Your CV axle plays a major role in ensuring you always enjoy a smooth ride. However, due to many factors like the condition of the road, worn-out parts, and more, the CV shaft can get shifted from its required angle. When this happens, you will hear clunking or clicking noises. At this point, you have a misaligned axle.
The good news is you do not have to be a mechanic or expert to look into your Axle situation. To know how to correct CV axle angle, you need a good guide and the right information about the CV axle and its functions.
How to correct CV axle angle
It is normal for the axle to get misaligned, but you can correct this with the right steps. Below is a step-by-step guide to correct misalignment in CV joint angle f150 or any other vehicle.
- Park the car on level ground.
- Using a jack, lift the car off the ground for easy assessment.
- Carefully remove the wheel and tire assembly. It makes it easier to locate the CV axle.
- The CV axle is the long shaft connecting the wheel to the vehicle.
- Gently detach the inner CV joint.
- Measure the CV angle. It normally should be almost perpendicular to the ground.
- Adjust the angle correctly using a wrench or socket
- Reconnect the inner CV joint to the transaxle.
While the axle angle varies depending on car models, it should always be installed at about 22° - 30° if not specified by the maker.
What is the proper CV axle angle?
The proper CV angle is about 22° - 30°. This information is highly important as it affects functionality. Extreme angles have dire effects on the vehicle. If the angle is too large, the axle will not be able to transmit enough power to move the wheels effectively, and it will cause the CV to lose position, which could damage the surfaces of the bearings, balls, and other parts.
However, if it is too low, the axle transmits too much power to the wheels and it may spin out of control and bind. Therefore, it is essential to keep the angle at the optimum, within 22° to 30°.
It is important to note that the angle of a CV axle varies depending on the make and model of a vehicle.
What is the maximum operating angle of a CV joint?
Many factors will determine what the maximum CV shaft will be. For instance, an outboard or Rzeppa CV joint will have a maximum of 47 to 50 degrees, while an onboard CV joint will have a maximum angle of 22 to 31 degrees.
Also, the maximum joint angle can vary with car manufacturers or after-market products. You can consult a professional or seek help from your manual to get the best CV angles for your vehicle.
What causes axle misalignment
Axel misalignments occur due to a couple of reasons that can be categorized into three broad headings, which include the following
1. Driving condition
The way a vehicle has been driven could cause axle misalignment. When the vehicle is driven so that it hits a pothole and bumps hard, it could cause an axle misalignment. Upon the vehicle's impact, the axle could shift position, causing misalignment.
2. Failing car parts
Another cause of axle misalignment is damaged parts of the vehicle, especially the wheel and suspension. When driving, especially on a harsh road, parts of the vehicle's wheel tend to get damaged. The shocks, struts, and even brakes will slowly become worn out until it affects the axle joint angle.
Also, the axle can get worn out because of duets, water, and other materials that can contaminate the joints. A worn axle part is remedied by replacing worn-out parts like the CV boot clamp.
Certain modifications like lifting and lowering can cause the axle to lose alignment, especially when not done properly. It would be best to have the vehicle aligned when a suspension or axle lift is done on a vehicle. When vehicles are lifted, they go beyond the required height the manufacturer built them to have, affecting the axle's position. By aligning, the axle is adjusted to suit the new position of the vehicle.
How do I make sure my axle is straight?
If you want to ensure that your CV axle is straight, you can do this by measuring from coupler to the center of the wheel. Then compare the measurement with other wheels in the vehicle. It should measure the same; if it is not, you need an alignment.
Another way to check if your axle is straight is by using set-up plates, which are screwed to the wheels in place of the tires, and take an accurate measurement of the wheel and position of the axle.
Should the CV axle move in and out?
CV axles, especially the front ones, should have minimal movement in their inner joints. These movements are not only restricted to in and out. There should also be some up and down movement, which is normal because it results from their flexing actions, provided they are movements in the inner joint. Such movements in the outer joint can signal damage or fault to your Axel, which you should look into immediately.
Can you hammer a CV axle in?
If your CV joint keeps coming out, you may get tempted to hammer it right back in; while this works, it is not advisable. Doing this will damage components. An axle press is used in carefully adjusting your CV joints back into place, both the inner and outer joints, thereby fixing the axle in place.
The responsibility for the quality of ride you get from your vehicle depends solely on you. Refrain from subjecting your axle to harsh treatments when your CV axle angle situation can easily be taken care of. Apart from sparing your vehicle, it will also save you from incurring extra costs, as maintenance costs are next to nothing compared to replacing the axle parts. Thus, it is helpful to learn how to correct CV axle angle.