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2001 Outback Wagon, 2005 Outback 3.0 (not running),2015 Forester
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if these had to be replaced in pairs. Dealer want to replace both on inspection, don’t understand why. One grinds a bit and I was going to change it out.

I have an H6 2005. Going to use it as a winter beater. 5000 miles a year. Can I get by with an aftermarket axle from Rick auto?

Thanks


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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,306 Posts
No need to replace in pairs unless both are bad.

If axle is not shot, get it rebooted.

If it is shot, get a FWE (Subaru reman.)

Many aftermarket axles are junk and I wouldn't even run them on a beater.
 

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5,890 Posts
I agree with dougmac, aftermarket axles are just fine.

I would ask the dealer why they are suggesting to replace both axles. Tech may have spotted something you were unaware of.

If you don't get a satisfactory answer, just replace the one you know is bad.
 

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People here typically say that subaru axles last forever unless the boots are torn, as then dirt gets in and destroys them. So unless both boots have been torn for a while I would change only the one that is bad as the other one is unlikely to fail soon.

I also read here that all aftermarket axles suck, but my aftermarket ones are good so far, although they only have six months, so...

2008 Outback 3.0R Premier (Vancouver, BC)
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
No, there's no need to replace in pairs.

1. get a used subaru axle and install it as-is if it's just a beater, or reboot it. they're all over ebay, Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market. since subaru axles don't catastrophically fail (discounting lifted rock crawlers) there should rarely be a time constraint issue.

2. FWE in colorado. they're busy and have all the local demand they need so they dont' have slick marketing, internet shopping, etc. so they might not be the easiest to order from but they're highly touted in the subaru dominant CO region where lots of subaru businesses get their axles from FWE, and i've bought from them before as well.

If you're not driving in sand or abrasives you can drive front clicking Subaru OEM axles for 50,000+ miles, so you've got time to plan a repair. and - if it's just for a beater then keep driving it as-is unless it's required to be replaced for inspection or you can't stand a little noise or you do drive through sand/abrasives. The noise isn't indicative of impending failure. If it starts clicking when driving straight - that's when it's time to get it off of there, but Subaru OEM axles dont' catastrophically fail unless you try and it usually takes 10's of thousands of miles of highway driving to get to that point or aggressive offroading.

You could also reboot it and it would likely be fine. Worst case it makes noise but it's lubricated so it won't degrade any further and you carry on for the next few years, best case the noise even dissipates. I would do this before I'd get an aftermarket.

I've seen numerous aftermarkets fail right out of the box, explode while driving, vibrate at idle, noise, vibrate during driving, and they have more issues over time or if the vehicle is lifted that subaru OEM axles never have. lift a subaru - oh look axle issues - oh look it's because they're aftermarkets, shocker. that never happens with OEM. granted *you* might not lift your car but it still shows they're lesser products. i literally don't know how many aftermarket axle issues i've seen. it's probably the single worst purchase you can make for your Subaru at an auto parts store.

Aftermarket axles are a waste of time. Here's the confusion - a huge percentage of them have issues either out of the box or later. anecdotally people can get away with using one, much like you can get away with eating only sour cream every day. But they've only ever bought 1 or 3 axles and not put tons of miles on it. Might as well get your career and financial advice from a random highschool kid on the internet.

Just google it, the shear volume of aftermarket axles issues is astonishing. No brand is immune and the market changes fast.

If you're still amped to try the worst option possible and buy aftermarket - then here are some tips for using aftermarket axles:

A. change all the grease out to a high performance grease in the joints
or
B. spread the existing grease across all the mechanical components. they door a poor job of greasing the joints, which is one of the main issues they have.
or
C. if you can't diassemble the joints then at least give the joints a good work out and bottom them out to spread the grease.

but at that point - you're doing labor/work for a cheap %!(* axle with inferior boots - you might as well just put that time into used Subaru axles and more robust Subaru boots.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
I would be cautious replacing (1) axle and automatic transmission car ... If the "good" one is an OEM and the replacement is a new parts store part. Very cautious. Unless it is a Cardone, they do appear to be doing the rebuilds now and I would expect the "new" and "rebuilt" are the same spec. Although I personally have no experinec with them. I know the Cardone re-manufactured steering boxes for my K-Series trucks and Jeeps totally s*ck. So do there power steering pumps.

