Removing & Replacing The CV Axle

CV Axle Replacement

For most people, car repair is intimidating and painful. But when you have the experience or a step by step guide, working on the drivetrain can be relatively easy. Alongside a helpful guide, having high quality parts and a good set of tools typically makes car repair a breeze for most people. Removing and replacing a CV axle from the drivetrain can seem like a big job a first, but it is relatively simple once you know how to proceed.

A free day on the weekend, a bit of grease and the right tools is all anyone needs to replace a CV axle. Additional instructions are usually available at the local hardware or parts shop. Employees are generally experienced enough to answer any lingering questions you may have before stating the project. The repair manual and an experienced friend to help are usually the best ways to start off.

Always make sure there’s ample working room around so you can begin to remove some of the components under the hood that are probably in the way. The speedometer drive gears, the control arms and tie rods all typically need to be moved out of the way to access the drivetrain, but every vehicle is different. Always remember to be safe with dangling articles of clothing, sharp edges, heavy or hot components and always use the appropriate tools.

While the automobile is still on the ground, take the wheel cover, the hub cab, the washer and the wheel spindle nut off as well. The next step is to loosen the lug nuts and securely elevate the automobile so it remains level and stable by using a jack or a lift. Always use the parking brake so the car doesn’t move. Take off the tire and detach the stabilizer bar from the suspension. The next step is to dislocate the CV joint from the hub assembly and move it away from blocking the trans-axle. Sometimes a few gentle taps with a mallet or bar will help loosen it up. Now you can remove the CV axle from the trans-axle, use a crowbar with caution if necessary.

Don’t forget to place a new snap ring on the inner axle groove if the car uses one. After that, put grease on the spines at each end of the axle. Align the inner end of the axle shaft up with the trans-axle and push it in until it sets in place. Now install the outer end of the axle shaft back into the hub assembly. Once the CV joint back is in the hub assembly, finish replacing the other components and the project is now complete.

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When & Why Flywheel Resurfacing Is Necessary

Resurfaced Flywheel

A good rule of thumb is to resurface your flywheel every time you have your clutch worked on. Many clutch manufacturers refuse to accept warranty claims if this isn’t done, but this may or may not pertain to your driving habits and needs. There are some signs you and your mechanic should look for to see if the flywheel needs a resurface job or a complete replacement. These signs can help you decide whether resurfacing or replacing the flywheel is appropriate, as worn or badly damaged flywheels can often lead to expensive clutch repairs.

Is there glazing or discoloration? If so, your flywheel needs to be resurfaced. Glazing and discoloration are signs of wear and can prevent it from meeting the clutch smoothly. A resurface job should never cost more than about $50, and will help keep the clutch from slipping or abnormal wear.

Are there signs of cracking? This would be bad because it means the part is unsafe for continued use. Cracked flywheels can actually explode while in use, making this a very dangerous situation. Additionally, cracked flywheels also mean that the shift mechanisms could wear out quickly.

Is the part “cupped” or unevenly worn? “Cupping” is caused by the interior surface of the part being worn down by constant contact with the clutch. Uneven wear indicates another problem, such as a misaligned part or one that has too much “play” between it and the contact point. Your mechanic can tell you if this is a problem that can be solved by a resurface job or if a replacement is more appropriate. A lot depends on how badly worn the part is and how uneven the wear is. Beyond certain factory tolerances, the part has to be replaced for continued safe operation.

Flywheel Resurfacing

If you’re a DIY mechanic, be sure you have the right part for the job. Although flywheels on different makes and models of vehicles from every major manufacturer may look the same, they aren’t. The tolerances and “play” profiles are completely different, and using one where you need another can result in improper wear on key components, not to mention expensive repairs and possibly even serious personal injury.

A trained, reputable mechanic should always be your first stop when you have a vehicle issue of any kind. They know and understand what the factory specifications are and how everything in your vehicle works together to keep you on the road mile after mile. A resurface on this part, while relatively simple, requires special tools that the average DIY mechanic isn’t likely to have. Even more, improper resurfacing can actually do more damage than not resurfacing the part at all. If you have any doubts or are unsure whether you have the right tools, leave it to the professionals. Rocky Mountain Driveline resurfaces flywheels…It’s a whole lot cheaper than a transmission overhaul!

