wae HalfDork
1/19/15 7:13 p.m.

I'm trying to do an axle swap on a Neon with a modified OBX LSD and I'm having a heck of a time getting the axle to seat properly. I've tried with and without the c-clips and the axle seems to go most of the way in and the freeze up. I'm using a new (not re-man) axle which is the same manufacturer and model number as the one I had in there a few months ago. That one wound up giving me the same problem until I put a block of wood on the tripod and whacked it with a hammer which (no real surprise) tore the boot. At the time, I didn't really care that much since I only had a day or so to get the car on the trailer to head to the RallyX nationals, but I'm trying to get a replacement in there now and not having any luck. I'm not looking to tear another boot, so I'm trying to be a bit careful, but I can't for the life of me figure out why the axle won't go past a certain point.

I put some grease on the spots inside the diff where the axle might bottom out on, but the axle comes out clean and the grease is undisturbed, so it doesn't look like it's too long. The axle has about 3/8"-1/2" of the shaft exposed between the seal and the tripod whereas it should have more like 1/8"-1/4", so it's going to just leak like crazy if I leave it as is.

Anybody ever run in to anything like this and come up with a good way to force it in?

bentwrench HalfDork
1/19/15 8:00 p.m.

Chipdogg on the Neon forum should be able to help you. He does some mods to the LSD to make them work.

Don't beat on axle any more.

jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
1/19/15 8:23 p.m.

put it in as far as it will go, then assemble the suspension. setting it down on the wheels with everything assembled should pop it right in. thats how we had to do mercedes SUV axles, assemble the whole thing, once we backed it out of the shop, they would seat. you could even hear em from the cabin.


motomoron SuperDork
1/19/15 10:29 p.m.

Remember that striking an object with something that weighs a lot less than the object is often inneffective.

I usually use the axle and outer CV as the driver. Push the inner stub in 'til it's as far as it seems to want to go then use the rest of the assembly like a reverse slide hammer. Usually pops right in.

Jumper K. Balls
Jumper K. Balls UltraDork
1/19/15 11:35 p.m.

I have no tips for you but wanted to praise your thread title and suggest it as the future "learn me" replacement.

wae HalfDork
1/20/15 9:04 a.m.

I think I may have resolved the issue last night. I had already tried with a different axle to just put the whole thing together and take a hard right turn to try to force everything in and that didn't budge the axle. I tried grabbing the tripod at the boot (being very careful not to tear the boot of course!) and put all of my weight on it, pushing off against the workbench and it didn't budge with or without the c-clip. I tried using it as a slide hammer and nothing.

Once the caveman techniques didn't pan out, I grabbed my caliper and started measuring things and I think that the problem was that the inside part of the gear from the c-clip groove was machined with a slightly smaller diameter than the outside part. My measurements were approximate, but I think that the depth of that part of the gear was pretty close to the length of the exposed shaft, so my quasi-educated guess was that the axle was butting up against the other side of the c-clip groove and not fitting. I've dealt with more Neon axles than I'd really care to count up and I know that some of them have had more of a tapered tip than others and we had to try a handful of different axles to get one to fit in eastsidemav's Quaife. Since both of my axles had identical tips, I put one in the vise, broke out my angle grinder, and roughly chamfered the edge of the axle. It's certainly not perfect, but after a couple tries, I was able to get it to go in such that I could not pull it back out by hand, even putting all of my weight on it as I pulled back. The gap between the tripod and the seal is still greater than on the passenger side, however, it has been reduced by a bit. I need to drive the car around a bit to see if it still weeps oil, but I think I've got it.

(I hate searching on the Internet for a problem only to find a million people who had the same problem I had but never any solutions!)

wae HalfDork
1/20/15 9:07 a.m.
Jumper K. Balls wrote: I have no tips for you but wanted to praise your thread title and suggest it as the future "learn me" replacement.

haha! Thanks! Yeah, I figured it wouldn't hurt to mix it up a little, right?

Ranger50 PowerDork
1/20/15 9:44 a.m.

Are you sure everything is machined properly?

wae HalfDork
1/20/15 12:35 p.m.
Ranger50 wrote: Are you sure everything is machined properly?

I know that the OBX is supposed to be machined pretty poorly, but for a few extra bucks, there's a guy who has a pretty good reputation that takes them apart, corrects the defects, and then sells them through Modern Performance. I suspect that he may have missed this one part of the gear or the manufacturer of the axles is building them slightly out of "spec" of the original axle to the point that in the stock diff it fits, but in the OBX and Quaife, they've machined it out to snug up against a more tapered axle which may have been the OEM spec.

Purely speculation, but in short, yes, something was definitely machined improperly.

Kenny_McCormic PowerDork
1/20/15 2:03 p.m.

You could cut the big clamp band, slide the shaft out of the cup with boot and all, smack the now empty cup with a clean deadblow hammer or hammer and clean wood block, then reassemble and zip tie the boot back on. Should be fine for a race car.

Our Preferred Partners