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Removing CV joints by sawing them off (Show segment from #1225)

Did you hear that call? The caller said he couldn’t get the old CV joints off the drive shaft. (He didn’t remove the drive shaft from the xmission spline since he was only replacing the outer joints. I’ve done it that way if only the outer CV’s needs repair.) Anyway, so he sawed them off in little pieces. Took him 6 hours or something. He said he couldn’t see how it was possible to remove them without sawing them off.

Is there something about his CV joints that are different from the ones I’ve worked on from VW and Toyota? I’ve done this on both makes as part of replacing the CV boot/cleaning and re-greasing the balls and sockets and never had much difficulty removing the CV joint from the drive shaft. As I recall all you have to do is orient the joint so you and see the clip, then spread the clip apart with a pair of “snap ring pliers”, then the joint pulls right off the shaft. The only problem I’ve ever had with this repair is that the balls tend to fall on the garage floor and roll around every which way. I spend more time looking for where the balls rolled to than most any other part of the job.

Anway, I’m curious why the caller had so much difficulty. Are there some makes of CV joints so configured that removing the joint is more difficult than other makes?

Up until now, when I needed to remove a half shaft, I used to tip the car on its side and shake really hard.
Who knew there’s an easier way, like using a sawsall?

lol @RemcoW … hey, reminds me, you may not believe this but it’s true – I was looking at this book the other day on how to configure the ultimate dream garage, and there’s a thing called an “auto rotisserie”. Serious. You bolt the car to it, raise it up a foot or two, then you can turn the car around just like a bbq chicken on a spit.

It’s not for ordinary repairs. If you tip a drivable car upside down for to look at the catylic converter for example, all the fluids would run out and you’d have a big mess! Apparently this gadget is used for rebuilding the whole car from the frame up, like if you wanted to rebuild an old rust bucket you found sitting out in a corn field somewhere, into a pristine classic. It wouldn’t have any fluids installed so you could rotate it all you liked and would make sand blasting and painting and wiring harness installation much simpler.

Removing the half shaft from the xmission spline? Tom said it could be done by prying it out with a big screwdriver or crowbar. I’ve never tried it that way. I’ve always done it with a slide hammer.

The hack-sawed drive shafts might not be accepted as cores…If he had to use a hacksaw to remove the old shafts, how did he expect to install the new ones, with the same hacksaw?. Many FWD CV shafts require the loosening of the lower control arm and sway bar in order to provide enough space to remove the shaft from the car…

He didn’t saw the shafts. He only sawed the CV joints apparently. His intention was to keep the shaft as is, and only install a new CV joint and boot.

@GeorgeSanJose I’ve been working on an old AC VW bug and when I had it off the frame, I used some blackpipe pipe to basically create a spit for the frame. It had pipe sticking out on both ends that would sit on some sawhorses, one on each end. It looked weird but was able to spin the thing around at will while doing repairs and paint easily.

I’ve seen those spits you mentioned for bodies. Another way I’ve seen it implemented by this one guy was with this huge hoops of steel. The inside of the hoops were tied to the body and the outside of the hoops ran along these upside down mounted neoprene wheels. The guy was able to flip the entire body in seconds. Very clever.

Those half axles usually just pry out. Hondas have this spring clip that you can’t get to so it usually requires a bit of letting some aggression out with the BFH.
On Subarus, there’s a roll pin that has to come out first and the thing practically falls out of the short shaft.
I’ve seen it once, on an Acura, where the shaft did not want to separate from hub. Even using a drum puller didn’t do the trick. I had to remove the entire hub from the car and use a press to get it out. That was the worst experience.

Never a hacksaw or sawsall, though.

I didn’t hear the call but resorting to spending 6 hours hacking a CV joint apart smacks of insanity and I’d have to say the guy was not holding his mouth right.

This reminds me of the time I went to a guy’s house one evening and noted that he had his '67 Chevelle SS half inside the garage with the tail end raised way up in the air. He had another vehicle backed up to it with a chain connecting the tow vehicle to something underneath the SS. The tires on the tow vehicle were trying to break loose…

When I asked him WTH he was doing he said he was removing the driveshaft to change a U-joint. Unfortunately, the tail end of the SS was way high and the chain was pulling on the driveshaft in such a way that it was binding it on the transmission tailshaft.
I took an 8" screwdriver, slid underneath, and popped the shaft right out. A BFH is not always the answer. :wink: