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Unread 08-29-2011, 02:32 PM   #1
L.C..
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Exclamation CVJ CV Axle Question (PICTURES INSIDE)

*I believe this is the correct forum, although it may be better off somewhere else since I am not actually swapping axles yet. I also posted this on T4R so sorry if you're seeing this twice.*

CVJ Axles standard off the shelf rebuilt axles...
Has anybody used them? Opinions?

I found these guys searching for reman. options on the forum since I have one torn drivers side inboard boot and a passenger side inboard that is starting to seep grease from the clamp.

Having done a little more research they sound like they make a legit product, especially amongst the Benz guys... However, I just received my axles from them today and I'm a little disappointed at what I pulled out of the box...

















The other thing that's got me a bit concerned is they coated all of the mating surfaces including the splines that go inside the differential. Seals need a good, clean, polished surface to seal against to be leak free and I definitely don't want to be pulling these again a few weeks from now because of a leaky seal.

So again, has anybody had any experience with these; good or bad thoughts? I have yet to call Sean/Shawn back at CVJ who I spoke with at length before ordering. But I plan to call as soon as this is posted.

Thanks in advance.
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Unread 08-29-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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The metal is just a protection, and you can bend them in the right shape by hand. Just sux as it is a pain, and you don't want it to interfere with anything.

I dunno about the coating or these specific axles though. Are they OEM reman axles, or a knockoff?
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Unread 08-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #3
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Yeah I've had to mess with bending those little dust shields back in place before when a pry bar slipped while I was pulling the axles out of my evo, but I've never seen a 'new' part come out of the box like this before. My worry is in bending them back into shape, fatigue at the fold will make the metal just snap. Don't know if you can see it in the photos but one of the shields is almost rolled in over on itself.

According to Sean/Shawn at CVJ, these are supposed to be remanufactured using the original Toyota inner, outer, and center shaft (because they're so stout) and just all new guts; rollers, etc. "Unless they're completely trashed." - According to him.

When I heard all of this I was excited to order from them thinking, "Great, they recognize a good part when they see it, so they only use new where necessary, I was told they source all of their steel from US sources, plus they themselves are based in the US." Win, win, win...

But the more that I look at them though the less and less impressed I am. This coating really bugs me, there's actually a run on one of the inner shafts, not on the splines but still... The clamps used are not OEM style, or any real style I've seen before... Plus there's a little bit of grease on the center shaft coming from the inboard boot, I hope it's just residual...
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Unread 08-29-2011, 04:24 PM   #4
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Yeah I've had to mess with bending those little dust shields back in place before when a pry bar slipped while I was pulling the axles out of my evo, but I've never seen a 'new' part come out of the box like this before. My worry is in bending them back into shape, fatigue at the fold will make the metal just snap. Don't know if you can see it in the photos but one of the shields is almost rolled in over on itself.

According to Sean/Shawn at CVJ, these are supposed to be remanufactured using the original Toyota inner, outer, and center shaft (because they're so stout) and just all new guts; rollers, etc. "Unless they're completely trashed." - According to him.

When I heard all of this I was excited to order from them thinking, "Great, they recognize a good part when they see it, so they only use new where necessary, I was told they source all of their steel from US sources, plus they themselves are based in the US." Win, win, win...

But the more that I look at them though the less and less impressed I am. This coating really bugs me, there's actually a run on one of the inner shafts, not on the splines but still... The clamps used are not OEM style, or any real style I've seen before... Plus there's a little bit of grease on the center shaft coming from the inboard boot, I hope it's just residual...

Just looked back on their site and found:

To prevent leakage and dripping CVJ:

* Uses top quality Neoprene boots
* Polishs all seal surfaces


http://www.cvjaxles.com/axles.php

Maybe polishing was missed?
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Unread 08-29-2011, 04:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.C.. View Post
I've never seen a 'new' part come out of the box like this before. Don't know if you can see it in the photos but one of the shields is almost rolled in over on itself.
Someone at UPS wasn't having a good day and took it out on your boxes.

