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'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Getting tired of climbing under the car. 168k mi. so really can't complain. Seems when it rains, it pours..haha. Broke my neck several years ago and doesn't give me trouble unless I'm doing something like replacing half shafts and crap like that. Anyway, who has the best prices and warranties etc. etc. Who ya like cardoc, and everybody else who has good info? You too Lucky Tex...but seriously, all of you out there are good people!! Keep me from shooting the car please! 02 OBW H6 auto trans...LL Bean, if that matters. Thanks folks!
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,935 Posts
I put in a NAPA, no issues except I had to try 2 to find one which would match the roll-pin holes (and yes, I tried it both ways, weird).

I also put in an EMPI, which was highly recommended, but it caused a mild case of the at-idle-in-gear-not-moving vibrations.

I'd suggest the harbor-freight ball-joint popper to avoid the pinch-bolt, and I'd say get the sturdy axle remover which is a squat, 1-piece axle pusher designed to be hot with a hammer.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I've only done 2 half axles - got EMPI from RockAuto. no problems, seem like a great product.

MWE (or whatever they're called now) reboots soob axles. they are in Colorado.

some people re-boot soob axles themselves, but, you might do better rebooting lower mileage ones from a junkyard. Also, try to swap sides. If you need a left side, get a right side to reboot. you get wear surfaces that only saw action in reverse. Even re-booting yours and swapping sides might be a decent option. i haven't rebooted an axle yet but have the parts for the last one out of my wife's outback. You can find DIY for cleaning thos things, looks messy , labor is the same as installing a new axle so - up to you.

you have some other ways to go but, MANY people report problems with typical rebuilts from O'Reilly, Autozone etc. And new dealer axles are $$$$$

recently, there's been news of some buyout/spinoff at EMPI so, maybe Raxles is worth a try?
 

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Premium Member
'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I like the idea of getting the opposite side from a junkyard. Problem with that Tex is that the rednecks who live here in Alabama don't drive Subies. I can ride around all week and count how many I see on one hand. Dealer wants $180 for a oem reman with the core. That would save about 30-40 bucks on shipping. subarupartsforyou wants about $150 for oem reman with core, but shipping both ways kinda kills that deal. Alabama sucks.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I like the idea of getting the opposite side from a junkyard. Problem with that Tex is that the rednecks who live here in Alabama don't drive Subies. I can ride around all week and count how many I see on one hand. Dealer wants $180 for a oem reman with the core. That would save about 30-40 bucks on shipping. subarupartsforyou wants about $150 for oem reman with core, but shipping both ways kinda kills that deal. Alabama sucks.

same thing here - I think there's fewr soobs in my zipcode as on one city block in Colorado

seriously, try Rockauto.com , EMPI, if available, probably well under $75 and maybe only 10-15$ over local rebuilt. they are new from an ISO-9000 factory. Then, maybe rebuild/reboot your old one at your leisure to put in the other side. Then rebuild that one for later on when needed?
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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Rebooting is so simply, there is no need to get a 'spare' so you can take your time. It's not more than a 45 min job if you really take your time. You do need a spring ring pliers to make it easier. First time I didn't have one, and it was painful with small screwdrivers.

Boots are ~$20 from amazon.

Tom
 

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'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'll try the site Dave...thanks for the info. And Tom, this never fails to happen....I'ts just me and my son in the house and as soon as I start tearing things down, I need a certain tool, something comes up that I need the car immediately, starts raining....my OB is the only car I have, and if it's not running, I'm stuck. I replace far better than fix, just don't trust myself remanning anything in the drivetrain!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I'll try the site Dave...thanks for the info. And Tom, this never fails to happen....I'ts just me and my son in the house and as soon as I start tearing things down, I need a certain tool, something comes up that I need the car immediately, starts raining....my OB is the only car I have, and if it's not running, I'm stuck. I replace far better than fix, just don't trust myself remanning anything in the drivetrain!
unless they've been clicking for months or there's some other major problem, axles will run for a long time with a boot open or even if the click a little turning.

So, you may have time on the axle. Of course, the longer a joint is run exposed, the more damage that could prevent a rebuild from lasting.

You could buy an EMPI and swap it, or take it to an indie mech, and have them swap it. Front axles on soobs are not much different than front axles on other cars and shouldn't take long or be confusing for a good mechanic.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
Axles:

1. reboot if the boots are torn. the OEM axles are far better quality than replacement axles. if it's vibrating under acceleration, rebooting will still be fine unless the car has just been trashed and abused.

