Known to the boffins as ‘Constant Velocity’ joints or ‘CV drive axles’, for most motorists, CV joints aren’t something front-of-mind, until they start making that all-too-familiar ‘tuk-tuk-tuk’ noise.
Your workshop can capitalise on a steady flow of older vehicles needing CV joint replacement. Contrary to DIY talk, replacing CV joints is not a simple task. A professional set of skills and tools are required to ensure a quality job is done and a safe, reliable vehicle is returned to the customer.
Here are a few tips on pro-level CV joint replacement:
• Get jack/trestle stands - Safety is crucial. You’ll be working under the axle so jack up the vehicle with a hydraulic jack and slide jack stands under the chassis on both sides of the vehicle for easier access.
• Use a pneumatic drill to loosen axle and CV nuts – If you don’t have a compressor and air drill, loosen the axle nut before jacking up the vehicle. You may have to remove the wheel first to remove the axle nut cover from the inside of the wheel and then refit the wheel to loosen the axle nut.• Sockets and allen keys - Equip your toolbox with professional-grade socket and allen key sets. The CV axle nuts and bolts vary widely on respective models so get sockets up to 41mm.
• Loosen and tighten right – You may need a wrench extension pipe and a hammer or rubber mallet to help loosen certain bolts and nuts. Spray penetrating oil onto the bolt/nut if necessary. Use a pry bar to remove the inner CV joint from the gearbox.
• Get a bungee cord – to hold the brake calliper and brake hose out of the way while you work, tie a rope or bungee cord between the calliper and a suitable anchor point on the vehicle.
• Torque right – Use a torque wrench. It is wise to know the correct CV and axle nut torque settings for the vehicle you’re working on.
• Use a drip tray – Oil from the transmission will probably leak as you remove the inner CV joint, so have a drip tray in place.
As always, MARKET your CV Joint service in traditional media and online. Offer discounts on a ‘CV Joint Special!’.The good news is – you can get OE-quality CV joints for all popular car and LCV brands, and all the tools you need, from www.startmycar.co.za