If replacing with an OEM rebuilt unit, then great, do the one side. What I am getting at, keep "like" axles on either side.

I also don't understand the aversion to a rebuilt axle say from the dealer (Cardone, if they are now good), rebuilt Cardone, FWE. (rebuilt them for Subaru before Cardone) I have (2) FWE axles in Frank and Inever know they are they. They do their job flawlessly and vibration free.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
Joined
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12,306 Posts
Y'all couldn't PAY me to put another Cardone axle in my car.

Had one in Kaylee for a while, and she vibrated so badly it'd rattle change in the cupholder. FWE axle = problem solved.

Your vehicle, your money.

But go on any Subaru forum, the majority will state poor luck with aftermarket axles.
 

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2006 Subaru OUtback XT
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88 Posts
My opinion, take it or leave it.
I have been working on FWD cars for a long time now, 33 years give or take. Most of the FWD cars, some 4WD small trucks and Jeep front axels do have CV jointed axles. I have put all sorts in from NEW ones, used units and rebuilt units. I've had "NEW OEM" units be "Out the Box" failures and a few rebuilt ones too. But about 85% of all shafts that I have replaced have been Cardone units from RockAuto or Autozone and the failure rate is really low.

CV shafts are fairly easy to swap out but it still takes time and time can mean MONEY.
 

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257 Posts
I generally replace both based on the idea that one has failed and the other has been run for the same amount of time under the same conditions, so one could assume the other is close to the end of it's life.

It may make sense to you to replace one for now and wait until the other one fails to replace it.

I don't see a drastic dissavantage to either approach.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon, 2005 Outback 3.0 (not running),2015 Forester
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I have no issues with rebuilds. I just can find an affordable supply up in Canada. I have a click in the outer cv passenger side. I just need to get through the winter until it isn’t bone chilling cold to get out to the wreckers.
Dealer wants 300 per axle here. Not terrible, just not what I was looking for in a winter beater.

Thanks for all the input


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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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26,215 Posts
read of others here driving on a green cap one with a tore boot over a winter, and rebooting it in the spring with a subaru boot with no damage to the quality steel in a OEM green cap one.

if you need to buy something,...I would buy a napa axle that is new and not rebuilt.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon, 2005 Outback 3.0 (not running),2015 Forester
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42 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
No, there's no need to replace in pairs.

1. get a used subaru axle and install it as-is if it's just a beater, or reboot it. they're all over ebay, Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market. since subaru axles don't catastrophically fail (discounting lifted rock crawlers) there should rarely be a time constraint issue.

2. FWE in colorado. they're busy and have all the local demand they need so they dont' have slick marketing, internet shopping, etc. so they might not be the easiest to order from but they're highly touted in the subaru dominant CO region where lots of subaru businesses get their axles from FWE, and i've bought from them before as well.

If you're not driving in sand or abrasives you can drive front clicking Subaru OEM axles for 50,000+ miles, so you've got time to plan a repair. and - if it's just for a beater then keep driving it as-is unless it's required to be replaced for inspection or you can't stand a little noise or you do drive through sand/abrasives. The noise isn't indicative of impending failure. If it starts clicking when driving straight - that's when it's time to get it off of there, but Subaru OEM axles dont' catastrophically fail unless you try and it usually takes 10's of thousands of miles of highway driving to get to that point or aggressive offroading.

You could also reboot it and it would likely be fine. Worst case it makes noise but it's lubricated so it won't degrade any further and you carry on for the next few years, best case the noise even dissipates. I would do this before I'd get an aftermarket.

I've seen numerous aftermarkets fail right out of the box, explode while driving, vibrate at idle, noise, vibrate during driving, and they have more issues over time or if the vehicle is lifted that subaru OEM axles never have. lift a subaru - oh look axle issues - oh look it's because they're aftermarkets, shocker. that never happens with OEM. granted *you* might not lift your car but it still shows they're lesser products. i literally don't know how many aftermarket axle issues i've seen. it's probably the single worst purchase you can make for your Subaru at an auto parts store.

