advice in breaking apart the front outer CV joint

Bernie Benz b.benz at
Mon Sep 10 09:54:37 EDT 2007

It’s at least a 3 handed job, with expletives!  That’s where the vice  
grip comes in, because you have to put some torque on the bolt to get  
the joint to move. I have never had to take a shaft out of the car.  
Once you get one off you’ll feel so good that you’ll have to do the  
other side too!


On Sep 10, 2007, at 3:58 AM, <alancordeiro at> wrote:

> Thanks Bernie,
> In regards to getting the square (cross-sectioned) circlip stuck,  
> no it is not...
> To make sure I occasionally tapped the joint free to  
> spread,
> but real hard to keep open...there is no real set of holes to put
> the circlip pliers into. Its just the joint will not budge while  
> the clip is spread
> Another problem is that the inboard end of the shaft is still  
> attached to the car.
> I suspect I need to locate the misplaced triple square and remove  
> the whole shaft
> and that might make it easier to work on.
> But its good to get a confirmation that the 16mm bolt can indeed be  
> used as a pusher.
> These are days when I wish I had a good solid workbench and a high  
> quality bench vice.
> Perhaps removing the whole shaft from the car, and setting up a  
> vice arrangement with
> multiple c-clamps and some wood in the garage may the best next step.
> Alan
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Bernie Benz" <b.benz at>
> To: <alancordeiro at>
> Cc: "200q20V mailing list" <200q20v at>
> Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 12:51 AM
> Subject: Re: advice in breaking apart the front outer CV joint
> Alan,
> I did both of my front outers several years ago now. These square
> wire circlips are a real PITA compared to the round wire clips that
> are just forced into the shaft groove and off.
> Using the axle bolt as a pusher, clamp a vice grip on the shaft
> spline to use in offseting the bolt torque. Sounds like you may have
> the square wire section of the circlip pinched between its shaft
> groove and the CV housing from your beating it with hammer. Drive the
> CV back on the shaft a little to where the clip is free to spin. Now,
> holding the clip wide open, you should be able to screw in the axle
> bolt and force the joint to move outward. After it moves a 1/16” you
> no longer need to hold the clip open as it will be up, out of its
> groove. When you run out of bolt length, add a short length of rod
> under the bolt  to force the joint all the way off.
> Bernie
> On Sep 9, 2007, at 1:53 PM, <alancordeiro at> wrote:
>> I have spent close to an hour and a half trying to break open the   
>> front outer CV joint
>> so I can replace the rubber boot. Of all the boots, the two front   
>> outer seem closest to failure.
>> The old I have spread the  circlip as far as it goes, but the  
>> joint  will not off in spite of reasonably hard
>> whacks with both a rubber mallet, even a good old fashioned steel   
>> head hammer.
>> I tried inserting in the big 16mm bolt, it appeared to press on  
>> the outside of the "inner" shaft,
>> but tightening it while spreading the circlip, and even with a few  
>> friendly whacks will not
>> break open the joint.
>> Any BTDT? I have two joints off, ready to replace the boots, but  
>> ay  just call it quits and
>> put them both back and get in a used one to practice on while the   
>> car runs on old boots.
>> While I wait for advice...... doe anyone in the Detroit metro  
>> area  have a good/bad used front CV shaft
>> lying around?
>> Alan
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>> 200q20v mailing list

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