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#574997 - 01/14/06 07:46 AM Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4009
Loc: Calgary Canada
I am helping my friend do a CV boot replacement on his 95 MX3. We've got the steering knuckle removed and set aside, and we're ready to pull out the axle-shaft from the transaxle.

2 issues:

1. The shaft is exceedingly difficult to pull away from the transmission. The manual says to use a pry-bar to force it out, but I'm having a tough time picturing why it would need to be pried out. Am I doing damage if I force it out. (it said to do so gently to avoid damaging the oil seals..I understand this point).

2. The manual says to install plug tool ##### in the transaxle when the half-shaft is removed. This apparently prevents the differential side gears from losing their position. I need to know if this is strictly necessary, since the tool needs to be ordered from mazda. Theoretically, the half-shaft has to be removed before the plug tool can be put in. Now if I don't touch the car at all after removing the half shaft, can the passing of time cause the diff side gears to move?

Anybody's help would be very much appreciated indeed!

Thanks.

Jim

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#574998 - 01/14/06 08:19 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
Eric Smith Offline


Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 2580
Loc: Kansas City, KS
I think most mazda's are the same and on the festiva's it was difficult but I didn't damage anything except my thumb when the car slipped and landed on it. Just get a big bar and bounce on it. As far the install plug tool I wouldn't think you'd need one just pop the old and plug the new one in. I think there's a mx3 forum around that might be more help.

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#574999 - 01/14/06 08:31 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11187
Loc: apple valley, ca
There is a clip that holds the axle in the transaxle. Only way to get it out is to pry it since you can't acess it any other way.

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#575000 - 01/14/06 09:30 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4009
Loc: Calgary Canada
Thanks for the comments...both are helpful!

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#575001 - 01/15/06 07:10 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
Master ACiD Offline


Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 2364
Loc: sebring, florida
grab the axle and yank on it super hard with youre hands. thats how i do mazdas.

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#575002 - 01/15/06 07:25 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
Yuk Offline


Registered: 06/16/03
Posts: 830
Loc: Edmonton, AB Canada
Jim 5,

Quest (one of BITOG's members) has said, "I used to deal with Mazda cars (was a mech before and Mazda is one of my specialties)".

You should private message him and see what he says.

BTW, once he responds back, would you mind posting it here? I'd like to hear his answer.

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#575003 - 01/15/06 08:40 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
-Clayton- Offline


Registered: 10/27/05
Posts: 1261
Loc: KY
Use a tie rod fork (biggest one you can get) put it up at the end of the axle and the trans and hit the fork with a hammer it works every time.
Just be carefull not to hit anything else.

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#575004 - 01/15/06 10:39 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
-Clayton- Offline


Registered: 10/27/05
Posts: 1261
Loc: KY
Be prepared to catch some fluid.

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#575005 - 01/16/06 08:49 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4009
Loc: Calgary Canada
OK,

Thanks for all the tips.

I found out that the procedure was far less difficult than the manual suggests. I should be clear that I didn't need to remove the whole unit to replace it.

I just needed to remove it enough to get at the outer CV boots that are cracked.

Anyhow, I was able to remove the tripod/male part of the inner cv joint from the female cup that goes into the transaxle. This way the female/cup part remained inside the transaxle.

Simply removing the inner cv boot and pulling out a circlip enabled me to separate the male from the female part of the inner CV.

I sure didn't like the idea of forcing the half-shaft out of the transaxle, and am glad I didn't have to.

In any case (for the benefit of those reading this thread later), all of the advice received above lines up with what I have read on the internet and in shop manuals for replacing the entire unit.

Thanks to all who responded!

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#575006 - 01/16/06 09:42 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
beanoil Offline


Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1966
Loc: Midwest, Illinois
If it is anything like the Ford Probe/MX6, there is a small ring on end of the splined shaft that compresses into it's slot to pass though the center of the splined drive in the trans. The plug is recommended to keep dirt out of and oil in the trans after shaft removal. It was kind of a bear to get it out when I did the clutch in the Probe, but it is made to take some force to get it out.

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#575007 - 01/16/06 02:52 PM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
chrome Offline


Registered: 07/04/04
Posts: 369
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
The special tool is only needed if both drive shafts are removed at the same time. If the tool isn't used, the spider gears inside the differential assembly will fall out of place, and the transaxle will need to be dismantled to realign them again, big job!

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#575008 - 01/17/06 01:55 AM Re: Mazda MX3 Axle Shaft removal problems - Special tool really needed?
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4009
Loc: Calgary Canada
Great tips!

Thanks to all. Lucky for me the job doesn't require replacement of the axles. Just the boots, so nothing needs to be yanked out of the transaxle.

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