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Thread: CV axle/Joint problems

  1. #1
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    Question CV axle/Joint problems

    I'm relatively new to the club racing and the IT scene and I definitely going through my learning curve. I've shown some good speed and have been running consistent lap times but my car has been letting me down from time to time. It seems that I've found a reoccurring problem in my CV axle. I've now broke 2 driver side CV joints and both times, the boot has ripped. The second one lasted 4 events. All of my events have been at Watkins Glen, and there are a lot of right turns in 3 & 4 th gear which would put a lot of stress on the driver side axle. The other thing is these axles cam with the car when I bought it, so I have no clue how old they are, if they've been used already, if they are new or remanufactured, etc... So the real questions is, is this just the cost of doing business and I should keep a spare on hand every time I go to the track. Or is there something I can do to make them last longer? Oh also, I'm driving a 1990 Acura Integra. Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    http://www.gatorracingaxles.com

    Don't lower the car more than 5" at the top of the pinch weld.

    Ensure you have good motor mounts.

    GA
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  3. #3
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    If it's just torn boots then Vent the boots to make sure you aren't just blowing the thing from vapor pressure. Cut the clamp on the shaft side (small diameter end) and slip a small brass pipe from a model store or straw from a can of brake cleaner in a pinch. Reclamp with zip ties or the appropriate band clamp. See if that helps them last. Greg hit on the larger scope mechanical wear affecting items but solved similar issues to those you describe this way.
    TrackSpeed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip42 View Post
    If it's just torn boots then Vent the boots to make sure youbhavent just blowing the thing from vapor pressure.
    Good point. From the description I was assuming mechanical failure...

    Without vent tube...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WC3XpTbwtg
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  5. #5
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    Ah good advice... the ride height should be at 5 or above. I do have to check the mounts, if the motor is jumping around that could really be a problem. Have you used the Gator axles before? Do they last a good long time? Do you have an idea of the cost?

  6. #6
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    Gator is a good company, good service, good pricing. Axle rebuilds are typically in the hundred-dollar range (call them for exact details). I've been using them for a couple years now, been extremely happy with their quality and service. I regularly send them axles for inspection/repair/repack.

    I suggest scouring junkyards for a spare pair of OE axles; you can usually identify them via the paint marks on the shaft. Send those to them and keep handy as spares.

    Other racers also like to use Raxles (http://www.raxles.com/).
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  7. #7
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    Ahhh... now I realize that I have to clearify. The first one the boot tore flung grease everywhere and then the bearing failed. The car took a hard left at the top of the esses, caught it before it hit the wall (real scary ) . The second one the boot just tore bearing didn't fail yet. I heard the straw/tube thing before, might have to try that too.

  8. #8
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    Left axle, inner boot? That was my nemesis: I was tearing boots every weekend which got worse when I started doing the longer National/Majors races. Raxles claimed I was running the car too low (I wasn't), Gator thought I might be picking up road debris (with a full undertray?) That's when I moved my GoPro to under the car and saw it happening (see video above).

    Brass tube under the smaller end of the inner boot resolved it completely. I believe Gator does this for all axles now.

    GA
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  9. #9
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    Greg, just realized that you put the video on there. Watching now... at what minute mark do things start to go bad?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tremp31 View Post
    Greg, just realized that you put the video on there. Watching now... at what minute mark do things start to go bad?
    C'mon, man, enjoy the suspense!!

    Don't remember exactly...the boot grows gradually from internal pressure to somewhere around 25 minutes? At that point it expands and contacts the block then goes poof and back to its original shape. FF until you see grease on the orange brake hoses then back up.
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  11. #11
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    On our Grand Am Type R we weren't running enough air ducting to the front rotors to keep them cool. Radiant heat from the rotors were melting the boots enough that they failed and spit out the grease. The radiant heat also melted the ABS sensor wires. We had to add ducting and heat shields to solve the boot problems.

  12. #12
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    WOW... when it went, it looks like it went quick! Thanks for the help guys. Makes me feel better that I'm not the only one.

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    there are goign to be very few cases where you are the only one who has suffered and found a solution for a specific problem... there are at least as many solutions for a problem as there are people with that problem, so most of the quick response "go-to" fixes have been pretty well vetted, too. places like this forum are a gold mine for people just starting out and really help to flatten the learning curve.

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    Make sure that any axles that you use must have the original parts down to the hardness and sizes of the CV cages etc. Any deviation form stock is illegal.

