NewBeetle.org Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So as many here with automatics may understand the front axles are snap in and not bolt on like the manual transmissions.

So the Passenger side axle seems to be a bit easier to remove from the transmission, however the Drivers side axle can be HELL to remove.

I just recently replaced my Driver side front axle and had a HELL of a time getting the axle to release from the transmission.

I researched and read every thing I could find on line. I fought with trying to get the axle to release for a few hours and threw everything I could at the situation. I even read where one guy drilled the inside of the Tripot joint, threaded the hole so he could screw in a bolt to use an axle puller on!!!!!

I tired to wedging the axle out and became very nervous that I would break or crack the transmission housing, I then moved on to other options.

Pulled the axle out of the Tripot joint and then tried to use a ViseGrip adapter on an axle slide hammer. This did not work, since the Tripot joint is hardened the ViceGrip kept slipping.

Attempted to wedge the axle against the transmission and then use the slide hammer on the ViceGrip, still no luck.

Finally called everyone I knew and started asking for all the tricks of the trade.

One guy mentioned he had a LONG air chisel bit that he would often try to get up against the rear of the Tripot and use the impact/vibration to release from the transmission.

Another guy mentioned he used a long brass drift to try and drive the axle out of the transmission. He also mentioned they often would preload the snap ring on the Tripot by wedging something in between the Tripot and transmission housing.

The PROBLEM is on the New Beetle there is NO access to the rear side of the Drivers side axle.

Well I ended up using a hybrid approach which is probably the ONLY thing that would have worked in my case.

I used a long Flat Bar like this one - http://www.amazon.com/Vaughan-B215-15-Inch-Original-SuperBar/dp/B00002N5VN/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1464748845&sr=8-2&keywords=flat+bar

and hammered/wedged the flat bar in between the transmission and the Tripot joint. Then since I already had the axle pulled out of the Tripot joint, I started to hammer the Tripot joint back toward the transmission like you were installing the Tripot joint. This was while the flat bar was wedged in between the back of the Tripot and transmission housing. This energy caused the pre-loaded axle to finally compress the snap ring on the end of the Tripot joint. Not exactly the way you would have expected the snap ring to collapse and release, but at the end of the day all that mattered was, IT WORKED!

After about 4-5 solid whacks with a hammer, the flat bar dropped to the ground. At first I thought the flat bar had just worked its way out. But peeking up at the gap between the rear of the Tripot joint and the transmission, it appeared slightly larger. I think rewedged the flat bar between the Tripot and transmission and a few more whacks.

Seemed then Tripot joint had released and it had just started to move!!!! FINALLY!!!!

So I then carefully used the flat bar to pry the Tripot from the transmission while wiggling the Tripot joint.

After about 3 hours on my back in the rain in the driveway and every trick in the book, I FINALLY had the Drivers side Tripot out of the transmission. Greased up the replacement reman axle and snapped it in the transmission, fed the spine into the hub, buttoned up the lower ball joint, tightened up the axle nuts, installed the wheel and was back in business in less than 20 minutes after FINALLY getting the Axle From Hell out of the transmission!!!!!

Hopefully this helps some of the automatic transmission crew in the future getting the Driver side axle out of the transmission less than about 30 minutes and with limited special words or having to get the axle back together to take the car to a shop.

You CAN remove the snap in axles in your driveway on your back, it is not easy and you have to know the above trick if nothing else works!

Hope this is useful to someone in the future.

Please report back if this procedure works and is helpful for the Axles From HELL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I just spent over an hour trying to get it out. I even have the wedge tool from VW - it's useless. It's just a wedge with two recesses cut in it - one to clear the transmission and the other to clear a nearby bracket (not sure of the name). The wedge literally fits in one place and barely wedges into the gap. When I push on the wedge it just pops out. I tried hammering it in further, but then the tool just wedges agains the two pieces the recesses are meant to clear. I tried grinding the recesses further to allow the tool to wedge in further, but no luck. What a PITA. Guess I'll get back on it tomorrow night and maybe try your method.