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Driveshafts 101: What You Need To Know

Driveshafts

All automobiles have a driveshaft. This is the piece of equipment that transfers the energy created by the energy into the force that drives the wheels. It’s actually a very simple device.

The driveshaft looks like a simple cylinder. What it actually is is an outer tube that protects the shaft itself, which is a spinning cylinder. The frequency of the spin depends on the engine. In addition to automobiles, boats and motorcycles also have driveshafts. Some vehicles may, in fact, have more than one. It is important that the driveshaft balance be maintained.

If your car is rear wheel drive, it will have a long drive shaft that runs the length of the car and then a differential to transfer torque to the wheels, which are connected by short half-shafts. You may sometimes hear a mechanic talk about an automobile’s ‘diff’, shortening the word to something easier to say. A front-wheel drive vehicle has two short shafts, one to each front wheel or, more commonly, a device called a ‘transaxle’, which serves the purpose of the drive shaft, transmission and differential. Obviously, this is reversed in rear-engined vehicles. There are various different arrangements, dependent on the exact configuration. Four wheel drive vehicles have a slightly different configuration again, with front and rear shafts and differentials.

So, what do you need to know about your driveshaft? It’s a moving part and, as such, can fail. Being relatively simple, it is less likely to fail than your transmission (transaxles, of course, are as vulnerable to failure as standard transmission). The most common problem is with the balance of the shaft. An unbalanced driveshaft causes vibration and a loss of power. Race car drivers spend a lot of time worrying about balance because it can make the difference between winning and losing. For the ordinary person, making sure your driveshaft is balanced can help with both power and fuel efficiency. In some cases the universal joints attached to the shaft have to be repaired or replaced.

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Rocky Mountain Driveline Profiled in Parts & People

Rocky Mountian Driveline is profiled in the pages of Parts & People. Owner, Scott Farley, discusses their growth and continued success in the CV axle and driveshaft industry. Get to know the Farleys and take a closer look inside Denver’s premier driveline business!

Rocky Mountain Driveline Balances OE Replacement and Performance Segments
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Common Issues With CV Axles

CV-Axle2

The CV axle is very important to your car. Without it, your vehicle would not be able to move forward or turn. The CV axle provides the flexibility that your car needs while you are driving. You can drive with a bad CV axle for a while, but you need to get the part replaced before you cause severe damage to your vehicle. As long as you keep an eye on the joints, they can last almost the entire life of the vehicle. When you get your tires changed or rotated, have the mechanic look at the axles to make sure they are properly greased and there are no tears.

One of the ways that you can tell your joints might be going bad is if you hear a loud grinding or clicking noise when you turn your wheels. While you are driving on a straight road, you usually won’t hear anything wrong. As the joints gets worse, the noise you hear will get louder. Sometimes, dirt can get trapped in the rubber boot. This can cause grinding, and you might be able to get by with cleaning the boot and greasing it.

A common issue with the part is when the boot gets torn. If the boot is damaged, it cannot keep the grease on the joint. Without the grease, the part will fail. The outer boot normally is the first to break because it is subjected to more wear from driving. If you see grease splatters on the inside of your rims, then you should have the part looked at. At times, the joint could disintegrate and the car could potentially stop moving. If this happens while you are driving, you need to slowly pull the car to the side of the road. Have the car towed home instead of driving it.

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CV Joints: What Are They And How Do They Work?

4wd-CV-Joint

Every car in America has only one engine, but four wheels. This creates a problem: how do you deliver power to both axles and all four wheels with only one source of power? The answer is through the use of a complex series of joints to properly transfer the power. Originally this was done by using universal joints, since they allowed the rotational force of the engine to be transferred to any angle. You will still see such connections used to drive the rear wheels on delivery trucks and some off road cars. But it has been noticed since the 17th century that these universal joints do not maintain constant velocity throughout the rotation, which puts stress on the axle and causes it to receive power unevenly. The solution is to develop a constant velocity or “CV” joint, which can deliver power from one shaft to another more exactly.

There are many types of CV joints, but they all do effectively the same thing: they cushion the rotational force of one shaft against another by putting ball bearings or additional connections between the two. This enables the receiving shaft to, ultimately, rotate at the same speed as the powering shaft as it is driven forward by the bearings instead of a direct connection. The bearings transmit the force directly and over time instead of in the indirect and angular method used in older universal connections. This enables a CV connection to deliver more power, more efficiently, and with less wear than traditional connections.