    The real world replacement axles are often the same only in the fitment. The lengths/OD of the axle shaft and sizes of the CV parts(balls cages) are seldom the same as OE. I build race axles for many VW race cars .The cores I get seldom are VW, and the only legal CV joint is the VW/Lobro . That means that most of the VW race cars has out of spec CVs and no body knows or can tell untill you measure the size of my balls

    If I were trying to keep IT cars in the class, I would allow any drive system parts to be updated with bigger heavier parts. Diffs, axles/drive shafts etc.
    For any cars older than 25yrs.It should be a given .
    Out for now, MM

    PS ; loose zip tie on the small boot end works fine. Mobil one red synthetic grease, always.

    Axle plunge; equal amount of travel left in the axle ass. Any time that you bottom out the CV travel you will break stuff. Back the axle nut off 6 turns and shove the axle end in to the trans. You should have about .5 in of movement for multi ball CVaxles and maybe a little more for tripod style axles.
    Do this with the car on the ground and maybe loaded up a little .
    Shove the engine around and add stay bar to keep the tighter side form hitting bottom.
    Last edited by Flyinglizard; 07-22-2014 at 08:59 AM.
    Mike Ogren , FWDracingguide.com, 352.4288.983 ,http://www.ogren-engineering.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyinglizard View Post
    Make sure that any axles that you use must have the original parts down to the hardness and sizes of the CV cages etc. Any deviation form stock is illegal.
    GCR 9.1.3.C: "Stock replacement parts may be obtained from sources other than the manufacturer provided they are the exact equivalent of the original parts."

    Given that we have no way to scrutineer "hardness" - and no engineering drawings nor any current NOS examples against which to compare it - in theory you're correct, but in reality your standard is not practical.

    ...and the only legal CV joint is the VW/Lobro
    In correct. See 9.1.3.C above.

    If I were trying to keep IT cars in the class, I would allow any drive system parts to be updated with bigger heavier parts. Diffs, axles/drive shafts etc.
    We've argued that point in the past, and it's always come down to "warts and all".

    GA
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  16. #16
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    All that I know is that these guys went crazy when I advertised race axles with improved/new parts. Like 4130 cv cages. and custom fit balls.
    Mike Ogren , FWDracingguide.com, 352.4288.983 ,http://www.ogren-engineering.com/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyinglizard View Post
    All that I know is that these guys went crazy when I advertised race axles with improved/new parts. Like 4130 cv cages. and custom fit balls.
    So...let 'em go nuts. Let 'em complain. Let 'em protest.

    I hear you all: it's non-compliant. I agree. But there's a not-so-fine-line between theory and reality...and we call it "tech shed legal".

    GA, in no way promoting cheating, but understanding the reality of the situation...
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    http://www.gatorracingaxles.com

    Don't lower the car more than 5" at the top of the pinch weld.

    Ensure you have good motor mounts.

    GA
    +1


    Glenn Wilson is the man. Dunde Gator @ aol. com

    His road racing axles are reliable. They are heavier than stock. Absolutely not a performance enhancer. Protest me, pinch that spot, ask me to rotate my head, tell me to cough and all that. See ya at the track soon.
    Demetrius Mossaidis aka 'Mickey' #12 ITA NESCCA
    '92 Honda Civic Si
    STFU and "Then write a letter. www.crbscca.com"
    2013 ITA NARRC Champion and I have not raced since.

  19. #19
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    The only time I have seen an inner boot failure was on account of my motor/tranny mount coming apart.

    Ugh!!

    But actually, the car ran OK in such state.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyinglizard View Post
    All that I know is that these guys went crazy when I advertised race axles with improved/new parts. Like 4130 cv cages. and custom fit balls.
    I thought there was something else with your axles? Shortened? Larger diameter or cages? Sorry, the memory is failing. It was more than just hardened bearings.

    As I'm finding, this has been a topic of conversation for the Miata front hubs. Mazda Speed offers a "HD" (heavy duty) hub. Hardened bearings, more round (really!) and better grease. Are they legal for SM?

    Someone also does a different materials bearing (Teflon??). Almost impossible to inspect so is it legal because it's "tech shed" legal?
    Jeff L

    ITA Miata



    2010 NARRC Champion

    2007 NERRC Championship, 2nd place
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    2009 NARRC Championship, 2nd place

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