If anyone has any other tips, I'd love to hear them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,354 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
UNFORTUNATELY there is VERY little room between the drivers side axle and the transaxle/transmission case. I recall something like just over 1/8". There is also limited access due to the angles and transmission case.

You might as well remove the axle tri-post and take my approach. There is almost NO WAY even the VW tool can get in behind the axle and transmission.

My approach was a last ditch desperation effort and I would have never tied this from the beginning. It was a damn the torpedo's move that WORKED!

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I wonder if these; "axle popper" tools, would help? The one with the air hammer attachment; looks like it would possibly, make quick work of the job! :)

https://www.google.com/search?q=cv+axle+popper&oq=cv+axle+popper&aqs=chrome..69i57.2774j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
No chance. There's just no room. This is the wedge tool I mentioned...

https://www.ebay.com/i/322498390307?chn=ps&dispItem=1

You can see one of the recesses that's supposed to clear the bracket I mentioned. On the opposite side is the recess to clear the transmission case.
Unfortunately the recesses are pretty much an exact fit - once you've run out of recess you've got maybe an 1/8" of wedge in the gap and that's not enough to leverage it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You really need to be careful with narrow wedges against the transmission/differential housing as you can crack/break the housing.

I was getting VERY nervous about even my wide flat bar, but was to the point of desperation and almost did not care after like 3 hours of wrestling with trying to get the axle out.

Put the axle out of the tripot cup. Get a Stanley or Harbor Freight flat bar bar and wedge this in between the tripot and transmission almost straight up from the bottom of the car or at least use a straight shot if you need to avoid the lip on the differential housing.

Once you have the flat bar wedged with a lot of outward preload, then use a big hammer and get a few good blows on the tripot cup driving it TOWARDS or INTO the
transmission/differential. I think after 2-3 blows the flat bar dropped to the ground. I thought the flatbar just backed out, but after closer inspection, it was clear the tripot cup had backed out of the transmission/differential about 1/8" of an inch. I wedged the flatbar back in the space, repeated and then the tripot cup was about 1/4" out of the transmission/differential. Then I rotated the tripot cup and kept prying the tripot cup out of the transmission, rotating about 180 degrees each time until I finally was able to get the tripot cup out of the transmission/differential.

If I would have tried this from the beginning, I would have had the axle out with 4-6 hammer blows and a few quick but properly applied pries. 5 minute job if you take the proper approach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
You really need to be careful with narrow wedges against the transmission/differential housing as you can crack/break the housing.

I was getting VERY nervous about even my wide flat bar, but was to the point of desperation and almost did not care after like 3 hours of wrestling with trying to get the axle out.

Put the axle out of the tripot cup. Get a Stanley or Harbor Freight flat bar bar and wedge this in between the tripot and transmission almost straight up from the bottom of the car or at least use a straight shot if you need to avoid the lip on the differential housing.

Once you have the flat bar wedged with a lot of outward preload, then use a big hammer and get a few good blows on the tripot cup driving it TOWARDS or INTO the
transmission/differential. I think after 2-3 blows the flat bar dropped to the ground. I thought the flatbar just backed out, but after closer inspection, it was clear the tripot cup had backed out of the transmission/differential about 1/8" of an inch. I wedged the flatbar back in the space, repeated and then the tripot cup was about 1/4" out of the transmission/differential. Then I rotated the tripot cup and kept prying the tripot cup out of the transmission, rotating about 180 degrees each time until I finally was able to get the tripot cup out of the transmission/differential.

If I would have tried this from the beginning, I would have had the axle out with 4-6 hammer blows and a few quick but properly applied pries. 5 minute job if you take the proper approach.
Well, it is the wedge designed for that purpose by VW, but I take your point.

