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Thread: Half Shafts Inner CV Re-Fresh v1.0

  1. #1
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    Half Shafts Inner CV Re-Fresh v1.0

    1). I had a rear differential leak at seals for both half shafts. At 136K miles I wanted to tackle the cv's, give them new boots and fresh grease. The rear differntial seals had been replaced by a fantastic mechanic at 75K miles, but this Recession has forced me to do jobs and tasks with the car I normally would not want or choose to do. Knowing that I am driving the DD for the next 2-3 years, replacing just the seals was not my goal and I wanted to do more while there.

    2). I saw this thread:

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1398300

    3). I ordered the following parts from Pelican:

    33-10-7-505-604-M204 $10.50 2 $21.00
    Differential Output Flange Seal, 90 x 44 x 10, 2 Per Car (NOTE: this
    brand includes the lock ring) - Brand: Kaco

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    33-21-1-229-375-M60 $20.75 2 $41.50
    Inner Axle Boot Kit (2 per car, sold individually), 525i Sedan/Touring
    (2001-03), 528i Sedan/Touring (1996-00), 530i (2001-03), Each Brand:
    GKN Loebro

    4). I bought some Red Line CV2 grease.

    5). Muffler did not need to be moved.
    6). Loosen carefully all reverse-torx bolts (6 per side) which connect the CV to the flange of the differential.
    7). Pull half shaft out, up and away from the differential.
    8). With a small pry par, gently remove the flange from the differential. With a pick or flathead, carefully remove the seal in the differential. Insert new seal and tap gently into place with a hammer while using a socket as a press to push the seal into place.
    9). With a hammer and a blunt tap or a flathead, tap the end-cap off the half shaft.
    10). This exposes the inner working of the CV joint. Remove the snap ring with appropriate snap ring tool.
    11). Remove the old boot completely, held in place with two tired clamps.
    12). With hammer and blunt tap or flat head, gently tap the CV off the threads AND BE VERY CAREFUL and hold it as a unit (or you'll have 6 ball bearings bouncing around the floor). You WANT to keep it together as it was, recalling how the orientation it came off it's threads. Important. In the video and thread above I linked, the mechanic was, "Only able to get 4 out of 6 ball bearings back in there" and this is clearly what not to do.
    13). Use brake cleaner/gum cutter, lay the parts to be cleaned (see pics below) FLAT on working table. Clean out and re-pack with Red Line CV2.
    14). Place new boot onto half shaft. Fill it with Red Line CV2 grease.
    15). With a brass hammer, gently tap the CV workings back onto the shaft. Install new snap ring accordingly. You will know the CV is deep enough onto the shaft when you can see the groove the snap ring sits on.
    16). Install new end cap, which you first pack with some Red Line CV2.
    17). Use pliers to pull the joint together, rotating the wheel/tire so as to get the pliers pulling the joint together equally and slowly.
    18). Install flange back into rear differential. Gently tap all the way in.
    19). Place half shaft into flange...install the 6 torx screws which you have cleaned their threads thoroughly and have laced with Red Loctite.
    20). Tighten all 6 very, very tight.
    21). Make certain the boots new clamps are tightened.
    22). Repeat on other side.
    23). Test drive.

    RESULTS: My leak should be resolved, time will tell. I filled it up with LubroMoly 75w90. The car does seem to be a quieter at highway speed, the bearings in the CV are happy with their new grease. I will do my outer joints when I do my rear wheel bearings down the road. I have been tracking down a vibration in my car for some time now, it may very well be my drive shaft. Today I noticed some dark syrup dripping by/from one of my engine mounts (which are just a few months old). I will look at it some more, perhaps it was from a puddle. I imagine my drive shaft will be next. I suggest any and all higher mileage e39's with a leak at the differential to not just install new seals, but to re-fresh your inner cv's.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bimmerfiver; 03-05-2011 at 02:08 AM.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
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  2. #2
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    Very very nice job.

    Actually I think if and whenever one performs a REAR wheel bearing service:
    - The Axle should be removed and given new boots to INNER and OUTER joints.
    - Diff side seal should be replaced.

    This way one does not have to deal with this issue later.

    PS: I am posting the picture below for those who want to see the typical anatomy of a BMW rear drive axle:

    Last edited by cnn; 03-05-2011 at 11:53 AM.

  3. #3
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    Update...

    Amazing update:

    1). Been chasing a vibration in my car for five years.
    2). Performed the above job with great curiosity.
    3). LOOK at the photo I posted above, the threads of my half shalf...do you see anything missing???

