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Old 04-18-2018, 04:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Driving a 4wd sx-4 with rear drive axles removed?

Hi,

I have a 2010 sx-4 4wd here now and there is a grinding noise coming from the rear differential. The drive shaft had been removed some time ago, the owner said it was causing vibration... So the car is already running as a fwd now.

Since the rear diff. is not useful anymore, but still attached to the wheels, I was going to simply remove the drive axles so the diff. won't turn anymore and the noise will be gone.

But my question is: Does removing the drive axles will affect the wheel bearings, since the axles and nuts won't be there anymore to hold the bearing at the correct torque?

Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have verified that some time ago and the shaft nut is not a factor to the bearing. THe are just like the 2WD bearings, that is, the center part of the bearing is not split type: it is in one single piece, so nut pressure changes nothing to the preset pressure to the ball bearing. The only difference with the 2WD rear bearings is the splines that match the shaft splines. THe nut that attach the shaft to the hub just does that: keep the shaft there. The idea (carried in this or another forum a few months ago) that the shaft nut is used to preload the bearing is erroneous.
Of course, there is no objection to installing a large bolt and nut through the bearing center...if that clears the mind of any question......
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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HI, and thank you very much LMP!
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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HEy...honestly, I was caught with a doubt....and I went to my garage to take a look...again..at an assortment of wheel hub/bearings I have changed over the years on several cars...and some centers are one piece, some are split.....so I back off from saying they are all one piece and as I said.. there is no objection to installing a large bolt and nut through the bearing center.and to be sure and safe..just take a look inside the center and you will see if the center is split type, and then the nut is there not to install a preload...but just to keep the two halves together...which is not an option..... So , split or not, a large center bolt and nut (as suggested in another thread about same issue) is the safe and inexpensive way of discarting the shafts ..
The torque recommended for the shaft nut is 175 N⋅m (17.5 kgf-m, 126.5 lb-ft)...which is by no means a "preload".
http://www.avigex.ca/sx4/rear%20drive%20shaft.pdf
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Let me start by pointing out that I have never worked on an SX4, so what I'm about to say is based on experience with similar FWD and AWD vehicles.

Let's step away from one or two piece bearings and bearing preload for one minute - what holds the rotating assembly in place? In most cases it is either the CV stub (if it's a drive axle) or an axle nut on a fixed spindle.

Correct me if I'm wrong - your hub assembly slides into the inner races of the bearing from the outside, the CV axle slides into the hub assembly from the inside, and the hub nut holds the two together.

If you remove the CV axle and the hub nut what is there to prevent the hub assembly from being removed?

If you want to run without the CV axles, consider disassembling the outer CV joint and leaving the outer stub in place.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I was actually thinking about the fact that the center part (The one with splines and wheel flange) could get out if there is nothing to hold it in place... I'll go the safe way and disassemble the axles and put the outer part back in its place.

Thank you LMP and fordem!
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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THe separated stubshaft is nothing else than a more expensive bolt and nut, because it attaches to nothing else but the bearing, then doing exactly the same purpose than a bolt and nut. SO it does not , and has not to, prevent the splined parts to come out: they are an integral part of the bearing and held in place there by the balls themselves. Just keping the two parts (if in 2 parts) stuck together is relevant.
THe shafts, once detroyed (not simply dissassembled..no way to reassemble them in a usable way) mean an eventual replacement/repair of the differential would ask to buy new shafts.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey LMP,

I know that the shafts will no longer be usable. But the car has over 330k km on it now and the owner has no plan to turn it back to 4wd. If someone wants to make it a 4wd again in the future, the drive shaft and differential will need to be repaired or replaced AND new or good used axle shafts will be needed to.

Thanks again
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