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84 GL 1.8: front end inspection questions


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9 replies to this topic

#1 ajp

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:00 PM

Hello again Subaru Gods

I know it's been said before, and I have read a bunch of threads on this, but wanted to ask questions for this instance.

front end has been making clicking fo9r 10,000 miles, was intermittent, but now all the time. usually its when turning left. now the click is a clunking sound. originally it was on the right, but recently, after the right started making a weird sound when slowing down to around 5-10mph, like rubber on steel or other rubber, the right has quieted down, and the left is clicking. I can feel a wobble from the drivers seat. when I check the tire, there is no play up down back forth or side to side.
I am thinking it is an axle. Is there a way to inspect it? I have not done one of these before, so Im sure it will take me ten hours, and I will have to buy some tools. So, I called around, and the super rupair wants 290 per axle for aftermarket rebuilds (brand is CVJ), warranty for 18,000miles or 18 months. its a steep price to pay for me, considering the rust on this one. Another garage wants about the same, but will knock the 2nd side down to 190.

Anyone on the front range area want to work on this with me, or guide me along. I've read the axle rebuild post, and can get 2 axles from steamboat for 45 apiece. I can pay something to offset your time. And I want the experience, as after this car gets past 400,000, I will try to find another (238xxx now, and I hardly ever take it past 2800 rpms unless shifting on a hill).
thanks again for letting me post here!

Edited by ajp, 18 December 2012 - 04:03 PM.
additional information


#2 l75eya

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:15 PM

Iffin' you've got yourself confidence in your mechanical abilities, jump in to it and replace those axles. Read up on the process, go get yourself some punches to knock the roll pin out, jack stands, jack, be careful, and IIRC from the first axle job I did, don't get discouraged getting those roll pins back in there. May seem like they don't fit, but grease it up and get a good angle to hammer at it, it'll go.

It's an involved process, especially if you don't know what you're doing, so expect to get stumped and frustrated, but keep at it and you'll get it if you feel you can do it.

#3 ajp

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:58 PM

thanks I75. I do have confidence in my mechanical abilities, but this car body is so rusted, that I am afraid jackstands wont cut it. all bent up under there from changing a tire. are there alternate places to put the stands?

#4 Señor Brat

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:19 PM

Hello again Subaru Gods

I know it's been said before, and I have read a bunch of threads on this, but wanted to ask questions for this instance.

front end has been making clicking fo9r 10,000 miles, was intermittent, but now all the time. usually its when turning left. now the click is a clunking sound. originally it was on the right, but recently, after the right started making a weird sound when slowing down to around 5-10mph, like rubber on steel or other rubber, the right has quieted down, and the left is clicking. I can feel a wobble from the drivers seat. when I check the tire, there is no play up down back forth or side to side.
I am thinking it is an axle. Is there a way to inspect it? I have not done one of these before, so Im sure it will take me ten hours, and I will have to buy some tools. So, I called around, and the super rupair wants 290 per axle for aftermarket rebuilds (brand is CVJ), warranty for 18,000miles or 18 months. its a steep price to pay for me, considering the rust on this one. Another garage wants about the same, but will knock the 2nd side down to 190.

Anyone on the front range area want to work on this with me, or guide me along. I've read the axle rebuild post, and can get 2 axles from steamboat for 45 apiece. I can pay something to offset your time. And I want the experience, as after this car gets past 400,000, I will try to find another (238xxx now, and I hardly ever take it past 2800 rpms unless shifting on a hill).
thanks again for letting me post here!



Definitely sounds like a CV Joint issue, as you suspect. It's really not all that hard to replace, even with limited mechanical knowledge. What I did is do one side at a time, lay everything out in the order you took it off and then use the side thats still in tact if you run into trouble putting things back together.. so yes, it may take a few hours, but once you do one side the other should be easy... and yeah, what ^ says about the roll pins lol.. twas a pain when i first did it, but nothing a mallet and grease couldnt solve

#5 ajp

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

thanks for all the encouragement fellas. my hesitation working on this car is that I get into it, and need something I dont have, like a torch, to loosen up some pita bolt. the operation seems fairly straight-forward, and I might just attempt it if the snow holds off for a few more days.
If it is a CV, do I attempt to rebuild,grease, and boot both ends (DOJ &CV), or do I need to get another axle altogether - if the CV is bad, can it be fixed?

#6 hatchsub

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

Put the stands on the unibody frame rail farther in. I never bothered jacking on the pinch welds because they are so delicate on these cars.

#7 ajp

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 04:08 AM

yup. mine are shot. folded in from the last try, but the engine seems good. how is it that an aluminum block outlasts a steel weld?

#8 Señor Brat

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

thanks for all the encouragement fellas. my hesitation working on this car is that I get into it, and need something I dont have, like a torch, to loosen up some pita bolt. the operation seems fairly straight-forward, and I might just attempt it if the snow holds off for a few more days.
If it is a CV, do I attempt to rebuild,grease, and boot both ends (DOJ &CV), or do I need to get another axle altogether - if the CV is bad, can it be fixed?


They are serviceable but I just replace them alltogether.. I havnt had to change one in 7 years... maybe check out the book How To Keep Your Subaru Alive if you havnt already. good descriptions of what youd be getting yourself into as well as all the tools necessary

#9 l75eya

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

Agreed. Just throw the jack-stands under the frame. Long rectangular looking piece of metal runs along the car from front to half-way back. Do be careful. You're going to need to get a big rump roast socket to get the axle nut off. A breaker bar as well, plus a piece of pipe to use as a cheater will be helpful as well. Make sure you've got all the tools you'll need first. Definitely replace the axle instead of rebuilding it. not worth the trouble if you're just doing it once.

Also, if you don't have what you need right away, if the axle doesn't seem too bad when you're driving the car, you can get away with it for awhile if you are easy on the throttle. Especially during tight turns. My car needs 3 axles currently, as it has needed for over a year now. I'm very light with my gas pedal now, and as a plus, I've been getting fantastic fuel mileage. ;)

#10 djellum

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:57 PM

with the rate of failure on aftermarket axles I would have the shop do it. I recently did both the fronts myself, 4 axles later and I have 1 good one. the other side doesnt clunk but does vibrate a lot.

In the end I had the shop do it ($200, still have to do the other side). that way if the axle is bad they eat the cost for replacing it. I look at it as $30 a month for axle insurance for the next year.

for good quality axles it will cost $100ish per side anyway (MWE axle and new center piece assembly from Subaru). that means your paying just over $100 for labor and warranty. pretty good price.

btw, dont use a torch to heat up suspension bolts. heating and cooling metal like can easily cause cracks and fatigue to the metal. it can also mess up case hardening, and other treatments.




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