SUBARUPictures of how I replaced the CV axle boots on a CV axle that is rust frozen into the hub on the Subaru Legacy Outback.

But first, lets pay some bills:

  1. The CV axle boot is torn, split, and falling off. Grease is splattered everywhere. Why does this not surprise me, Fuji Heavy Industries? Yes, because I had to do this before.
    leaking subaru

  2. I popped off the hub cap. This really is the cap over the hub.
    hub cap

  3. I un PEENed the axle nut. The screwdriver was a wedge that drove in and pushed the axle lip out. I did not push it all the way out.
    axle nut peened

  4. My big ass-wrench was able to break the axle nut free even with it still slightly peened. I also broke loose all the lug nuts with my medium ass-wrench.
    Ass Wrench

  5. I chocked the back wheel, jacked it, jack stand -ed it, and put in another jack stand because I don't want to die.

  6. The brake caliper has to come off, these two bolts back here have to come out.
    caliper     caliper bolts

  7. I pulled those little bolts, and hung the caliper with a wire.
    caliper hangin on a wire

  8. I removed the ball joint bolt.
    ball joint bolt

  9. I pried the ball joint loose from the swing arm.
    crow bar

  10. I removed the swaybar bolt.
    swaybar bolt

  11. To remove the axle from the hub, I attached a three arm puller and pulled. I WD-40'd. I Whanged with a BFH (Big Freakin' Hammer).

    OK, kids, now can you spot what's wrong with this picture?
    whanged with a hammer

  12. My BFH is B R Oken.
    broken BFH

  13. And my puller is broken too.
    broken puller

  14. The axle is frozen into the hub. I wore myself out whanging on that thing. It is not coming out. The Google machine tells me that this is common, and a 20 ton press is not guaranteed to free it. This happened last time, and I broke the tone ring and paid a shop $500 to replace that and free the hub and finish the job. Sonofa. I don't happen to have an extra $500 laying around.


  15. It looks like I can change both boots with the axle still frozen in the hub.
    axle diagram

  16. There is a pin holding the inner axle to the transmission.
    axle pin

  17. I used a drift and then a bolt that was longer than the drift to get the pin out. The factory service manual says to replace the pin, but I am going to reuse it.

  18. Once free of the transmission, I need to remove an interior clip, circlip, snap ring, C-clip, Jesus clip (not making that up), that holds in the bearings.

  19. After smearing grease all over my entire body I was able to remove the clip.
    greasy clip

  20. With the outer bearing race removed, I can see the inner race and cage. I also have the pleasure of six greasy ball bearings splatting onto my head.
    bearing race

  21. There is a snapring on the end of the shaft. I needed the snap ring pliers to remove this one.

  22. The outer boot I just cut off with a wire cutters out of spite.

  23. I cleaned the axle shaft because I would have to slide the axle boots over it later.

  24. There are the outer bearings. I cleaned the old grease out because it was all dirty greasy icky, and that bothers me.

  25. Axle boots from Beck Arnley. Beck Arnley is sourcing in China now! Shit. I'll be doing this again is two years, won't I.
    Beck China Arnley

  26. I cleaned everything and laid everything out for reinstallation. Bearing races, axle grease, circlip, cage, six axle bearings, four boot clamps, two axle boots, and a partridge in a pear tree.
    12 days of christmas

  27. I slid the outer boot on over the axle, greased the outer bearings, and slipped the boot into place.
    outer axle boot

  28. I installed the outer boot clamp. It took me a while to figure out how to do it well. First I put it on and pulled it tight by hand.
    boot clamp

  29. Then I used a needle nose pliers to wrap the loose end around and tighten it up. I twisted so the pliers were under the clamp end, and the pliers hit against the band. When I twisted the other way, it looked like I was going to rip off the band.
    pliers     boot clamp band

  30. With the pliers still twisted and holding it tight, I used the ball end of a Ball Peen Hammer to Peen the boot clamp band. Then I folded the loose end over and peened the shit out of it. Peen, motherf***er, peen.

  31. Then I cut off the loose end with a wire cutter and peened it some more.

  32. Oh my god, just writing this up is taking forever. Doing the actual work took forever and wore me out. I am so sore. At least I didn't have to take it to a shop this time. Argh. Where's my bourbon!?!?

  33. Bearing cage, inner bearing race, axle snapring.

  34. The race goes into the cage, then you have to rotate it 30° to make room for the bearings.
    insert     rotate

  35. There they are on the axle. The wide end of the cage goes toward the end of the axle. The small boot clamp has to go on first.
    axle bearing race

  36. I squeezed a glob of grease into each bearing space in the race. Then I stuck a bearing into each space, and the grease held it in.
    race space

  37. Then the outer race, filled with the rest of the grease in the package, slid over that. And then I pushed the circlip into all that grease until it clicked into the groove. Then I peened the boot clamps just like the outside.
    outer race

  38. I aligned the hole in the race with the hole in the transmission output shaft and slid it on.

  39. I drove in the pin, and holy hell I'm done. I replaced the CV axle boots with the axle still frozen in the hub. Me am so smart.
    pin in

  40. Then the wheel and everything is the reverse of removal, yeah. Also I tried to drive away with the back tire still chocked. I always do that.

  41. Next I sold out to make 02¢ so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.

    But no minivans!

  42. Then I finished my beer.

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Think: Cars are expensive, powerful, and heavy.   Before I start work, I face the possibility that I will destroy my vehicle, my own life, and innocent pedestrians' lives.   If anyone messes with a 4000 lb machine capable of 100 mph, these are real possibilities.   If I get in over my head, I call a professional mechanic.   The information on this website is provided only for entertainment purposes, and it is not intended as advice on how to service a vehicle.   For all you know I made this up.   Don`t believe everything you read on the internet.

Disclaimer: The technical information in these documents is provided without any warranty whatsoever and at no cost.   All information is in general terms and is not meant to apply to your particular situation, be current at the time you read it, or even be correct in the first place.   Improperly maintained vehicles can lead to serious injury, death, or unavoidable accidents. The author is not responsible for any errors on this site, and does not make any claim at all about the validity, safety, or veracity of the information contained on this website. Any work you choose to do or not to do on your vehicle is done at your own risk. The information on this site is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional advice, professional workmanship, dealer service, union labor, or psychological counseling.   The author disclaims any and all liability directly or indirectly arising from the application or use of any information or idea contained on this or any other web site.   By opening this page, you agree to never sue anyone ever or allow anyone to be sued on your behalf.   The appropriate professional should be consulted regarding your specific condition. does not take responsibility for the information posted on other sites to which it links.

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