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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Want to change both outer CV joints is there a how to guide please?
Want to do it without removing driveshafts if possible. Also does large ball joint on lower wishbone have to be separated?
 

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Alfa Romeo 156 JTD 8v Veloce (2005)
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Online Eper will help.

From memory - and it's been sometime since I have been anywhere near mine - you'll need to split either the top or the bottom ball joint to get enough movement to get the CV joint stub axle out of the hub once you have removed the hub nut. It's better to split the lower joint to get more movement, but either way there's a danger of splitting the rubber boot on whichever ball joint you remove as you crack the taper. If you remove the top joint you'll need to force the lower arm down to get the space which can be a 3 armed job.

CV joints have a captive circlip inside them to locate them onto the groove on the drive shaft. I've encountered 2 different types - one allows you to knock the joint off the shaft, the more tricky one requires some circlip plies to widen the clip to pull off the CV joint. Peel back the rubber boot and clear some of the grease from where the CV joint/driveshaft fit together is the only messy way of telling which you have. If you need circlip pliers, you will feel a recessed area against the shaft on the inner spider of the CV joint (see image).
958891
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks very much for the detailed reply extremely helpful
Just wondered when it comes to undoing the driveshaft nuts do they unscrew anti-clockwise in the usual way and is it sufficient to put the car in gear to lock the wheels or do I need someone to apply the foot brake? Thanks again
 

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Hubnuts are normal threads. In gear, handbrake on and chock the wheel. You will need at least a 60cm breaker bar. Scaffold pole extension optional.

You do need to release the lower wishbone swivel and unbolt the shock 'fork' from the wishbone (so you can lever it down to release the swivel), to get enough movement in the upright+hub to release the CV splined axle.

Having done outer CV's both ways (in and out) on various cars, and driveshafts on 147, I'd say it's much easier to remove the complete shaft and do the servicing off the car. It's just really tricky to deal with the circlip that retains the CV, under the car, though probably far easier if you have a lift. But there's a fair amount of suspension that's going to get in the way, you can't see and it's limbo dancing in the dark, covered in black grease.

Personally, I'd suspect inners (tripods) if outers are gone. They usually seem to wear earlier and worse on these cars, but maybe you already replaced them?

Removing the entire shafts is only a bit more work. The LH/nearside shaft inner is held inside the diff by a round wire spring-clip, and just needs a sharp outward tap on the tripod cup to free it. A bent drift helps get the angle right. The other side, no clip, you have to release the intermediate bearing from its carrier - 3 (or 4- amnesia) bolts. The shaft then just slides out.

You will lose a litre or so of gearbox oil, and I wouldn't personally put the shafts back with old seals in the bolt-on carriers unless they're fairly new. Both my seals were very worn, though not leaking before I disturbed them. The 2 seals are different each side. The carriers have O-ring seals too. Adds up to about £20.

If the inners are worn, the tripods are ~£65ea but the cups cost ~£200 ea, and worn cups will knacker new tripods fast. I bought 2 new complete shafts for £110 (short) and £140 (long) from the SKF store on Amazon. Quality and price seems excellent and no messing about with boots, moly grease and boot clips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much for that detailed explanation. Does the lower ball joint have to be disconnected I mean the big one that is attached to the lower wishbone? I’m not sure what you mean by the tripods a d the cups? Are the SKF shafts completely assembled and booted ready to go in.? Thanks again for your help
 

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The tripods are on the gearbox end of the shaft, there are 3x roller bearing wheels that slot into the final drive in the bottom of the gearbox. If you want to dive in and swap the whole shaft (for peace of mind?) check these chaps out for price. A complete shaft from them is greased and fully booted. They do do just the joints as well. It's a while ago now, but I got a driver's side driveshaft from them a few years ago and it was a straight swap over.

As for the ball joints - I stand by my original first post - I honestly cannot remember which would make it easiest. Splitting both ball joints will give you the greatest wiggle room, but can be done with just one split.

