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Replace whole axle or boot?

  • Whole axle

    Votes: 10 35.7%
  • boot only

    Votes: 9 32.1%
  • whole axle + yea for teh bewbs

    Votes: 8 28.6%
  • boot only + teh yea for bewbs

    Votes: 1 3.6%

  • Total voters
    28
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

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SuperNova
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11,904 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So on my way home from the parental units house, I noticed smoke coming out of the hood scoop. I pulled over and saw smoke coming from the turbo and an oily substance on the exhaust. I was beyond pissed thinking my turbo had just eatin itself.

Limped home (was only a mile), and upon closer inspection with a flash light, my pass side inner CV boot has a tear and the oily substance was melted axle grease.

So the question is:

Replace the boot or the whole axle?

My car has 79k miles.

Autozone lifetime axle is $69 + core

Boot alone is $20

What I know is some CV boots are a complete PITA to change.

What say you club dub?
 

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Super Moderator
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33,822 Posts
While you are there axle(?). :confused:

At least you know to add at least one bewb (correctly misspelled) option. :)
 

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Lando Calrissian
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3,787 Posts
whole axle!

I had a CV boot go on my old CRX..... To replace the boot, you have to pull the axle out anyway, so it will actually be less work to replace the whole axle than to pull the axel, replace boot, re-grease, and reinstall.
 

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Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy)
Joined
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29,224 Posts
Inner and outer boot plus main axle nut using authentic Subaru parts for everything except the axle grease.

The reason I say to keep the axle is you are unlikely to find an authentic Subaru axle for a reasonable amount of money, and if your axle is good, there is no point in swapping the entire thing. My car has the fronts on both sides this way -- boots, bands, and nuts from the dealer and grease from anyone that doesn't charge what SOA wants for axle grease (I think the last price I got was in the twelve thousand dollar range for the axle grease...).

If the axle is good, IMO it's worth the mess. You'll need both types of band tools though, the clicker and the sardine opener type, as the axles use both band types. Get a punch too for tapping the bands to make sure they stay. I don't know if your car model uses the retaining pin on the gearbox side of each axle; if it does, you don't have to get new pins but then again it's tempting to do so if you're ordering stuff anyway.

If the axle is shot, find yourself an authentic Subaru unit. The aftermarket axles don't inspire confidence.

The passenger side went now and even though the driver side may see less heat, it's probably suspect so have a look. If the boots are dry, give it thought. Worst case is one axle complete for one side plus boots and bands for the other; hopefully both your axles will be serviceable though. The passenger side axle can fight back because I suspect of sprinklers and such from sidewalks over time, so be prepared to negotiate (dead blow hammer is one tactic for the debate with the axle, etc.). A paint marker is good to mark the location of the strut so you won't lose alignment. You'll need ring pliers too for swapping over boots.

I have heard horror stories about the inexpensive imitation axles -- one story talks about vibration even at idle etc. -- so I would keep the authentic axles if they are at all serviceable. Just have rags, newspapers, hand cleaner etc. for the mess.

See:
http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/general-maintenance-troubleshooting-accidents/134316500-axel-cv-joint-rebuild.html
and
http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/general-maintenance-troubleshooting-accidents/134338574-front-cv-boot-problem.html
and
http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/general-maintenance-troubleshooting-accidents/134348168-wrx-front-drive-shafts.html
 

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Registered
Joined
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1,019 Posts
Just replace the boot. It is not very hard at all once the axle is off the car. I did not even use special tools for the clamps. Just have to be a little resourceful.
 

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SuperNova
Joined
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11,904 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Great input guys thanx!

I think my axles are still good, no noise or troubles. The boot just ripped yesterday and I haven't driven it, although I'm gonna have to get to work.

So I see the boot clamp tools are affordable on amazon $50 for all 3 types. But after the axle is out, how do you get it apart? Are there c-clips/e-clips holding the cv together?

Subaru genuine has new boots for $13 a piece plus tax and shipping, I'll see what my local dealer can do.
 

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Premium Member
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25,496 Posts
Replace the axle, the other boots are just as bad as the one that ripped
 

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Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy)
Joined
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29,224 Posts
From memory there is at least one clip, the type with a hole on either end that requires pliers with "pins" on the end to squeeze it and free it. Those clips I did not buy so they were re-used.

