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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This weekend I decided to remove my busted axle, as well as find a replacement axle and the proper sockets and bits to get the job done. I managed to find a new axle at a Local NAPA for about $90 and picked it up on Saturday, along with the triple square bits and allen sockets at O'Reilly's. Sunday morning I got to work and pulled the wheel off. With a better view of the inner joint I could see that 3 of the M10 triple square bolts holding the CV to the trans had gone missing. I removed the 3 remaining bolts and attempted to get the axle loose.
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The axle was detatched from the joint on the wheel side, and the splines were tightly wedged against the remains of the joint making in nearly impossible to pull the axle from the output flange. After about an hour of fighting to get the axle loose I ended up using a grinder to cut a slot out of the outer joint, just enough for the splined part of the axle to be pulled through the side of the joint and slip the axle out. Now I am on the hunt for some M10x20 triple square bolts so I can install the new axle and hopefully get the car moving again. Overall I have spent $90 for the axle and about $200 all together for the sockets, extensions, jack stands, breaker bar, loctite, and a nice ratchet. I found some of the bolts I need on ECS tuning for about $2.50 a piece plus shipping, so If I can get away with this repair for under $350 I will be a happy camper! This is my first car and my first time really getting my hands dirty and it feels great to be doing some work myself. I do have a few questions that I am having trouble finding clear answers on;

· The axle bolt has quite a bit of grease on the threads. Not sure if the grease is from the busted joint or if it was originally on the axle bolt. Should I clean the grease off an torque it dry or should I need to regrease the threads? If so, what kind of grease should I be using?

· Is there any other damage that I should be looking out for due to the axle failing? I originally thought my transmission is what gave out so it's a giant relief that the axle is what actually came loose, but seeing that i was missing 3 bolts worried me that there could be more to it.

· Any suggestions on how to get the nasty grease off of EVERYTHING? Seriously, its everywhere 😅

· What color thread lock should i be using? I've been seeing some people say blue and others say red. The bolts that were in there look like they may have had green on them. Does it matter all that much?

· Should I be worried about moisture or dust getting onto the output flange while the car is sitting on jack stands with no axle? Should I cover it with a plastic bag if it starts to rain or snow? Wipe down with a microfiber cloth before installation of new axle? It may be 3-5 days before I get the bolts for the new axle, and it looks like it may rain a day or two in between.

Thank you! If it weren't for this forum I wouldn't have gotten this far
 

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Good job. Personally, I would use blue loctite for the bolts holding the axle to the trans. For the axle bolt, I don't think it matters too much if is completely dry or has a bit of grease since it should be a torque to yield bolt. Ie, you torque the bolt to the specified torque and then go another 1/4 or 1/2 turn. The last turn actually stretches the bolt and it is the yield strength of the bolt shaft that determines the final holding power of the bolt. I'd clean the threads first but adding a bit of oil or grease on them will be fine.

To clean the nasty grease, I'd just throw away any clothes that are bad and then take the car to a car wash to clean underneath. This is a job that requires old clothes ;) That moly grease will never come out in the wash so don't wear things you care about when working with it.
 

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The axle bolt will get grease on it no matter what. The grease comes through the joint. I use paper shop towels for the heavy grease on the car. You don't need it spotless, up there the road salt and water will slowly eat it away, but better that then rust.

Make certain to torque the inner CV bolts. 59ft/lbs is required and probably why they came out. I've never needed thread lock on them (i've replaced about 100), but many people use the blue. You get the best leverage on the bolts from under the car.

I would cover the hub, you don't want moisture inside as it will lead to rust dust on the ABS sensor. Clean the sensor before installing.

For your clothes, You can spot clean with dish-washing liguid and then run it inside out in the washer under heavy cleaning. It will come out, I've used my auto work clothes hundreds of times and only RTV does not come out. The dish-washing liquid also works great on greasy hands if you don't use gloves. I use Orange Goop to clean off before coming in the house, it can also be used to pre-clean heavy grease from your clothes. I prefer it over Fast Orange cleaner as it's not a abrasive on the skin.
 

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Congrats on the first car, and the initiative to dive into a repair. Are you following directions in a manual (such as the Chiltons shop manual), YouTube videos, or just figuring it out? I'm a little concerned about getting your replacement drive axle back in, since it may not fit in so easily. For me, I remove the "pinch bolt" and knock the upper ball joint studs out of the suspension casting, allowing that to easily tilt and maneuver for the axle installation. However, I'm in SoCal where rust is uncommon, and this method is an easy solution. Not so in many other places, so I hear. Perhaps others such as PZ can advise. As to using Loctite, I use the blue type just about everywhere that a loose fastener would be risky, such as brake caliper bolts, and especially those six short CV screws.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good job. Personally, I would use blue loctite for the bolts holding the axle to the trans. For the axle bolt, I don't think it matters too much if is completely dry or has a bit of grease since it should be a torque to yield bolt. Ie, you torque the bolt to the specified torque and then go another 1/4 or 1/2 turn. The last turn actually stretches the bolt and it is the yield strength of the bolt shaft that determines the final holding power of the bolt. I'd clean the threads first but adding a bit of oil or grease on them will be fine.

