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  #1  
Old 04-06-2008, 05:31 PM
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Axles: How do I get the retaining clip back on???

I'm replacing my axles in my 82 240d with new ones from NAPA (aka China). The C clip that holds them in just won't seem to go on...we can get it around the axle shaft, but it won't slide into the little space between the axle shaft and the gear. Anyone had this problem? Anyone know a good trick to get it in there? It's like the clip is too wide to fit. It's been going so well otherwise and we're starting to get frustrated.

Thanks- Deanna
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2008, 05:58 PM
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OH YES, HAD THE PROBLEM.
Have good solution ?
NO....
LOL
Particularly if you have done new seals at the input of those halfshafts... which may or may not be all the way in... and are nice and plump either way... you have to be sure the halfshaft is pushed all the way in...
It may be that you will need to put the shafts in at the wheels and let the force of letting the car down help push those halfshafts in.
But I am really impressed that a female is willing to take on these really ugly type jobs.. the smell of the fluid in a 3rd member is about the worst I know of... and it WILL NOT come out of your clothes...
Someone who knows more about this is sure to post pretty soon...
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:15 PM
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Did the old axles have any spacers? Did you transfer the spacers from the old axles to the new axles? The spacer is designed to take up any clearance so the clip just barely fits in the space available and the axle has zero lateral play. Without any spacers, there should be excess clearance at this location.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:24 PM
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Any old spacers may be laying inside the 3rd member ... check to be sure...
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
...... It's like the clip is too wide to fit. It's been going so well otherwise and we're starting to get frustrated....
If you are using the original spacer with your new axles, then remove it and try it again. I would bet that the new aftermarket axles are a little bit over sized and don't need a spacer. But if you don't have a spacer in them, then you are SOL, and need to return the axles to NAPA and get some rebuilt ones.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2008, 07:06 PM
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As previously mentioned, the spacer thickness is critical. Even with the correct spacer, the clip will be tight. As I recall, I ended up getting the clip to go in just enough to hold itself while I carefully positioned a long pin punch and drove the clip in with a ball peen hammer.

Jeremy
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Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
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Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2008, 07:06 PM
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I still think the new seals at the 3rd member can cause some real problems... you have to compress it ...and there really is not a way to put pressure in that fashion....
I wound up hitting on the halfshafts myself.... with a large hammer...
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2008, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leathermang View Post
I wound up hitting on the halfshafts myself.... with a large hammer...

Me too, with a block of wood on the axle end. This was after I realized I had two spacers on the one axle..
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2008, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy5848 View Post
As previously mentioned, the spacer thickness is critical. Even with the correct spacer, the clip will be tight. As I recall, I ended up getting the clip to go in just enough to hold itself while I carefully positioned a long pin punch and drove the clip in with a ball peen hammer.

Jeremy
I did something similar. I used needlenose vise-grips and got it positioned, then tapped the end of the vise-grips with a ball peen hammer. It took several tries - like maybe a dozen.


I totally agree with leathermang about the oil smell...I still smell it in that one shirt over six months later!
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2008, 09:00 PM
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I installed new axles and seals a few months ago. You've got to make sure your axles are pushed all of the way in first. I used some 45 degree offset needle nose pliers to set the retaining ring. I then used a hammer and punch to drive it on.

Good luck,

Scott
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1982 Mercedes 240D, 4 speed, 275,000
1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S (70,000)
1987 Porsche 911 Coupe 109,000 (sold)
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1985 Mercedes 300D 227,000 (totaled by inattentive driver with no insurance!)
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