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  #1  
Old 07-24-2008, 04:44 PM
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New axle installation help

I got my rear swaybar links today and installed them. I was holding off putting in my new axles till that was done so...
The drivers side axle slid into the diff smoothly and seemed to bottom out with the snapring groove visible. However, it appears that it is not quite visible enough to accept the snapring.
I pulled the axle back and reinserted it but it goes back to the same place. I put a c-clamp over the axle and diff and tried to pull it together, no go. It really seems to be where it wants to go and the groove is just too narrow to accept the snapring. Any help or ideas?
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2008, 04:59 PM
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Seems like I had to lower my diff from the body a little and it popped right in.

It has been a while, but I'm sure I put the snap ring in place before putting the other axle end in the hub.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2008, 05:26 PM
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I lowered the diff and tried that too and also doing one side at a time. No luck
The missing space seems to be about the thickness of the spacer that came off the old axle and which I put on the new one.
This is a real pisser.
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Finally got the clutch bled!
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2008, 05:55 PM
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Just for kicks I pulled out the new axle and slipped the old one back in with the spacer on it and sure enough the full groove is visible.
So I pulled out the old axle and did some measuring at the diff end shaft.
With the spacer ring installed on the new axle shaft, it is about half a thou shorter than the old axle with the spacer installed. The new axle has a slight flare where the stub becomes the cv joint that prevents the spacer from seating tightly against the joint.
What would be the issues if I don't replace the spacer? I don't want to do this but I can't figure out how to get this job done.
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Finally got the clutch bled!
2004 VW Jetta TDI 5 speed 272k
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2008, 06:20 PM
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Just curious, where did you get the new axles. What brand are they?
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2008, 06:27 PM
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If you don't have the right spacer and end up with excessive play against that snap ring, you might break the snap ring. There also might be gradual wear over time that would break the snap ring. As the car bounces up and down, the axle has to expand and contract in length. It normally does this with the CV joints, but in your case it might do this a little against the snap ring.

Ideally, you would get a spacer that is a size or two smaller in thickness.

If you are really lucky, you could try the spacer from the other axle side. You'd still have that side to deal with to end up with two proper spacers.

For a supply of spacers, I guess you'll either have to go with used parts or the dealer. The dealer will be able to tell you what sizes are available and you'd have the option to return and try another size.

Sorry you are in this situation. I replaced the axles on my 1982 300D with new GKN Lobro units and the original spacers worked just fine. It normally is a very tight operation to get the clip back on.

Ken300D
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2008, 06:52 PM
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Why can't you grind down the spacer you have a couple of thou or get a spacer to match your present needs?
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2008, 06:53 PM
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Tobybul: they are GSP from Advance Auto
Ken300D: Thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately, the nearest MB dealer is 2 hours away. I was thinking about grinding out the center of the spacer enough to slip past the flare on the axle, but again I don't know if that might be a new problem.
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Finally got the clutch bled!
2004 VW Jetta TDI 5 speed 272k
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2008, 06:54 PM
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Punky: That also might work.
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Finally got the clutch bled!
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2008, 09:32 PM
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Spacer shout out

I took careful measurement of the new passenger axle from the outboard cv flange edge to the inboard edge of the groove with no spacer and compared that to the old axle from the outboard edge of the installed spacer to the inboard edge of the groove and they were within literally .0005" to.00075" of each other. So I slipped the new axle sans spacer into the diff and with some friction I was able to install the circlip snugly.
Unfortunately the driver side axles are different enough that with no spacer the new axle slids in and out at the diff with the circlip installed.
Since the spacers from each side are a different thickness and the driver side is thicker, I tried it with the pass side spacer but that is a c*hair too thick maybe .0005", so that while I could force the circlip into the groove opening, it would not seat down into it. I tapped it with a drift but with no effect. Even if I could drift it down, I would be concerned that it would be overtolerance too tight and likely damaged.
Ideally, I would get a thinner spacer so... the current spacer is .032" so I would think a .025" or so. I will try to get some info out of MB as far as what is available but I thought I would give the forum a shout anyway.Anybody got something kicking around in their toolbox or shop that might work?
Thanks for all the ideas; I'll get something worked out eventually
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1981 240D 132k 4 spd manual http://www.fuelly.com/smallsig-us/40338.png
Finally got the clutch bled!
2004 VW Jetta TDI 5 speed 272k
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2008, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitcakesa View Post
Tobybul: they are GSP from Advance Auto
Ken300D: Thanks for the ideas. Unfortunately, the nearest MB dealer is 2 hours away. I was thinking about grinding out the center of the spacer enough to slip past the flare on the axle, but again I don't know if that might be a new problem.
That is the best idea; the spacer has to sit flat against the axle. You can get other sized spacers but if they do not go flat against tha axle end you still have a problem.
If you can grind it so that it tapers to fit the radius on the axle if possible if not I guess you have to enlarge the hole.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2008, 10:38 PM
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I did grind out the center of the thinner spacer but even though it now sits flat against the axle it is still a wee bit too thick like .0075" I will stick a feeler gauge in tomorrow if I have one thin enough and try to measure it exactly
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1981 240D 132k 4 spd manual http://www.fuelly.com/smallsig-us/40338.png
Finally got the clutch bled!
2004 VW Jetta TDI 5 speed 272k
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2008, 12:41 AM
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It would be a lot of work but it could be sanded down thinner by hand.
Is the spacer made of soft or hard steel?
I do not remember how thick the spacers were when I changed my Axles but I do not think they are thick enough that you could hold them and use a belt sander to sand them down.
Perhaps the spacer could be glued down to a piece of wood and an Orbital Sander or a hand held electric belt sander could be used to grind it down. The Orbital sander I think would be the better choice; less likely to send the spacer shooting off some place.
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2008, 08:26 AM
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They don't seem to be too hard as I was able to grind out the center fairly quickly with a bit in my drill. And they would have to be secured to something in order to surface grind it.
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1981 240D 132k 4 spd manual http://www.fuelly.com/smallsig-us/40338.png
Finally got the clutch bled!
2004 VW Jetta TDI 5 speed 272k
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  #15  
Old 07-25-2008, 09:29 AM
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Cant you just use a large washer?
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