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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

I replaced my original 2004 Toyota front axles because the inner boot broke on the driver's side (DS), installed new GSP brand (now finding not so nice comments online about GSP...too late) and immediately had problems. Passenger side (PS) outer boot clamp came loose within a week - most likely immediately, but I only noticed after looking. Replaced it with another new GSP, but it was more difficult to remove than the original Toyo (and noticed the new transmission oil that leaked out was already noticeably dirty). Within a week, again heard clicking sounds. Misguidedly thought the axles had play in them, bought new Cardone brand axles from NAPA based on reviews, but found the play to actually be inside the differential - yikes!!! what the heck?! I can rotate one front wheel about an inch measured along the tread before the opposite wheel engages. What the heck?! This is the source of the clicking I hear when starting from a stop, or decelerating to a stop.

Decided to go ahead and replace the GSP axles. Whatever is going on, I don't trust the new GSP axles.

Drained the weeks old transmission oil (from the differential), and it was muddy! The magnetic drain plug covered in thick black grease.
I hope this is just from mixing with the rest of the old oil in the system.

But then I must have spent 6 hours trying to remove the DS front axle!!
It won't come out. Exhausted & frustrated!
How the #$% do you remove the GSP front axles?!
I am hammering so much using pry tools I am afraid I am going to damage the transmission housing!
I have found other threads that describe using even pressure from multiple angles. What the #$%??? I can barely get access on the DS from below or from one side, but not at the same time. This seems impossible to do from two angles at the same time. Is this a 3 person job?
GSP inner CV housing has no grooves/notches to insert pry tools. The only way to get any leverage at all is on the curved backside of the housing which pry tools slip right off of. I tried a set of axle popper tools, and they were clearly not designed for the Prius - completely useless.

Update - I tried the multi-directional method and it worked.
But what a PITA!!!!
Solution - set long handled large flat-head screwdriver below the inner housing as a pry tool, hold in place with some pressure by attaching strong bungee cords to it. Warning - this is sketchy given the curved back surface of the GSP inner housing, and the lack of a flat lever edge against the transmission housing! Do your best to wedge the screwdriver in place so it doesn't fly out. Next, whack the side of the inner housing using whatever you can find as a lever, and however you can reach it (good luck with that!!). I used a short stone chisel, which essentially looks like a fat flat-head screwdriver, as the lever arm, and a 3 foot long 1/2" threaded rod to reach the end of the lever, and whacked it hard with a small sledge hammer. It took several hard whacks to knock the axle loose. There is no easy way to manage these tools. As described, the bottom side flat-head is held in place with bungee cords, just waiting to fly away. The stone chisel/side lever arm has nothing to rest on. You put it in place with one arm, hold it, and press the long steel rod against it to hold it in place just long enough to switch hands, grab your hammer, and whack. Typically the short lever tool will slide off and bounce around in there, then do all over again.


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