Btw: Did CVJ even offer you a replacement CV for the damaged one?
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Unread 08-29-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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Someone at UPS wasn't having a good day and took it out on your boxes.

Btw: Did CVJ even offer you a replacement CV for the damaged one?

Yeah, looks like it, I should have left a tip or something with a note, "Please be careful with that heavy ass package!" Haha.

Funny how fragile some parts can be when out of their element, in contrast to how tough they can be when they're where they should be.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to speak with anybody at CVJ today, after posting the thread I got caught up with work (had a counter offer come in on a property, I'm in real estate) and by the time I had time to call they were already closed.

I'll definitely keep you guys updated though. Plan to call first thing in the morning their time and speak with Sean to see what we can do about this.

Biggest thing is I really didn't want to drive much with the inboard boot torn because I would like to re-boot the factory shafts once they're out and keep them as spares. But the more I drive it like this the more potential there is for grime to get in there and chew the rollers up. Which is the thing I'm most unhappy about.

There has to be somebody else who's ordered axles from CVJ though right... Anyone?
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Unread 08-30-2011, 12:29 PM   #7
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Ok, so I spoke with Sean today and he sincerely apologized about the dust shields being bent. He said the shields are removable but to try and bend them back first, but if they break just tap off my originals and use them on the new axles...

As far as the coating goes, he says they do that with all their axles, they coat the outers and paint the center shaft to prevent surface rust/corrosion from forming while sitting on the shelf. He said the black coating should not interfere with sealing but if I wanted it is easily removed with acetone, paint thinner, emery cloth, or even a wire brush.

I'll take another look at the axles when I get back and decide what I want to do.

I'm also sending photos of the boxes and axles to Sean for them to take a look at so they can try to do more to protect the shields during shipment. I really appreciate the concern they showed when the issue was mentioned though, and CVJ has been outstanding in customer service so far.
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Unread 08-30-2011, 02:09 PM   #8
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Thx for the update, good to know about this option.
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Unread 08-30-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.C.. View Post
The clamps used are not OEM style, or any real style I've seen before... Plus there's a little bit of grease on the center shaft coming from the inboard boot, I hope it's just residual...
Figured I may as well reply here too. Ha. Can you get a better picture of the clamps they use? They don't look any different from the factory clamps in the pictures.

Also, does the grease look anything like the factory grease (color, consistency, etc.)? I called Sean again today and he pointed out that they use a heavier grease that doesn't run as much as the stuff Toyota packs them with from the factory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.C.. View Post
Ok, so I spoke with Sean today and he sincerely apologized about the dust shields being bent. He said the shields are removable but to try and bend them back first, but if they break just tap off my originals and use them on the new axles...

As far as the coating goes, he says they do that with all their axles, they coat the outers and paint the center shaft to prevent surface rust/corrosion from forming while sitting on the shelf. He said the black coating should not interfere with sealing but if I wanted it is easily removed with acetone, paint thinner, emery cloth, or even a wire brush.

I'll take another look at the axles when I get back and decide what I want to do.

I'm also sending photos of the boxes and axles to Sean for them to take a look at so they can try to do more to protect the shields during shipment. I really appreciate the concern they showed when the issue was mentioned though, and CVJ has been outstanding in customer service so far.
True, the shields can be bent back into shape, but, as you said, it seems they may just snap before getting back that far. I know its disappointing to get something that should be "plug and play" then have to fix it before even using it. However, it may be less trouble just to go ahead and reuse the factory dust shield and get them on. Their axles should be solid though as ive heard they do cv work for some of the other reputable offroad shops in the area (they mentioned Slee Offroad).

Thats great that they are willing to help you out. Means a lot when a shop actually listens to your concerns and then actually does something about it.

Finally, if you dont mind me asking, what was your OTD for both axles? I'm seriously considering going this route once mine wears out. And possible some of their high angle boots before then to replace my leaking inner boot.
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Unread 08-31-2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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Figured I may as well reply here too. Ha. Can you get a better picture of the clamps they use? They don't look any different from the factory clamps in the pictures.

