I want to make the community aware of this issue, in case it hangs anyone else up. TrakMotive supplies new axles for our cars. The axles are also sold under the name Import Direct at O'Reilly Auto Parts. You might also encounter these axles branded under other names as well. I see similar looking axles on Rock Auto, but can't say for sure if they're TrakMotive. It's the only axle I was able to find locally on a Saturday afternoon, so I had to make it work. This axle is on the left side of my MT car. Here's the axle.
It's a decent axle. I don't think I've ever seen that additional bearing seal before. It's a nice touch. The axle slips into both the trans and hub with little difficulty. The problem is that it binds on the wheel bearing dust ring when you torque down the spindle nut. This prevents the axle from turning. SMH
Here's a shot of the axle untorqued.
And torqued down.
You can see that the joint face is sealed tight against the dust ring at the back of the knuckle. The wheel simply will not turn like this.
The problem is that the CV joint face is larger by about 12 thousandths in a couple spots and that is enough to make contact with the dust ring. Here is the dust ring.
To resolve the issue, I removed the dust ring and used my belt sander to remove about 1/16th inch of height from it. Here is the ring with material removed. The outer shiny ring is what I removed with my belt sander.
You'll also notice an inner shiny ring in the photo. That's the second place the CV joint makes contact. To fix this, I had to grind down the face of the CV joint with my angle grinder, like so:
This was enough to get my hub turning, but I did hear some light scraping on my test drive. It will clearance itself eventually, but will throw all kinds of filings into my wheel bearing as it does. (Doh.)
I contacted TrakMotive tech support about the issue. I'm impressed that they offer a way for the public to contact a tech. I'm less impressed that the tech tried to pretend that it wasn't their axle, but maybe someone else's axle that Rock Auto had swapped into their box when I wasn't looking. (Um, what?) Anyway, I've let that tech know what the issue is. Let's hope he does the right thing with that info. If he doesn't, you know how to make it work now.