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Suggestions for getting a stubborn axle out of a hub? Frozen solid by rust

'07 Acura TL. Driver’s axle snapped because it rusted under the vibration dampener. Apparently the average cost to have a shop do it is 2 grand, which seems very high, but I’m sure there’s a reason. Nonetheless, I’d rather not pay that much if I can avoid it.

Got the spindle nut off, but the axle’s frozen into the hub. I soaked it in penetrating oil. Beat on it with a big hammer. Didn’t budge. Nothing’s working. Any thoughts on what my next steps should be? I’d really rather not pull the whole assembly and replace the hub if I don’t have to.

Some parts stores rent this tool.


Oops. I’d typed this out, but deleted it while editing. Sorry about that.
I own that tool. It ripped the bolt hole out of the brake rotor when I tried to press the axle out with it.

I would pull the entire knuckle assembly loose and put it in my hydraulic press.

If the press didn’t get it, I’d hit the shaft with the blue-tip wrench to cherry it up a bit, let it cool and try the press again.

Depending on how much trouble it gave me, I’d replace the wheel bearing while I was there. Beating on the axle shaft has a good chance of damaging the bearings. Same for heat on the bearing seals.

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If I understand you correctly regarding the bolt hole in the rotor, then it sounds like the hub is damaged now and may need to be replaced. If so, you are in for a wheel bearing replacement as well. If not, then at this point it would be saving time to remove the knuckle and have the axle stub pressed out.

Let’s hope you didn’t mushroom the end and make it bigger than the hole.

No, I put an old axle nut on it to prevent that, though I could grind it off if I did - not like I need to reuse it.

The hub is not yet damaged. The rotor is (slightly) damaged from the threads ripping out, but nothing that would prevent its use.

@Mustangman I’m starting to conclude I might have to pull the knuckle like you said, and find a machine shop since I don’t own a press. Was hoping to avoid all that hassle.

I don’t understand what threads on the rotor got damaged?


Yes, it is a hassle for sure.

I bought a cheap 8 ton HF press. It takes up precious space, I don’t use it much, but Hoo Boy! when you need one, it is very handy to have around.

Mount that tool on the wheel studs.

This will teach me to work tired and without checking a how-to first. :stuck_out_tongue: I used the wrong puller. I’ll try the right puller and report back. That was dumb.

I have found PB Blaster, sprayed numerous times at intervals, accompanied by tapping/hammering at all angles around the rusted area, works. At least once, it took all that plus an overnight wait.

So… you used BH… why not BFH ? :slight_smile:

I was in this situation once, my puller was some cheapie from HF and I did not really care if I break it, so once I applied the force with the puller, I also applied the BFH on the puller bolt - that made a trick

Is it possible use a slide-hammer tool and work it from the other side? The axle is already cut in half, right? I expect you’re gonna have to remove the whole ass’y. then you can try soaking it with penetrating fluid in an orientation the fluid runs into the area where it is rusted stuck. Replacing the hub is the back up.

The axle shaft press in post # 2 is the proper tool. Hammers are not good for the bearing or ball joint.

I would try to find a junkyard with both the hub and the axle shaft. If they are still on the car, no need to separate them.

It’s out! Using the right tool was surprisingly effective. :wink:

Had to turn the air gun up all the way and crank for awhile but it slowly came out. Thanks for setting me straight, gang.

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Do you mean you used a puller tool and turned its bolt w/an impact wrench? And you did it w/the hub/knuckle still on the car?

Not an impact, just a ratchet.