CV-Joint2The CV connection has been used in front wheel drive cars since the 1960s, and it is also used on all four-wheel drive cars. It is necessary to have at least two of these connections in order to deliver power to the front axle, and the use of such adapters allows the axle to “bend” around the passenger compartment. They are also essential in rock crawlers, off road vehicles and trucks which have been modified for mudding. The high ground clearance of these cars necessitates that the drive shaft be “stretched,” and the use of a CV in the right spot can ensure that the drive shaft is properly angled and able to maintain a proper angle and connection as the truck moves over rough terrain.

At Rocky Mountain Driveline, we offer the best constant velocity connections and products for your vehicle. We can help you pick out what is best for the sort of drive line arrangement you want to have, and help you plan out how your drive line may change if you have your vehicle lifted or lowered. We also offer reconstructed constant velocity connections of all sorts, so you can get the best prices on the best products.

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Signs Your Driveshaft Is Failing

Jeep-Front-DriveshaftThe driveshaft is an important element of your vehicle that rotates and delivers power to the engine and gears that turns the wheels of the automobile. In addition, it creates torque that makes the car go. It also stops the vehicle. A car cannot function without its driveshaft.

Generally, they do not break down all at one time. It’ll begin to wear and tear over time. Fortunately, there are signs that indicate there is trouble. One of the most common symptoms is vibration. The entire car or parts of the car may begin to shake. The floorboard is one of the common areas where trembling or vibrations may be felt.

Another common sign of trouble are squeaking sounds that get louder when the speed is increased. The sound may go away when the vehicle is going fast and may come back when the car slows down or comes to a stop. If this occurs, it could mean that the U-joint, which is connected to the drive shaft, is damaged.

Turning issues can also be an indication of a problem. If the car’s wheels are not turning properly or resist when the car is turning the corner, most likely it is a sign that the drive shaft needs repair. DriveshaftAnother sign of possible trouble is difficulty turning the wheels when parking in tight or close spaces.

Driving an automobile with a defective or damaged driveshaft is potentially dangerous. If there is any sign of trouble, the car should be taken in to a certified mechanic for immediate inspection for repair or replacement. Replacing or repairing a drive shaft can be very expensive. If the problems are detected early and dealt with in a timely matter, however, the cost for repair or replacement may be significantly lower.

It is highly advised to be on the lookout for any of these and other signs of trouble to keep your vehicle in top running condition. For those in the Denver area, visit Rocky Mountain Driveline for the best service in town!

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How Do I Know If My Rack & Pinion Is Bad?

You can tell something is wrong with your car when you drive, but how can you tell if it is a rack & pinion problem?

Find a straight and level road with little or no traffic to safely run a few driving tests such as:Installed-Rack-and-Pinion-Chevy

  • When driving straight ahead, can you let go of the wheel without the car drifting off-course? Many refer to this a “pull,” as in “It pulls to the right or left.”
  • When you make a turn, will the steering wheel return by itself to normal position or must you manually straighten the direction? This is sometimes called “sticky steering.”
  • Is there a looseness in the “feel” of the steering wheel? Does it seem that you must turn the wheel too far before the car responds?
  • When driving straight ahead, does it take conscious effort to keep your car driving straight?
  • Does the wheel feel unusually stiff? If power steering fluid is leaking, you may be manually turning the wheel without the power assist.
  • Are you hearing new noises in your car as you drive? Tiny squeals could be a simple slipping belt, but squeals, knocks and hisses should be investigated and scheduled for repair.
  • Do your tires show signs of uneven wear?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to most of these questions, your car needs to be checked by a qualified mechanic for a rack & pinion problem. Repair should be done as soon as possible. Your ability to steer accurately in an emergency is critical to safety. Rocky Mountain Driveline offers expert services for rack & pinion rebuilds.

Rack & Pinion units can be broken, but they can wear out too. The gears are constantly engaged while steering and the wear and tear on metal leads to loose fittings. Bushings and bearings wear out which allows more slippage and looser engagement. Power steering may begin to loose fluid through leaks. Once these problems begin to surface, they may worsen quickly. Rack & pinions may be replaced or rebuilt with comparable safety.

Rocky Mountain Driveline’s experienced technicians rebuild rack & pinions as part of our quality service. You should also have an alignment afterwards for longer tire life and tire safety.

