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I've just finished changing both drive shafts on a '93 4 cylinder MTX and though I would make some comments about my experience.

The car I was working on has never been out of Texas and was always garaged so it has no corrosion ( this is important ).

I started on Friday night figuring it would take me about 2 hours...I'd already been to the Mazda parts place to get the aluminium crush washers from the MTX drain and fill plugs ( free from Rodger Beasley Mazda, Austin - way to go Art! ). Getting these washers was the hardest part, no one carries them apart from Mazda dealers I guess.

So first things first drain the MTX fluid, 5 minutes later no fluids, OK.
Next, hosed everything down with Brake parts cleaner, cool I can see everything.
Next, hosed everything with Kroil penetrating fluid and have a cup of tea...
Next, steering controls, used a pitman pullers no problem...F.Y.I. you can rent them from AutoZone
Next, the lower control arm connection, slips around when turning, no biggy thumb on the rubber side and the nut comes off.
Next, the axle nut, try the 400 foot/lbs. impact wrench, nope. Pull out the 18 inch breaker bar, nope. Pull the 5 foot handle from my floor jack and use it as a cheater bar, that's better. 30 minutes longer than I thought but still, unscrew the nut and reverse it so the flange is facing out ( see later ).

Jack the car up and take the wheels off.
next, undo the lower control arm / steering knuckle nut, push the lower control arm down and pull steering knuckle towards me. Going great, get the 2lb copper hammer and hit the reversed axle nut to free the axle from the hub....hit it some more...get a bigger hammer.....get a small sledge hammer. Hmm doesn't want to come off. Try a hub puller, bend the center screw...ops...still doesn't want to come off.

After an hour decide to pull the whole thing off and put it into the vice, so get some wire to fasten the brake callipers to the suspension springs. Pull the clip for the brake hose, then undo the two calliper mounting bolts and swing the calliper up and away and fasten with the wire. Pull the brake disc off ( the hammering had already loosened it ) then pull the whole steering knuckle / drive shaft out.

Put it in the shop vice, heat it up with gas and add PB Blaster penetrating fluid, wack with sledge hammer...nope not moving. heat it some more, bubbles coming from the splines, a good sign, keep heating, try some more wacking...nope.

Give up for Friday night.

Saturday morning consider options, call the auto parts store to see if they have a press....several stores later find one that does actually have one.

Conversation goes something like this:

Me: Hello, do you have the facilities to press an axle from a steering knuckle hub?
Them: Yes we do
Me: Could you press an axles from a hub for me?
Them: No, the press is mounted to the wall
Me: ?, I actually have the axle in the back of my car, if I bring them in could you press it out for me?
Them: I don't know, let me ask the manager....<2 minutes> why do you want them pressed out?
Me: I'm replacing the drive shafts
Them: OK, let me ask the manager....<1 minute> if they are that stuck you'll need to replace the hubs, their $115 each and we have them in stock.
Me: I haven't even told you what car I have! anyway could you press the ones I have out?
Them: Let me ask the manager...<2 minutes> Yes we could we charge $70 an hour and it'll take about 2 hours.
Me: Thanks any way..<click>

So I'm thinking, hmm they'll try and rape me for $140 then tell me they destroyed the hubs and ask for another $230, so pull out the harborfreight.com catalogue and look at presses. 6 ton shop press $70, 12 ton $109. That'll do, give them a ring, yup they have them in stock. Dive in the other car and go shopping....when I get to the shop they are having a managers special on 20 ton shop presses $150. $150 later I now have a 20 ton shop press in the back of the car!

About a hour later, the orange monster is in the garage and the axles have given up their grip of the hubs! It was the biggest bang I've ever heard and I shoot .44 Magnum revolver! Even my wife came out to the garage to see what the noise was.

Examine the hubs and find that there was about a 16th on an inch of rust at the front of the hub and that's all....clean the rust away with a toothbrush size stainless steel wire brush.

Take out the Raxles axles, lube the splines and push into the intermediate shaft....won't go on...the spring clip is to strong! Try harder, nope. Try wiggling it about and pushing and it finally goes on.

Reassemble that side of the car, then repeat for the other side.

Cost $235 incl shipping for both the axles from Raxles.com they have new outer joints
$150 for the 20 ton shop press
Total $385

F.Y.I. Pep Boys wanted $375 for installing remanufactured axles....

So would I do it again, yes, but I'd buy / find / arrange to have a shop press first. Had I had the shop press available at the start it would have made it very easy and I would have been able to finish it in one night. If I lived back in the UK I would have made sure I had a source for replacement hubs, who knows how badly bent out of shape a corroded hub / axle would get...

Doing it myself allowed me to check / replace things as I thought they needed doing rather than being told "oh we changed your bearings - that'll be another $30". I also changed to Redline MT90 at the sametime another bonus of doing it yourself.

I recommend getting the factory workshop manual, if nothing else it great for getting the torque settings when putting everything back together.

I know that the dealerships get a bad press, but Art the parts guy at Rodger Beasley Mazda in Austin, TX was a nice guy. He let me pour over the microfiche reader looking for oil seals etc and they took back the ones I didn't need for a full refund.
So remember, Bad Service Guys, Bad Salesmen, Good Parts Guy!

Later
 

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Sounds almost liek my experience, except I found a shop with a 20-ton press that only charged me $20 buck to discover that at 20-tons with heat and beeswax the axles wouldn't come loose from the hubs. At that point the owner said he was scared to try any more pressure. Drove 2 miles to junkyard heaven, find a 94 626 with the ABS ring in the first yard I go to, $80 for both hub and the original axles to I can take the rings off them. Cheaper than buying the press but only be $50 and I don't have a eat new tool to show for it.
 
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