    4). In this thread...look at the photo #21 and photo #22 down...where he is re-assembling and look at the first objects that go onto the thread (a snap ring and a spacer which creates an inner base for the CV to rest on):

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1398300

    I wrote this guy's work off as amateur hour as he could not reassemble the CV joint with all six ball bearings (he could only install 4 ball bearings). So I breezed through it with little regard.

    5). If you look at my photo of MY half shaft above and phot below...you will see clean threads and nothing else! There is NO snap ring and spacer ont the shafts as seen in photos # 21 and #22 in thread-linked above! They were NOT there when I disassembled both shafts so when I reassembled I omitted installing them. They come with the kit, but I looked at them as parts that pertained to a different series BMW etc. SO...when I reinstalled my CV bits, I placed them onto the thread, installed ONE snap ring and called it a day. I was HOPING doing this job that I *might* find the reason why my car has endured a non-stop vibration for all of the years I have owned it. I was not the first owner fyi and NOW at midnight last night, after looking again at the thread above, I noticed the clear need for the first snap ring/spacer WHICH create a WALL or BASE for the inner CV JOINT to rest and sit upon...THEN it is firmly set in place with the final snap-ring and ONLY THEN it cannot move/walk in or out!

    See the photo from the other dudes thread (attached here below) and then look at my photo (above) and you'll see exactly what I am talking about and then I gotta ask, how the heck did my half shafts get installed like that many years ago without the inner spacer???

    cliffs = Wow. Just wow. My half shafts were missing 2 key pieces and I foolishly reassembled them as I found them and now I will rip them apart, re-install the leftover parts and *hopefully* eliminate the vibration!!! Holy sh*t. Look at the photo here of my shaft and can you believe all these miles I have driven (dangerously imho) without a snap ring and spacer...where the threads END there should be a spacer and then below it, a snap ring to keep the spacer in place as a FIRM WALL for the CV itself to reside upon):
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bimmerfiver; 03-05-2011 at 01:04 PM.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
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  4. #4
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    thank for sharing
    how many miles on your car ?
    these Half Shafts are running forever ...
    Last edited by champaign777; 03-05-2011 at 12:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    I wonder if anyone else has done this job that can comment...?
    Great job BimmerFiver!
    I can't wait to hear the results!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
    I wonder if anyone else has done this job that can comment...?
    Great job BimmerFiver!
    I can't wait to hear the results!
    Amazing. Dude....the three piece hockey pucks of machined metal...well
    their inner ring aka inner puck which should be stable whilst the other two rings are mobile as they roll on 6 ball bearings, welp my inner puck is able to walk east and west on the half shaft's threads ever so slightly and it should be the culprit of my vibration! I hope. Even if it's not, it is a serious fubar assembly on a part of the car that requires zero tolerance of bs.

    I am going to try to get this done this evening.

    Quote Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
    thank for sharing
    how many miles on your car ?
    these Half Shafts are running forever ...
    Second sentence of initila post...136K miles. But that's not the point. The point is my shafts have been rolling around, vibrating for 100K miles that I've owned the car and it is due to missing pieces.

    Even if I did not have vibes...if I just had a rear diff leak, I would at 100K+ miles, open the CV joints, clean and re-pack.
    Last edited by bimmerfiver; 03-05-2011 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

  7. #7
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    Just an Update from Mr. Fiver...
    He is currently in route to a shop to utilize a lift to complete this job.
    The act involves doughnuts as currency...
    Stay tuned...

    Thanks!
    Jason

  8. #8
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    Just FYI, a whole new rebuilt half shaft is not all that much either. Its best to save time. But doing it the above way is a great way to be at one with a shaft. Sometimes its best to be armed with proper diagrams to see what parts might be missing from prior installs.

    Another FP5241 Creation
    Parting out M54 Engine. Intake and all. Cats avail as well. PM ME!

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    1). Apparently certain years/makes/models require the the spacer and ring on the inner-most side of the CV and some do not. It depends on the style of the grooves on the end of the shaft.

    2). I re-did them last night and it took about 25% less time. You still have to work slowly.

    3). I traded for the time on the lift the past two days for helping one of the mechanics at the shop re-build his L98 Chevy engine (which he installed in his Chevy pick up truck a few years ago). The L98 blew a head gasket last week, he had the heads milled and so....today was another 10 hours in the shop. We installed new valve stem seals early at breakfast...then the heads, the Edelbrock intake...another eight hours of work...turned the key tonight and he drove home. I will post pics of this job as it was fun to do.

    4). I believe the CV in my driveshaft requires the same refresh as my half shafts. I am debating on what to do here.

