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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I replaced a torn inner, driver's side CV boot following the procedure in this video:


My car is an automatic 4-cylinder 2002, and everything was nearly identical with the only difference in that the green can on my car doesn't have the recessed area that runs its length. It took me about 2 hours start to finish, but I work slowly. The most challenging parts for me were removing the snap ring that secures the trunnion and making sure the circlip that secures the joint in the can was in place. (The grease made it hard to determine whether or not it was seated properly.) Overall, the whole process wasn't nearly as messy as I had anticipated.

I also took the time to to clean out as much of the old grease as possible as well as cleaning and inspecting the rings and rollers. I used an OEM boot and the grease pictured below. The old boot had only been broken for about a week, and I hadn't driven on any dusty or sandy roads, so I'm not too worried about contaminants. The rollers rolled smoothly without any gritty feeling or catching. The rings had some minor wear marks but no scoring or discoloration from heat.

Some tips and observations:

- The bolt securing the ABS sensor to the strut was stuck due to rust, and the bracket began to bend while trying to remove it. I used an open-ended wrench to hold it in place and limit further bending.
- I used a pencil to mark the position of the trunnion on the axle. Because of the grease, this worked better than a sharpie.
- Mark the position of the strut to the knuckle as well as the two bolts to the strut to maintain camber position when reassembling.
- On my car, the bottom strut bolt did not have a washer at the nut, but the top one does. I confirmed that this is the case on the other side of the car, to make sure I didn't just lose it during removal.
- The rings on the trunnion can fall off pretty easily. I rotated the axle such that only one was pointed down to minimize forgetting which ring goes where as the FSM says to reassemble with everything in same orientation as prior to disassembly. To help myself remember this upon removal, I laid the trunnion down on a clean piece of cardboard and removed the rings laying them down next to their respective roller.
- I had only ordered one piece for the grease, but I received two of the 160g bottles. Not sure if this is normal or if I just lucked out, but the FSM calls for using 130-150g between the can and the boot, so I'll be saving the second bottle for when the passenger side needs replacing.

- Speaking of the passenger side...the bands on the boot I replaced were the same as shown in the video and were pretty easy to work with (though I recommend bending them out a bit more after removal to make getting them back on the boot a bit easier). The band on the passenger side inner boot are the type where the end is secured with little hooks fitting into slots where the band overlaps itself and the band is tightened by crimping a raised section. (Not sure how else to describe it). As far as I know this boot is original to the car. Is there any harm in using bands like those on the driver's side on the passenger inner boot? They just seem easier to work with. I've tried looking up part numbers for the band, but the diagrams on the various online parts retailers as well as Opposed Forces doesn't distinguish between the driver's and passenger sides. Though OF seems to show the bands seen in the video.
 

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2001 Forester, 1995 Legacy outback with 360k! Newish 2015 Outback!
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14 Posts
I would recommend pulling the entire shaft and doing the boots on the bench. Thats how professionals do it. Doing it in the car like that, is 10 times more difficult. I would never do it like that, unless it was an on-road emergency with no other options (which it wasn't). There are many ways to do things, usually you want to do the easiest and most effective. But it will get the job done no doubt. In the video that shaft was nearly removed. I don't quite understand why you would do it this way. But cool video to see it done.
 

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2001 Outback 5 speed, 2000 Outback Automatic, 2002 Legacy Wagon Automatic. All 2.5L
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269 Posts
I recently replaced the inner boot on the passenger side. No way would I try to do that on the car. YMMV.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,303 Posts
I wish I would have known that video existed before making mine.

I searched and only found the more common taking the shaft on.


This should be virtually identical to your Gen 2. It was on a Baja.

After doing it both ways I really don't have a strong opinion on what is the better method. It's best to know the advantages to each and decide.

Leaving it in the car means you don't have to have a 32mm socket and a 6 foot breaker bar.

It means you don't run into the possibility of having the axle seized in the hub that happened to me before.

It means you only really need a few tools with snap ring pliers being the only real special one.

