1st gen CV axle lengths question (after 5 spd to 6 spd swap)

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mntn-biker
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1st gen CV axle lengths question (after 5 spd to 6 spd swap)

Post by mntn-biker » Mon May 18, 2020 5:15 am

10 years ago I pulled my 5 spd trans and replaced it with the 6 spd on my '03 base model (~93k miles). Have had zero issues until recently (188k miles). 2 weeks ago, I blew my driver side cv axle. I had my mechanic replace it and while up on the hoist, had him replace the passenger side as well. This past weekend, while backing up with the steering wheel turned hard to the right, I blew my passenger side cv axle (assuming). Researching replacement cv axles, I see there are different length assy's for the 5 spd and 6 spd. Since I've had zero issues for 10 years, doesn't seem like the axle length difference is an issue? Wondering if I have a faulty cv axle assy on the passenger side or bad install (is this possible)? Anyone have any information they'd like to share on this topic?

Thanks in advance - Mike
2003 base model

zbyers
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Re: 1st gen CV axle lengths question (after 5 spd to 6 spd swap)

Post by zbyers » Mon May 18, 2020 9:40 am

The shaft length is a marginal difference. I believe less than 1/2". Either one should suffice.

Where did you get the replacement axle from? It's possible that it was a defunct axle and/or the mechanic messed it up installing it.
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Re: 1st gen CV axle lengths question (after 5 spd to 6 spd swap)

Post by tpollauf » Mon May 18, 2020 10:06 am

Yeah the passenger side is more complicated and involved to replace. Several of us here have posted the difficulties in replacing the pass side, so maybe your mechanic had some difficulties and something didn't go back together properly? Let us know what you find
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Re: 1st gen CV axle lengths question (after 5 spd to 6 spd swap)

Post by mntn-biker » Mon May 18, 2020 12:40 pm

tpollauf wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:06 am
Yeah the passenger side is more complicated and involved to replace. Several of us here have posted the difficulties in replacing the pass side, so maybe your mechanic had some difficulties and something didn't go back together properly? Let us know what you find
Interesting. I personally did the tranny swap 10 years ago but don't seem to recall having an issue with the passenger side CV axle? I ran it for 10 years without issue. In an attempt to be proactive, I had my mechanic replace the passenger side while he was replacing the broken driver side due to the high mileage. So much for following the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"....

I'll let y'all know what we find out.
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Re: 1st gen CV axle lengths question (after 5 spd to 6 spd swap)

Post by zbyers » Tue May 19, 2020 1:55 am

mntn-biker wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:40 pm
tpollauf wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:06 am
Yeah the passenger side is more complicated and involved to replace. Several of us here have posted the difficulties in replacing the pass side, so maybe your mechanic had some difficulties and something didn't go back together properly? Let us know what you find
Interesting. I personally did the tranny swap 10 years ago but don't seem to recall having an issue with the passenger side CV axle? I ran it for 10 years without issue. In an attempt to be proactive, I had my mechanic replace the passenger side while he was replacing the broken driver side due to the high mileage. So much for following the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"....

I'll let y'all know what we find out.
The 6 speed axle uses a carrier bearing, whereas the 5 speed does not. If he maybe used a 6 speed axle but didn't bolt the carrier bearing in, I can see that being an issue. I would just ensure you reinstall a 5 speed axle and call it a day.
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Re: 1st gen CV axle lengths question (after 5 spd to 6 spd swap)

Post by mntn-biker » Tue May 19, 2020 9:40 am

So the mechanic just called and said he could not get the noise to repeat. His tow truck driver told him it was making a loud noise when he was rolling it up the flatbed so I know I'm not hallucinating. He's wondering if a control arm or unibody frame part or motor mount is cracked ( or rusted thru - this is originally a Michigan car). Something flexed, the shaft slidout then magically slid back in during towing on the flatbed? Any thoughts???
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Re: 1st gen CV axle lengths question (after 5 spd to 6 spd swap)

Post by mntn-biker » Thu May 28, 2020 3:26 am

The replacement passenger side axle blew apart at the joint. He put the original back in it for testing purposes. It was fine when I had it replaced (being proactive since it had 188k on it). The mechanic wants to rule out if it was a bad part by driving the original one around for a couple of weeks. He's also ruling out that nothing is broke (frame, motor mount, etc.) that would cause the new CV axle to blow up. Personally, I feel it was a bad part. Next update with a new passenger side CV axle...
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