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2006 Outback LL Bean H6. Ivory interior, Moss green exterior. 132K
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I've been reading all the posts about axles and that hands down, the OE are the best. The OE are painted John Deer green so easy to spot. But, I was watching a video on youtube, one of the guys who has a bunch of Subaru repair videos on putting the axle in. He pulled out the old one, and had a box right there in front of him that said it was from Subaru. He opened the box, and the axle, which was remanufactured, was not green! It didn't appear to be painted at all. Has anyone else seen this? This would mean that you could have OE rebuilt axles and not be able to tell.

We changed the oil yesterday and I grabbed both axles and gave them a good shaking. I noticed a tiny bit of play. Should they have any play? This isn't in and out, but what do you call it, lateral? Shaking up and down.. Seemed to feel like it was coming from the inners. This car has what appears to be the infamous low end vibration. I see a ton of them (OE axles) on Ebay, and at online wrecking yards but how do you know a used one is good? What models interchange with a 2006 OB?
 

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I bought 2 new axles from my local Subaru dealer a couple months ago and only the large chunk (I don't know the proper name for it) near the transmission was green. The shaft itself was bare steel.

Also, after two brand new Subaru axles mine still has a millimeter or two of play at the transmission. It also still vibrates on the interstate so :8:
 

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2006 Outback LL Bean H6. Ivory interior, Moss green exterior. 132K
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249 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I bought 2 new axles from my local Subaru dealer a couple months ago and only the large chunk (I don't know the proper name for it) near the transmission was green. The shaft itself was bare steel.

Also, after two brand new Subaru axles mine still has a millimeter or two of play at the transmission. It also still vibrates on the interstate so :8:
Yeah that's what one would expect but the inner cups on these were just plain grey metal My car does the opposite of yours. Mine shudders like crazy when I take off (especially with my foot in it) but at highway speeds, smooth as can be..
 

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2006 Outback LL Bean H6. Ivory interior, Moss green exterior. 132K
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249 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Here's the video:

Go to 6m 55sec

[ame]https://youtu.be/mQB2ztOIEK4?t=6m55s[/ame]
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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traditional color was green for a long long long time, then one day it appeared as grey. and subaru's rebuilder may have replaced the cap.

still if looking in a pick and pull for 1995-2009, find green ones.

and what sucks: you may find no makers marks etc. on them.

and put quality OEM boots on the green cap ones. as they fit exactly and the rubber is great too.
 

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2009 3.0R Outback
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536 Posts
They get bead blasted during the reman process and don't get repainted. The Cardone remans I bought had only the very faintest of green hue to them.


I don't know about the remans direct from Subaru, but the one's I bought from Cardone DO NOT come with the dust baffles. Cost me $50 to order them and a bit of hair pulling to get them installed. Can't complain too much because I got both axles for under $80 total. I was about to order Cardone remans for the rear but Subaru discontinued one of the baffles. They're difficult to get off the old axles without completely destroying them.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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1. Do not replace axles - reboot them. The Subaru axles last the life of the vehicle.
2. A small amount of play is entirely normal.

The Subaru reman can come grey:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-OE...-/141834469475?fits=Make:Subaru|Model:Outback

I'd still rather have an OEM original green cup axle over a reman, even if it came from Subaru.

Get a green one from a yard.

If you ever do need one, just get a Subaru reman and avoid aftermarket. They're only $200 and since you shouldn't be ever doing it except unless absolutely necessary the cost is minimal.

$200 is well worth avoiding the statistical rates of issues with aftermarkets unless you like to take chances, will only ever do this one time in your life (keeping stats in your favor), won't drive it long, or your time is cheap.
 

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2006 Outback LL Bean H6. Ivory interior, Moss green exterior. 132K
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249 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
1. Do not replace axles - reboot them. The Subaru axles last the life of the vehicle.
2. A small amount of play is entirely normal.
My car has that dreaded low speed shimmy (boots are good). The harder you push the gas to take off, the worse it is. I've checked the trans mount, it looks good, attached well to both plates and appears overall in good shape. The previous owner must have been trying to chase this down, the car has a brand new driveshaft on it. If I knew for sure this would fix it, I'd invest the $$ but that's lot of money to spend on "it could be that is wrong with it" Appears this car is plagued with this problem, I see many posts about it. Looks like axles usually fix it but not always. The car has 122K on it. I just want to smooth this thing out.
 

