Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Axle Shaft (Halfshaft)

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




WARNING
When loosening or tightening an axle nut, make sure the vehicle is on the ground. The amount of torque required could cause the vehicle to fall off jackstands.

Dasher, Fox and Quantum

When removing the right axle shaft, you must detach the exhaust pipe from the manifold and the transaxle bracket. Be sure to buy a new exhaust flange gasket.

  1. With the car on the ground, remove the front axle nut.
  2.  

If necessary, use a long breaker bar with a length of pipe as an extension.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the front of the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the socket head bolts retaining the axle shaft to the transaxle.
  6.  
  7. Pull the transaxle side of the driveshaft out and up and place it on the top of the transaxle.
  8.  
  9. Pull the axle shaft from the steering knuckle.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Installation is the reverse of removal. Tighten the axle shaft flange bolts to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm). The axle nut should be tightened to 145 ft. lbs. (198 Nm) for M18 nuts, or 170 ft. lbs. (231 Nm) for M20 nuts.
  2.  

Except Dasher, Fox and Quantum

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

  1. With the vehicle on the ground, remove the front axle nut.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support vehicle and remove the front wheels.
  6.  
  7. Remove the ball joint clamping bolt and push the control arm down, away from the ball joint.
  8.  
  9. If necessary, carefully loosen the halfshaft in the hub using a brass drift and hammer.
  10.  
  11. Remove the socket head bolts from the transaxle drive flange.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the front axle nut with the vehicle on the ground



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Fig. Fig. 2: Removing the ball joint clamping bolt



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Fig. Fig. 3: Push the control arm down, away from the ball joint, after removing the clamping bolt

  1. Remove the halfshaft from the drive flange and support it below the flange. Do not let it hang by the outer CV-joint, or the joint may fall apart.
  2.  
  3. Remove the assembly from the vehicle.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Fit the halfshaft to the drive flange and install the bolts. It is not necessary to torque them yet.
  2.  
  3. Apply a thread locking compound to the outer 1 / 4 inch of the spline. Slip the spline through the hub and loosely install a new axle nut.
  4.  
  5. Assemble the ball joint and torque the nut and bolt to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel and hold it to keep the axle from turning. Torque the drive flange bolts to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
  8.  
  9. With the vehicle on the ground, torque the axle nut to 195 ft. lbs. (265 Nm) on Golf and Jetta, or 175 ft. lbs. (240 Nm) on other models.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: If necessary, carefully loosen the halfshaft in the hub using a brass drift and hammer



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Removing the socket head bolts from the drive flange



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: The halfshafts can be wrapped in plastic to prevent damage to the boots and joints

CV-JOINT AND BOOT OVERHAUL



The constant velocity joints (CV-joints) can be disassembled for cleaning and inspection, but they cannot be repaired. All parts are machined to a matched tolerance, so the entire CV-joint must be replaced as a unit.

  1. With the car on the ground, remove the front axle nut.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the halfshaft, as described earlier in this section.
  6.  
  7. Pry open and remove the boot clamps with a pair of wire cutters.
  8.  
  9. With the halfshaft securely clamped in a vise, the outer CV-joint can be removed by sharply rapping on the joint with a plastic hammer. The joint will snap off of the circlip and slide off the axle.
  10.  
  11. To remove the inner CV-joint, remove the circlip from the center and slide the joint off the axle.
  12.  
  13. Both boots can be removed after removing the CV-joint.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Always replace both circlips and make sure the CV-joint is clean before installation. Wrap a piece of black electrical tape around the shaft splines and slip the inner clamp and the boot onto the shaft.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tape and install the dished washer with the concave side out so it acts as a spring pushing the CV-joint out. On the outer joint, install the thrust washer and a new circlip.
  4.  
  5. To install the outer CV-joint, place it onto the spline and carefully tap straight in on the end with a plastic hammer. The joint will click into place over the circlip.
  6.  
  7. To install the inner CV-joint, slide it onto the spline and push in enough to allow the circlip to fit into the groove in the axle shaft.
  8.  
  9. Pack the CV-joint with special CV-joint grease. DO NOT use any other type of grease.
  10.  
  11. Pack any remaining grease into the boot and install the clamps on the outer boot.
  12.  
  13. Install the halfshaft, as previously described.
  14.  
  15. Lower the car, then tighten the front axle nut.
  16.  

 
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