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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to this forum, which looks like a great Scooby resource. Both u-joints are worn on my 2002 Outback manual trans rear drive shaft. The local Sub stealership wants $650 for the part alone. Despite the popularity of Subs, there was only 1 manual trans used drive shaft on the whole East Coast, and that was listed on the used parts registry as having 'stiff' joints.

A machine shop in the area that specializes in drive shaft repairs, and has done a hundred or so Subs, will replace both u-joints for $250, and $100 labor to pull mine out and put it back in. He claims he hasn't seen any problems with the center bearings on the ones he's replaced. I can get a mail order one delivered from Wholesale Imports in CA for $388, which would come with the new center bearing, and my local repair shop would charge $200 to take take the old one out and put the refurb unit in.

Any thoughts on what's my better option?
 

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If you're even slightly mechanically inclined, my suggestion is to buy the driveshaft from Wholesale Imports and install it yourself. Took me less than an hour with basic hand tools. You don't need to remove the exhaust, just push it to the side to squeeze the driveshaft out.

I had a bad center bushing when I bought my Sub. Since then, I've had to replace one u-joint in 80K. The nice thing about the Wholesale driveshafts is the serviceable u-joints, which are just a c-clip design.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's a good thought. I've read on other posts on this forum that folks have had center bushing failures as well, so if I only get the u-joints replaced and in time the center bushing fails, I'm in the same boat.

I've replaced my front and rear stabilizer bar bushings on my Sub, and that wasn't too bad once I jacked it up enough to be able to get under it, so I think I'll try it. Do I need to support the diff end of the drive shaft once I take those bolts off before I take off the center bearing and the trans end bolts? I'm guessing the bolts will need some PB blaster to break them loose?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I ordered my drive shaft today from Wholesale Imports - a knowledgeable and personable service rep helped me on the phone - seems like a well run company. I ordered it 2nd day delivery so it should get here on Thurs, I'll let you know how the install goes.
 

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If you have rust anything like us Vermonters have, be careful, even with PB Blaster in removing rusted bolts.

It is real easy to break a bolt that is stuck, and I have used PB Blaster for several days before trying to remove a bolt and I still ended up breaking the head off! :17:
 

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No just let it rest on the ground, be carefully to have something under the trans/gearbox to catch the oil if you don't drain it first.
Or lift only the rear of the vehicle ;)

No bolts on the front of the driveshaft; it's splined. Four 8mm bolts on the rear diff, Four 14mm (I think...) bolts for the center support, and then slide the whole thing back. The front stub on the driveshaft will probably have a residual film from being in the trans, so there might be a couple drips, but it won't come gushing out as long as only the rear of the vehicle is lifted.
 
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