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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Front drive axle will not re-install



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      06-19-2017, 07:12 AM   #1
Farroar
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Front drive axle will not re-install

2007 335ix. Trying to re-insert the front drive axel into the wheel hub. Goes in to the point where the end of the drive axel is flush with the front of the hub spindle. Not enough to screw the 12 point nut back on.

What I've tried:
-Hammering the hell out of it
-Hammering the f%#% out of it
-Removed, greased, cleaned, re-greased
-Tried heating with a heat gun.. not enough heat to make a difference
-Removed ABS sensor just to make sure it wasn't hitting it.
-Profane language

Splines are in good shape on both sides. It's like it just hits something and just stops. Been able to hammer it in to the point where the nut will almost thread on but that's it.

Also made sure it's all aligned straight. Is there a tool that can pull these together?

Ideas?
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      06-19-2017, 07:46 AM   #2
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Are you reinstalling the same axle you removed or is it different (new/used/reman) ?
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      06-19-2017, 07:59 AM   #3
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Same axel.
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      06-19-2017, 08:59 AM   #4
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As an FYI. I did this because I was having trouble getting the strut out. Turns out all I needed to do was to disconnect the control arm. Wish I never touched this thing, it's killing me.
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      06-19-2017, 11:01 AM   #5
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I've never done this work on an xi but I've done this a couple times on FWD. I would choose to attack this from one side of the axle or the other (the hub side or differential side).

Assuming you haven't drained the diff fluid, your best bet is the hub side. With your strut attached up top at the shock tower, drop your control arms from either the ball joints or subframe. With the hub hanging from the shock you now have range of motion to press and hold the hub onto the axle. Once you have the axle nut on far enough reinstall the control arms. Follow the regular procedure from here (lower car to the ground and torque fasteners).

If you've drained the diff fluid, I would pop the axle out of the diff (past the retaining clip), and push the axle from the diff outwards to the hub. This should be enough to get the axle nut started.
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      06-19-2017, 01:30 PM   #6
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I haven't touched the diff side. I'd like to not to if possible, just another thing to deal with and I don't want to screw that up.

So you think it might just be an angle issue? If this thing enters at an off angle it will bind up? Should it be completely clean or have grease on it. I've tried a few things but haven't run through a full clean of it.
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      06-21-2017, 07:16 PM   #7
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So the fight continues. Today I have attempted:

- PB blasting and leaving all day
- Filing each and every spline on both the axel and the hub to make sure they were all clean.
- Used break cleaner to make sure the surface was nice and not greasy
- Added some lithium grease (just a bit from a spray can) to the spline and hub
- slid it in and banged on it with a mallet for 20 min

No go. I can slide it in easily up to the face of the wheel side of the hub and after considerable effort, I can get about a 1/4 inch further (if that) but not enough to get the bolt on to pull it the rest of the way through.

Any amazing ideas or am I on my own with this one?
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      06-22-2017, 06:41 AM   #8
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Would this be easier if I removed the hub? That would include the splines and maybe I an try to test fit it or at least coax it so it will go back in easier... thoughts?
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      06-22-2017, 10:15 AM   #9
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Are you sure that you are aligning the splines and that the spindle is going in straight into the hub?
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      06-22-2017, 10:39 AM   #10
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Can you post some pics? Also, did you have any issues removing the axle? Did you pound it out of the hub with a mallet?
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      06-23-2017, 06:37 AM   #11
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Everything is the same as when I started the project. Took the nut off the axel, banged it out and now trying to put it all back. Only thing new is the shock.

Getting the axel out wasn't that bad. I had to bang on it a bit but nothing more than I would have expected. Is the hub tapered inside?

The picture shows how far I've been able to get it in to the hub. The axel is aligned with the hub horizontally. The tie rod a front control arm are disconnected. Strut is connected.

One thing I've noticed is the amount of play in the axel horizontally. Not more than normal but when you bang on the hub that play absorbs some of the impact energy. Now I've been using one hand on the axel shaft and the other with a mallet.

Next step: Cool down the axel and heat up the hub
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      06-23-2017, 06:43 AM   #12
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It may look like I can spin the nut on but it's not far enough out. Threads are still in the hole.
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      06-23-2017, 07:01 AM   #13
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The proper way is to use the BMW special tool which is a press and puller in one kit. Most vehicle makes don't require such effort to remove the driveshafts but for some reason BMW designed it this way. They are supposed to be pushed out of the hub and pulled back in. An adapter collar screws onto the narrower threaded section which screws into the puller's shaft to hydraulically draw the axle in. It is usually extremely difficult to remove or refit without the tool.

Make sure the axle splines are engaged with the hub splines by rocking the hub back and forth and ensuring the rotor/hub turns with the shaft. If you have it that far in it is usually a good indication.

Lube the splines using a light oil rather than grease. Spray grease is ok but not a sticky one.

The horizontal 'play' is the normal movement of the inner CV joint tripod within its housing. The outer CV joints don't extend like the inner ones do. This is to allow for axle length variation during varying suspension height (shorter when the hub is level with the diff output, longer when the suspension is at full droop or compression).

Have an assistant tightly hold the shaft by the metal shaft section and push outwards towards the hub while you belt it with the deadblow hammer. Also get the assistant to wiggle up and down, and/or thrust the shaft outwards occasionally.

Mallet? Not one of those smelly black rubber ones i hope? Get a heavy deadblow hammer (the ones with heavy beads in them)
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      06-23-2017, 01:17 PM   #14
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I was looking at that tool in the Bently, although it's not a good picture. I didn't see any threads on the tapered part of the nut. Only on the larger portion. In my image, you can see that there are not any. Am I missing it?
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      06-23-2017, 01:18 PM   #15
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Also, I'm considering spraying freon or maybe take a can of dust-off upside down and see if I can't shrink the metal just a bit. I believe the liquid is at about -25 F. That should get a little bit of "shrinkage" HA!
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      06-23-2017, 03:57 PM   #16
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You guys talking about this: https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...FUuAaQodvccKhg I have installed few BMW CV's, mostly older cars, and didn't knew this tool existed. lol at me. I thought hammering is the ways to go.
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      06-23-2017, 04:26 PM   #17
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From what I gather, this is the tool.. used to push it out and pull it back in. My Bently doesn't go into much detail on the whole process.
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      06-23-2017, 04:31 PM   #18
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But the thing is, that is advertised as a 'push out tool'.. Don't think it works in the reverse. I'll take a better picture of the axel in a minute here.
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      06-23-2017, 04:38 PM   #19
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Here is the axel end. No other threads to grab onto and the hole in the end of it isn't threaded at all, just a place to put a tool into to push the axel out.
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      06-23-2017, 08:01 PM   #20
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And I'TS IN THE HOLE FOLKS! (Bill Murray, Caddyshack)

Got that sucker right in. Took about 1 1/2 cans of dust-off upside down spraying the spindle for about 10 min getting around the entire thing. At the same time, someone was heating the hub side with an air heater.. so heat wasn't going to get above 200 F.

Brushed the snow off of the axel and it slid right in. Bolted in and finished.

Damn, I wish I tried that sooner. Would have saved myself a few bruises.
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      06-24-2017, 03:16 AM   #21
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Congrats mate! DIYing is the best way to test your creativity and problem solving.

Those are not the tools. When i get back to work in 2 weeks i will take a picture of the kit. The kit also does rear wheel bearings on the car.

The adapter screws on where the 12pt nut screws onto.
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