I bought a flat bar at lunchtime. I've never messed with axles - what exactly is involved in pulling the axle from the tripot cup? Also, how do you get a hammer on the tripot? Seems way too crowded. Did you put something in between?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
To remove the axle from the tripot cup is easy. Pull the axle like a slide hammer and the rubber boot and band clamp should slip right off the tripot cup. If needed, you can use a large, long flat screw driver or the flat bar and use a hammer to knock the rubber boot off the tripot cut. Position the flat bar or the screw driver on the rubber boot lip and you should be able to pop the boot off the tripot cup.

One the axle is out of the way, you should be able to get a decent swing with a hammer on the tripot cup. I do not recall, I may have used a small 2-3 lb hand sledge??

Assume you purchased a standard size/large flatbar? About 14-16 inches long. Tap this flat bar in to preload the tripot tight against the trans/diff housing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I have no idea how you got a hammer on there without removing a bunch of other stuff (and even then I'm not sure), but I got it. I just continued to grind on the wedge until it was thin enough (on the fat end) that I could get it further in and lightly tapped until the axle popped out.

Appreciate the help.

For a laugh, check out this video at 1:00. Also at 0:53 how easy it is to get the hub off the axle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Glad you got the axle out, it was far easier to remove than mine. The axle in my car was NEVER going to be wedged out. The car sat for a few years and the fluid drained off the splines and there was some surface rust buildup that caused all of my problems.

Did you, do you remove the lower engine cover? I remove the lower engine cover EVERY TIME I change oil and perform work under the car. I can get the lower engine cover off in under 5 minutes, it is like 8 larger and 7 or 8 smaller screws. You will need an XZN or triple square bit of the proper size for 6 of the bolts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Did you, do you remove the lower engine cover? I remove the lower engine cover EVERY TIME I change oil and perform work under the car. I can get the lower engine cover off in under 5 minutes, it is like 8 larger and 7 or 8 smaller screws. You will need an XZN or triple square bit of the proper size for 6 of the bolts.
The engine cover was missing when I bought the car. I have a new one - just haven't put it on yet. But it's just a plastic cover - didn't think there were any special bolts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
My comments were based on the Convertible which has an aluminum lower engine cover, Coupes use a plastic lower engine cover and probably do not have as many or as specialized bolts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hello guys,
I got to the same problem removing Driver's side axle on VW Beetle Convertible 2013.
I can't believe that my outer CV Boot got cracked and needs to replace after 6 years since a new one. What quality parts they put on this car?!
Anyhow, I was fighting today with the same but I was afraid for the same reason cracking the transmission housing and postponed the job for tomorrow.
There is no room to insert a pry bar as you mentioned.
I was looking for information on youtube and google and nothing. Finally, I found you here in this forum.
I found some helpful videos that may help as well.
Tomorrow I will resume my fight. It is a good idea sometimes when you get stuck to stop and resume it the next day. So you have time to think about it.
So I came to the idea since my outer CV Boot is for replacement I am not going to remove the entire Axle and will work on the car.
Pulling out the outer CV joint and then will replace the boot.
I hope
249822
I can get enough space to use hummer and extract the CV joint with the hardware and install it back with the new boot.
If everything goes well I really hope the inner boot to not breaks down and need to replace it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,354 Posts
Odds are, the inner one; will fail, sometime; after you replace the outer boot. I used GKN/Loebro/Spidan cv boot kits; the oem for VW and it worked out fine, for me. Some of the earlier boots; were rubber and now, many are plastic, which seem to hold up better.

I have found good prices; on the oem cv boots, from autohaus arizona, fcpeuro, rmeuropean, etc.

Let us know, how the install goes and if you are able to get the axle out, allowing replacement of the inner boot as well. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
So as many here with automatics may understand the front axles are snap in and not bolt on like the manual transmissions.

So the Passenger side axle seems to be a bit easier to remove from the transmission, however the Drivers side axle can be HELL to remove.

I just recently replaced my Driver side front axle and had a HELL of a time getting the axle to release from the transmission.

I researched and read every thing I could find on line. I fought with trying to get the axle to release for a few hours and threw everything I could at the situation. I even read where one guy drilled the inside of the Tripot joint, threaded the hole so he could screw in a bolt to use an axle puller on!!!!!

