for sure from the description what you did.

It SOUNDS more like you pulled the inner joint/boot apart, NOT the axle out of the carrier bearing.

Inner joint can be reassembled, needs to be clean & you need a good boot/clamps/ Moly Grease for the joint to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The trans end of the axle still has half of something on it and it's still attached to the hub. The clamped boot on the trans side of the axle pulled away from what ever it's attached to.

I can see the socket and feel the 3 "balls" that 's in a triangle configuration. That's where it pulled apart.

Like I said, FWD stuff is not in my breadth of knowledge. Sorry to sound clueless, that's pretty accurate.
 

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That's the inner "CV", or more accurately the "tripode joint".

Exactly what I'd guessed in the prev. post.

Carrier bearing is what goes between the axle & the engine bracket that holds it. When the bracket is unbolted, the inner axle section can be pulled out of the trans..

That joint slides in & out as the wheel moves, as well as flexing for the angle changes. The outer joint (actual 'CV") can bend more but it stays at a fixed length.

Inner tripode is only held together by the rubber boot, so nothing but that has come apart on you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So just install a new boot and repack with the correct grease and re-assemble?

Does it "snap" back together or just fit back?

Any pointers are needed and appreciated. My learning curve is vertical on this one.
 

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Yeah, it just slides together.

Wipe up some grease & you should see a circlip holding the tripode on the shaft. That's how you can get it off to slide a new boot on (assume the old one is damaged from your comments).

Usually get a tube of grease with a boot kit, use it all (black Moly Grease).

You can do the small end band first, as soon as the axle is reassembled. Big end band is put on after sliding the axle in the cup.
 

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Doing boots used to be real common, when they were cheap & axle assys. were expensive.
 

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Use correct AMOUNT of grease as well, if you overpack then seal blows right back out, the airspace left in there is critical to allow for grease mushing around under extreme angles. Every axle has an exact amount mentioned somewhere.

If you got lucky and old boot untorn you could even reuse it but better to get a new one. Split boots are garbage FYI, don't waste time with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What type of tool do I need to use on the new clamp/strap when installing the boot? A specialty one or will a common tool work?
 

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Might be specialty or none, depending on the strap/clamp type.
 

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Afraid that's all you can do.

Most kits have ones that are made to fit, with a lever arm that bends over & is clipped in place with tabs to lock it.

I've also used universal ones that needed a special tool to pull them tight, unless specified in the kit info. you can't be sure what's included.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Is there something special that must be done to get the pass side strut assy back in place on the knuckle? I can NOT get it anywhere close to seating back in.

This stage of removing is how the CV joint got pulled apart, not being able to lever the LCA down enough to get the strut and knuckle apart. Now, for re-assembly, it's nowhere close to going back in, even with the axle still loose from the CV.

This makes me feel like [:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)][:)] about car work. I'm not, I can do most all of what I attempt. THIS car is pissing me off. FWD stuff is my weak area though.
 

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Do you need it together to roll the car around while waiting for the CV boot?

It'll have to come apart again (or maybe take apart the ball joint/tie rod end) to do the axle.

When I did my suspension swap, I left the joints together & just swapped the struts. The new strut needed to be up to the top finger tight to get it back together, hangin' loose didn't give enough space. (top mount nuts)

Did use my favorite long pry bar to lever down the arm IIRC, that thing is about 3' long at least and I was prob. holding it down with a knee while lining up the knuckle & strut. Lining up the strut & knuckle at an angle & rocking them in so the strut can drop into place.

I know you can get it down enough to pull it out/line them up again because nothing else came apart.

P.S. - std. length came out, SVT went back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm beginning to think I need to remove the knuckle from the LCA, or the LCA itself to put everything back together, then reinstall the tripod/CV joint. The driver side practically fell back together.

The LCA seems to be bottoming out against the sub frame and seems like it won't drop any farther. I was trying to remove the original strut assy and having the same issue with getting it apart. Then the CV joint pulled apart rather abruptly and I still had a hard time removing the strut. I don't recall the exact thing I did to remove it.

The closest it comes to going together is the strut laying across the knuckle at about a 45degree angle. How far will the LCA droop?

I have to be missing something, but I can't figure out what.
 

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If it works easier to pull the ball joint, go for it.

Remember that you need to take the tripode joint apart to get the boot on, might be easier before final assy. so you aren't doing it under the car as far.
 
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