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2005 Subaru Outback H6 - 3.0 LL Bean
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi friends,

It's Sam again. I'm an amateur when it comes to cars, but I'm stubborn enough to keep trying even after I fail. The information you've shared with me in the past really helped me a lot. Let me give you a quick rundown on my current Outback, and then I'll tell you about the problem I'm currently having.

I bought this 2005 H6 LL Bean last year for five thousand dollars. It needed a little TLC, but overall it seemed to be in good shape. A lot of the lessons I learned from y'all with my previous 2002 H6 Outback helped me to get these done.
Work I've done so far:
-I replaced the broken exterior cladding with some cladding I pulled from a salvage yard.
-I replaced the front and rear brake pads
-I replaced the rear rotors
-I replaced the rear wheel bearings myself. They wore out again in short order. Turns out that my rear struts were worn out.
-I replaced the idler pulley and the tensioner pulley
-I replaced the serpentine belt while I was replacing the pulleys
-I had the rear wheel bearings and the rear struts replaced professionally. I bought the parts myself so I could make sure that I got the best quality parts available.

Here's the latest problem:
Last night I was driving down the highway, coming home from a short road trip. I heard a clicking noise when I took a hard right turn. It sounded like it was coming from the front-right wheel. I started to wonder if I was going to need to replace the front wheel bearings just like I had to on the rear. I didn't have much time to figure it out though. The sound kept getting louder. I also noticed my car pulling to the right pretty bad. I was having a hard time keeping control of the car. In less than two hours, the sound got so bad that I had to pull over. When I slowed down and turned right into the gas station, that sound had gotten terrible. It sounded less like clicking, and more like breaking. I won't lie; I was scared to drive it. I called a tow truck. I noticed that even when the car was in park, it could still roll forward. I had to use the parking brake to keep the car from rolling.

It was dark out last night, and it's raining today, so I haven't had the chance to jack it up and look underneath. All I have to go on is the terrible noise I heard when turning right, and the fact that the car rolls in park.

Here are a few guesses on my part:
-Broken front right CV joint?
-Broken front axle?
-Broken front differential? I sure hope not.

So what do you think? How can I confirm or rule out some of these problems? I'm going to jack up my car tomorrow when I get a little sunlight. What should I look for?
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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324 Posts
Just start looking and shaking parts, definitely sounds like the wheel bearing let go. As far as rolling, how far does it roll? Generally a car will roll a couple inches In park, as it's just a small pin that holds it. Common for autos to break the parking mechanism when the parking brake is not used in general.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback H6 - 3.0 LL Bean
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194 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Just start looking and shaking parts, definitely sounds like the wheel bearing let go. As far as rolling, how far does it roll? Generally a car will roll a couple inches In park, as it's just a small pin that holds it. Common for autos to break the parking mechanism when the parking brake is not used in general.
It rolls more that the usual inch or two that a car usually rolls when you put it in park. I didn't really push my luck last night to find out how far it would roll. Honestly, I was scared. My hands were shaking like a leaf.

I usually use my parking brake anyway because I don't want the whole weight of the car leaning onto the parking pawl. I don't really know if that makes any difference or not; I just figure that I'd rather put wear on the parking brake rather than the parking pawl. But then again, I'm no expert.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback H6 - 3.0 LL Bean
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Discussion Starter #6
One other thought just occurred to me. When I was slowing down from highway speed, I felt the steering wheel shaking in a way that reminded me of a failing wheel bearings.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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Mr. Sam,...welcome back.

I had exactly the same thing happen on my 2002 H6 VDC a few months back, including the rolling in park.
which prompted a expensive flat bed bill as the local guy had to dead head 40 miles empty to get me, and the car.

I had it flatbedded to one of my friendly mechanics. he jacked the right front up and was able to turn the wheel and tire without the rest of the car moving. = axle/ cv busted inside. boots looked OK and intact.

this was on a 2002 factory axle with 133,000 miles with its inner boot replaced 1x with a factory boot.
(rest of them are factory ones and still going).

I replaced it with a new Napa HD axle. $78 or so to buy. (new as in never used, and they did not want the core back,...
HD = Heavy duty boots like the OEM.
(do not bother with any reman junk from a parts store,...= abused for about the same price as new)

So I was pretty happy,...as while I was waiting for the tow truck I was thinking about rounding up a
4eat JDM VDC trans for it.

good luck (front axles are quick work on clock with a lift, or people diy it).
 

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2005 Subaru Outback H6 - 3.0 LL Bean
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Discussion Starter #9
Mr. Sam,...welcome back.
Thank you much, sir.
I had exactly the same thing happen on my 2002 H6 VDC a few months back, including the rolling in park.
which prompted a expensive flat bed bill as the local guy had to dead head 40 miles empty to get me, and the car.

I had it flatbedded to one of my friendly mechanics. he jacked the right front up and was able to turn the wheel and tire without the rest of the car moving. = axle/ cv busted inside. boots looked OK and intact.
Yep, I had to ride a flatbed home. Darn ride cost me $225, but at least I got home safe. By the way, I climbed under the car this morning to take a look. It didn't take me long to spot the problem...

How's this for an intact boot? The whole darn thing is separated. What do you think? Can I limp the car one block to the mechanic shop, so they can put her on the lift?

