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Discussion Starter #1
I've had an intermittent light vibration in our '04 VDC for some time. On christmas day (of course) it quickly turned into a very worrying vibration under any load. I've been searching for a cheap core shaft since hoping to replace the joints

Yes, I've searched, and found a bunch of posts saying they're not rebuildable. That's not true.

There are 2 shops here in town that can rebuild them. But they both do a COMPLETE rebuild, included Ujoints, carrier bearing, balance, paint....my cost is about $250. I'm going to try rebuilding it myself.

We've tried used ones here, most of them have worn joints...not worth the install time IMHO.

Dorman makes an aftermarket shaft, same part number for '96-'04 Outback AT. I fished a donor shaft out of the scrap bin here at work with bad joints that came from an '07 4EAT Outback. I've measured it, and held it up under my car, and it looks like it should work, at least temporarily (front half was hardest to measure, looks like it might be a hair short, but I'm not worried about the slip yoke having a little less engagement for street use for a week).

Rockford offers joints specifically to replace the staked in applications. Here's their application list for the 430-10 part (the Justy is the only Subaru found elsewhere in their list).
http://www.rockforddriveline.com/media/documents/Vehicle_Fitment_430-10.pdf

You may notice it lists Legacy/Outback 1990-2009.

Using parts interchange listings, and trying other vehicles on that list, I came up with a few other part numbers. Napa lists a UJ10430, although there was no availability. Autozone lists a 2-0430DL, of which they had 4 in their Hub store across town. I now have 2 of those sitting on my desk (they are greasable, btw).

I tried unbolting the driveshaft several months ago, and one of the nuts at the rear diff flange is rounded, so I ordered 4 new bolts, nuts, and lock washers.


Tonight I'm going to swap the '07 shaft in, and then start the process of ujoint removal. From my research, the only part that I'm nervous about is getting the new joint centered.
 

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I will start with the easy stuff. Currently there is a national back order on these joints. There are three companies that sell them, Neapco, Spicer and Rockford. I sort of suspect that Spicer reboxes the neapco joints as I have bought both and they were identical. I have read mixed reviews about the Rockford joints. Either way I don't think you can source them at the current time. I can't tell you when they will be available.

The joints are not as robust as the OE joint. The issue is probably due to water sealing. They are greasable but I have had a hard time getting them to push grease through all of the caps. IE, when I grease them grease only comes out of some of the caps. I think you will need to grease them atleast every year to keep them going and prevent premature failures.

I have worked on two driveshafts with ~200k miles on them. Both of them only had issues with the the front joint. Specifically the yoke that hooks to the transmission was dry. The other yoke was fine of the front joint and the rear joint was fine. I would only recommend replacing the front joint. You mileage may very.

I have a press and it is still a time consuming effort. Its sort of awkward working with the long driveshaft.

Alignment/centering of the joint may be a issue from what I have read. I paid attention to this and I don't think I introduced any issues.

Mark the alignment/phase of the yokes!!!!!! I did this when I did the first shaft but forgot when I worked on the second one. I remembered after I had the old joint out. Wholly crap I spent a lot of time trying to determine how the thing came apart looking at various nicks and scratches on the parts so I could figure out the original phase.


Now the bad news. I originally went down this path because I had vibrations from a VDC vehicle that is new to me and I have been working on. I swapped the shaft from my 01 LL Bean which had joints in worse condition and the vibration went away so I am pretty confident it is the driveshaft from the VDC car. So I did both joints on the VDC car driveshaft and the vibration is still there!!!! Took the shaft to a balancer who said it seemed fine but added a small weight, vibration is still there!!!! At this point I don't know what is wrong with the shaft but new joints did not fix it.

I ended up replacing the front joint on the LLBean car's driveshaft because it seemed so bad, but I didn't get vibrations from that shaft in either car. I figured it might be a problem in the future so I wanted to replace it.

They are also sometimes painful to put back together as you need to get all the old stakes cleaned out of they will catch on the new joint when you are pressing them in.

The key to getting them apart in the first place is getting the needles to fall over in the cap so the cap will press out. This can be a real headache.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info Glennda!

