Offroading Subarus

Where we modify and drive flat fours

Driveshaft (or sometimes known as Axle) removal, re-booting, replacement

*Taken from one of my posts on USMB*
Here are some quick simple instructions, a FSM would be much better to follow.

Jack up one front side of the car. Take the wheel off and then undo the 36mm axle nut. It’s normally bloody tight on there and needs to be, use a 36mm socket and breaker bar to get it off, you might need to stand on the breaker bar. You can also use a big open ended or ring spanner for this. Then take the nut off the bottom of the lower ball joint (it has a split pin, you’ll need to get that out first.) The ball joint is the part that attaches the hub to the swingarm, swingarm is the bit that attaches the hub to the engine crossmember. With either a really big lever (5ft long metal bar with a flat end works good) or a ball joint separator, separate the the swingarm from the hub. You should be able to pull the suspension with the hub away from the swingarm towards the front of the car now. But be careful not to stretch a brake line too far. As you pull it away, pull the axle/driveshaft out of the hub, All this is very hard to do and you will hurt yourself no doubt.

Now there is a pin in the inner CV cup that holds the cup to the gearbox. You will need a punch tool the right size to fit in the hole in the cup for this. I use a screw driver with the head cut off for this, don’t use a normal flat or philip head screw driver to bash this pin out it’s a bad idea. Now that you have the shaft out of the hub and the pin out of the cup, pull on the shaft really hard and it should pop off the gearbox. What might happen is you might pull the inner CV apart which will stretch the boot, so watch out for this. The only thing holding the race in the cup (the race is the bit with the balls on it that goes on the end of the shaft to hold it in the cup making up the Constant Velocity joint) is a big ring running around the outer edge of the cup, this sometimes pulls out. In which case can make it very hard to remove the cup from the gearbox. You might be able to lever it off with something, pretty much make it up as you go along using logic.

Hopefully you will have the drive shaft out in one piece by now. To put it all back together (without doing the RWD conversion) do the reverse of what has been said taking note to these few things. Make sure the pin in the inner CV cup is tight and wont fall out, sometimes getting a new one is the best option here. Make sure you replace all the split pins on all the nuts that had them (lower ball joint nut and axle nut.) Replacing these with new ones is a good idea again.

If you just want to replace a boot on the shaft follow these steps.
Unclip the boot from the inner cup and pull it back along the shaft towards the outer CV. Pull the ring out that holds the race into the cup. Be careful not to bend this ring as it does stop the joint from pulling apart when in the car. Now pull the cup off the shaft. Remove the split ring on the end of the shaft that holds the race onto the shaft. Now pull the race off taking note which way round the race was put on the shaft (there is a wrong way to put it back on, I found out the hard way.) Not you should be able to pull both boots off and replace which ever one you want.

For replacing the whole shaft, well that’s just simple, just get a new one and put it in the place of the old one 😛

If your inner CV is damaged, i.e. making clicking noises, you can just replace the race, and maybe the inner cup to fix this which will cost a fraction of the price of a new driveshaft.

Also remember to re-grease everything in the joints with Moly grease, or also known as molybdenum disulfide grease.

For RWD conversion.. Search USMB as I have never done that and am not sure how you get the outer CV’s apart. Please send me info on how to do it if you want.

After pulling, bashing, smashing, and all that, it should be good. I haven’t put you off of the conversion now have I? It is relatively easy, I got it down to an art with being able to replace a shaft in half an hour by myself if nothing major goes wrong.


I bought my first Subaru back in 2005, it was a 89 Brumby, flair red. I lifted it, fitted Kumho 27″ MT’s. After a while I swapped the dual carb EA81 it had with an EJ22 bolted on a custom gearbox which used EJ D/R casing, EA82 5sp low range and an RX centre locking diff. Once I sold the Brumby I got a 83 Leone. Converted it to 4WD, put the Kumho’s on it, added a 5sp and drove it like I stole it. I then upgraded to a 99 Outback. It was hail damaged so I repaired it myself. I fitted it out with some storage and a mattress. I now have a 87 Brumby that I’ve resprayed with two pack urethane in Waratah Red. I am planning to fit an EJ with PT gearbox and a little bit of lift. It’s another project in progress.

Phizinza – who has written posts on Offroading Subarus.

December 29th, 2009 by Phizinza
Posted in Repairs