Aftermarket axles are a waste of time. Here's the confusion - a huge percentage of them have issues either out of the box or later. anecdotally people can get away with using one, much like you can get away with eating only sour cream every day. But they've only ever bought 1 or 3 axles and not put tons of miles on it. Might as well get your career and financial advice from a random highschool kid on the internet.

Just google it, the shear volume of aftermarket axles issues is astonishing. No brand is immune and the market changes fast.

If you're still amped to try the worst option possible and buy aftermarket - then here are some tips for using aftermarket axles:

A. change all the grease out to a high performance grease in the joints
or
B. spread the existing grease across all the mechanical components. they door a poor job of greasing the joints, which is one of the main issues they have.
or
C. if you can't diassemble the joints then at least give the joints a good work out and bottom them out to spread the grease.

but at that point - you're doing labor/work for a cheap %!(* axle with inferior boots - you might as well just put that time into used Subaru axles and more robust Subaru boots.


Thanks Idosubaru That is a lot of info. I will call around the yards to see what is left. Hard to tell sometimes if it is an oem axle. Any tips?


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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Thanks Idosubaru That is a lot of info. I will call around the yards to see what is left. Hard to tell sometimes if it is an oem axle. Any tips?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Subaru OEM = Green inner cup
Look up pictures to see and you’ll be able to tell. Very obvious.

You should just get a used OEM axle and reboot it and ignore the rest of the info.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
I have had good luck using "new" Cardone axles. Rock Auto offers them.

I avoid using rebuilt axles of any kind.
Alrightly then ....


We are going down this rabbit hole. This not my car, but it might as well be. It belongs to @Jimi1976 and its the family car. We discovered a crappy clicking axle while at a friendly lunch date today.

With the information available about Cardone, and the lack of any affordable option out of Subaru parts ... I will be installing a (new) Cardone CV axle sourced from Napa tomorrow in the TDCKHGRNG. (tdck Home grown Redneck Garage)

This car heads to the mountains with weather this weekend, so the repair is critical. I expect Jimi will have feedback after the trip.
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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841 Posts
I wrote a work order on my personal car last week.
Drivers front axle. The new NAPA are only $18 more (cost) than a re-man.
I've had no issues with the new NAPA.
No need to replace both sides. Just fix the one that requires it.
 

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77 Posts
Its pretty eazy to re-boot if the joints are not damaged. I did no on my old WRX and my cost was 12-16 for a boot kit
 

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2001 VDC Wagon - White pearl - 302,000 km
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466 Posts
I replaced my driver's side axle, (which had separated internally before I owned the car) with a new Trak-motive HD type. It has been great.
I honestly thought it wasn't going to fit, because of the bulky section next to the inboard joint. I was impressed (and educated) with the included sheet, which may shed some light as to why so many people have mixed success with different axles.
 

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2001 VDC Wagon - White pearl - 302,000 km
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466 Posts
I have no issues with rebuilds. I just can find an affordable supply up in Canada. I have a click in the outer cv passenger side. I just need to get through the winter until it isn’t bone chilling cold to get out to the wreckers.
Dealer wants 300 per axle here. Not terrible, just not what I was looking for in a winter beater.

Thanks for all the input


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Where in Canada are you?
Maybe I can help
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i
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463 Posts
Alrightly then ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMHaRDISBOw

We are going down this rabbit hole. This not my car, but it might as well be. It belongs to @Jimi1976 and its the family car. We discovered a crappy clicking axle while at a friendly lunch date today.

With the information available about Cardone, and the lack of any affordable option out of Subaru parts ... I will be installing a (new) Cardone CV axle sourced from Napa tomorrow in the TDCKHGRNG. (tdck Home grown Redneck Garage)

This car heads to the mountains with weather this weekend, so the repair is critical. I expect Jimi will have feedback after the trip.


Axle chatter does not exist while cruising along the highway....zero vibrations......until you start to turn at low speed or stopped (while in gear), like backing out of a parking spot.
Picking a new axle at NAPA this morning, then heading up to the mountains for a long weekend of hockey, snowboarding, and letting the family wagon play in the snow
 
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