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See this info fragmented all over the place and thought it would be good to summarize in one place.

Rule #1: Do not use an aftermarket axle unless it is from MWE or rebuilt from RAXLES.

Rule #2: See rule #1.

A1 Cardone axles or "other" from Autozone, Advance, O'Reilly etc simply allow too much lateral play. They suck. You will have problems.

Rule #3: Given that rules 1 and 2 are Gospel, if you're rich, buy OE Subaru axles from 1stsubaruparts.com. If you're not rich, buy junkyard axles and re-boot them if the boots look dry/old. If you own a 2000-2004 where the passenger inner boot sits above the catalytic converter, you WILL be replacing that boot every few years. It's not hard, just get used to it. A buddy, 12 pack of beer, floor jack, breaker bar and a few sockets are all you need. Small price to pay for an AWD car that will run forever if you take care of it.

I can personally testify to the fact that ALL vibration problems went away after chucking the aftermarket axles in the trash and putting on OE axles that came from a junker with 100K miles on it. There is no substitute for the OE axles. Period. End of discussion.

Rule #4: Obey rules 1, 2 and 3.
 

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I second this.*

Got a A1 Cardone for my passenger front a few months ago as it was all they had in stock, and the car had to be back on the road that day. Now it is vibration city.

When the CV boot splits next time, because it will as this was the 3rd CV boot failure in Kaylee's life, it will hopefully not do it in style** on the interstate and let me get a MWE or RAXLE in there next time. Vibration is not worth the cost when you're broke, but it is really dang annoying.

* And will sticky the thread with a mild edit to the title.
**By "in style" I mean split apart and spray grease everywhere at 70 MPH 90 miles into a 700 mile highway trip. 700 miles, mostly through a lot of rain, later the axle was needing to be sent in for a rebuild when I got it to a mechanic.
 

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Subaru (used-rebooted) and MWE's all the way.

I don't even know how many failures and problems I've seen, it's far more than anecdotal as I've lost count. A "brand new" axle blew to pieces within 100 yards after install. And by blow to pieces I mean little balls all rolling on the ground under the wheel, that was awesome. Vibration is by far the most common then there's leaking, clicking, blowing apart..and it can happen out of the box, 3 months, or a year later. Get the word out, I'm tired of all the threads!
 

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I made this mistake last year with my passenger front axle. Vibration ****. Tomorrow I am buying a used axle and bringing it to a local rebuilder who will put new bearings and boots on it.
 

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Whew

Thanks for posting this, I clicked on it out of curiosity since I just purchased 2 new Axles from O'Reilly's. They sold me 2 brand new MasterPro Axles. I am a complete rookie and new to DIY mechanics... Can I pull the current Axle and take to a rebuild place? or should I just order a rebuild from Dealership? Is there a difference? Lastly, am I guarunteed no axle vibrations with the Dealer rebuild. BTW I am currently stationed in Southern Alabama, the nearest dealer is 90 minutes away and most mechanics around here are suspect....

This is for my wife's 03 Outback with 95k miles... just noticed the torn boot during an oil change.

Thanks! ;)
 

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mine rebuild axle from dealer last for 3500 miles so that is mine exp.Then i buy rebuild from carquest and all is OK for over 70000.So i guess it's like lottery LOL.
 

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Interesting. NASIOC forums dont have anyone talking about this. My friend also rebuilds soobies, put Aitozone Axles in his without any problems. He said Cardone is the same company who sells to autozone and does Subaru Dealer rebuilds....
 

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Put a Cardone axle (from Auto Zone) in the front of my Forester 18 months ago. The boots are already starting to crack in the seams. Going with OE next time.
 

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mechanics... Can I pull the current Axle and take to a rebuild place? or should I just order a rebuild from Dealership? Is there a difference? Lastly, am I guarunteed no axle vibrations with the Dealer rebuild.

MWE (out of colorado about $75 plus shipping/core)

Subaru is way to expensive. Just get a used Subaru axle (i get them for $33 bucks locally) and reboot it. They are recognizable by the boot, clamps, and green inner joints.

Dealer won't vibrate, they're good.
 

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I take it rebooting it involves repacking bearings etc. I certainly don't want to deal with it. If I get it rebooted at a local shop, how do I know they are doing it to OE specs?

Then theres this guy...

mine rebuild axle from dealer last for 3500 miles so that is mine exp.Then i buy rebuild from carquest and all is OK for over 70000.So i guess it's like lottery LOL.
Seems like a gamble either way... sigh.
 

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Had to replace my two front axles a few months ago. Local shop installed rebuilt non-Subaru part. Knew this would be a mistake and was not really worried about money, but shop talked me into it. Well they vibrated. Took it back and insisted on brand new Subaru part, no remanufacture, brand new. Mechanic complied, took for test drive and it vibrated even worse than rebuilt non-Subaru part. Last option was to send my origional factory axles out for a rebuild themselves. Luckily shop had not trashed or otherwise junked them yet. This worked wonderfully and there is no vibration.
 

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Think I need to replace axles...MWE or Raxles????

Well, I replaced them maybe a year ago because of a split boot. Bought rebuilt axles from my local parts place. I guess bad move. Been having noise that at first sounded like something hitting the frame (vibration) upon acceleration. Now it seems more like associated with turns and power...axles. So I just found this thread and am wondering which place to use MWE or Raxles. Any advice? Cost difference? I obviously do not have the original axles any more.

Also I think I blew it as when replacing the axles I thought I'd replace the axle oil seals at the time....just because I could. I've been having a heck of a time with the passenger one leaking. I've actually pulled the axle twice to put a new seal in and still have a minor leak. Maybe it's the axle fit (ground too far??) rather than the seal.

Comments?

Thanks,
Tom
 

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MWE are rebuilt Subaru. Raxles are not but seem to have less issue than most aftermarket providers.

I have an A-1 Cardone right now and it is driving me crazy. Never wanted to replace an axle that wasn't busted before.
 

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+1 on what SgtSchultz said. I replaced mine with Cardone axles, the whole car vibrated very badly at idle. Replaced those with $600 (total) more expensive Subaru axles a couple days later, vibration gone, I've had no issues for the last 4 years. Just spend the extra money up front, save yourself the hassle.
 

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problem fixed

Well, I got the MWE axles and installed them. The noise problem is totally fixed. I'm amazed at what bad axles (cv joints) can sound like. The sound mimicked the sound of the exhaust system banging against the frame. Wife is thrilled with her "new" car!!
 

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thammel

That's good news. Another confirmation of the vibration/noise symptom with some replacement axles.

Incidentally, did changing the axle also resolve the leaking?
 

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Vibration after axle replacement

Well, I replace with O'Reiley aftermarket axle and vibrates badly, but not all the time, there are times when vibration is almost gone, is there any chance for improvement or should I send old one for reman and replace?
 

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Replace it.
 
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