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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a new CV Axle for my 99 OB Wagon MT. The driver's side front just gave out. I immediately called MWE to order a pair for the front and they're closed until January 2nd! My local Subaru Dealer sells re manufactured ones for $170 a piece. MWE wants $85 a piece. I can't wait 2 weeks for MWE but the cost of the Subaru Re manufactured ones is steep. Not to mention that Justin Stobb at All Wheel Drive Auto claims that the Subaru remans are not dependable:

Seattle Subaru CV Boots And Axle Problems Explained - Seattle Subaru Repair

I read on here that Cardone does the remans for Subaru. Does anyone know if this is true or not? My local Napa sells Cardone Remans for $50. I'm thinking of going that route.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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My Cardone vibrated so badly I had it replaced with an MWE in under a year, couldn't stand it.

That being said, if the boot just split, it may be rebootable. Easier fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not split. The axle came apart at the wheel side. Went to take off from a stop sign and suddenly had no power. Limped home at low speed. Looked underneath at a greasy mess. the inner side of the joint was resting on the inner side of my wheel! This seems pretty rare. If it was just the boot, I;d re-boot without even thinking twice.
 

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Try Raxles in gainesville, fl. The price I was seeing for remaned were closer to $170 and I called around including MWE. Not sure where people are getting the $85 price. Maybe I just sounded like I wanted my money less?

Tom
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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EMPI from RockAuto.

No problems with either one on the wife's Outback. New, properly case hardened from a ISO 9002 factory. - not rebuilt.

under $70 IIRC.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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oh - just found this on another board;

RockAuto discount code

1255523510265791

Expires on 02-17-13

(no connection other than satisfied customer)
 

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Get a used Subaru axle (green end cups) and reboot it. I get them for $25 - $33 from. Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

If you have to buy new the only brand that seems worth trying is EMPI. The rest are high percentage failures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, did some more research. The Subaru Remanufactured axles are indeed made by Cardone. Says so right on the box . Even has the Cardone part number (60-7007) printed right on the Subaru Box.

http://www.porcupine73.com/pics/axle/SOA966H900R1-label1-lg.jpg

The axle remans at Napa are also rebuilt by Cardone. The one for my car had the same Cardone part number (60-7007) right on the box. It seems this is good evidence that Subaru packages the same Cardone remans into Subaru boxes and charges 3 times the price ($170 vs $50 from NAPA).

Here is the wrench in the story. I went to Napa to get it and in the box was a new, made in china axle NOT a Reman even though it said reman on the box. I asked and they said that Cardone will just put new axles in the reman boxes when they dont have any remans available. I'm sure that Subaru at least demands that all of the ones they sell are actual remans and NOT new ones. I'm calling around to other parts store in town to see if they have truly re manufactured Cardone axles.

I think its safe to say that if you can find Cardones that are actual remans, there is absolutely no reason to pay a premium price for the ones in a Subaru box. Are they good quality? Who knows. I personally think that MWE axles are the best option but they are not open until January 2nd.

What to do? Seriously considering just putting on the Cardone Chinese one.
 

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ANY reman'ed axle that has been re-ground and had oversize bearings put in, has also lost it's case hardened surfaces.

seriously, did you check the EMPI prices at RockAuto? you can install it and KEEP your soob axle to reboot at your leisure - no need for a core exchange.

move your re-booted axle to the other side (which also presents less worn surfaces since it's mostly run in what was the reverse direction) and reboot that axle - save for a spare.
 

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What to do?
Get a used Subaru axle (green end cups) and reboot it. I get them for $25 - $33 from. Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
If you have to buy new the only brand that seems worth trying is EMPI. The rest are high percentage failures.
Do whatever you want. It's not like all aftermarket axles fail - they just suck really bad. A high percentage fail...like 25% are bad out of the box, that's awful and a waste of time for me, but my time is valuable. But that means 75% are okay, and that's acceptable to some (usually until they get burned, LOL). Yet even "good" 75% will see more issues over the life of the car than OEM's i wouldn't expect 200,000 miles out of them like you can an OEM axle. again, not worth my time, but it is for many since a good percent still last the life of ownership for people.

It seems this is good evidence that Subaru packages the same Cardone remans into Subaru boxes and charges 3 times the price ($170 vs $50 from NAPA).
this actually doesn't mean they all meet the same criteria, in the same way that any company makes batches of product. Subaru might get everything that meets certain QA, tolerances, and spec's, another distributor (Cardon themselves) might have a different set of QA, tolerances, and specs they box stuff for wider distribution. Subaru might get the cream of the crop, or top %30.

i'm not saying it does happen like those, only that it can. and given the how terrible aftermarket axles generally are it is obvious the industry as a whole does not have impeccable quality.

Your experience may even proof the illustration:

I went to Napa to get it and in the box was a new, made in china axle NOT a Reman even though it said reman on the box.
this might not be acceptable for Subaru but it is for Cardone. Cardone is not bound by Subaru standards for what they put in their boxes for distribution elsewhere.

Yet there's even some suggestions that the Subaru reman's aren't as robust as OEM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All very good points.