To clean the nasty grease, I'd just throw away any clothes that are bad and then take the car to a car wash to clean underneath. This is a job that requires old clothes ;) That moly grease will never come out in the wash so don't wear things you care about when working with it.
Thank you! It seems like blue loctite is the general consensus. I'll definitely be giving the axle bolt threads a wipe down to get the old gunk off. I wasn't thinking and wore some decent carhartt pants while I was pulling the axle out, so i guess they are permanently my car work pants 😂
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The axle bolt will get grease on it no matter what. The grease comes through the joint. I use paper shop towels for the heavy grease on the car. You don't need it spotless, up there the road salt and water will slowly eat it away, but better that then rust.

Make certain to torque the inner CV bolts. 59ft/lbs is required and probably why they came out. I've never needed thread lock on them (i've replaced about 100), but many people use the blue. You get the best leverage on the bolts from under the car.

I would cover the hub, you don't want moisture inside as it will lead to rust dust on the ABS sensor. Clean the sensor before installing.

For your clothes, You can spot clean with dish-washing liguid and then run it inside out in the washer under heavy cleaning. It will come out, I've used my auto work clothes hundreds of times and only RTV does not come out. The dish-washing liquid also works great on greasy hands if you don't use gloves. I use Orange Goop to clean off before coming in the house, it can also be used to pre-clean heavy grease from your clothes. I prefer it over Fast Orange cleaner as it's not a abrasive on the skin.
Awesome. I covered up the hub as it rained last night and started scraping grease off the backside of my wheel and control arms. I used a plastic mini scraper and I got most of the junk off but I'm not going to go crazy over the bit that's left, because as you mentioned the road salt should do a number on it. I couldn't find any Orange Goop in a pinch but I picked up some Fast Orange and that did the job. I'll probably end up using blue loctite when I torque the inner CV bolts to be safe. Thank you for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Congrats on the first car, and the initiative to dive into a repair. Are you following directions in a manual (such as the Chiltons shop manual), YouTube videos, or just figuring it out? I'm a little concerned about getting your replacement drive axle back in, since it may not fit in so easily. For me, I remove the "pinch bolt" and knock the upper ball joint studs out of the suspension casting, allowing that to easily tilt and maneuver for the axle installation. However, I'm in SoCal where rust is uncommon, and this method is an easy solution. Not so in many other places, so I hear. Perhaps others such as PZ can advise. As to using Loctite, I use the blue type just about everywhere that a loose fastener would be risky, such as brake caliper bolts, and especially those six short CV screws.
Thank you! Sorry for such a late response, I have been extremely busy and completely forgot to get back to you. I have been using YouTube and this forum as my main sources of information on repairing my car. I found a service manual on craigslist for $35 that I will be picking up if it's still available towards the end of the week. I ended up getting the axle into postion fairly easily by holding the inner joint up and to the right, slipping the splined end into the slot and swinging the other side into it's position. It was actually much easier than I anticipated. It seems like my ABS sensor may have been damaged when the axle broke/during removal, because the ABS light and traction control lights are still on and it seems like my car is back in limp mode. Thank you all for your help, I'll be sure to keep you updated with this project!
 

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You can pull and inspect the sensor for damage if it's not rusted into place. It may simply be too far away, too close or too dirty to work properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You can pull and inspect the sensor for damage if it's not rusted into place. It may simply be too far away, too close or too dirty to work properly.
I tried pulling the sensor out after work last night but it is stuck in there pretty good. I'm going to give it another try one of these days coming up when I have some more daylight to work with. Is there a specific measurable distance that the sensor is supposed to be seated into the slot, or should I try cleaning it off, try adjusting the placement farther/closer and go from there? Thank you again
 

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If it's "stuck in there pretty good", then it's rusted into place. Removal will destroy it. Been there, done that. Much fun with a drill, small screwdriver, hammer, etc. to extract it. Once out, clean up the hole with a Dremel (with a sanding drum on it), and thoroughly blow out the rust dust w/ compressed air.
Note that there's also a 'retainer sleeve' (a barbed sleeve) that actually holds the thing in - you'll need one of those, too. And, I suggest lightly coating the sleeve, and the sensor (both prior to installation) with waterproof synthetic grease - just in case you need to replace it again in the future.

Proper installation is (generally) "fully insert the sensor until it stops, then back it out approximately one hair".
 
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