See post 4, this thread for instructions:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2032622

Instructions also here:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1976766&highlight=cv+boot

and another form here:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_replace_an_inner_cv_boot_on_a_subaru_outback

Once you remove the clip, keep the little bearing things in order because I've no clue how they fit together should they fall apart.

Once you see the bands you will know which two tools to buy/borrow. The dealer guy might point out what they use too if you ask, you never know.

One of the Nasioc links has a link to a couple reputable reman axle sources too, but I have never used them, I went the change-all-boots route.

Ask the dealer for the correct torque spec on your model for the axle nut no matter how you go about the repair, as a good faith gesture towards your wheel bearings.
 

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SuperNova
Joined
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11,904 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm gonna jack the car up tonight and assess the situation. Might try rigging the boot closed to get me to work tomorrow without grease and **** flinging out and road crap flinging in. IDK maybe duct tape or something will work till i can get it fixed.

Interesting in one of those threads you posted Spiros, guy talks about replacing the crimp metal bands with metal zip ties.
 

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Registered
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1,019 Posts
When mine ripped I bandaged it with a bunch of electrical tape. It did the trick for a few days.
 

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SuperNova
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11,904 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yeah just got done and showered; pass side inner boot is ripped. I cleaned and bandaged with electrical and duct tape to get me by. Outer boots look in better shape on both sides, but the driver side inner isn't long for this world either. Didn't feel any slop in the CV's, and have never heard any noises, so they should be fine to rebuild depending on cost. I'll call my dealer tomorrow and make a decision.
 

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Premium Member
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15,697 Posts
I did a lot of research on axels when faced with this for the outback - do not get the autozone etc. etc. many people have had bad luck.

These are the only ones you can be sure won't cause vibrations or issues, and you can do one at a time.

MW Enterprises, quality remanufactured Subaru Axles

At $75 there is no way I would just do the boot, but that's your call.
 

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Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy)
Joined
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29,224 Posts
If you have had luck with MW Enterprises then they make lots of sense actually, since the parts alone with cost that much and a replacement whole axle is much easier to do.
 

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SuperNova
Joined
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11,904 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I wonder what shipping both ways would be on those MWE axles. That website is kinda clunky and a google search doesn't net anything.
 

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Captain James of the SS Impreza has gone down with
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8,921 Posts
There is a guy who did a write up on rebuilding his CV joint on his LGT over on legacygt.com. If you search the forum over there I'm sure it will come up. We just replaced the whole axle when the one on the LGT went out. It's easier and almost the same price.
 

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Premium Member
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15,697 Posts
Shipping definitely adds to the cost but it was far less than I expected. The website was useless - email or call.

They are GTG.
 

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SuperNova
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11,904 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well I think I have found my course of action.

Called my local subi tuner (the same one that tuned my car and I buy parts from), for a parts quote (since he deals with the dealership he gets and passes along a discount, plus he stocks a lot of parts). The parts were $30 but I still need pliers $50, or he said he'd replace it for $150, today. Done.

FWIW he said the pass side goes first because of the exhaust heat, and that he replaces the pass side inner 2 to 1 to drivers side inner.
 

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Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy)
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29,224 Posts
FWIW he said the pass side goes first because of the exhaust heat, and that he replaces the pass side inner 2 to 1 to drivers side inner.
I believe this fully.
 

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SuperNova
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11,904 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Well ended up getting both the drivers and passenger side inner boots replaced. Ran me $239 after taxes. I'm glad I took it to my local subi tuner, the pass side axle wouldn't come out of the hub. They new how to disassemble the axle in place and replace the boot anyways, I would have been there pissed and pounding on it forever.
 

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Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy)
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29,224 Posts
...the pass side axle wouldn't come out of the hub. They new how to disassemble the axle in place and replace the boot anyways, I would have been there pissed and pounding on it forever.
My theory has to do with sprinklers hitting the passenger side when the car is parked, and more water on the right side of the road with the car is moving. You really missed out on the pounding and swearing bit, it was exhilarating, like chicken soup for the soul. The smell of PB Blaster, the metallic clanking, the yelling...
 
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