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Increasing CV Axle Life?


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17 hours ago, krispykritter said:

When we started racing this thing, we didn't have axle problems.  Probably used the same axles for 2016 - early 2018.  As we got faster over the years, and our brakes got hotter, and our corner exit speeds grew, the strain started popping axles left and right.  Our best time at Sebring in 2016 was around a 3:03 and last year it was a 2:50.  Also, the spread in times between our fastest and slowest drivers dropped from like 25 seconds to more like 5, so more strain more often.

 

We also have a somewhat heavy car at 2750 lbs, and make okay power around 165 whp.  And, it's a late 90s not really sports sedan.  Not a lot of things going for it!

 

Hopefully the newer, more sports-base vehicles don't have as many issues as our 2010 vintage chumpcar.

Have you ever tried the NEO CV grease?  We have prepped our CVs for the PBIR race (our first).  Everything I was able to find and even contacted a baja racer who praises the stuff was that its the 'go to' solution for abused CVs.  $80 / lb is like ugly gold but we hope it holds up.  We're running a 92 Integra and I do have a low mileage set of OE axles and thinking about using those first.  Thanks for the prep tips and alternate grease - I'll probably prep a set in that fashion since we have 5 pairs.

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30 minutes ago, Todd K said:

Have you ever tried the NEO CV grease?  We have prepped our CVs for the PBIR race (our first).  Everything I was able to find and even contacted a baja racer who praises the stuff was that its the 'go to' solution for abused CVs.  $80 / lb is like ugly gold but we hope it holds up.  We're running a 92 Integra and I do have a low mileage set of OE axles and thinking about using those first.  Thanks for the prep tips and alternate grease - I'll probably prep a set in that fashion since we have 5 pairs.

 

I haven't tried it tbh.  It might be magic!  Going to have to try it at some point in the future, particularly if I ain't gotta mix the stuff myself.  The swepco moly tube is like $30 and the bel-ray is another $30 I think, so $60 for two tubes.  Not sure how that compares to the NEO grease prices per pound tho.

 

It sounds like our mix is cheaper but not sure if it's as good.  Prepping axles sucks though, I'd happily pay someone to skip that step.

 

After the re-greasing, we haven't been able to tell the difference between our OE axles and the aftermarkets.  I did take a dremel to the OE ones to open up the clearances a little but haven't been able to tell a difference in life yet.

 

Good luck on your first race.  Hope you guys have spares for some dumb things like alternators, fuel pumps, shift cables, wheel bearings, and brake pads!

Edited by krispykritter
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4 hours ago, krispykritter said:

 

I haven't tried it tbh.  It might be magic!  Going to have to try it at some point in the future, particularly if I ain't gotta mix the stuff myself.  The swepco moly tube is like $30 and the bel-ray is another $30 I think, so $60 for two tubes.  Not sure how that compares to the NEO grease prices per pound tho.

 

It sounds like our mix is cheaper but not sure if it's as good.  Prepping axles sucks though, I'd happily pay someone to skip that step.

 

After the re-greasing, we haven't been able to tell the difference between our OE axles and the aftermarkets.  I did take a dremel to the OE ones to open up the clearances a little but haven't been able to tell a difference in life yet.

 

Good luck on your first race.  Hope you guys have spares for some dumb things like alternators, fuel pumps, shift cables, wheel bearings, and brake pads!

We are in the same neighborhood as Ed - he's been beyond helpful and pretty much we are following his recommendations so I think we are prepared; at least we'll test that theory soon enough.

 

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7 minutes ago, Todd K said:

We are in the same neighborhood as Ed - he's been beyond helpful and pretty much we are following his recommendations so I think we are prepared; at least we'll test that theory soon enough.

 

He's good people.  Maybe a little crazy, but that's probably why he fits in so well =D

 

He'll point you in the right direction.

Edited by krispykritter
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20 hours ago, Triangle42 said:

Oh I have been at the drawing board for a long time trying to find the perfect platform for it but cant make it work with points. 240sx was the closest I got and I still started 1 or 2 laps down. Was having a hard time finding the right transmission.  The 944 was the easy button but it was a 5 lap car to start off.

Boxster

 

sorry I’m late to the party 

Edited by TimS
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13 hours ago, TimS said:

97-99 boxster 2.5 is 475(E30 450). The 2.7 is 520. What reliability bits do you think you need?

Got ya now.  We were talking about putting the 1.8T from the VW in another platform.  The 2.5  boxster would be 525 with the sway and none of the stuff to make the 1.8t survive endurance racing. I am just running the E30 as it is.

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17 minutes ago, Triangle42 said:

. I am just running the E30 as it is.

