I'm trying to remove a particularly stubborn half-axle from an Audi A3 8P (2011). From what I understand, the process should be:

  1. Loosen axle bolt from initial position while vehicle on the ground
  2. Lift car and remove inside axle bolts (i.e. to engine)
  3. Remove axle bolt
  4. Remove nuts that link wheel hub to wishbone and pull hub away from wishbone
  5. Remove axle from wheel hub

Up to step 5 was all pretty straightforward. But the axle seems to be very solidly in the hub. On Youtube, there are examples of people striking the axle bolt once loosened but while still in the axle to dislodge the axle. I tried this with small strikes but got no movement from the axle. I then tried with a more solid mallet and after some effort have now dislodged the axle about 15mm from the hub. But the length of the axle bolt now prohibits me from using it. The axle bolt only reaches a few threads and the force is stripping those threads. The bolt head is also now right up to the side of the wheel hub.

I initially thought about a longer equivalent to the axle bolt. I went to the local bolt specialist but he said the thread is unique and he couldn't match it.

I'm wondering if there is a tool specifically for this? The only other option seems to be to fully remove the hub (with the axle attached) and take it to a third-party to separate the two. I'm reluctant to do that as it means disconnecting the brake line in addition to the work to remove the entire hub.

Photos below of the axle moved out from its original position and of the length of the axle bolt.

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  • Why don't you undo the caliper fixing bolts and hang it out of the way - that way you don't need to disconnect the brake line.
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 21, 2017 at 4:18
  • Yes, clearly wasnt thinkng. Pulled the caliper off and hung away. A lot more space to look at the hub/axle as a result.
    – timbo
    Jun 21, 2017 at 4:43

3 Answers 3


If the outer cv joint is stuck in the wheel bearing, remove the nut and spray with a good quality rust solvent and let set a few hours, re soak several times.

My favorite is Rusty by Kent Shake very well before using.

Either use a large brass hammer on the end of the cv joint to push it out of the bearing, or put a sacrifice axle nut on the end of the shaft (thread it down 3/4 of the way leaving the axle end countersunk in the nut) then use a 4lb steel sledge hammer and hit the nut to force it out of the bearing.

After it is out clean the inside of the bearing splines with Kent solvent and a small stainless wire brush, this will make it easy to reinsert the outer CV joint. Torque nut to specifications after install of axle.

  • I upvoted this answer. but I'd just like to come in to add I've had an axel where even the slide hammer with the tranny out of the car couldn't get it out.. it was an axel with a end circlip which remanufactured with an oversized circlip when rebuilt and held too far open. only fabricating a custom wedge and hitting with a sledge hammer tore the clip apart and got the axel out. then fished for pieces with a magnet. horror story.
    – axa
    Jun 22, 2017 at 0:21
  • @axa yup, been there done that.
    – Moab
    Jun 22, 2017 at 0:28
  • This is interesting info and thanks for the links. But these tools appear to be for removing the inner axle/half-shaft/transaxle from the engine. I had no issue with that. My problem was removing the outer splined part of the axle from the wheel hub.
    – timbo
    Jun 23, 2017 at 0:06
  • They can be stubborn due to corrosion, use a good rust solvent like BP Blaster or Rusty (by Kent witch is my favorite...kent-automotive.com/Kent/Rusty-Rust-Penetrant-and-Solvent/…) Let soak for a few hours then use a brass hammer and hit the end of the cv joint and force it out of the bearing.
    – Moab
    Jun 23, 2017 at 0:17
  • Changed my answer, sorry about the confusion on my part.
    – Moab
    Jun 23, 2017 at 0:34

Axle removed! The idea of banging on the axle bolt is a bad one if the axle is really stuck. Strong taps to dislodge are probably fine but above a certain degree of force, the inner threads on the axle will strip. I resolved this by using a half-inch drive 19mm socket with a short extension. The length and diameter combination allows you to transmit the force to the end of the axle inside the hub. With enough blows, I eventually dislodged the axle. I also added some penetrating oil at the end of the axle as that may help somewhat.

enter image description here

Now for the other side!


The solution I used last time I encountered this was an pneumatic chisel. It can apply enough force to dislodge the CV axle or completely destroy the axle. Either one results in it coming out of the splined section in the spindle and wheel bearing assembly.

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