Also, does the grease look anything like the factory grease (color, consistency, etc.)? I called Sean again today and he pointed out that they use a heavier grease that doesn't run as much as the stuff Toyota packs them with from the factory.

I can get some better photos of the clamps if need be, I really should have paid more attention to the photos of them when I shot them... They actually look similar to exhaust wrap metal zip tie type deals... Except beefier. Don't know if that makes any sense or not but...

As far as the grease goes its really hard to say being that they came all sealed up, but the remnants I did see around the boots looked to be pretty thick gray/black grease. More similar to the grease used in the inboard joint from the factory, not the yellow outboard (hub side) stuff. Also it seems CVJ used the same grease on both inboard and outboard sides. In moving the joints around they are very solid with no play or noise, with the outboard being a bit harder to articulate than the inboard; probably just due to internal bearing design. Take the grease info with a grain of salt though because again there wasn't any real way I could tell since they were already sealed up, this is just going by the tiny bit of 'overspill' that was on the lip of the boots. Probably something to ask Sean about again to get a more detailed answer.


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Originally Posted by CrimsonCountry View Post
True, the shields can be bent back into shape, but, as you said, it seems they may just snap before getting back that far. I know its disappointing to get something that should be "plug and play" then have to fix it before even using it. However, it may be less trouble just to go ahead and reuse the factory dust shield and get them on. Their axles should be solid though as ive heard they do cv work for some of the other reputable offroad shops in the area (they mentioned Slee Offroad).

Thats great that they are willing to help you out. Means a lot when a shop actually listens to your concerns and then actually does something about it.

Finally, if you dont mind me asking, what was your OTD for both axles? I'm seriously considering going this route once mine wears out. And possible some of their high angle boots before then to replace my leaking inner boot.

Exactly what I was thinking, when I opened up the package I though, "Really???..." and imagined as soon as I started to bend them back... Snap! If they made a hot-rodded of the shelf axles with silicon boots I would have jumped on them, but the only way to get them was to order a custom set, or like you said get the boots alone and do a swap.

Cost was $89 per axle with a $75 core charge, so $164 x2 + $30 in shipping, totaled $358 to my door. Sean said the core charge is so high to try and make sure people send their cores back, but being that I want to keep mine as spares, I'm eating the 150 bucks. Probably cost a bit to ship back anyways since weight on the label was 44lbs. Maybe I'll ask for a little back though because of the dust shield thing... I figure though if these are as good as OEM then I still saved $400 and some odd dollars over buying two new from Toyota.

I'm definitely going to keep the CVJs though. I think I'll be able to use the dust shields that came with them too which is a relief. I ended up bending them back to a reasonable shape this afternoon, definitely not perfect, but it'll work. They're a lot thicker gauge metal than I initially thought, and are actually pretty stiff. Another good thing is the rubber inner dust shield is still in good shape and is the section I would assume does the real weatherproofing... Metal part is just for big stuff I guess; rocks, etc...
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Unread 08-31-2011, 08:39 PM   #11
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To follow up on how I decided to keep the CVJs, my original decision was to go with Cardone remans after research and watching this video on how their axles are 'different': CARDONE Select CV Axles - Quality that beats the competition, every time! - YouTube

Well upon finding CVJ and speaking with Sean I obviously ordered them instead, but again, when I received them my first thought was, "you should have just gotten the Cardones." Luckily for me I have a buddy that works at O'Reilly's and he ordered a set of Cardone remans yesterday for me to take a look at before I made up my mind on whether or not to send the CVJs back.

*As a side note: Cardone remans are also supposed to reuse the factory center shaft, and factory hub/diff shaft sections. Again, just replacing the guts. Their 'Cardone Select' axles however are brand new castings of everything, which I did not want.*

So, the Cardone axles came in today and I stopped by to take a look... The first thing I noticed was the axles were missing the dust shields completely, and, aside from using factory style clamps, nothing really caught my eye as being a quality reman. The axles were a bit beat up looking, and overall just didn't look like as much care was taken in remanufacturing. -Please take this with a grain of salt though because obviously you cannot tell the robustness of a part, especially a CV axle, by simply looking at it... It could look like crap and perform flawlessly.