They're definitely available. AutoZone had them in stock across town, and I know both driveline shops here in town stock them.

I think they're considerably effected by the road grime up here, when I search for information I find a ton of people in other parts of the country talking about getting used ones and never seeing one that's bad. We see bad ones all the time, and it's usually the rear joint.

I have a press, and a small table very close to the same height that I've used as a stand for larger things in the press.....hopefully that eases my frustrations.



I swapped it over last night. Took the 2 bolts out of the exhaust hanger at the transmission and let it hang down a bit (I have the OBX stainless header set which has flex joints, so it might work better than stock exhaust for that). I did have to cut the nut off one of the bolts between the shaft and diff, as it was rounded, but the other 3 came out.

The rear joint in mine was COMPLETELY seized. The only movement was play where the needle bearings should have been under one cap. Front one doesn't feel great either.

07 OBK 4EAT shaft was a touch longer, but still fit, and didn't seem to bottom out the slip yoke. I'm glad I planned to rebuild the correct one, though. The 07 shaft does have notchy joints in it (why I got it for free), but worlds better than what was in there. Vibration is virtually gone, AND on my little test drive, I swear my hard downshift issue is gone, too. I can't think how that would make any difference....but I swear it did. Time will tell.
 

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It's a lot of work, a used shaft will probably last 100,000 miles, I had one shipped for about $130 total cost.

You can use a non-H6 shaft.

I often have to fight my impulse to fix everything, especially if it's going to be an adventure!
 

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Using parts interchange listings, and trying other vehicles on that list, I came up with a few other part numbers. Napa lists a UJ10430, although there was no availability. Autozone lists a 2-0430DL, of which they had 4 in their Hub store across town. I now have 2 of those sitting on my desk (they are greasable, btw).
I had missed this in your original post. You win the award for finding these for sure. I had checked some of the other parts places but none of them stocked them but for some reason didn't check Autozone or didn't drill in hard enough.

Can you post a picture of the autozone joint?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's a lot of work, a used shaft will probably last 100,000 miles, I had one shipped for about $130 total cost.

You can use a non-H6 shaft.

I often have to fight my impulse to fix everything, especially if it's going to be an adventure!
We've tried many used shafts, almost all have notchy joints. Like I said, I think it's a location thing, as when I search about this I mostly see posts from people saying they've had great luck with a used shaft. And that they so rarely see failed ones. I've seen the exact opposite up here....

I had missed this in your original post. You win the award for finding these for sure. I had checked some of the other parts places but none of them stocked them but for some reason didn't check Autozone or didn't drill in hard enough.

Can you post a picture of the autozone joint?
I work in parts, so finding alternate sources is my job. So yea, I always search for as many options as I can.

I plan to take many pictures of the process when I actually get to replacing the joint, so yea. Haven't started yet, though, family took precedence last night. Nothing major planned for this weekend so I'm hoping to spend some time in the garage.

I saw some on ebay - likely chinese so ....quality could be ....?
IMHO, so many parts come from all over the world, I don't consider that a representation of the quality. They're greasable, so I will put greasing them high on my service list. And once the staked ones are removed, it'll be much easier to replace them in the future....

Also the Autozone ones have a Lifetime Warranty. And AutoZone tends to be pretty awesome about their warranty stuff.
 

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We've tried many used shafts, almost all have notchy joints. Like I said, I think it's a location thing, as when I search about this I mostly see posts from people saying they've had great luck with a used shaft. And that they so rarely see failed ones. I've seen the exact opposite up here....


...
Mine shipped from Virginia, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Little follow-up...

New Duralast joint

20180105_175646 by Numbchux, on Flickr

Old rear Ujoint cross

20180105_185320 by Numbchux, on Flickr

One of those trunions doesn't look the same....

20180105_185346 by Numbchux, on Flickr

Yea, it's been hammering into the bearings pretty badly. Worn through the cap, and....

20180105_185438 by Numbchux, on Flickr

Yep, into the yoke. So, I could have the yoke replaced, but that's not cheap, and requires rebalancing.

