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Thread: 2003 XC70: Left-Front Axle REALLY REALLY Stuck

  1. #1
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    Feb 2009
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    Default 2003 XC70: Left-Front Axle REALLY REALLY Stuck

    Hi everyone...

    As mentioned, the LF axle on my '03 (221,000mi) XC70 is REALLY stuck.

    Things I've tried:

    The usual pry-bar (oh how i wish this had worked)

    Wooden wedge blocks (lots of splinters)

    Several cold-chisels and screwdrivers, beat w/ 2.5 and 5lb hammers. Overnight pbblaster soak.
    this resulted in some gouging of the case, and on the side towards the cup, actual gouging/compression of the chisels. That cup is made of HARD steel!

    Wrapped galv cable around cup to give something to pull on, swung hammer inside loop of cable. Broken cable, several times.

    Welded/made monstrosity to wrap around cup and pull. Used old bumper jack to pull. This shifted the transmission/motor on the mounts a lot, eventually bridged trans case and frame with wood block, and added looooong cheater bar. Jumping on cheater bar resulted in broken grade-5 bolt. Remade setup, better bolts. Wife and I jumping on it resulted in break of 1/4" steel rod (interestingly, not where i had flattened/forged it, but at a loop)

    Recalling advice on this forum (generally excellent), attempted to 'knock it in' and give it a turn. No discernable movement when hit hard w/ 5lb via hardened piece of steel shaft. Turned anyway, throughout process.

    Gave up and started calling around for a new trans. Guy at IPD said "it will come out, just get a slide hammer and hit it hard enough"

    Stores closed, so fabricated own ghetto-fab slide hammer from rebar, vice-grips (this seems to be the only way to grab the cup) and 10lb steel weight.
    Results: no way, no movement. Closed vice-grips with cheater pipe (they are real VG, can handle). Popped open. Did again, harder, and ziptied VG closed. Stayed closed, but slipped off.


    SOOOOOO

    What now?

    Ideas:

    1) Weld section of grade-5 (8?) bolt to cup, attach slide hammer to that.

    2) Ditto, but attach to 10ton bottle jack (= cracked case, i am sure)

    3) Take apart bevel gear, maybe drive from behind? (heh, heh)

    4) New trans. (sorta needs one anyhow, 221k on original... but $$$ don't have)



    General Whinges:

    I don't have my copy of VADIS anymore (old, infested XP laptop, lost discs, use mac now, etc) so I don't know if I can access the back of the shaft that way. Don't want to take it apart on the chance, and don't know what/how many gaskets etc i'll need. Angle gear has been trouble-free....

    Yeah, i really did search/read the threads... lots of hints, applied above. A couple of horror stories....

    EDIT: More poking around reveals a special tool: 9995462
    http://www.handsontools.com/OTC-Tool...-_p_54990.html
    But looking at it, i'm not so sure it's more heroic than the efforts described above. Anyone ever used it?

    EDIT AGAIN: Looks like that tool is about $110 (Ctrl-f 9995462)
    http://volvocars.spx.com/pdf/Mand_Tool_list_010511.pdf


    Click image for larger version. 

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    The yoke thingie i thought i was so clever with...

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    Yoke thingie in place

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    Yoke thingie with looooong cheater bar attached to bumper jack. Acts as lever braced against frame and trans case (wood block). This is what broke the steel rod.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ghetto-fab slide hammer. It appears effective, in that i can hit it really hard with the weight (watching fingers carefully.. angle is just long enough to catch..) Still slipped off, even using cheater+max-effort to pinch. Also note that yoke-thingie is still in this pic, but broke. The lowest loop busted where i bent it over. Should have forged loop instead of bend/weld.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20130304_141503.jpg  
    Last edited by scirocco; 03-04-2013 at 08:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Maine, Bath
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    Default

    Its going to take brute strength... nothing fancy here. There is a circlip in there making your life miserable (make sure you install a new one).

    I did it twice, once with a friend using a long prybar (about 3 ft. or so), and again by myself using same prybar.

    Its a bitch. A slidehammer would be the only other thing I can think of here aside from getting a strong and motivated friend to help out.
    Keep at it!

  3. #3
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    I dunno.... that about 7' of bar there that i was hopping on (literally). The distance between the fulcrum point and the point of pull was about... 3"? So, a 28 to 1 lever advantage. At 175lbs, even assuming no bounce that's darn-near 5,000lbs of force (if i can do math). Not to mention when my wife was out there with me..

    Anyhow, having NO choice, i guess i'll continue with the massive-brute-force from the outside. I've avoided seriously damaging the cup, in case i have to just use it again. That seems like a copout though.

    Maybe if i weld THREE bolts to it around the outside, to keep the balance? Hah!


    Thank you for your advice... grrr circlip!

  4. #4
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    Dec 2010
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    South West Michigan
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    One man prying the other pulling. Don't give up.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scirocco View Post
    As mentioned, the LF axle on my '03 (221,000mi) XC70 is REALLY stuck.
    Is it a Volvo OEM axle or a replacement? The circlip on the replacements is not made the same as the Volvo and is much harder to get in/out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Scirocco, I'm not going to be of any help, but it seems like most of my car repair journeys always go like yours is! Good read! (empathizing...)

    I did do this job on my old Trailblazer, I remember just whacking it until it came out. I did screw up with the pry bar and tore a hole in the CV boot and ended back at the parts store to buy a whole new joint.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll get it! PS-Have you tried to heat it up?


    2005 XC70 - 50/35 Tint, Yakima Rack

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scirocco View Post
    3) Take apart bevel gear, maybe drive from behind? (heh, heh)
    I've heard that suggested several times but I don't see how it's possible, there's the differential gear cage, gears and stud inside the transmission between the ends of the two half-shafts.

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys..

    I haven't tried heating it, since the only part i can heat is the cup/stub shaft, which is the part i want to get SMALLER. Maybe, though, i could pour some liquid nitrogen in there.. if i blocked off half the cup, and fill the cup up? (who am i kidding, i'll end up using R-134a, since there's some around).

    Hmmm.. That's an interesting idea. Heating might also work, if it expanded it enough to break the 'seal'

    Both of those ideas are based on the notion that it's frozen because of corrosion in the splines, rather than the clip being jammed. It's an OEM axle, never been out.

    I dunno about the bevel thing either, and also have only seen speculation about it.... i downloaded a fresh VADIS, and will install a Windows VM to run it in a little while, maybe i can discern from the diagrams...


    What DOES scare me though, are several stories in the archives of good shops and dealerships giving up on this, and replacing the trans.

    Argh.

    Well, thanks though!

  9. #9
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    What about renting an axle puller?


    2005 XC70 - 50/35 Tint, Yakima Rack

  10. #10
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    Errr... that was an interesting video, but not applicable (or usable) on pretty much any Volvo. Well, besides the tractors, but the Volvo HD Trucks are really a totally separate entity.

    Unfortunately, I've tried just about every exotic tool there is, except the "official" Volvo special tool, which i linked above. If i could rent one i would... I'd consider buying it too.

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