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2016 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #1
So, about a year or so ago, the passenger side CV boot on my 2001 Outback was torn, so I decided to replace the entire CV axle shaft. I went out and purchased a "refurbished Subaru CV axle shaft", or so the labeling said, from a local auto parts store.

I asked my neighbor, who has a nice shop/garage/lift behind his house, to install it. He is a retired mechanic who does side work, so I'm assuming all the labor he provided was OK.

Also, I purchased a new diff seal from my local Subaru dealership, and had him install it while he was in there.

It has been leaking on and off ever since. Driving my crazy since it drips on to the cat and smokes everywhere!

I have provided two pics. The pic with the green CV joint is the drivers side that does NOT leak. The pic with the grey CV joint is the new CV axle shaft that was installed. It looks like there is a piece that is missing in this pic where the CV axle joins the differential. It may be a separate piece missing (taken off put not put back on), or it may be the end of the new CV axle shaft itself that has a part missing, or maybe the CV axle shaft did not come with the part?

Either way, I believe this missing piece/part may be the source of the leak??

Any ideas??

Thanks!!
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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860 Posts
Looks like your missing the axle baffle plate, Baffle Plate-doj #23233GA071. The diff seal may not be seated properly too causing the leak, so that may be good to check on and buy another one just in case.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R
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184 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
:D

Thank you for your quick reply. I will take that part number (and double-check to make sure it fits my year) to my dealership tomorrow and get the part, along with another seal.

So, how does it fit into place? Is it put into place on the diff housing before you mount the CV axle, or does it somehow fit on to the end of the axle before the axle is mounted to the diff?

And, IF the baffle plate is supposed to fit directly onto the end of the axle, then I am wondering if my aftermarket axle is compatible with an OEM baffle plate.

Hmmmmm.....
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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514 Posts
That baffle plate is part of the axle assembly. It goes onto the differential-end of the axle and should have been on an axle that is rebuilt, unless your particular vehicle doesn't have that plate.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R
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184 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Crap. The "remanufactured" cv axle I installed did not have this baffle plate. Let me see if the dealership will sell one, and then see if it will install on the end of the axle. If not, I guess I will have to purchase a reman cv axle from Subaru to ensure all parts are present. I don' t want to go through this again!

At least I now know the reason for the leak....
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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The baffle plate doesn't contact the seal, at least it didn't on my '05.

I believe the baffle plate is just a ridge to keep pebbles and whatever from possibly damaging the seal.

When I replaced the right-front differential seal (from the Subaru Dealer), I then put a bit of Dow Corning 111 Silicone Grease around the inner axle splines, so when that clip (#2 in the illustration) is slid by the new seal, the clip doesn't cause any problems to the new seal (like cutting or tearing the new seal). Hopefully, you get it right the first time. I also used the DC111 grease on the entire seal, a small amount rubbed into the whole seal.

Did you compare the axles? I put them both side by side and made sure they were identical in length, when pushing both together all the way and when pulling them both apart all the way.

Both were identical to each other in every respect.

The seal goes on one way. I made a notation which way the OEM seal was removed. Even with a hard-plastic prescription bottle neck that I used to set the seal, I did have to do quite a bit of hammering to be certain the seal was set all the way! I can see how easy it would be to miss installing the seal until it bottoms-out and stops going any further.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R
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184 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Saint J VT. My car is 2001 and yours a 2005, so I believe these are different generations, although I'm sure quite similiar.

At this point, I will just bring it to my dealership for them to take a look and re-set things to how they are supposed to be. I think my CV axle replacement was hurriedly botched. My dealership has been good to me, so maybe I should have just taken it ther to begin with. With a little luck it will only need a new seal and baffle plate, or maybe a new seal and reman axle with the baffle plate included.

I actually replaced the other side CV boot prior with no issues. But then again the only thing that was replaced was a $10 boot. The only reason I took the passenger side cv axle in for somebody else to repair was because that whole wheel area has so much rust and dealing with rust- frozen parts and joints is a pain!!