I'm going to make a trip to the "local" Upull yard (about 150 miles away) next week for a few other things. Hopefully I can snag a less-ruined shaft there and work with that.



Getting the joints out required quite a bit more force than I was expecting. My 12 ton press was straining on the first one. Then I went after the stakes with a dremel to knock them down a bit before putting it in the press, and that helped.

20180106_142726 by Numbchux, on Flickr



Interesting thing I noticed, the factory Ujoint cross is hollow. I might drill a little hole in one of the caps on the junkyard shaft and use a needle on my grease gun to try to grease it. Might even be able to tap the cap and put a proper grease fitting in it....
 

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Regarding greasing the existing joint and installing a grease nipple I was thinking the same thing. I have a joint attached to a chopped driveshaft that came with a JDM trans I bought. I was thinking about testing that idea on that.

For the record, that low mileage JDM ujoint with no rust is a bit notchy. I think the OE joints are notchy within 50k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yep, I'm going to at the very least drill a hole in one of the old caps that I pressed out to see how thick it is. If it's more than sheet metal, I'll try to tap it for a fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I went to UPullRParts on Saturday on my way into the Twin Cities. They do not inventory individual parts, and the descriptions of the cars are pretty vague, so it's a bit of a gamble. They had a '96 Legacy and a '02 Legacy (as well as a forester and an '05 Legacy). Both turned out to be Auto trans Outbacks, so either would have been good donors. Climbed under the '02, and found fairly fresh paint pen on the driveshaft. It's already been replaced. Sure enough, the bolts come loose without much of a fight, and the ujoints move fairly freely.

So, I'm going to grease them and install the shaft as-is. I was assuming it wasn't worth even trying for a good used one, and stumbled across one for cheap. So while I was hoping this thread would have some good information about replacing them, turns out I won't be doing it (yet).


I still haven't experimented with the old parts to see if it's feasible to tap for a fitting, or drill a smaller hole and grease it with a needle. Planning to do that tonight.
 

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I went to UPullRParts on Saturday on my way into the Twin Cities. They do not inventory individual parts, and the descriptions of the cars are pretty vague, so it's a bit of a gamble. They had a '96 Legacy and a '02 Legacy (as well as a forester and an '05 Legacy). Both turned out to be Auto trans Outbacks, so either would have been good donors. Climbed under the '02, and found fairly fresh paint pen on the driveshaft. It's already been replaced. Sure enough, the bolts come loose without much of a fight, and the ujoints move fairly freely.

So, I'm going to grease them and install the shaft as-is. I was assuming it wasn't worth even trying for a good used one, and stumbled across one for cheap. So while I was hoping this thread would have some good information about replacing them, turns out I won't be doing it (yet).


I still haven't experimented with the old parts to see if it's feasible to tap for a fitting, or drill a smaller hole and grease it with a needle. Planning to do that tonight.
My "replaced shaft" had very sh*tty u-joints.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/439914-don-t-get-aftermarket-shaft.html

Make sure they can take the stress of a zerk hole...and wouldn't you have to drill to the center and down each leg...in order for grease to get to the cups? That means pulling the joint out....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I tried to drill a hole in one of the spare caps last night. Either all of my drill bits are dull (possible, but not likely), or these are hardened in some way. I could not get the bit to bite into it. Might get a better bit tonight to try again.

I was able to cut it in half with a dremel, and it's thin, but I think it's thick enough for a zerk. I'll try again tonight. The zerk will have to be centered pretty well, as it will protrude into the space in the cross of the joint. It wouldn't have to be completely perfect, but close. And there's a little bump in the center so a center punch will be necessary.


Yea, when I had the old ones apart, I found that the factory cross is hollow just like the aftermarket. So a zerk in one cap would push grease to all 4 bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That looks like a great video. I watched this series for a little information (this is part one of 17, I think. It's a little rambly, but very good information). My Subaru joints definitely required more force than that honda one....:


I bought a new cobalt drill bit yesterday. Still wouldn't cut into those factory caps. Must be hardened. Ordering a Carbide tipped one now, hopefully it comes before the weekend.
 
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