How far is the axle supposed to slide in? I got it far enough in where the splines engage but it doesnt appear to be in far enough. Also on a side note, how do you replace the seal? Mine appears to be leaking. I want to replace it before I try to put the axle back in again.
When fully seated there should not be any splines exposed. If you don't have the axle seated all the way the o-ring on the spline shaft won't seal and that could be your leak. Try tapping the axle in the rest of the way with a hammer and drift, taping on the big section rather than the shaft. That big section should but up right against the jack shaft.
I had this exact problem. You are suppose to replace the cir-clip that holds the axel onto the splines. I did not do this and have replaced this axel twice now. I would bet that using a new cir-clip would have made it much easier.
The key is to put some grease on the splines and then make SURE that the axel is going very straight onto the output/intermediate shaft. The axel's inner and outer joints should be perfectly straight and it should be lined up perfectly with the splines on the car. Then use a hammer to tap it on. At one point, I was hammering the axel as hard as I could because nothing would make it slide fully onto the splines. Then I repositioned everything with the axel very straight on the output/intermediate shaft, and it slid on very easily at that point.
I would recommend replacing the seal on the bearing carrier and the seal on your wheel bearing in the spindle while you have it all apart. Put some good quality grease on the seal and the surfaces on the axel that the seal is against. To remove it, I just used a screw driver and pryed it out - fairly easy.
Aftermarket axles have C clips that are not the correct size, and are slightly larger. Which generally will make the install a living hell. And when you do get them in, Believe me, its gonna be a bitch the next time you have to remove it.
If you still have stock axles (they have Green hubs) Then remove the C clip off that, and use it on the new axle. Otherwise you can get the C clips directly from Mazda still brand new also.
i would say that maybe they are larger but they are not necessarily the wrong size. i've pulled many original axles to re-boot the outer cv joint that i had to hit with a dead blow hammer to re-seat the original axle and clip. the trick for me was always to fully compress the halfshaft and hit the outer end with a dead blow.
There physical diameter is noticeably larger then the factory ones. You can make the aftermarket ones, But more times then not, its a pain in the ass. And also they tend to give just as much a fight when you have to remove them. Compared to the much easier OEM ones.
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