I'll keep you posted.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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Excellent plan of action!
I agree with everything you stated, ESPECIALLY the RUST - which I can relate to!:17:
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #9
Well, that was the correct assessment, and agreed to by my local Subie dealership. They installed a new seal and refurbished OEM axle WITH a baffle plate (they said a baffle plate would not fit on the after-market cv axle on there now, so they have to replace the whole axle, which makes sense), all for $360 (including my 10% coupon from their website. I am cheap, errr thrifty, I know! :p)

Also, interesting note, they called to tell me their plan of action, and that they were having a very difficult time removing the exhaust due to rust, which they had to do in order to remove the axle. I asked if they were trying to remove the exhaust in order to access the "roll pin", and they said yes.

I did not want to be a backseat driver and tell them to remove the air box, take a double ratchet extension, and knock the pin out from above the engine, but in the end they must have figured that out b/c I looked under the car and I don't see any signs that the exhaust has been changed or tampered with.

So, they either did that, or just pulled the half-shaft from the diff and removed the pin then, but I hope they did not do this!!! LOL

Checking the diff fluid level after the repair, I see they overfilled it. Crap. I JUST DID the drain-and-fill last weekend, and don't want to go back and pull the plug to drain some out!
 

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2001 Outback VDC 3.0H6
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35 Posts
1999 Subaru Outback wagon.
Have replaced driver's side CV axle once already...
How do I know when the axles are going bad? I am getting some "Shuttering" during acceleration (seems to happen just when starting from a stop..i.e. in 1st or 2nd gear, auto trans).
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
How do I know when the axles are going bad? .
you already answered that question:

Have replaced driver's side CV axle once already...
if you used an aftermarket axle - welcome to the party of poor axle quality. pseduo-kidding aside:

1. vibration on acceleration is classic inner front axle joint wear.
2. if it's due to a craptastic aftermarket axle then you simply need another axle.
3. if the axle has a broken boot and it's an original SUbaru OEM (green inner cup) axle then often times the vibration goes away if properly cleaned and regreased with new boots installed.


Best process for axle repair/maintenance:

A. NEVER replace a Subaru axle - you're throwing away a good axle and installing lesser grade aftermarket that are prone to issues. terrible long term solution

B. Cleaned and regreased inner joints often times clear up symptoms (vibration/noise on acceleration/under load) and run perfectly fine. I haven't tried the same on noisy outer joints. This is only a good option if you can do the labor yourself usually and you know something of the history...aka "it's been broken for only a month" or "it's been broken since the dinosaurs walked the planet"

C. If replacement is necessary get a Subaru OEM used axle and reboot it. Routinely available for $15 - $40 and everywhere ships now. Just verify it's a Subaru OEM axle (Front inner green cups).
All 00-04 Outback/legacy are the same axle:
Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

D. if you must replace buy from FWE in Denver or RetroRoo who sells FWE axles.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Also - I've seen aftermarket boots fail in 2-3 years on higher stanced Subaru's like Outbacks, I'd stick with OEM Subaru axle boots particularly on cars with increased ground clearance and angles like OBW's.
 

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'06' Outback 2.5i w/ 5MT; '98' Forester L w/ 4EAT; 2017 Volvo XC60 T5
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252 Posts
Checking the diff fluid level after the repair, I see they overfilled it. Crap. I JUST DID the drain-and-fill last weekend, and don't want to go back and pull the plug to drain some out!
If you have a little handheld vacuum pump kit, they work like a charm for stuff like this ($20 cost at most auto parts stores or Amazon). Remove the dipstick from the fill hole, stick the tubing down in there and suck some of the gear oil out. Super easy to do... won't take you more than 5 minutes, with zero mess. Did this exact thing on my '06' OBW after changing both inner CV boots and getting a bit overzealous on the gear oil refill.
 
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