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Front driveshaft CV joint boot cracked, leaking, total replacement? ... & other q's

I have a cracked front passenger cv joint boot. I'm trying to assess the needed work before contacting a shop.

AutoZone reman shafts are under $100, but Subaru shafts are over $300, that's a big difference. Does it matter that much?

Also, If I'm a "while you're at it" kind of guy, is there anything else that I should consider?

Would there be any benefit to replacing both front driveshafts at the same time?

There seems to be some seepage where the shaft comes out of the transmission, is there a straightforward seal or something that can be replaced?

If the ball joints need to be removed, should I consider replacing them?

Thanks for any advice!

11,904 Posts

I just went through this.

The only reman'd axle worth buying is the MWE with contact info in the thread above.


The MWE axles are $190+35 to ship. OEM Axles are $350ish each.

The seals in the tranny do need to be replaced while you are there. Unless your axle is popping or making noise, you can just replace the boot which is far cheaper. You will need special boot clamp pliers. Parts to replace the inner boot are around $30 each side. If you're outer boots look ok, you can leave them alone.

I ended up having the local subi tuner do it because I was short on time.

Only use OEM boots. The boots at the auto stores are inferior quality. You can buy parts at your local dealer or online at places like

The pass side boot goes first because of the exhaust heat. If your drivers side boot looks good upon inspection, you can leave it alone.

Be warned the pass side hub to axle connection can be very, very, very stubborn. You might need a can of PB blaster, a deadblow and pneumatic chisel with punch attachment.

You will also need some tranny fluid as when you pull the axle out you loose a couple pints. If you have not changed your fluid, it is a good time to.

I also see you have a 2002 wagon. Your axles are held in place with a roll pin at the tranny side that needs to be punched out. You may want to buy new ones from the dealer while you are there.
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