    5). My car seems to be running with the very least vibration it ever has in the many years I've owned it. It's hard to say today as it's 55* out and I am rolling around on winter tires, but last night when it was chilly out (and the winter tires aren't rumbling/vibrating in warm weather) my car was super-duper tight. The 'feeling' in my steering wheel from happy half-shafts IS noticeable. This is not an infomercial scam...I was hoping for change and I can declare that cleaned-out, re-packed CV's are over over and over over-looked. I had my CV joint clean as a whistle and repacked them with a massive amount of Redline CV2...they went from stale/tired 136K mile inner half-shafts, to fresh as a daisy. Re-freshing my inner CV's was NOT fun and then having to re-do it in less than 24 hours sucked, but I enjoyed the wrenching. I will say now that I now I can tackle this task...this summer I'll jump into the rear wheel bearing and prolly just say eff it, replace both half shafts lol. The main goal was to resolve the rear differential leak and then experiment from there; when I was 14 years old I had a G&S Chris Miller with OJ Wheels and what we asked the Skate Shop owner for, "German bearings." I used to love those bearings and it was fun to dive into my CV joints.

    6). Next up, driveshaft...I did the guibo, center support bearing and I debate on re-freshing it's CV, replacing it's CV or the entire shaft. This might be my next project:

    http://www.eactuning.com/parts/produ...ls/26117501639

    For now a hot shower and scrub down as I am covered in every type of grease, oil, anti-seize, lubricant and the moly CV grease has me smelling like a dead whale.
    Last edited by bimmerfiver; 03-06-2011 at 10:22 PM.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

  11. #11
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    Nicely done, Keith. And nice discovery. I hope it solves your vibration issue.

  12. #12
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    James-
    This thread needs to be moved to the DIY section IMO...
    Thanks!
    Jason

  13. #13
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    I am replacing the REAR bearings soon.

    From what I gather the half-shaft CV Joint Rubber Boots last a loooong time (unlike the FWD CV boots such as Toyota Camry, Honda Accord that tears at 80K because of R and L turns), so I am wondering if it should leave the half-shaft CV Joint Rubber Boot alone for now?

    These are the CV Joint Rubber Boot Kits I am talking about:


  14. #14
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    Remove the 6 bolts from the inner CV.
    Remove large nut from outer hub.
    Drive side was tighter if I recall...both sides required the removal of the 2 control arm's balljoints from the hubs.
    This allows more room.
    Remove axles from car, down and in they both come.

    If you are going to replace axle boots...you can do just the inners as I did very easily.
    Remolve clamps on the inner boots.
    Remove the large C-Clip that holds the inner bearings onto the axle.
    Cut the boot off.
    Carefully tap/pry off the Cover Plate.
    Carefully tap the CV bearings off the spline.
    Clean with gasoline and brush.
    Re-pack with Lubro-Moly CV Grease.
    Place new boot on.
    Clamp down the one side.
    Re-install the hockey-puck CV bearing with a brass hammer tap-tap.
    Re-install the new C-Clamp that comes with the kit.
    Tap on the Cover Plate (place some additional grease into it).
    Use the sealant that comes with the kit, it's a type of loctite for the cover to make it sealed. Place a small ring of it in the seam of the cover.
    Place new red loctite on bolts and re-install.

    If you are going to the inner CV...understand you will need the BMW tool to get the outer axle splines pulled into and back through the hub. You can't pound the outer CV through the splines...and it is soooooo tight they will NOT merely go through.

    Me? If you are just doing the rear wheel bearings, I'd do just the bearings.
    The axle boot re-fresh IS fairly easy to-do for just the inners...and it makes them roll smoother. Doing the outers is a bit of a PIA.
    I would do just the rear wheel bearings...though it was easier for me to purchase used axles from eBay (buy them from Florida or California only as they arrive looking new unlike those from NY which are beaten by salt, snow and roads) and re-fresh those axles. Which I did. I can say my 'new' axles roll more quietly than my original.

    Remind your pal Jason I've done a few things to these cars. (insert face with rolling eyes here).
    Last edited by bimmerfiver; 09-12-2011 at 04:31 PM.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

  15. #15
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    Thanks bimmerfiver,

    In fact, I ended up replacing only the REAR bearings.
    I did not replace the CV rubber boots.

    I wrote it up here (incl. how to make the BMW tool to pull the Axle into the Hub, although one can argue this tool is not needed at all):

    1998 528i REAR Bearing the Easy Way!
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...php?p=22701308
    Last edited by cnn; 09-12-2011 at 09:37 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Thanks bimmerfiver,

    In fact, I ended up replacing only the REAR bearings.
    I did not replace the CV rubber boots.