2. buy a used OEM Subaru axle (green cups) with intact boots and reboot it. Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market, i get them for $25-$33 each.

3. MWE

Aftermarket axles are a waste of time - %75 (making that number up) are good. That means %25 are not... it's not due to my neck but I don't have time to mess around with doing jobs twice/returns, etc.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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I'll try the site Dave...thanks for the info. And Tom, this never fails to happen....I'ts just me and my son in the house and as soon as I start tearing things down, I need a certain tool, something comes up that I need the car immediately, starts raining....my OB is the only car I have, and if it's not running, I'm stuck. I replace far better than fix, just don't trust myself remanning anything in the drivetrain!
The only place you can get stuck is on the removal (ball joint pinch bolt). The actual 'rebuild' is very simple. Walk through here:

http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/replace-rebuild-torn-cv-boot-and-axle-108975.html?t=108975

If you are worried about getting stuck, I would worry on the removal side, not on the rebooting side.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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I personally have had good luck so far taking the ball joint apart at the pinch bolt BTW. Just use a large pry bar between the control arm and the knuckle and it pops out.

This is in Colorado, no salt, just magnesium chloride. 7 years worth, and I've gotten both sides out recently for the first time.

Just my experience.
 

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'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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Discussion Starter #14
The strange thing about it is that it makes no noise at all. It's not very happy about turning lock to lock, but what it looks like is that the grease inside the boot...the boot IS split...is getting hot and leaking on the cat and smoking. I initially thought that I had a PS leak, but the level is normal. I can still hear a little strain when I turn the wheel, esp at low speeds, but is much better since tensioner and idler replacement. I will pay special attention to the PS level now...hot and cold. By the way, Raxles offers virtually new half shafts (no reman grinding) for $180 incl. core and shipping both ways. Lifetime warranty! Can't put a price on peace of mind.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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have you looked in the PS tank for bubbles/foam while idling? common problem to need an o-ring in the hose adapter on top of the pump.

everybody with our cars gets the grease on the exhaust - try to clean it off when you swap axles but expect to smell it for a while.
 

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'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
front axles

have you looked in the PS tank for bubbles/foam while idling? common problem to need an o-ring in the hose adapter on top of the pump.

everybody with our cars gets the grease on the exhaust - try to clean it off when you swap axles but expect to smell it for a while.
That's a great idea Tex. Makes sense because the system is pressurized, just like brake systems and master cylinders. I wonder how much of a pain it would be to bleed the PS lines??? Whatcha think? Where do you think would be a good bleed point?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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That's a great idea Tex. Makes sense because the system is pressurized, just like brake systems and master cylinders. I wonder how much of a pain it would be to bleed the PS lines??? Whatcha think? Where do you think would be a good bleed point?
Soob ps systems do a good job of purging air themselves (there is a procedure, but it isn't really necessary for the o-ring repair), the specific problem here though, is an o-ring (sometimes the hose itself or its end clamps) that allows air to be sucked in all the time. it causes a whine, sometimes groaning noises, from the PS system. Of course there are other problems that can occur in the PS system, but the o-ring is very common. Just take the plastic intake off (2 10mm head screws) take the cap off the tank, idle the car. If there's just a little movement and no bubbles or foaming, then you can look elsewhere for steering problems. But, there can be bubbles and even foaming, the air only gets in at the pump or the suction hose. Could be rack or steering coupling or pump problems.

check here;

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/40884-how-does-air-get-into-power-steering-system.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/48370-power-steering-extremely-loud-noise.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/110-gen-2-2000-2004/51101-please-help-cold-start-groan-whine-thats-getting-worse.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/110-gen-2-2000-2004/49266-anyone-replace-steering-coupling-u-joint.html
 

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'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Great advice, as usual. I'll be in a really good position to check the whole topside of the system, I nicked the little L shaped hose that runs behind the PS pump when I changed the idler pulley. Some folks may have the tools to get to that hose easily, but not me! Nobody stocks that hose, so I won't get it until Friday probably. So I'll be loosening the PS pump and it's bracket to get to it. No way am I going to let a $7 part blow a head gasket or worse, warp the head itself. 2 birds with 1 stone. Can I get an Amen! lol
 

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'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Sorry, I did replace the idler pulley but also did the tensioner as well. THAT'S how I hit that ppain in the.... hose!
 
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