The socket you'll need fo the hub nut needs to be a thin walled socket to onto the nut and into the hub casting. If not, it's a normal one and file the edge of the socket to narrow the socket wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The tripods are on the gearbox end of the shaft, there are 3x roller bearing wheels that slot into the final drive in the bottom of the gearbox. If you want to dive in and swap the whole shaft (for peace of mind?) check these chaps out for price. A complete shaft from them is greased and fully booted. They do do just the joints as well. It's a while ago now, but I got a driver's side driveshaft from them a few years ago and it was a straight swap over.

As for the ball joints - I stand by my original first post - I honestly cannot remember which would make it easiest. Splitting both ball joints will give you the greatest wiggle room, but can be done with just one split.

The socket you'll need fo the hub nut needs to be a thin walled socket to onto the nut and into the hub casting. If not, it's a normal one and file the edge of the socket to narrow the socket wall.
Thanks very much how do those tripods come out please - is the offside driveshaft just held in by the intermediate support bracket so just pushed into the tripods on the splines? I say only, some of the bolts look hard to access!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The tripods are on the gearbox end of the shaft, there are 3x roller bearing wheels that slot into the final drive in the bottom of the gearbox. If you want to dive in and swap the whole shaft (for peace of mind?) check these chaps out for price. A complete shaft from them is greased and fully booted. They do do just the joints as well. It's a while ago now, but I got a driver's side driveshaft from them a few years ago and it was a straight swap over.

As for the ball joints - I stand by my original first post - I honestly cannot remember which would make it easiest. Splitting both ball joints will give you the greatest wiggle room, but can be done with just one split.

The socket you'll need fo the hub nut needs to be a thin walled socket to onto the nut and into the hub casting. If not, it's a normal one and file the edge of the socket to narrow the socket wall.
Hi Raingod just spoke to JR about the ready to fit driveshafts very reasonable for the outer shafts including the joints snd boots they quoted me £50 a side. They don’t do the offside inner shaft that bolts to the bracket though nor the tripod joints so I wondered where you sourced yours please? Thanks again for your help
 

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Now, the question you ask is starting to get lost in the fog of my mind. I have has 3x Alfa 156's, a petrol and 2x diesels. the driveshaft ends are similar, but the middle joints are different and the devil is in the detail. I needed to replace the middle worn joint on my diesel - i did that job 6 years ago. If you are asking for me about a petrol engine gearbox, 10 years have passed since i have been under one of those. J&R do list both sides for my current diesel car, so I'm guessing your's maybe petrol (there are no details of you car on here to assist).

Search on the forum for the online eLearn link and get specific info for your car.
 

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Does the lower ball joint have to be disconnected I mean the big one that is attached to the lower wishbone?
Yes, but I've found that one pretty easy to split using a scissor separator, without damaging the boot.

I’m not sure what you mean by the tripods and the cups? Are the SKF shafts completely assembled and booted ready to go in.? Thanks again for your help
Yes the inner joints are tripods with ballraces on each arm. They fit inside a cup with machined grooves, which allows the shaft angle to vary and extend/shorten with suspension movement. It's less complicated than the outer CV's which also have to accomodate steering movement.

The SKF shafts are complete. Nothing to do except fit them in place of the old one. But do change the oil seals at the diff, one each side (os/ and n/s are different part numbers), plus an O-ring seal behind the bolt-on seal carriers. They have to be bought separately, eg Alfaworkshop or Autolusso. You'll also need about 1.5L of gearbox oil to replace what falls out when the driveshafts are removed.

The intermediate bearing is a bit awkward. On my car (147 JTDM) I disconnected the front exhaust pipe at the front catalyst, and pushed it to one side thanks to the flexi joint, to get to the bolts. It was just easier though I probably could have done it with a small ratchet and extension, with a UJ.

<hint> I am always working alone on this stuff and am very fond of using bits of string and wire to support things while fixing. The offside shaft is a lot more manageable if supported near the hub end with a loop of string tied to the strut, whilst you install the intermediate bearing into its carrier.
 
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