Re-installing the front CV-axle

westslope Sep 11, 2019

  1. westslope

    westslope Test Drive

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    I am preparing to re-install the CV-axle on the front passenger side. Everything looks fine except I want to make sure I make the best lubrication and anti-seize decisions. CV-axle = front half shaft axle = front right/left axle.

    Plan A.

    1. Lubricate the C-clamp on the end that goes into the differential with a small amount of grease.
    2. Cover the opposite end, the threaded end and splines, that go into the wheel bearing and hub assembly (WBHA) with anti-seize.

    Plan B.

    1. Lubricate the C-clamp with gear oil.
    2. Cover the threads with anti-seize but avoid the splines at the wheel ends of the axle.

    Plan C. Avoid lubrication. Only apply anti-seize to the threaded end of the axle where the axle nut will sit.


    Questions:

    Should I add lubricant to the splines going into the front differential? And if so, what kind? SAE GL 80W-90 gear oil? I will be adding the same gear oil to the differential once finished.

    Should anti-seize be also added to the splines that fit into the WBHA? I seem to recall reading a recommendation to that effect.

    Copper or nickel-based or does it really matter?



    Background

    I took out the passenger side CV-axle because the differential side seal was leaking. The side seal is back in place; new lower control arms (LCAs) are installed with the new wheel bearing and hub assembly (WBHA) torqued into the knuckle.

    The axle looks fine and did not exhibit any symptoms of a failing or failed axle.
     
  2. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,288
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    Plan C.
     
  3. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    I disagree. But all of the plans are off.

    @westslope The diff oil will lube the inner end as soon as you drive it, so don't worry about it. Put some anti seize on the splines and the threads of the outer end.... color doesn't matter, but I prefer copper. The last thing you ever want is for the CV to bind, rust or otherwise stick in the hub, that is a real giant pain in the ass.
     
  4. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,288
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    You are probably right. I don't bother with it because I brake axles enough that they never have time to seize.
     
  5. westslope

    westslope Test Drive

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    Thanks IM1RU. Makes sense. I try to use the 4X4 as little as possible so I suppose there is some potential for the CV-axle to get stuck in the WBHA.

    I was wondering if the CV-WBHA connection was originally conceived and designed for no additives.

    I will aim for a sparse covering of anti-seize on the outer splines.
     
  6. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    Dude you're way over thinking this. The front diff turns 100 % of the time, it will lube it up, that's why the seal is there..... and there is no reason to go sparse on the anti seize.

    Slap some anti seize on and stick the cv back in and drive your rig.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  7. westslope

    westslope Test Drive

    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Wildfire country, BC
    LOL! Perhaps. Been surrounded by engineers since an early age, hence the 'concerns'. I have also been on the listening end of nonsense from a few professional mechanics and have read a lot of nonsense on the web over the years. This is not a knock on mechanics because in my experience, folks from all professional groups make mistakes.

    I am also being careful with the CV-axle because it is the original OEM part. I would prefer to avoid damaging it and having to replace it.

    FWIW, here is one of the web sources I used: HOW TO: CV Joints (Removal, Service, Install) [club frontier forum]

    Pasted from that thread:

    The re-installation:
    Going back out to the truck, get the half shaft into position. Remove rag from diff and give the sealing bits on both the shaft and diff a quick cleaning. Apply a small amount of grease to the c clip on the side that goes into the diff. Center this clip as best you can and place the end into the diff hole. This part can be difficult, do not force it in if it won't go. You can easily mess up the diff seal. By hand, the stub will stop right about at the step-up in size. Make sure you are holding the cv straight and that nothing is binding. Compress the whole half shaft and with a plastic hammer tap on the end of the shaft. It should not take a ton of force. If it does not go in easily, do not force it. Remove the shaft and reapply grease to the centered clip and try again. [emphasis added]
     
  8. jsexton

    jsexton First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Lewis Center, OH
    I put copper anti seize on the splines and threads. Nothing anywhere else.

    @lizardking had his splines seize into his wbha once. Not something you want to have happen.
     
  9. IM1RU

    IM1RU First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    Meh.....it ain’t rocket surgery.

    Line it up, and give it a firm push. Should go right in..... unless you poke at the cv boot with something sharp, you ain’t gonna hurt the cv.

    I’d 2 of them in less than a hour on the trail a couple weeks ago.
     

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