Audi A4 Front Drive Axle Replacement - Raxles
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|Prior Experience: None
|Cost: $219.80 + old axle
|Time: 1 hour
You can expect that sometime down the line you will have to replace the front axles on your B6 A4. Typically you will know it is time to replace your axles if you hear a 'clunking' sound on deceleration or acceleration or a vibration or shudder during acceleration. In my case, I noticed that the inner CV boot was torn and the grease had emptied out. Since the boot had broken, dirt and moisture had gotten into the inner CV joint. This caused the joint to start to rust. I decided to change the axles before winter came and further damaged the joint.
Based on numerous recommendations, I contacted Marty over at Raxles.com for my new axle. He was very helpful and after placing my order he had built the new axle and shipped it out the next day.
The product comes in a well packaged box, covered in bubble wrap. Once you remove the part you will see for yourself that it is top quality.
To the right you will see the new axle, a new axle bolt, two tools that they let you borrow incase you don't already have them, a pair of gloves and a free pocket knife for kicks. Also a return shipping label is included to return your stock part.
It is not too often a company lets you borrow the tools you need for an install -- like I've already said, Raxles.com is top notch.
|SUPPLIES -Most of what you need is included by Raxles.com. The only other things you need are a ratchet with a few extensions, a torque wrench and a breaker bar. If you do not already have a large socket set, then you can go to a local auto store (Autozone, Pep Boys, Murray's, etc) and borrow an axle bolt socket set.
If you are doing the driver's side axle, you do not need the hex bit socket set. The hex sockets are only used to remove a heat shield over the axle on the passenger side. It will be helpful to have a second person handy so they can press on the brake pedal every now and then while you work.
The first thing you want to do is remove the wheel on the side you are going to be working on. With the wheel removed you should be looking at something like this:
We will be removing the large bolt in the center of the hub.
If you have air tools, an impact wrench may be good enough to get the job done. Take a normal impact socket and insert the hex bit that Raxles includes with the axle as pictured to the right
Pop two of the wheel bolts back into the rotor to lock the rotor and the hub together. Have a buddy sit in the car and press the brake pedal. Then use the impact wrench to break the bolt free.
If your bolt looks as rusted as mine, you may want to hit it with some PB Blaster to loosen it up.
Unfortunately, my impact wrench was not powerful enough to break my bolt free. I ended up using a breaker bar. I extended the breaker bar a couple of feet by using a pipe on the end of the breaker bar. (Actually I used the handle of a floor jack, not a pipe).
Once I had the breaker bar setup, the bolt came free extremely easily.
Next you have to disconnect the axle at the transmission. This was already covered in the Clutch Removal/Install writeup, but will be shown here for completeness
If you are working on the passenger side, first disconnect the heat shield above the axle boot. It is held on by three hex bolts.
The picture to the right shows 1 of the three bolts holding the heat shield on. There are two more - one on the top, and one on the backside.
After the heat shield is removed, you want to unbolt the passenger side half shaft from the transmission. There are 8 triple square bolts (Tool included by Raxles) holding these half shafts on. To break them loose you will need someone to press the brake pedal again.
When you disconnect the axle you will be able to push it back towards the back of the car.
You should be able to remove the axle completely now. If you have trouble separating it from the wheel hub, just put the bolt back in a few threads and tap it with a rubber mallet. This should free it up from the wheel hub.
Just for reference, here is what my CV boot looked like:
|Here is my original axle next to the Raxles.com axle
|The install of the axle is, for the most part, the reverse of the removal. The bolts that connect the axle to the transmission should be torqued to 55 Nm.
For the outer bolt, Raxles supplies you with a new axle bolt. As I mentioned earlier, if you do not have a socket that fits this bolt, you can borrow an axle socket set from the local auto parts store. When you put this bolt in, you need to have a buddy press the brakes again.
First, with your buddy on the brakes, torque the bolt to the following spec:
M14 bolt: 115 Nm
When it is torqued to this value, you can put the wheel back on (center cap removed), and lower the vehicle onto its tire. Then use a breaker bar to turn the bolt an additional 180 degrees once the vehicle is on the floor.
|After you get the axle bolt torqued down, you are all done. Good Luck!