Audi Parts Catalog Audi Accessories Catalog Audi Technical Articles VW-Audi Tech Forums
 
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
Audi A4 Drive Axle Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Audi A4 Drive Axle Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$25 to $200

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm, 6mm Allen, 10mm 12 point socket large breaker bar or impact wrench, lug wrench, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Audi A4 (2002-05)
Audi A4 Cabriolet (2003-06)

Parts Required:

New axles or CV boots, axle bolt

Hot Tip:

Loosen the 12mm Allen bolt first

Performance Gain:

Eliminate slop in the drive train

Complementary Modification:

Replace ball joints

Your drive axles or drive shafts can wear out over time or get damaged during use. The most common problem for drive axles is the tearing of the CV boot. This will cause the CV grease to be thrown out from the CV joint and allow contaminants in. Lack of grease or contaminants in the CV will quickly lead to failure of the joint. This article will not cover replacing or repacking the CV boot (please see one of our articles on repacking your CV joint and replacing the CV boot) but will cover the removal of the axles. Whether you are working on the boots or replacing the axles, the drive axles will need to come out of the car. Audi does not sell separate CV joints for the drive axles, so if yours are bad you will need to replace the whole drive axle and CV joint assemblies as one piece. Note: the axles are different side to side and are not interchangeable. Make sure to order the proper side.

The most difficult part of the job is breaking loose the 17mm Allen axle bolt that holds the drive shaft to the hub. The bolt is on under a tremendous amount of torque. The simplest way to do this is to use an impact wrench or gun to break the bolt loose. Electric impact guns can be purchased inexpensively now and make a great addition to your set of tools. If you do not have an impact gun you can remove the center cap on the front wheel. Leave the car on the ground and insert the 17mm Allen socket through the center. Next, place the largest breaker bar you have on the socket and break the bolt loose. I ended up having to put a three-foot pipe on the end of the breaker bar to get enough leverage.

Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the front wheel from the side of the vehicle you are replacing the drive axle on.

If you do not have an impact gun, you can remove the center cap on the front wheel.
Figure 1

If you do not have an impact gun, you can remove the center cap on the front wheel. Leave the car on the ground and insert the 17mm Allen socket through the center (red arrow). Next, place the largest breaker bar you have on the socket and break the bolt loose. I ended up having to put a three-foot pipe on the end of the breaker bar to get enough leverage. If you do have an impact gun, remove the wheel before using the impact gun on the bolt.

This photo illustrates the 17mm Allen axle bolt (red arrow).
Figure 2

This photo illustrates the 17mm Allen axle bolt (red arrow). Leave the bolt loosely fitted in the end of the axle shaft; you can use it to help push the axle out from the wheel bearing. Make sure you replace this bolt when reinstalling the axle.

The bolts holding the axles in place on our project car were 10mm 12 points.
Figure 3

The bolts holding the axles in place on our project car were 10mm 12 points. Make sure to verify the type of fastener and make sure the socket is firmly and completely seated in the head of the bolt before attempting to remove. You do NOT want to strip these bolts. Audi considers these bolts to be single use only and recommends replacing them after each single use.

There are six 12 point bolts holding the axle to the flange.
Figure 4

There are six 12 point bolts holding the axle to the flange. Loosen the six 12 point bolts holding the axle to the flange (red arrow) making sure that the socket is firmly seated in the bolt before loosening. You will need to stop the axle from turning by either having someone apply the brakes or inserting a screwdriver between the disk and caliper.

Some people prefer to remove the heat shield on the right side to give more room to get to the flange bolts and get the axle out from the vehicle.
Figure 5

Some people prefer to remove the heat shield on the right side to give more room to get to the flange bolts and get the axle out from the vehicle. If you want to remove the shield, simply remove the 6mm Allen bolts holding it in place (red arrow, one shown).

With the bolts removed you can separate the axle (red arrow) from the mounting flange (yellow arrow) and move it towards the front of the vehicle.
Figure 6

With the bolts removed you can separate the axle (red arrow) from the mounting flange (yellow arrow) and move it towards the front of the vehicle.

Use the 17mm Allen axle bolt and push the axle back out from the wheel bearing (red arrow).
Figure 7

Use the 17mm Allen axle bolt and push the axle back out from the wheel bearing (red arrow).

You can now remove the axle from the vehicle; I find the best way to do this is move the transmission end of the axle (yellow arrow) towards the front of the car and the wheel end towards the rear (red arrow).
Figure 8

You can now remove the axle from the vehicle; I find the best way to do this is move the transmission end of the axle (yellow arrow) towards the front of the car and the wheel end towards the rear (red arrow). Use care when removing, as the axles are heavy.

Inspect the axle for damage, rust and cracks.
Figure 9

Inspect the axle for damage, rust and cracks.

On the wheel end you want to inspect the CV rubber boot and clamps (red arrow).
Figure 10

On the wheel end you want to inspect the CV rubber boot and clamps (red arrow). The boot should be soft and firm with no rips or cracks and both clamps should be snug and tight fitting. Check the wheel speed sensor ring (yellow arrow) and inspect the spindled shaft for damage (green arrow). Slight rusting on the spindle is normal but there should be not cracks pitting or other damage.

On the transmission end you want to inspect the CV rubber boot and clamps (red arrow).
Figure 11

On the transmission end you want to inspect the CV rubber boot and clamps (red arrow). The boot should be soft and firm with no rips or cracks and both clamps should be snug and tight fitting. Check the flange mount. Slight rusting on the flange is normal but there should not be cracks, pitting or other damage. Installation is the reverse of removal.


Bookmark and Share

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Project/Wish List]
  [Privacy Statement]  [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc. -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page

Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:44:35 AM