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My car has that dreaded low speed shimmy (boots are good). The harder you push the gas to take off, the worse it is. I've checked the trans mount, it looks good, attached well to both plates and appears overall in good shape. The previous owner must have been trying to chase this down, the car has a brand new driveshaft on it. If I knew for sure this would fix it, I'd invest the $$ but that's lot of money to spend on "it could be that is wrong with it" Appears this car is plagued with this problem, I see many posts about it. Looks like axles usually fix it but not always. The car has 122K on it. I just want to smooth this thing out.
got it. some axle play is normal, the shimmy is not.

Are yours aftermarket axles, or "not green"? If they are then there's a significant chance they are (or will be haha) problematic.

doesn't sound like your issue but those rear control arm bushings fail all the time on 05-09's.

vibration under load (uphill/accelerating) that goes away the moment you let off the gas pedal is almost always the axle, specifically the front inner CV joints so what you're describing sounds about right.

you could try to swap axles left to right and see if the symptoms migrate or change.
also during that time you could try pulling the boot back and regreasing it.

if you can get the car pointed up a steep incline at a stop light and turn the steering wheel to full lock right and full lock left - and then hit the gas good - take note if the noise is different under full lock left and right but identical conditions (same stop/incline).
 

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2006 Outback LL Bean H6. Ivory interior, Moss green exterior. 132K
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Discussion Starter #10
got it. some axle play is normal, the shimmy is not.

Are yours aftermarket axles, or "not green"? If they are then there's a significant chance they are (or will be haha) problematic.

doesn't sound like your issue but those rear control arm bushings fail all the time on 05-09's.

vibration under load (uphill/accelerating) that goes away the moment you let off the gas pedal is almost always the axle, specifically the front inner CV joints so what you're describing sounds about right.

you could try to swap axles left to right and see if the symptoms migrate or change.
also during that time you could try pulling the boot back and regreasing it.

if you can get the car pointed up a steep incline at a stop light and turn the steering wheel to full lock right and full lock left - and then hit the gas good - take note if the noise is different under full lock left and right but identical conditions (same stop/incline).
Indeed, not green. They look like they've been in there a very long time unlike the brand new driveshaft. How do I know if those rear bushings are bad? Obvious visuals or do you have to pry on the arm and look at movement? We bought this car about three weeks ago and so far every weekend has been us working on it. We drove to Houston to buy it and in driving it back home to the Austin area, things started showing on the 175 mile trip. One was the rear end of the car felt like it had a mind of its own. Reading on here, it sounds like "ghost walking" We did know the struts were bad. We changed the rear struts with KYB. Did help the ride and the wobble but it still feels a bit "wobbly" back there so the struts didn't fix the entire problem. Looks like most of those arms in the back are available as replacements w/bushings installed so should be easy to change.
Thanks for those tips. I'll try what you suggested. Do you know what the issue is that makes them do this (front axle vibration)? Poor design, and the car can't balance the torque properly because of it?
not related, but the tires are almost new and all match. I suspect the previous owner tried to fix the vibration, then decided to trade it in to avoid the repairs and these things didn't show up on the test drive. Houston streets are so bad, we didn't notice the vibration until later. So now I'm left to fix it all! :-0

Cheers,
John
 

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2006 Outback LL Bean H6. Ivory interior, Moss green exterior. 132K
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Discussion Starter #11
@idosubaru quick question. If I were to pick one or more up at a wrecking yard, how do I know if it's good? I know this is a gamble. I guess the biggest gamble is that it's the correct axle if you don't see it come off the car. I've seen them fairly inexpensive on that car parts search site at some yards. Is it usually a safe bet, if the boots are good, that it would be a good one?
 

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I’ve never gotten a bad used OEM axle. I’m sure it happens but its rare.

You’re in a situation where you’re removing working axles so at least you’ve got an immediate solution if one is bad. Otherwise I’d say buy an extra used OEM just in case.

Low mileage, looks good, no rusty state trash, and maybe avoid coastal or sandy areas and the northeast in the event that a prior boot being torn allowed abrasives into the joint. But I’m just making that up except that I have seen axles go bad quicker in those areas for those reasons. But I’ve never bought used axles that way.
 

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I don’t use eBay often but sometimes it’s nice seeing the condition and is worth looking their.
 

