After what seems like an eternity, we've finally found the time and gathered together all the parts we needed to replace the CV joints and replace any worn wheel bearings on the front axle. The worn CV joint was identified by Simon at Brickwerks in January and it was important that this was addressed before we hit the brutal Icelandic F roads and fords in the summer. I've read quite a few blog posts about collapsed wheel bearings, tow trucks and expensive repair bills so a bit of preventative maintenance would be a sensible idea. I'd managed to track down a pair of joints with help from a very kind chap called Josef in Austria and Brickwerks were able to source some boots from GKN, bearings were stock items from SKF. Fortunately our good friend David had agreed to help and called in a favour from Sid at M-Tech to use one of the lifts at his workshop. What follows is essentially a photo based write up of 'how to change a CV joint/boot on a 4x4 LT' as promised. This is also useful information if you are replacing a brake disc or a wheel bearing.
First remove the circlip that retains the metal cover, there's also an o ring behind it. Don't be tempted to lever the cover out or you'll damage it and it could let water in. A few gentle taps will loosen it.
There's another circlip here securing the end of the cv shaft to the hub cover. Undo the 16 hex bolts holding the cover on.
Here you can see the locknut, which needs to come off. These are torqued to a massive 600NM.
This shows the lock nut tool, an eye watering £150 from SKF. It's a 3/4" drive socket and you'll need a long breaker bar and someone to keep the socket located whilst you hang on it. Undo the 2 bolts that secure the brake calliper at the back of the hub carrier. You will need to remove the brake hose retainer on the swing lever to enable the calliper to be hung safely out of the way using a suitable piece of wire.
After undoing the locknut, the whole hub assembly including disc slides off.
Here you can see the outboard wheel bearing and spacers used to pre load on assembly.
Worn bearing shell
This bearing is badly worn and has metal flakes visible, so we'll be replacing this.
Remove bolts securing the bottom steering housing cover. This is a press fit and will need some careful persuading. Sausage rolls are optional. Remove Tie rod and drag link ball joints.
Hidden amongst the grease is a plastic seal. These bearings have a grease port underneath.
Remove swing lever. This was also a taper fit and needed some persuasion.
Note the metal shims and plastic seal, if you are replacing these bearings you may need to resize the shims.
The steering housing can now be removed and the cv joint and half shaft just pulls out from the axle. Knock the joint off with a hammer.
We reassembled it with the new joint and cv boot.
Whole assembly just slots back in
Reinstall the steering housing. The internal needle bearing supports the shaft.
New outboard wheel bearing installed after knocking in the race. When replacing wheel bearings, it may be necessary to check the thickness of the metal spacers/shims. There is a special VW tool- 3175 for this, but that's one thing we didn't have. Instead we installed the 2 spacers that came out, checked for play having put the wheel back on, then swapped spacers until the correct amount of play was achieved. We then Re attached the tie rod and drag link ball joints.
Install lock nut, cover and circlips etc.
Reinstall brake calliper. Check all bolts secured to the correct torque values and that's pretty much it. Big thanks to David and Sid, Simon and Michael at Brickwerks. And also to Josef from LT-Freunde.