Me too. Once I found/had built  a good engine it has been a solid and reliable car. 

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On the topic of boots. I’ve noticed that on OEM (Mazda) axles the inner boot on the telescoping CV is a thermoset/rubber boot that is thicker, more pliable, has a higher temperature tolerance, and has fewer pleats (first attachment).

 

The outer boot is a thermoplastic that is more rigid, not as abrasion resistant, melts at a lower temperature, and quite honestly, seems more failure prone. Most aftermarket replacement boots seems to be the same material. 
 

Is this in OEM cost saving measure?  It seems logical to use the rubber boot on both joints. 

 

E2C503A6-2D0F-4B9C-8F57-F1474C92C7AE.jpeg

4D57AB65-F0F6-40D1-A65B-538A1852B0E5.jpeg

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10 minutes ago, kcbhiw said:

On the topic of boots. I’ve noticed that on OEM (Mazda) axles the inner boot on the telescoping CV is a thermoset/rubber boot that is thicker, more pliable, has a higher temperature tolerance, and has fewer pleats (first attachment).

 

The outer boot is a thermoplastic that is more rigid, not as abrasion resistant, melts at a lower temperature, and quite honestly, seems more failure prone. Most aftermarket replacement boots seems to be the same material. 
 

Is this in OEM cost saving measure?  It seems logical to use the rubber boot on both joints. 

 

E2C503A6-2D0F-4B9C-8F57-F1474C92C7AE.jpeg

4D57AB65-F0F6-40D1-A65B-538A1852B0E5.jpeg

 

Time for a test.  Run inner style boots on both ends and see what happens.

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Heat and binding are the 2 major causes of CV joint damage.  Heat is best fixed with appropriate heat shields, proper grease (much discussed here already and I have nothing further to add on that point), and hot part relocation, if possible.  Binding is a bit harder and can be the result of too much joint compression or extension.  In my case it was too much compression.  In a FWD car, most axles point slightly downhill from the center out to the wheel at stock ride height.  Lower the car any significant amount and you are basically shortening the axle.  Put the car in a hard cornering situation and the axle reaches it compression limit, binds, tries to center, and boom!  Broken joint.  The short side axle is much more susceptible to this issue because the angle change is the most extreme on that side.  In a VW, the short side is the left side so in hard rights, the axle reaches its compression limit and breaks.  I learned this the hard way at Laguna in turn 10, several times.  I fixed this by cutting a hollow axle near the center, removing about .25" and rewelding it with a internal sleeve in place for strength.  There was no issue with balance, and the axles lasted for years with annual repacking with Mobil 1.  I did the same thing on the second car with a solid axle and an external sleeve.  These cars were both diesels (pre dieselgate) and made great torque, so the setups were really tested.

Edited by Robmink
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  • 5 weeks later...

I had not been impressed w/ Redline CV2 grease, always came out much less viscous after a race weekend.  With no time to order the more expensive Neo or Bel-ray greases I tried Cat Extreme Application Grease - Desert, used to be known as CAT Desert Gold.  It came recommended by many offroad buggy people (on the internet at least).  Was only $7 a tube from my local CAT dealer, I ran it at the CMP race, CAT grease on the left side axle and Redline CV2 on the right.  The CAT grease looked brand new after the race weekend, Redline came out looking soupy as normal.  CAT grease will be my new grease, has lots of moly in it, was super tacky and thick was a PITA to pack, but that's a good sign.  We also had a boot failure on the left side, and the CAT grease never migrated out of the boot.  Also, I don't bother with the straw under the inner CV boot clamp anymore, just don't put a clamp on the small end of the boot, it'll pass air just fine.

 

https://caterpillar.scene7.com/is/content/Caterpillar/C10604656

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17 hours ago, jsflanagan said:

I had not been impressed w/ Redline CV2 grease, always came out much less viscous after a race weekend.  With no time to order the more expensive Neo or Bel-ray greases I tried Cat Extreme Application Grease - Desert, used to be known as CAT Desert Gold.  It came recommended by many offroad buggy people (on the internet at least).  Was only $7 a tube from my local CAT dealer, I ran it at the CMP race, CAT grease on the left side axle and Redline CV2 on the right.  The CAT grease looked brand new after the race weekend, Redline came out looking soupy as normal.  CAT grease will be my new grease, has lots of moly in it, was super tacky and thick was a PITA to pack, but that's a good sign.  We also had a boot failure on the left side, and the CAT grease never migrated out of the boot.  Also, I don't bother with the straw under the inner CV boot clamp anymore, just don't put a clamp on the small end of the boot, it'll pass air just fine.