Rocky Mountain Driveline prides ourselves on our reputation for quality work and customer service. Our products are guaranteed and our pricing is easy on your wallet. Don’t let a bad rack & pinion problem ruin your vehicle. For a free estimate, call or stop by today!

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We Sell Clutches!

Clutch-SalesAt Rocky Mountain Driveline, we truly come through in the clutch. Auto repair is a breeze thanks to the friendly professionals that work in the Denver area. Any automobile clutch can be repaired with ease with the help of the qualified experts you’ll find here. The right price for the right clutch makes the difference between a working car and one that sits in your garage. No matter what type of car you have, you can trust Rocky Mountain Driveline to find you the best clutch to match your vehicle’s needs.

The Denver area has enjoyed the services of Rocky Mountain Driveline for years. They know that a quick stop at the shop puts their vehicle back on the road in no time. Our parts are from the highest-quality manufacturers possible. A simple repair invigorates a vehicle to perform up to its best standards. When your car needs a replacement clutch, bring it to the customer-oriented experts at Rocky Mountain Driveline. You don’t have to worry about second-rate work. The job is done correctly the first time, and we pride ourselves on sending you on your way as happy as you can be.

Clutch

The correct clutch installed in your automobile sets you up for good days ahead on the road. The roads in the Denver area can be difficult to navigate, and are hard on the vehicles that travel on them daily. Vehicles become helpless victims since there is so much asked of them. A trip to Rocky Mountain Driveline offers rest and comfort to your vehicle. Think of how a human feels when they relax at a soothing spa or enjoy a stress-relieving massage. Your vehicle will feel the same way with parts from Rocky Mountain Driveline.

Automobile experts treat each vehicle as a valued piece of equipment. You can be sure that your car will be taken care of with only the highest professionalism you could ever hope to find. Buying a new clutch for that important vehicle you depend on can be easy and safe. Trust the folks at Rocky Mountain Driveline to deliver the best parts in the quickest manner possible.

We feel truly privileged to be able to service the drivers in our great city and state. No job is too big or too small for our talented workers to handle. With so many years of experience, we have seen everything you could possibly come up with. Your vehicle will be as good as new in no time at all, and the service you receive will exceed your lofty expectations. Stop in today and never worry about your clutch again.

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Common Issues With Differentials

A differential is a device that allows the wheels on your auto/automobile to rotate at variable speeds. This is a necessary function that engages when your vehicle makes a turn. Regular maintenance can prevent most issues. There are a few common differential issues that can cause your auto/automobile problems and may require repairs or maintenance work.

Dodge-Differential

Rear differential leak.
Differential leaks often occur on high mileage auto/automobiles. Over time, the sealing surface of the differential can develop cuts that lead to fluid leaking out of the axles. To find the leak, you will need to look under the vehicle and raise it up with a jack. Before attempting to make repairs, be sure you are equipped with the proper tools. You will need a drain pan, a wrench and a can of rear differential fluid. Remove the bolts and drain the fluid into the pan. By replacing the fluid, you can more effectively monitor the leak. Replacing the differential fluid should be a regular part of your auto/automobile maintenance.

A damaged ring and pinion.
This typically happens with off road vehicles as a result of getting stuck in mud or other substances. The teeth of the differential have a tendency to break off. Additionally, parts of the differential can break as a result of spinning tires.

Noisy differential.
Noise coming from the differential is often a sign that something is wrong. However, there are a few different situations that can lead to a ring and pinion noise. If the ring and pinion was previously quiet and suddenly began making a loud noise, the gears are most likely wearing out. If the gears make noise during acceleration, you may be dealing with a lubrication issue. Another situation that may cause noise is when the pinion is spinning but the tires are stopped. A broken gear can immobilize the differential and cause a loud crunching sound. Regardless of the sound, if your differential makes noise, there is usually a reason. If you are uncomfortable performing repairs, seek a qualified mechanic to diagnose the problem.

A broken axle.
A broken axle is usually easy to diagnose. After the axle breaks off, you should be able to pull the axle out without removing any bolts. In some cases, the broken axle may fall out on its own.

A burned ring and pinion.
The ring and pinion on your vehicle can sometimes become too hot and parts of the surface teeth get burned off as a result. This is typically caused a lubrication failure. You did not put enough oil in the differential. It is important to perform regular differential maintenance to prevent these types of failures.

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