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Registered
2002 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Changing the front strut, and tried to save a few minutes of disassembly time. Now I'm paying for it. I did not disconnect the lower ball joint on the passenger side, since I wasn't planning on replacing the half shaft. The problem is that I put too much pull on the half shaft while moving the suspension out of the way so that I could pull the strut assembly.

I can see that the half shaft is still connected to the output shaft from the transmission with the roll pin that normally holds the shaft in place. The output shaft coming from the transmission though is pulled off of the splines from inside the tranny. I tried to slide the shaft back in carefully, but it doesn't want to slide back on to the splined shaft.

Any suggestions on moving forward? Kicking myself for trying to skip a few steps.
Thanks for ANY suggestions,
John
2002 Subaru Forester L with auto tranny
 

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Premium Member
2004 FXT '05 6mt r180 Carbonetics 1.5w lsd
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1,094 Posts
Assuming you replaced the strut and are now ready for reassembly, you can align the strut bottom bracket with the knuckle by jacking up the whole assembly under the knuckle. You can use a floor jack, or a bottle jack to do this.

As you raise the knuckle assembly, try twisting the shaft into place while pushing forward by wiggling the brake rotor. You can also re-install the camber bolt and bottom bolt once the holes are aligned.

This is a method to get the shaft back onto place that has worked for me. I hope it works for you. Good luck!
 

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2002 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the response frogmonk. One question though. Is there a retaining spring or other device that prevents the shaft/stub from sliding back on to the splines and going back in to the transaxle? The reason I ask is that I spent quite a while positioned under the transaxle trying to align the stub on to the splines and wiggling the unit back together. I can feel the splines line up, but then I can't slide the parts together.

What you described would definitely place a much greater load and possibly force the parts back together, since the lower control arm is going to act as the pivot point and the jack is applying the force. I'll give it a shot this evening.

[EDIT] whoa, just reread your post, and you mentioned installing the bolts from the knuckle to the bottom of the strut AFTER lining up the stub and sliding it back in to position. I'll try the way you mentioned tonight.

Another question now comes to mind. What is the purpose of the retaining pin that holds the half shaft to the stub axle? I'm missing the point if this stub axle is able to slide out of the transaxle, since if I recall there was about 3 inches of spline travel as the half shaft slides on to the splines of the stub. It's been a while since I changed half shafts on the Forester, but it would seem to allow more suspension travel if the half shaft and stub were able to "float" rather than be held together by the roll pin. It still boils down to me screwing up though, since I chose not to disconnect the lower ball joint and outer tie-rod end to make enough room to remove the strut. Definitely a lesson learned with this one!
 

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05 FXT 5MT
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255 Posts
Did you notice a circlip sitting in a groove near the end of the axle shaft? Is there just a groove but no clip? I believe you'll just need to pop it past this circlip and it'll slide in until it engages another groove in the diff. If there's a groove but no clip, it may be stuck inside the diff, and need to fish it out first.
 

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Registered
2002 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
JStorm,
Thanks for helping me make up my mind! I am going to remove the half shaft completely, which means I'll need to break torque on the axle nut, tie rod end, and lower ball joint. That should be fun, since the rest of the suspension is not connected, but like I said before ... I'm kicking myself on this one for trying to take a short cut and avoid a few steps.

Right now the inboard end of the half shaft/and stub assembly is pulled out from the diff by maybe about 1.5 inches. I don't know how much further it needs to go in order to remove the stub from the diff output shaft, but I'll find out soon enough.

Heading out to the garage to right my wrong. Thanks again for the suggestion!
 

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2002 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the help guys! The shaft and stub are back in the transaxle, and I can wrap this project up soon. I tried one more time to slide the stub back in to place, and with frogmonks suggestion I raised the axle until it was level. The stub just slid right back in with simple twisting of the half shaft to align with the splines. The circlip locked in to place and a smile is on my face. It's the little things in life...

Thanks again for the advice!
 

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2007 Forester XT
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311 Posts
Being a Jan 2010 joiner, welcome! I'm new here too, lots of information to be had from a great bunch of individuals. Look forward to seeing you around!
 

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Registered
2002 Forester
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thansk for the welcome Stein. Welcome to the list right back at you. I should have joined many years ago, but I've been plugging away with my own repairs on the Forester since 2001. I do have access to on-line manuals through the military, but they are basically Chilton quality, which can only get you so far. In fact sometimes they lead you quickly in to trouble, especially when they leave out critical steps or necessary warnings of things to look out for.

With any luck I can add some worth while comments once in a while to others out there.

Take care,
John
 

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Premium Member
2004 FXT '05 6mt r180 Carbonetics 1.5w lsd
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1,094 Posts
Glad it worked, John.

I was under the same predicament a while back and started to think sledgehammer it back in, until a lightbulb lit up in my head.

After I did what I suggested, it just popped right in with a little wiggling.
 

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2001 Forester Slushbox
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1,777 Posts
Sledgehammers will get you in trouble more times than not.
Soon as I start thinking about hammers I walk away and think about it,safer that way.
 

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2014 CVT
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824 Posts
Sledgehammers will get you in trouble more times than not.
Soon as I start thinking about hammers I walk away and think about it,safer that way.
lol me and a hammer found a new way to put a honda vtec together, it just did not have a top ring groove on cyl 2..........lol it was a high school project on engine tear down and rebuild and the ring compressor was broken, so i got my 2lb mini sledge and fixed that problem
 

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Premium Member
2004 FXT '05 6mt r180 Carbonetics 1.5w lsd
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1,094 Posts
^^
LOL, hammers do have their place.
 

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05 FXT 5MT
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255 Posts
Glad you got it sorted!

I find a BFH to be helpful on winterized cars up here....but a BFH taken to a Honda just sounds like a beautiful thing to me!
 
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