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Rebuilding CV joints

  1. Once you have disassembled the CV joint from the axle shaft, place it in a vice with the splined end facing down.
  2. Degrease the old housing and then look for contact wear in the area where the ball moves back and forth in the grooves. Housing wear is normal and increases with mileage. Rebuilding should not be performed when the wear pattern becomes extreme.
  3. If you are reusing any part of the old race, cage, or ball bearings degrease them and also look for any wear, dimples, or pitting. You can check the cage for cracks by dropping the cage on a hard surface. It should make a pinging sound, if not look closely for a crack.
  4. To reassemble the CV joint, place the race back into the cage. Align the race spherical lands with the cage windows.
  5. Place the assembled cage and race back into the CV joint housing. For heavy duty units you want the thick side facing out
  6. Now place one ball into the cage window and tap lightly on the cage while holding the race to keep it from moving out of position to make contact with the ball.
  7. Once the ball is down into the track tap lightly on the cage and race toward the side of that ball to expose the next window and repeat the process until all of the balls are installed.
  8. Remove the clip from the axle shaft and place the shaft into the CV joint
  9. Rotate the axle shaft around (no more than a 30 angle) to check for the smoothness of operation in the CV joint.
  10. Twist the shaft from side to side to check for looseness. It may have a little play just nothing excessive.
  11. Remove the axle shaft.
  12. Cut the corner of the grease packet and make it like a bakers bag.
  13. Press the cut corner of the grease packet tightly into the hole were the axle shaft will go.
  14. Squeeze until you see grease come up around the balls then set the packet aside for the next procedure.
  15. Install the clip back on the axle shaft and place the boot for the CV joint onto the shaft. Slide the boot down to the other joint, so it is out of the way.
  16. Place the axle shaft back into the CV joint by lining up the splines of the shaft with the ones on the CV joint and press downward. You'll want to use a screwdriver to push the clip inward while pressing down to get it centered.
  17. Now give the shaft a light tap with a soft hammer and the shaft should slide in easily until you feel the clip catch. It's a good idea to try to pull the shaft out to make sure it securely seated correctly inside the CV joint.
  18. Take the remaining grease and make a bead around the top of the joint, similar to how an ice cream cone is shaped.
  19. Now slide the boot down and tighten the large clamp.
  20. Before you tighten the small clamp, put a screw driver in between the shaft and the boot to allow any trapped air to escape then remove it and install the small clamp.
  21. If replacing the other CV joint, repeat the above steps for it. Otherwise, the axle is ready to be put back into the vehicle.

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