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02 Kia Rio Automatic
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to share a story about changing the CV axles on my 02 Rio.

So, after reading up on the forums and online, I determined the the clunking from my car's front end was from either the CV axles (or possibly ball joints). I researched what parts to buy, and after discovering I could get all new CV axles and control arm/ball joint assemblies (both sides) for about 320 dollars, I went for it. :cool:

I got all the parts in and bought an Axle nut socket and some 6-point metric sockets. I even bought some Kia-brand SP-III AT fluid. I also used autozone's rental program to get a nice breaker bar and a torque wrench.

After watching many youtube videos and empowering myself with forum information, I decided to finally do it.

Jacked up the drivers side of the car, removed the tire, then used my breaker bar to get the old axle nut off. Pretty easy.

Got both ends of the tension rod loosened; no problem there.

Next came the ball joint. Using the breaker bar and craploads of Seafoam deep creep, I got the nut off. Tried to loosen the pinch bolt, however, and..

*SNAP*

broke the effing bolt head off. 130,000 miles of rust and heat had fused the freaking bolt in there. I stared at what I had done for a few minutes, realizing the can of worms I had just opened.

Alrighty, so I rode the bicycle down to Autozone, got a Pittman arm puller, separated the tie rod, and removed the caliper and finally the entire knuckle. I sprayed shittons of deep creep around the pinch bolt, put my vicegrips on the threaded end, and twisted with all my might; the bolt would not come loose. The vicegrips just rounded out the threads. I did this a few more times, this time hitting the vicegrips with a hammer, and I broke the vicegrips. I attempted to drill out the bolt with tap fluid and my cordless drill. Two drill batteries and very little progress later, I decided to wait until Monday.

Got a ride to work Monday; dropped the knuckle (with the control arm still stuck in there, mind you) off at a machine shop, and they heated it up and drilled it out for me.

Got the knuckle back home. Old ball joint was fine, by the way. Removed the old CV axle by pulling on it (flat pry bar didn't do crap). I held the new and old axle up next to each other; they looked identical. I slid the new axle in there; the splines slid in okay, but the thing would not go in all the way. I pushed, I shoved, I jiggled, I turned, but it would not go in fully. Finally, I slid it in, slid the steering knuckle & rotor on the other end, and started SLAMMING this bastard into the transmission using the knuckle/rotor as a battering ram. The effer WOULD NOT GO IN. PERIOD.

Then, I decided to remove it and put the old axle back in. Well, guess what? The effer WOULD NOT COME OUT. I nearly break my pry bar trying to get it out, and after wiggling just right for 20 minutes, by some miracle, it breaks free.

Finally, I stick the old axle back in there. One moderate push and it snaps right in.:angry:

Admitting defeat, I reassembled all the old parts, put in a new pinch bolt, and put the damn tire back on. Refilled the tranny fluid. I returned all the parts.

Oh, and one more thing; I removed the strap clamp that held one of the CV boots on to let it fill back up with air (I squeezed all the air out when I was wrestling with it). Those bastards are a PAIN in the A$$ to get back on. Don't do it.

Still driving around with the problem, for now. Currently looking for a new vehicle, anyway, so I probably won't be working on the Kia again for a while. Still not even sure if the CV joints were the real issue here, as the boots were never ripped, but the clunking is consistent with CV joint symptoms.

Moral of the story? Don't get too confident in DIY car repairs. Don't be afraid to let pros work on it.

Hope this helps someone out!

Thanks.

-plasticcar.
 

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2002 Kia Rio 2003 Dodge Durango 1993 Chevy C1500
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95 Posts
:lol: You should ease into this kind of work. The first hint was having to buy your first set of basic tools. Next time start with oil changes, plug changes, and minor stuff mainly to get familiar with the car. Or, you just had bad luck with this one. Either way, you went this far, might as well keep going. DON'T GIVE UP! Great Story
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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1,236 Posts
Entertaining story. A bit like the traditional "Barrel of Bricks" routine, in places. I particularly liked the system of units that you employed: "Shittons of Deep Creep".

Maybe you shouldn't have used a breaker bar.
 

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02 Kia Rio Automatic
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
dsolorio,

To answer your question: no. I never fixed it, and I don't have the car anymore.

Thanks.
 

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02 Kia Rio Automatic
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
That's unfortunate. I guess it was one of those things that get you so POed you just say forget it. What do you have now?
I got a Toyota... forgive me, Korean car lovers! The Kia was great while it lasted. Seven grand for 10 years of dependable transportation!
 
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