At last, I got a lucky break. The local import parts dealer here used to get all their axles re-manufactured by an independent re-builder out of California. I've used them before in other cars and they were great. Unfortunately the guy went out of business when the flood of Chinese axles came in. By some stroke of luck, they had three in their warehouse for my car. They are closing out anything they have left over from this guy. I bought two for $30 a piece. I can pick them up tomorrow. Also, I don't need to give them my cores because the guy's not building them anyway. They specifically told me that the guy rebuilt all the axles in his own shop and does not regrind them. Kind of the same philosophy as the Raxles. I'm going to replace both of them, toss the one that blew apart and reboot the other original as a spare.
 

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Beyond the poor quality axle

Hi Everyone,

I usually stay away from the forums, I have a lot of links form my articles posted here, I do read a few of the threads from time to time in the links but usually shy away from commenting, this one demands a few points that are being overlooked.

Id like to convey just a few things as I fell very passionately about helping Subaru Owners.

One of the consequences of the Subaru Reman axles, axles from Empi or any other made in China axle is drive train wear, we unfortunately see a lot of front differential failures when a poor quality axle has been installed the front diff is a very expensive repair that I honestly would just assume see no one ever go through.

I know that the $50.00 dollar price, or even the $70.00 dollar price is so compelling when comparing to the $379.99 that a brand new axle from Subaru Costs.

We have had success with Empi to a point that I would like to explain. Empi only uses the larger joints on their axles they feel its " heavy Duty" and back in the day the 2wd legacys used a larger axle to help with torque steer so technically the Empi axle is the original Legacy 2.2l, 2wd Cv axle, if you have ever installed them, you had to have noticed the difference. If you roll with one Empi Axle with a greater rotating mass VS the OE axle on the other side you have lost the weight portion of your symmetrical AWD system not to mentioned changed the drive train over the OE design. The larger inboard joint puts the axle that much closer to the Exhaust on the passenger side of the NA 4 cylinder Subaru's. Many are aware its the right side inner boot that fails the quickest due to the heat of the exhaust and that boot being the closet one to it. This also exists on Turbo models, but Im trying to keep my post as small as I can. So if you elect to go with Empi please do both fronts and know the right side inner boot may fail quicker than anticipated and you may have trouble finding the proper size boot. This is our third option for local customers and one we use once we have exhausted other options.

There isn't enough time or room for me to comment on the other Chinese axles a sold at most parts stores. I am going to stop there only to say, they will fit, they may cause a vibration at idle and they may or may not over a period of time damage the front diff assembly.

The Subaru reman is hit or miss, the program has at times been halted due to quality issues but it has been a while since that happened. If you go this route at a minimum paint the axle shafts, and use lots of grease on the inner splines on the inboard joint and the splines on the outboard joint where it fits into the hub. One of my complaints is the sand blasting causes pits, the pits decrease the surface area in contact with the Stub shaft at the Trans (up to 2005) and the outer joint at the hub and also makes the sandblasted metal more suspect to rust. This creates service issues going forward in the event you get a good Subaru reman to start out with, which is hit or miss sometimes.

We buy a lot of cores ( Subaru OE only), and piece together axles at the shop, reboot existing Subaru axles as much as possible and from there suggest the New Subaru Axle at the $379.99. I will like to point out what many do not know, is that the higher the price of the part from Subaru the lower the margin is If I used the Subaru reman axles I would actually make more money, if I used Empi I would make much more, brand X china a killing. That is an entirely different discussion, however I point this out to show that for us suggesting what we know to the the best option is always what we do, we understand budgets as well but for some other aspect of Subaru Service and repair there is only the OE option, sometimes I wish there wasn't as many options as there are...

I know many have had good luck with this brand or that, so have I, but I have also been burned badly by inferior components. At the Shop level I have had to many conversations with a customer about a huge repair bill brought on by an inferior component installed a few years ago somewhere else.

I am not here trying to stir anything up, just want to add a few points about the possible long term affects of cheaper components that I feel need to be part of the thought process.

Thanks

Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the insight Justin. I look to your site a lot for advice. When I have changed Axles in the past, I just went with what was available and didn't give it much thought. I really like my Subaru and I stumbled upon your blog post about axles. It's really what stirred me up about all this. Thanks a lot :p. I have kind of come to the same conclusion as you. New Subaru Axles are the best, anything else is a gamble. If I could, I would look for some used ones in good shape and reboot. None available locally and I need to get my car going again. If mine didn't blow apart I would reboot, no question, but I'm stuck. Budget is a factor.

I remember less than 10 years ago, you could take your axles and have them rebuilt locally or get some good remans from local import parts stores. Not to sure about for Subarus but for Nissans and Toyotas. Now, it's all Chinese. That's capitalism working at its best.

I'm going to try these remans that I mentioned above. It's a gamble I know, but its my best affordable option, I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, here are some pics of the axles I got. They are remans of actual Subaru axles. Put one on today with no problems. We'll see how they last. The last one from this place I installed on a Nissan and it lasted at least 8 years until I sold the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Please look at the rest of the posts. I said at least twice that it wasn't just the boot. The axle blew apart at the wheel.
 
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