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replacement half shaft brand?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 upDUHcreek

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:43 AM

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. I split a boot offroading, and now I'm waiting on my new half shaft to get here from Rock Auto. After using the search function, I saw that the EMPI half shafts work well. I went ahead and orderd one, but the more I think about it, the more I worry. It was only $50 (+ shipping) for a NEW EMPI half shaft? That sounds mighty cheep to me, but that was the only EMPI shaft they had for my car(99 Forester L). Do I have a good reason to worry, or am I just being too paranoid to enjoy an awsome deal?

Also, I had planned to have my old one rebuilt, but the rebuild costs more ($75) than buying another new EMPI shaft. Should I get the old (Subaru) shaft rebuilt, or just buy another new EMPI one to have as a spare, just in case this happens again?

Thank you for the help
Charlie

Edited by upDUHcreek, 01 November 2012 - 09:52 AM.


#2 J A Blazer

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:10 AM

General consensus appears to be that if you're not going to spend the money on OE, then Marshall Wolf is the only way to go.

#3 Ricearu

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:26 AM

i have used empi axles. many times. go with empi. rebuilt axles are ground out and just have bigger ball bearings installed and new boots. That's why they have such high refailure rates.

#4 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:27 AM

that rebuild price seems quite high if you're talking about boot kits to install yourself.

Anyway, the 2 EMPIs I've installed seem OK - but they have very low miles on them. Both here and at another forum, they seem to have a good reputation.

MWE only rebuilds OEM axles and they have a great reputation. Some folks like Raxles.com and they have a good rep. with the VW community it seems.


if you can just avoid 'typical' rebuilts where they just grind the grooves and fit larger ballbearings, you have a better chance of longterm success. The grinding removes the case hardening on the wear surfaces.

#5 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:29 AM

i have used empi axles. many times. go with empi. rebuilt axles are ground out and just have bigger ball bearings installed and new boots. That's why they have such high refailure rates.


dang! beat me by 1 minute!

I think EMPI have a lifetime warranty too. probably excludes the boots though. not sure???

#6 upDUHcreek

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:37 AM

General consensus appears to be that if you're not going to spend the money on OE, then Marshall Wolf is the only way to go.


Ok, I had to search Marshall Wolf to find out he's the same as FW Enterprises. That's who I plan to have rebuild the axle I'm taking out.

#7 upDUHcreek

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:41 AM

dang! beat me by 1 minute!

I think EMPI have a lifetime warranty too. probably excludes the boots though. not sure???


The info on Rock Auto says it's only 1 year. For $61 delivered, it just sounds too good to be true. I'm really worried that I've messed up, but I did find SEVERAL people both here, and on NASIOC who said the EMPI shafts were great. I must have spent two days, reading over 100 threads on the subject.

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

Axle rebuilding is easy. Contact Rockford CV for replacement stars, cages, balls, and boots - get some snap ring pliers and a boot clamp tool and do it yourself.

Frankly - rebooting OEM axles after a cleaning and inspection is usually the best route. Unfortunately a lot of folks have replaced them already with cheap Chinese axles for which parts and boots are near impossible to source so you often can't rebuild what you take out. This turns into a viscous cycle and the only way out is to get a used OEM axle or a rebuild from the dealer or someone like Marshall.

Personally I rebuild all my own axles in-house. I'm sure Marshall does a fine job but the turn around via shipping them out of state is not acceptable for my business needs.

GD

#9 upDUHcreek

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:49 AM

I don't think they'll have to grind my old one any. It's only got a small leak on the inner boot, and it's still throwing that stinky grease all over the cat, so I'm guessing it still hasn't done any actual damage to joint. New shaft will be here today, and I'll be swapping them out tomorrow. Then it's off to Colorado with my old one to have it as a spair. I do a lot of offroading, and you never know when a 150k+ mile half shaft will break. The one in there now looks like the descriptions of an OEM shaft, with the green inner piece.

#10 upDUHcreek

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:53 AM

While I'll be the first one to admit I'm cheep, I'd much rather pay someone else $75 to rebuild it, than to have to mess with it myself. What really messed me up was the fact that the local stealership wanted over $400 for the half shaft. I guess they figured since they're located on the hiway, they could get away with hiway robbery.


Oops, I almost forgot, Thanks for all the speedy replies guys.

#11 grossgary

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:03 PM

Keep rebooting them, they last a very long time. The original Subaru axles are very robust, 150k OEM axles would never bother me. I'd rather have a rebooted 150k axle than a non-Subaru axle. Cheaper, quicker, and high success rate (i'm still %100 rebooting OEM axles).

There is even a trick where you can "flip" a given part of the joint from one side to the other if you reboot both at the same time...I've had so few issues (none) rebooting OEM axles that I haven't explored that option.

If they start to have issues, then buy new or rebuilt.

#12 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

Keep rebooting them, they last a very long time. The original Subaru axles are very robust, 150k OEM axles would never bother me. I'd rather have a rebooted 150k axle than a non-Subaru axle. Cheaper, quicker, and high success rate (i'm still %100 rebooting OEM axles).

There is even a trick where you can "flip" a given part of the joint from one side to the other if you reboot both at the same time...I've had so few issues (none) rebooting OEM axles that I haven't explored that option.

If they start to have issues, then buy new or rebuilt.


I think I asked before but, where do you get your boot kits? or, which boots would you stay away from?

#13 grossgary

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 01:27 PM

I think I asked before but, where do you get your boot kits? or, which boots would you stay away from?

i bought a bunch from rock auto - Beck Arnley. but i wouldn't consider that an informed decision, i haven't compared boots.

#14 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 02:20 PM

i bought a bunch from rock auto - Beck Arnley. but i wouldn't consider that an informed decision, i haven't compared boots.


I think that's the one I bought - I haven't got a tool yet for the band though. i plan to put it on the oem axle I took off, then keep that axle for a spare.

(I was stupid and let the first one off her car go.)

any band crimping advice?

#15 grossgary

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

any band crimping advice?

get the banding tool that matches the bands in the kits you use.

CV bands are annoying. i think there are at least 3 common types...each manufacturer can use a different type and auto parts stores don't always carry them or more than one kind.

one is just thin straight steel band that gets pulled tight and crimped back over itself with two holding tabs. there's a special winding tool for that - or you can make do with standard tools in your garage. screw driver against holding tabs to keep it from rotating then pull really hard with pliers...easier with two people (one to hold, one to pull), but possible with one and enough ambition.

another has holes/divots in it that you pull tigtht and then a special crimping tool that squeezes the ears together for a final tigthening sequence.

then there's others, but those are the two i'm most familiar with.

#16 porcupine73

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

Yah the genuine NTN seem to be the shiznit. I haven't tried rebooting. I have used only Marshall or the genuine Subaru remans. I have been slightly dissapointed in Marhsall's because I have had had several of them bust the boots in only about a year of service.




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