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2005 OBXT Ltd Obsidian Black 5MT
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1. Do not replace axles - reboot them. The Subaru axles last the life of the vehicle.
2. A small amount of play is entirely normal.
So I had been operating under these assumptions for quite some time now, especially with regard to #1. But now I question this assumption.

I just replaced both of my front axles with brand new Subaru OEM and it solved a whole host of problems I've been having. About four years ago the passenger inner boot split on mine and I rebooted it (the driver's side split this spring). Over the past couple of years I've had a bit of a wobble begin to develop and when I swapped in a new engine with sti mounts and new suspension all around, it became more pronounced. With the new engine, I began fighting feedback knock correction that I hadn't been able to track down. I was also having a problem at constant or light accelleration on uneven or rough or slight decline pavement I would begin to have a "bounce" back and forth like something was loose, but nothing was that I could find.

Over the course of attempting to diagnose and eliminate these problems I had replaced the center diff, entire transmission, and all wheel bearings, in that order. Finally I decided to point my wallet at the axles and I wish I would have started there. I started with the passenger side since that was the the older one by repair and found that the boot had just split again. As soon as I put the new OEM axle in, it was a night and day difference with how the car drove. I was now only getting minor knock correction and the drivetrain felt like it was hooking up, and the wobble was much more subdued. I replaced the driver's side on Friday and it's now driving like a new car. I still have a slight wobble, but I think that's my driveshaft. The biggest thing is that the car no longer feels like it's bouncing on slight declines and no feedback knock correction. So with regard to #2, I don't believe there should be any play whatsoever. They should be tight. Both of the axles I replaced appeared to be OEM, but I am not 100% sure.
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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@idosubaru quick question. If I were to pick one or more up at a wrecking yard, how do I know if it's good? I know this is a gamble. I guess the biggest gamble is that it's the correct axle if you don't see it come off the car. I've seen them fairly inexpensive on that car parts search site at some yards. Is it usually a safe bet, if the boots are good, that it would be a good one?
I got good service from terryvilleautoparts on ebay and also shawautoparts likewise on ebay. I think I paid $60 each and they came in great condition - well, 3 of them did and the one that wasn't the OEM I called on and they sent me an OEM right away and just told me to keep the other.

I've found you have better luck when you have contact with the seller and tell they exactly what you're looking for rather than hoping they look at the description they have from ebay.

Don't be too disappointed if this doesn't solve your vibration problem. But at least that's one thing to check off the list.

Update: I just checked terryvilleautoparts and they have a bunch of Gen 3 OB H6 AT parts available. Average cost is $65 each with free shipping.
 

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2009 3.0R Outback
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Here's a link to the Cardone remans I bought (finally in stock again)...


https://www.ebay.com/itm/152708532367


Quite a bit cheaper than Subaru remans if you're willing to deal with the baffle plate issue. They completely cured my wobble caused by aftermarket shafts from the previous owner. They do come with a new nut.


The baffle plate numbers are 28337AG000 and 28337XA01A.
 

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Heres a good one for ya. I also have OEM remans from the dealer. No green whatsoever. I put them in probably 10 k miles ago. Recently the vibes got really bad. I wasn't suspecting axles because I just replaced them. However, I got under the car and the driver side front axle was (although it was engaged in the splines) not seated against the differential. It was actually about 3/4 to 1 inch out of the diff!! WTF! so I pulled it all apart to try to re-seat the axle and I could do no better than the way I had found it. I removed the clip and it still wouldn't go. As two heads are usually better than one I called a friend to come have a go at it. He noticed the splines on either side of the channel where the snap ring seats were off set. Is this normal for a subi oem axle?
 

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The splines on either side of the groove are machined at the same time. For them to be offset like that means the shaft had to have come out and was only being engaged on the end, causing the end to twist. That thing is toast.
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean 3.0
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Is it possible it came disengaged during normal driving or ws it not fully seated at initial install?
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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Is it possible it came disengaged during normal driving or ws it not fully seated at initial install?
I installed aftermarket NAPA axles which I believe were ICardone and something similar happened to me. The spline disengaged and when I would bear down on the accelerator, it felt like the transmission was slipping. I tried to reseat the spline but the keeper wouldn't hold. That's when I decided to find some OEM axles and no problems after that!
 
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