    I wrote it up here (inlc. how to make the BMW tool to pull the Axle into the Hub, although one can argue this tool is not needed at all):

    1998 528i REAR Bearing the Easy Way!
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...php?p=22701308
    Very interesting cnn....I followed mmm635's thread for torque values...and the bolts that hold the rear bearings in place. I torqued them to 30Nm as he called out. Your docmentation shows it is much more, perhaps double! I wonder if this isn't causing a vibration as the rear bearings have play?

    Wow.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post
    Very interesting cnn....I followed mmm635's thread for torque values...and the bolts that hold the rear bearings in place. I torqued them to 30Nm as he called out. Your docmentation shows it is much more, perhaps double! I wonder if this isn't causing a vibration as the rear bearings have play?

    Wow.
    Yeah,

    You know how I found out 30Nm was wrong data LOL?
    Initially I believed mmm635's torque values of 30Nm (although I was suspicious of this already because I have wrenched for so many years), so I figured the special 1/4" E14 socket should be able to open something that was torqued to 30Nm at factory, right?

    Wrong, I broke the 1/4" drive extension and had to start out with 3/8" E14 socket, then switch back to 1/4" E14 socket. Hmmmm...

    Then it occured to me that something was wrong, so I checked my 1998 Volvo V70 repair manual (same GKN-Lobro maker of the axle, same nut, same bearing mfg, and same E14 bolts!) and sure enough, Volvo said 45Nm then another 60 degrees!

    So I went online and looked at Bentley, TIS etc., and sure enough BMW said 30Nm followed by 90 degrees!

    You should re-torque your E14 bolts (maybe another 60 degrees is good enough; or you can go to 90 degrees IF you had initially torqued it to 30Nm).
    No need to jack up the car, just place a piece of cardboard on the ground and lay on your back and torque the bolts. You should be done in 15 min max.
    Last edited by cnn; 09-12-2011 at 09:36 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Yeah,

    You know how I found out 30Nm was wrong data LOL?
    Initially I believed mmm635's torque values of 30Nm (although I was suspicious of this already because I have wrenched for so many years), so I figured the special 1/4" E14 socket should be able to open something that was torqued to 30Nm at factory, right?

    Wrong, I broke the 1/4" drive extension and had to start out with 3/8" E14 socket, then switch back to 1/4" E14 socket. Hmmmm...

    Then it occured to me that something was wrong, so I checked my 1998 Volvo V70 repair manual (same GKN-Lobro maker of the axle, same nut, same bearing mfg, and same E14 bolts!) and sure enough, Volvo said 45Nm then another 60 degrees!

    So I went online and looked at Bentley, TIS etc., and sure enough BMW said 30Nm followed by 90 degrees!

    You should re-torque your E14 bolts (maybe another 60 degrees is good enough; or you can go to 90 degrees IF you had initially torqued it to 30Nm).
    No need to jack up the car, just place a piece of cardboard on the ground and lay on your back and torque the bolts. You should be done in 15 min max.
    I too was shocked at the 30Nm for such a series of important bolts.
    The fronts are 75 ft lbs I believe.
    Larger bolts, sure...but I was shocked at 30Nm.
    Tomorrow is oil change, will tighten all eight rear bolts.
    Hope I didn't do any damage over the six months they've been in there.
    Ordered the 2 Timkens for the fronts.
    Will replace them and *hope* my vibration, weak and odd feeling in my steering wheel, tramlining on the highway disappear.

    New York roads are 1.33 miles for each of your 1 mile.
    So after replacing every part and could I can only stare at the front bearings. I check them along with my suspension every oil change...no wobble in the front bearings...but they are sandy-sounding when spun (with calipers removed).

    I also now stare at my rear end and wonder if my significant lack of torque on the bearing's bolts hasn't tweaked them.

    Just had another Road Force (for free) done in front of my own eyes, to my near-new Michelins. Just had alignment done, half of it with my own hands and it's perfect.

    Front wheel bearings are this Friday or Saturday, when parts arrive.

    Stay tuned and thx for the head's up on the rear wheel bearing torque spec.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post
    ...
    Front wheel bearings are this Friday or Saturday, when parts arrive.
    FRONT Bearing is a piece of cake. Once the rotor comes off, it is smooth cruising.

    Get a 3/8" 17-inch long breaker bar from Harbor Freight and you are in business. I wrote it up here:

    1998 528i FRONT Bearing the Easy Way (45 min to 60 min each side)!
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1705239

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