474267


I replaced it with a new Napa HD axle. $78 or so to buy. (new as in never used, and they did not want the core back,...
HD = Heavy duty boots like the OEM.
(do not bother with any reman junk from a parts store,...= abused for about the same price as new)

So I was pretty happy,...as while I was waiting for the tow truck I was thinking about rounding up a
4eat JDM VDC trans for it.

good luck (front axles are quick work on clock with a lift, or people diy it).
I walked a block to the nearest mechanic shop. He said that they will do the work for $109 dollars. I really don't know if I can get down the block without breaking something else though. What do you think?
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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If it's only a block, get a tow strap and see if they will tow it behind a car, I think you would be fine running it in idle. Or even driving it. It doesnt look it lost any diff fluid, that's a bonus.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback H6 - 3.0 LL Bean
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Discussion Starter #11
If it's only a block, get a tow strap and see if they will tow it behind a car, I think you would be fine running it in idle. Or even driving it. It doesnt look it lost any diff fluid, that's a bonus.
Thank goodness for small miracles, right? The CV axle broke on the end facing the wheel hub, not the end facing the differential.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback H6 - 3.0 LL Bean
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Discussion Starter #12
Quick Update:
I just ordered my replacement CV Axle from NAPA. I got the version with the heavy-duty boot. It cost me ninety dollars plus seventeen dollars shipping. It should be here day after tomorrow.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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Quick Update:
I just ordered my replacement CV Axle from NAPA. I got the version with the heavy-duty boot. It cost me ninety dollars plus seventeen dollars shipping. It should be here day after tomorrow.
shipping, ? ... have them take it to the shop down the street.
(my napa hauls such little parts around in a small fleet of Toyota Prius C's ....well used)

I could not even get my car to hold park as it was kind of "stuck on stupid" when I shut it down.
(so glad the hand brake worked),...so I could not go "anywhere" actually with it, ... at best roll forward 3 feet up a slight grade, and then slip backward.


= no dash lights popped on either, when I asked those in the know said it could take a long time for the ECU/TCU to identify there was something mechanically wrong (like busting a axle,...or loosing a wheel).

Is the garage down hill ? you could DIY it,...if you can change disc brakes where you are changing a axle is not that much different. (keep track of the new and used axle nuts / pins,...as you might be re-using )
 

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2005 Subaru Outback H6 - 3.0 LL Bean
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
shipping, ? ... have them take it to the shop down the street.
(my napa hauls such little parts around in a small fleet of Toyota Prius C's ....well used)
Well, NAPA has my money now. They don't have any incentive to do me any favors, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask. The NAPA I called is halfway between work and home, so I go by there anyway. It's not really a big issue to me.

I could not even get my car to hold park as it was kind of "stuck on stupid" when I shut it down.
(so glad the hand brake worked),...so I could not go "anywhere" actually with it, ... at best roll forward 3 feet up a slight grade, and then slip backward.
Yeah, that parking brake is a life saver. Thank goodness for the little things I usually take for granted.

= no dash lights popped on either, when I asked those in the know said it could take a long time for the ECU/TCU to identify there was something mechanically wrong (like busting a axle,...or loosing a wheel).
Gas cap on too tight = CEL
CV joint falls off the spindle = no CEL
:p

I know, I know... It's just an electric circuit from a sensor, not a crystal ball.

Is the garage down hill ? you could DIY it,...if you can change disc brakes where you are changing a axle is not that much different. (keep track of the new and used axle nuts / pins,...as you might be re-using )
Unlike the mountains of WV where I used to live, my new home in Newport News is basically all flatland. If I had to, I suppose I could push the car a block. The hardest part is going to be turning the car hard right into the mechanic shop. Also, the people who live on my block just absolutely love to walk in the middle of the road. There's a sidewalk right there, but they'd rather walk in the road. So that's an obstacle. Maybe I could move the car before dawn when there's (hopefully) fewer people on the road.

Alright, what would I need to do the job myself? I guess I'd need a big ol' socket to turn that spindle nut. I would need some kind of metal punch to knock the axle out. Will I need to seperate the ball joint from knuckle, or can I work around that? Separating that ball joint from the knuckle without any power tools is a whole job unto itself. How do I secure the interior side of the CV axle to the differential? I've looked up a few different Youtube videos on how to do this. It must be hard to get a camera in such a tight space, because none of the online videos (at least none of the ones I've seen) show how to do that part.
 

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Alright, what would I need to do the job myself? I guess I'd need a big ol' socket to turn that spindle nut. I would need some kind of metal punch to knock the axle out. Will I need to seperate the ball joint from knuckle, or can I work around that? Separating that ball joint from the knuckle without any power tools is a whole job unto itself. How do I secure the interior side of the CV axle to the differential? I've looked up a few different Youtube videos on how to do this. It must be hard to get a camera in such a tight space, because none of the online videos (at least none of the ones I've seen) show how to do that part.
Fortunately, thats the easy part...the axle just clicks in when you slide it in the spline stub.

Its not that hard if a job, and definitely driveway do-able, especially if you leave most of the knucle hooked up and sneak the axle back, thru, and off. If you're lucky, and i usually am, it'll slide thru the knuckle without much effort. There are a few good you tube videos that show this, such as Brian's automotive, if i remember right.

Or if you choose to go the block, either tell the walkers to get the **** out of the way or just ask them to help push and do a little community-building.
 

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Have someone press and hold the brake pedal while you loosen and remove the axle nut. Shouldn't need to remove the ball joint. You can just remove the 2 strut bolts. One of the bolts is for alignment, make sure you mark a reference point on both the bolt and strut. You're gonna need a pry bar to separate the inner CV joint from the transmission and once separated, gently pull the axle out.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback Base. 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i. 2013 Harely-Davidson FLHTK.
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Make sure you remove the axle from the knuckle first or you risk damaging the axle seal. Don't ask me how I know!
 

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2005 Subaru Outback H6 - 3.0 LL Bean
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Discussion Starter #20
Cool deal. I was kind of worried that my broken CV axle might have torn up my wheel hub on the way out. Thanks for alleviating that concern.
 
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