 

https://caterpillar.scene7.com/is/content/Caterpillar/C10604656

Looking on their website, the CAT Ball Bearing Grease NLGI2 looks pretty good too.

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Just recently I've been having trouble with the right axle popping out on my EG Civic with a B18C1 and GSR transaxle. It only happens under full throttle, like on the chassis dyno or exiting a corner. The chassis dyno pulls are done in fourth so not a lot of torque (it's a Honda!) going through the axle in that gear. Obviously no cornering loads or chassis height changes needed.

 

At the track I can circulate with no problems regardless of the cornering speed as long as I don't get on it out of a corner. As soon as I do, the right axle pops out, gear lube sprays on the header and lots of smoke ensues, followed by a black flag and a trip back to the pits to re-seat the axle. Have tried two different transaxles with no change. The splines on the stub are in good condition as is the c-clip, and I made sure the axle was properly seated into the transaxle before the last dyno session; still popped out under load.

 

The only change I made from previous successful track time was to take some camber out for better tire wear and usage. I checked the location of the inner tripod by moving the spindle (upper ball joint detached) out until I could feel the tripod at the outer edge of the inner cup through the inner boot, then moved the spindle back in to the ball joint. At ride height, the tripod only moves in about 1/8". 

 

Thoughts?

Edited by mender
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6 hours ago, mender said:

Just recently I've been having trouble with the right axle popping out on my EG Civic

 

The hog ring on the spline of inside tripod is meant to be a one-time use, but I don't think anybody ever replaces them.

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1 hour ago, tommytipover said:

 

The hog ring on the spline of inside tripod is meant to be a one-time use, but I don't think anybody ever replaces them.

I checked the ring and expanded it slightly to make sure engagement is positive. It's not really meant to retain the stub, only locate it. It's doing that, and a pry par is required to pop the stub out once it is seated. The same amount of force is somehow being exerted in order to pop the axle out, and somehow that's being generated at full throttle.

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1 hour ago, Team Infiniti said:

Where did you remove the camber from? The top?

Yes, the upper control arm is slotted to allow the ball joint to move to adjust camber. That moves the hub and axle out slightly which is why I checked the location of the inner tripod to see how close to the outer range of travel it's at. 

 

For the test and tune I took about 3/4 degree out, going from 2.5 to 1.75 degrees negative to even out the wear that I saw in the last race. I was going to check tire temps to verify that the tires were still happy but didn't get that far before the axle issue diverted that day from testing to chasing the origin of the sudden smoke and subsequent replacement of the side seals in an attempt to stop the leak. 

 

I had also recently installed a B16 transaxle with a Mugen 1.5 way clutch LSD to test for one of our local races. I thought maybe the LSD was pushing against the inner stub when under load, providing the force needed to disengage the c-clip. I swapped back to the GSR transaxle that we had been running with no issues and did another track session. No change: everything stayed in place as long as I didn't use full throttle, then as soon as I did smoke reappeared. I confirmed that it was gear lube and that the engine wasn't the culprit. I then went to chassis dyno sessions for more tuning and to verify the full load/axle issue. 

Edited by mender
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19 minutes ago, tommytipover said:

Motor mount, loose subframe? If acceleration is doing it, that's the only thing I can think of.

Solid mounts, reinforced brackets. I had swapped back to the former transaxle so everything is tight. FWD so only fore and aft movement due to torque reaction but with solid mounts there's very little movement.

 

We had a right axle pile up at Portland in our first race weekend with this car but haven't had any problems since going to Raxles. Also had an incident at ORP where the front end got "moved" then moved back but have raced several events since then, again with no issues. There could be some underlying issues and a fine line that adjusting the camber took us over.  

 

And before someone else says it, being the smartest guy in the room usually means that I'm there by myself... ;) I have a few ideas but am always looking for more!

Edited by mender
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2 hours ago, mender said:

That moves the hub and axle out slightly

 I know you have already pondered  but.

 

Somehow the axle is unhappy, that bit of outward adjustment may be providing a little more leverage wiggling the tripod loose?   Put the camber back then see if if the problem resolves... have you another axle to try?

Edited by Team Infiniti
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Those are the next steps, put it all the way back. And that extra leverage is what I'm thinking as well. And yes, I can try another stock axle if that doesn't work. 

 

I'll probably end up offsetting the drivetrain to the right to centre the axles if that fixes it. Helps the weight distribution too. ☺

Edited by mender
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Update: the axles are about equal left to right. 

 

Forgot to mention that I also upgraded the upper control arm bushings from rubber to spherical so that might also contribute to a slightly wider track. I won't have much time over the next week to reset and test but please, if you have a thought, let me know!

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