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It's time to proactively replace the CV boots on my 2008 base Outback (non-turbo, of course). I've learned over the years that OEM boots outlast aftermarket by 3 to 1. With only 60K on the car, the axles are still in great shape, so I'm not interested in new, Chinese axle assemblies. Subaru lists different boots for the manual and automatic trannys and the price for the auto version is almost twice that of the one for manual version. Most aftermarket suppliers don't list different versions for auto vs, manual trannys. Does anyone know if there's actually a difference between the two? As long as I have the axles out, I'd like to do both inners and outers.

Subaru lists the same inner boot for both manual and auto, but different boot kits, which makes no sense, since the only difference is the kit includes the clamps and clips.

Manual inner boot kit: 28397AG000
Automatic inner boot kit: 28397AG00B (and more than twice the price!)
Inner boot only: 28323AG010

Manual outer boot: 28323AG030
Auto outer boot: 28323AG020

Manual outer boot kit (listing adds that it's for turbo): 28396AG021
Auto outer boot kit (detail listing says it's for both non-turbo auto and manual): 28396AG00B

I'm guessing that the outer boots are different between the turbo and non-turbo, but not for auto and manual for 2008, but the inners are the same. Does anyone have experience with these?
 

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Not getting any responses to my post, I confirmed on Subaru's parts site the CV boots and boot kits that Subaru says fit the 2008 Outback non-turbo 2.5 with 4AT. The dealer sites typically confirmed that all the options would fit, but then they didn't ask whether the car was manual or auto trans, so how would they know for sure which would fit, if the boots were in fact different? In the end, I decided to play it safe and order just the boots that Subie says are correct, and match them with aftermarket clips and grease. Here's why (prices from SPFY):

4 Turbo boot kits: $105 (not at all unreasonable)
4 Non-turbo boot kits: $248 (yikes!)
4 Non-turbo boots and aftermarket clips & grease: $134

I can't imagine it's any more expensive to make the different boot kits, and there are many more normally aspirated Subies on the road than turbos, so it makes no sense at all why the boot kits for the non-turbo model is over twice the price of those for the turbo. I almost went ahead and ordered one of the turbo outer boots just to see if it's different--it's less than 15 bucks -- but decided I didn't want to know that bad.

The boots fit perfectly. One glitch I ran into was in overhauling the outer CV joint. I've done a lot of these over the years, but this was the first time I recall doing a joint that had 8 balls. Most have six. After an extended amount of time struggling to get the thing back together, I realized that there's a trick that makes it easy. The windows in the retainer have two different widths. Half are wider than the other, and they alternate. The trick is to fill the four wider ones first, then go back and fill the ones in between. The wider openings allow the inner race to be rotated just enough farther to get the remaining balls in place.

I like to keep everything in its original, relative position, so I use a die grinder to place witness marks on the two races and retainer. You do have to be careful of the wire clip when reinstalling the outer CV joint on the axle shaft. Unlike the similar clip that holds the other end of the axle in the transaxle final drive, you need to guide the outer clip into the recess of the CV joint inner race before driving the assembly onto the axle.

Finally, the aftermarket boot bands that I purchased were not as rugged as the originals, at least on the outer joint. The outer joints had the crimp type band and the inner joints had a style that was similar to the Band-It design. Those did not seal very well, as both of the inner boots were leaking grease even though they were not cracked through. I think they were all original (the car only has 60K on it), so I have no idea why they would use two different clamp designs.

Rebuilding these is a pain, and I wouldn't do it if the axles had a lot of miles on them, but I've had aftermarket axles have the boots fail in less than two years, while the OEM boots can go ten years or more. It sure is a lot faster and cleaner to just slap in new axles.
 

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2008 Outback Wagon LL Bean Limited 2.5i
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It's time to proactively replace the CV boots on my 2008 base Outback (non-turbo, of course). I've learned over the years that OEM boots outlast aftermarket by 3 to 1. With only 60K on the car, the axles are still in great shape, so I'm not interested in new, Chinese axle assemblies. Subaru lists different boots for the manual and automatic trannys and the price for the auto version is almost twice that of the one for manual version. Most aftermarket suppliers don't list different versions for auto vs, manual trannys. Does anyone know if there's actually a difference between the two? As long as I have the axles out, I'd like to do both inners and outers.

Subaru lists the same inner boot for both manual and auto, but different boot kits, which makes no sense, since the only difference is the kit includes the clamps and clips.

Manual inner boot kit: 28397AG000
Automatic inner boot kit: 28397AG00B (and more than twice the price!)
Inner boot only: 28323AG010

Manual outer boot: 28323AG030
Auto outer boot: 28323AG020

Manual outer boot kit (listing adds that it's for turbo): 28396AG021
Auto outer boot kit (detail listing says it's for both non-turbo auto and manual): 28396AG00B

I'm guessing that the outer boots are different between the turbo and non-turbo, but not for auto and manual for 2008, but the inners are the same. Does anyone have experience with these?
I guess, where are you getting your part numbers? I am looking at parts.subaru.com and the list the same boot kits (inner and outer ) for both Manual and Autos as the same. I think that the parts department are more likely to stock the inner boots since those are the ones that are commonly damaged but the outer boots kit might need to be ordered
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good to know.

I got those numbers from Subaru Online Parts, SPFY and a few similar sites, most of which seem to use the same lookup database. That part number is the boot kit that is quite expensive at $90 retail. The parts.subaru.com site lists the less expensive 28397AG000 as fitting the manual trans version of all models in 2007 and just the manual turbo in 2008 and 09. I'm still thinking that boot kit is likely the same as the more expensive 28397AG00B, as I don't think there was any significant change in the axle assemblies over those years. The same is likely true of the outer boot kit, but it would be nice to get confirmation from someone who has actually worked with all of them.

I guess, where are you getting your part numbers? I am looking at parts.subaru.com and the list the same boot kits (inner and outer ) for both Manual and Autos as the same. I think that the parts department are more likely to stock the inner boots since those are the ones that are commonly damaged but the outer boots kit might need to be ordered
 

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2008 Outback Wagon LL Bean Limited 2.5i
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I got those numbers from Subaru Online Parts, SPFY and a few similar sites, most of which seem to use the same lookup database. That part number is the boot kit that is quite expensive at $90 retail. The parts.subaru.com site lists the less expensive 28397AG000 as fitting the manual trans version of all models in 2007 and just the manual turbo in 2008 and 09. I'm still thinking that boot kit is likely the same as the more expensive 28397AG00B, as I don't think there was any significant change in the axle assemblies over those years. The same is likely true of the outer boot kit, but it would be nice to get confirmation from someone who has actually worked with all of them.


Well truth be told. The last two boot kits i bought with 28397AG000 number was off of an ebay listing from user Quirkparts. $35 shipped. The kit included the two metal bands, grease, internal snap ring and the boot of course.


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