I tired to wedging the axle out and became very nervous that I would break or crack the transmission housing, I then moved on to other options.

Pulled the axle out of the Tripot joint and then tried to use a ViseGrip adapter on an axle slide hammer. This did not work, since the Tripot joint is hardened the ViceGrip kept slipping.

Attempted to wedge the axle against the transmission and then use the slide hammer on the ViceGrip, still no luck.

Finally called everyone I knew and started asking for all the tricks of the trade.

One guy mentioned he had a LONG air chisel bit that he would often try to get up against the rear of the Tripot and use the impact/vibration to release from the transmission.

Another guy mentioned he used a long brass drift to try and drive the axle out of the transmission. He also mentioned they often would preload the snap ring on the Tripot by wedging something in between the Tripot and transmission housing.

The PROBLEM is on the New Beetle there is NO access to the rear side of the Drivers side axle.

Well I ended up using a hybrid approach which is probably the ONLY thing that would have worked in my case.

I used a long Flat Bar like this one - Amazon.com: Vaughan B215 15-Inch Long Original SuperBar: Home Improvement

and hammered/wedged the flat bar in between the transmission and the Tripot joint. Then since I already had the axle pulled out of the Tripot joint, I started to hammer the Tripot joint back toward the transmission like you were installing the Tripot joint. This was while the flat bar was wedged in between the back of the Tripot and transmission housing. This energy caused the pre-loaded axle to finally compress the snap ring on the end of the Tripot joint. Not exactly the way you would have expected the snap ring to collapse and release, but at the end of the day all that mattered was, IT WORKED!

After about 4-5 solid whacks with a hammer, the flat bar dropped to the ground. At first I thought the flat bar had just worked its way out. But peeking up at the gap between the rear of the Tripot joint and the transmission, it appeared slightly larger. I think rewedged the flat bar between the Tripot and transmission and a few more whacks.

Seemed then Tripot joint had released and it had just started to move!!!! FINALLY!!!!

So I then carefully used the flat bar to pry the Tripot from the transmission while wiggling the Tripot joint.

After about 3 hours on my back in the rain in the driveway and every trick in the book, I FINALLY had the Drivers side Tripot out of the transmission. Greased up the replacement reman axle and snapped it in the transmission, fed the spine into the hub, buttoned up the lower ball joint, tightened up the axle nuts, installed the wheel and was back in business in less than 20 minutes after FINALLY getting the Axle From Hell out of the transmission!!!!!

Hopefully this helps some of the automatic transmission crew in the future getting the Driver side axle out of the transmission less than about 30 minutes and with limited special words or having to get the axle back together to take the car to a shop.

You CAN remove the snap in axles in your driveway on your back, it is not easy and you have to know the above trick if nothing else works!

Hope this is useful to someone in the future.

Please report back if this procedure works and is helpful for the Axles From HELL!
250284
thanks for the tip its worked
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Please report back if this procedure works and is helpful for the Axles From HELL!
I just want to say THANK YOU !
I’ve been working on my 2004 NBC Convertible for several days, now, trying to get the left axle changed. I would work on it for a few hours then, walk away. I even took yesterday off because I was so frustrated.
Then, I found your post !
I went out this morning, did as you described, and 6 whacks later, the flat bar dropped down. Pleased with myself, I put the bar back up and pushed it with my foot.
There, the transmission end of the axle ( from hell) slide right out.
My next task is to put it all back together again. Without your help, I was lost.
Again, THANK YOU
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
How were you able to install the new axle? I’ve tried hitting the axle end to drive it into the transmission but the clip ring isn’t compressing to allow the end to lock. I threaded the old axle nut on to protect the shafts end from damage and used my 3 lb hammer to drive the axle into the transmission. Please advise
Thanks
Mac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I finally got my axle to snap into place. I pushed the axel in but it wouldn’t go all the way in. I turned it one tooth and kept trying this until, clip. I went in so easy. 15 minutes later, I was backing out of my garage.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top