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- On our recent trip to WV we snapped our rear right axle on a Honda Rincon while in a mud hole. During the entire trip the CV joint had been making a popping sound when I made a sharp turn. This is a modified Rincon with a 2" lift kit with after market 26x14 BigHorn tires. Together are the cause of this issue.

*Quick Tip
If an impact gun is not available to remove the lug nuts, it is a good idea to break the lug nuts loose before raising the atv off the ground.

 

 


Note: Image above is from a Rubicon front axle. Exmaple is the same.

How do I know if my CV joint is bad?
If you are hearing a "Pop-Pop-Pop" when turning sharp that is a sign that your CV joint may be damaged. A break can occur any time without with any warrning. Lift Kits and oversized Tires will cause OEM CV joints to be put under more stress then they're designed to be under, thus causing premature damage and breakage. As we all know OEM parts are just made to be strong enough to get the job done. When replacing a broken CV joint, we reccomend using an after market axle like Gorilla Axle. The leader in aftermarket ATV axles. They offer Heavy Duty axles for a wide range of ATV's.
You can find them at Gorilla-Axle.com

Tools you'll need...
  • -Floor Jack
  • -17mm wrench
  • -14mm / 17mm and 30mm --socket
  • -8mm allen wrench.
  • -Impack gun
  • -Ratchet, or breaker bar.
  • -Large punch.
  • -Pliers
  • -Screwdrivers and prybar
  • -Harmer
  • -Rubber harmer

Step 1: Remove Wheel
We used a ATV Jack to raise the entire atv off the ground. A a normal floor jack will also work well.

Step 2: Remove hub from knuckle
First you must remove the cotter key from the nut. Then use the 30mm socket and remove the nut. The rear breaks will not work in holding the spindle. So if an impact gun is not available use a simple leverage technique, as shown, with a 1/2" rod as shown below to hold the knuckle while using a breaker bar to remove the nut. Be sure to put the lugnuts back on so that you do not damage the threads on the studs.

 
Step 3: Remove Upper Knuckle Bolt
Use the 17mm wrench and the 8mm allen wrench to remove the bolt holding the shock to the knuckle. Be careful not to damage the O rings on the bolt head.
  

Step 4: Remove Seal Caps
Once the bolt is removed give the shock a slight tug to slip the knuckle from the upper A-arm. Now remove both seal caps. Then push the collar holding the shock in place out to one side as shown.

The Knuckle should now fold down and allow the outer axle to slip out out. Push the shock up to get it out of the way. You may need to tie it up. A bungie cord works great for this.

Do not attempt to pull the axle out just yet. You could cause it to come apart before you are ready.

Removing the axle can be tricky and sometimes hard to do if it has never been removed before.

  

 
Step 5:
Remove the axle - We have found it easier to use a long 1/2" rod as a punch to lightly tap the axle out from the differential. We have also had luck using a pry bar. Either way you MUST be careful not to damage the housing of the differental. A replacement can be expensive. Others have said to just pull on the outer joint.. DO NOT DO THIS. This puts pressure on the inner joint and could cause it to come apart. Once broken loose it should slide out easily.
You can see the broken joint.. It just fell apart once we removed it.
 

Step 6:
The Replacement - Now we must balance reality with cost and our level of riding to choose a replacement. There are several choics out there. OEM, Turner Cycle axles, Gorilla-Axles and others. From our past experiences of breaking axles on our Rubicon we have decided to go with a Heavy Duty axle from Gorilla-Axle. Gorilla offers a full replacement of our OEM axle.

As you can see it is built bigger and stronger then the OEM. Capable of a 40% angle without fault.
Along wiht a 1 year warranty. Gorilla offers a superior axle over OEM axle.

Gorilla-Axle Heavy Duty Axle
(GA-H650-R) = $365 each.
No grease, no disassembly...
Just pop it in and go.
VS. Honda part # 42250-HN8-003:
OEM 1/2 shaft = $195
+ trouble installing + cv grease
(requires full disassembly of the inner joint)

Step 7:
Installing HD Axle Replacement - Before installing the axle check the differential seal to ensure it is in good shape. Clean it well and replace if needed. Now, Insert the inner joint into the differential. Then use a rubber hammer and tap it into place. Make sure that the gap between the differential and the axle is fully closed. Once the inner joint has been popped in... Reinstall the knuckle and the shock in the order it was taken apart. Finally. Install the axle hub and the washer and nut that came with the Gorilla-Axle. use a impact gun to tighten then use a breaker bar to ensure it is fully tight. You may need to lock the rear brakes in order to do this. To finish up you need to set the nut in place using a punch to put an indent into the slit on the shaft as shown. The Gorilla-Axle does not use a cotter key like the OEM. Reinstall the wheel and tire and your done.

*Quick Tip
Before assembly, it is a good idea to grease the knuckle fittings such as the shock hole, seal caps, shock collar, an upper knuckle bolt. Doing this will help prevent annoying squeaks in the future.


Final Step:
Reinstall Wheel and drop jack. Check all lug nuts on all 4 wheels to insure they are to correct specs.

Then... Go Riding!

       
Rincon rear axle

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