That being said I decided it would be more hassle to pack the CVJs up and ship them back then I wanted to deal with, plus after seeing the Cardone's I don't mind putting a little faith in CVJ. Especially after hearing the same as Crimson said above with CVJ providing axles for a few off-road companies as well as big names like Roush. If I put them on and they started leaking grease or came apart I would just send them back to Sean on fire.

So, I got some acetone this afternoon and sat down to remove the coating off the inboard side and fix the bent dust shields. Tomorrow morning is install time!

Although it won't be me doing it, I'm going to drop it off at the dealership since I already planned on doing a few things to the evo this weekend and the last thing I want to do after working on one car for however many hours is move straight to another one. Putting it off until next weekend isn't really an option either because I don't want to ride around with this busted boot any longer so I can hopefully salvage the OEs and rebuild them to keep as spares.

Pics below of the de-coated splines, my horrible metalworking, and a few other details...

Clamps used:





After acetone:













Before (really bent):





After (kind bent):











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Unread 09-20-2013, 09:59 AM   #12
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Finally got around to doing this as well, went with the CVJs with the silicone inner boot, came to $300 with core exchange, and no shipping, they are local to me. I also replaced the inner oil seals as well as the seals in the knuckle.

http://www.cvjreman.com/offroad.php

The oil seals looked OK, but the ones in the knuckle fell apart when I pulled the CV out. I had planned to replace the oil seals, so I had them on hand, but not the ones in the knuckle. A little research came up with the replacement parts, but I had to call like 10 different shops to find them, and finally found two spots that had one each.

Part numbers are shown for the Toyota diff seals, $38 for the pair (which are different for each side); the Nationals are #710573, $20 each.













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Unread 09-20-2013, 10:01 AM   #13
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I made a ghetto press for the knuckle side, and then used the old seals and a rubber mallet for the diff seals.





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Unread 10-04-2013, 05:44 PM   #14
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went with the CVJs with the silicone inner boot...

http://www.cvjreman.com/offroad.php
Do they use Toyota CV axles? What's the deal with the silicone boot, more durable than factory rubber?
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Unread 10-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #15
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Do they use Toyota CV axles? What's the deal with the silicone boot, more durable than factory rubber?
Yup, they rebuild the Toyota cores that you return, and specifically do not accept the chinese aftermarket ones.

The silicone boots are quite a bit longer as you can see from the amount of exposed axle vs stock, so they have more flex in them and will not be pulled up the axle and leak when flexed to the greater angles from wheelin. They are also supposed to be more resistant to the ridges rubbing and ripping as a result, but I personally have not had that problem with the stock ones.

They were $80 more for the set if I recall, and if they prevent any of the common issues with the boots, it will have been money well spent. I plan to keep this thread updated with how they hold up over time.
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Unread 10-04-2013, 11:38 PM   #16
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Next on my to-do list after the whole timing belt/water pump/crank seal/hoses thing, thanks.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 09:07 PM   #17
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No problem, shouldn't be too difficult of a job for you.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 11:30 AM   #18
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I also replaced the inner oil seals as well as the seals in the knuckle.

Part numbers are shown for the Toyota diff seals, $38 for the pair (which are different for each side); the Nationals are #710573, $20 each.
Which are the inner oil seals and which are for the knuckle? I may as well do my seals at the same time, too. Anything else in there I can replace while it's all apart?
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Unread 04-22-2014, 12:35 PM   #19
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Which are the inner oil seals and which are for the knuckle? I may as well do my seals at the same time, too. Anything else in there I can replace while it's all apart?
Nationals are for the knuckle, Toyotas are the oil seals. The only other thing that you have access to along the way are the wheel bearings, so if yours are shot this would be a good time to do them as well. I have 150K on mine now, I checked them when I did this, then recently when I did my spindle gussets and they are still silky smooth.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 12:52 PM   #20
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Cool, I just replaced one of the bearings, I'll take a look at the other.
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