To some, swapping the axles might be common knowledge, but the pictures below might aid anyone doing this for the first time. This will also show how stout these axles really are. If you have any other methods, or pictures I may be missing, please let me know and I will adjust/add them.
Side by side comparison. (I painted the axles flat black)
After taking off the clamps.
Start with the outer portion of the axle. There will be a white/silver cap covering the inner portion of the CV. There is a snap ring you need to remove. I used a rubber mallet to tap the outer flange. It doesn't take much to get the cap off, so no need to get the sludge hammer out.
Once you have removed the snap ring, you need to remove the outer CV assembly off of the shaft. Again, using a rubber mallet will do the trick. One slide off by hand, and the other need a few taps. This will leave you with the inner snap ring. You can skip this step if you are using new boots. I already had new boots on the shafts, so I needed to get them off. Once you have taken the inner snap ring off, go ahead and slide off both CV boots.
Getting the inner CV off; this can be accomplish in a few manors. Using a pipe, and placing the axle in the pipe, and slamming the CV assembly down into the pipe OR using a dead blow hammer. Using the dead blow hammer, took 4-8 hits to get the inner snap right to give. Mind you I am 145 lbs, so with me holding shaft and hammering, I think this method works great. When taking off the inner CV, be sure to hit the inner portion. Otherwise, the outer cage will shift, and you will never get the snap ring to give.
You should now have both CV assemblies off the original axle. You should start with the inner CV; I wouldnâ€™t put any boots on at this time, as they will get in the way. I didnâ€™t take any pictures of this step, and it was probably the trickest step. You will need to take the snap ring off of the original inner CV, and transfer it over to the new shaft. I placed the inner CV facing the ground, and then inserted the new shaft into the splines. DO NOT just hammer away; the snap ring did NOT just give. My snap ring actually bent, and had to order new ones from Nissan. Once you have sat the shaft into the splines, use a small screw driver and push the snap ring into the groove of the axle. It has a beveled edge, which aids you to get it started. As youâ€™re pushing the ring into the groove, apply pressure to drive the axle into the inner CV. You will feel when the axle has entered the splines. At this point, you can hammer the axle into the CV. It didnâ€™t take too much to drive it in, and used a 2lb dead blow hammer to get it accomplished.
Before sliding on the boots, this would be a good time to add more grease. I used CV grease from Car Quest, which came in sealed packets. If you want to use some high performance grease, Redline makes a specific grease for CVâ€™s I believe. Once the boots have been slid on, you can work on the outer CV. I did not find it necessary to flip the outer cages. I put my shafts back together with the cages in the original position. After tapping the outer CV assembly onto the new shaft, you will need to place the outer snap ring on. Once the snap ring is on, you can take your rubber mallet, and tap the white/silver cap back on. Again, it doesnâ€™t take much to get it on, so donâ€™t use your BMF hammer here.
You can now slide your boots on all the way. You will need new clamps for the axle side. (since these are decently thicker) I havenâ€™t had a chance to put my new clamps on the boots, but will update the thread this weekend. Before setting the clamps on, I test fit the axles to ensure the boots werenâ€™t being over stretched at my static ride height, and adjusted as needed.
Here is a visual comparison of the new vs. old.
Now, onto the axles in the carâ€¦ A few shots of how they look, but most importantly the amount of travel now available. Since it is kinda tight back there, I tried to measure this as best as I could. With the CV fully compressed, we have about 7/8â€ to 15/16â€ of travel from the mating surface of the adapter. Since these housings have roughly 1 11/16â€ of travel, this leaves us with another 13/16" of travel outboard. On a stock control arm car, this places us somewhere in the middle of available travel. So if we do go with adjustable control arms, we should be able to adjust either way comfortably.
Edited by Carjway, 18 November 2011 - 09:51 AM.