It's not really any harder than taking it off the car and possibly easier if you have small hands.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I would recommend pulling the entire shaft and doing the boots on the bench. Thats how professionals do it. Doing it in the car like that, is 10 times more difficult. I would never do it like that, unless it was an on-road emergency with no other options (which it wasn't). There are many ways to do things, usually you want to do the easiest and most effective. But it will get the job done no doubt. In the video that shaft was nearly removed. I don't quite understand why you would do it this way. But cool video to see it done.
I understand your point. I preferred to keep the axle in for the reasons Brucey mentioned, plus not having to replace the inner bearing seal or mess with the spring pin. I felt that the time and effort spent removing the axle nut, pressing the spindle out of the hub, r/r the spring pin and r/r the seal would have negated the ease of replacing the boot with axle out of the car. Then again, I'm a fairly small guy with small hands, so maybe that helped in my case. All in all, I found the process to be much less difficult and frustrating than trying to pull the trans dipstick out with a swollen o-ring.

If the outer boot was cracked or otherwise looked like it didn't have many miles left in it, I definitely would have pulled the axle. It is still in good shape (knock on wood), so no sense fussing with it.

It's all good though. To each their own.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon 2.5
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I recently replaced the inner boot on the passenger side. No way would I try to do that on the car. YMMV.
I see what you mean with the cat right there. When that time comes, a boot swap while keeping the axle on the car will definitely be more challenging but still doable.
 

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2000 Legacy Lancaster 6
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9 Posts
I've just completed a boot replacement after viewing the video at the start of this post. It was easy enough to do but the hardest part was getting the circlip off of the axle to let the rollers off. I did it through the bonnet and think its an underneath the car kinda job
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
I would recommend pulling the entire shaft and doing the boots on the bench. Thats how professionals do it. Doing it in the car like that, is 10 times more difficult. I would never do it like that, unless it was an on-road emergency with no other options (which it wasn't). There are many ways to do things, usually you want to do the easiest and most effective. But it will get the job done no doubt. In the video that shaft was nearly removed. I don't quite understand why you would do it this way.
Go to 2 dozen axle jobs on 15+ year old Subaru's in a rusty area of the northeast and you'll know.

In the rust belt it is highly advantageous. Rust welded axles and ball joints can be nearly immovable a certain percentage of the time. Most people won't run into it but if someone is doing a significant number in the rust belt or are unlucky- many people that do axle jobs will simply not be able to complete it. There's no shortage of !()*%(!)()!$ axle job i'm stuck" threads on the internet where people are stuck and breaking tools and destroying their steering knuckles, mushrooming axles, and shearing off ball joints that are so rusted that pulling them only results in the thing disintegrating to pieces, leaving you with shards and layers of crust to chisel out for hours.
 

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'07 Outback
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3 Posts
I searched and only found the more common taking the shaft on.
doing this job, both sides, today on our '07 Outback:

The bruceyyyyy (Baja) video doesn't show any snap ring on the ptj (pillow tripod joint), but our Outback (& the Pine Hollow Auto '09 Outback diy video) definitely have it. Do the Baja's really not have a snap ring?

Also, the Dorman 614-002 Uni-Fit boot doesn't look to seal very well around the trilobal cup. @ bailcast.com/products/cvs18-universal-cv-boot, they have fitting instructions that recommend:
"Trim the old boot about 10-15mm from the large joint end leaving, the trilobal part of the boot in position.

472255

Fit the new CV boot in the usual way, clamping the large end over the trilobal part of the old boot."

We are going with the Empi 86-2483-D replacement boots that look like exact oem size & design to fit better over the ptj. Thanks for all the info!
 
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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,303 Posts
doing this job, both sides, today on our '07 Outback:

The bruceyyyyy (Baja) video doesn't show any snap ring on the ptj (pillow tripod joint), but our Outback (& the Pine Hollow Auto '09 Outback diy video) definitely have it. Do the Baja's really not have a snap ring?

Also, the Dorman 614-002 Uni-Fit boot doesn't look to seal very well around the trilobal cup. @ bailcast.com/products/cvs18-universal-cv-boot, they have fitting instructions that recommend:
"Trim the old boot about 10-15mm from the large joint end leaving, the trilobal part of the boot in position.

View attachment 472255
Fit the new CV boot in the usual way, clamping the large end over the trilobal part of the old boot."

We are going with the Empi 86-2483-D replacement boots that look like exact oem size & design to fit better over the ptj. Thanks for all the info!
Good info. I know there are changes in the axle through the years. Some of them have pins and some don't.
 

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'07 Outback
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3 Posts
The torn boots sound like a fairly common issue. Our '07 has only 50K on it & both were spewing grease.
I'm surprised there aren't issues with the build-up on the cat shield catching fire...?
 
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