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Guest Message by DevFuse

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97' Impreza axle retaining pin

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7 replies to this topic

#1 palfer


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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:32 PM

Installing an aftermarket halfshaft on my 97' outback.  It didn't come with a new pin to lock the axle into the transmission shaft.  Could not get the old one back in there after an hour of trying.  Had to get the car back on the road so finished the install without the pin.


Is it imperative that I go back and install that pin or is it just fine to go without it?



#2 rxleone


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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:51 PM

It's probably not going to hurt it for a short period of time, but I'd get it in there ASAP if I were you. If they weren't neccesary they wouldn't be there in the first place - probably due to without it the joint can move on the spline and damage the stubs, and I've heard they can be a real PITA to replace.

#3 NorthWet


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Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:02 PM

In my experience, it is better to get the pin started before sliding over the stub. 


Does the pin start into the cup, but you can't get it to go through the stub?  If so, you may have the cup off either a full spline or a half spline (axle 180deg out of phase with the stub).

#4 idosubaru


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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:56 AM

the axle shaft can only go on ONE way.


i'm going to try to explain it and it might sound like a lot - but it's unbelievably simple if you can open your eyes and pay attention - it takes like 3 minutes to line them up properly and knock the pin in.  follow these directions and don't guess and you'll be done in no time, works every time.


***if one end of the pin is now deformed from messing/banging with it, make sure you're not installing that side first - install the cleanest looking side first or get a new one if you really banged it up.


look at the holes on the stub shaft and axle that the pin goes through.  you'll notice one side the hole has a valley of the splines in the center, on the other it has a high groove in the center.  so the axle and stub shaft only line up one way.


best way is to be directly under the stubby shaft of the transmission and make sure you install it with the holes lined up and the correct orientation.  if you look before you install you don't have to guess.  valley with valley or peak with peak for the hole on the axle and hole on the trans.


while yo'ure under it - slide it all the way towards the trans.  depending how you removed it - it could be under tension and pulling slightly away from the transmission misaligning the holes.


align it and reuse your old pin.  i have done at least 100 axles...if not more...and i've always reused the pins.  unnecessary for new, but if it makes you feel better tear it up.


was your old axle bad or just a torn boot?  if it's just a torn boot i'd keep it.

using aftermarket axles is generally a really bad choice.  the original OEM axles are far better and last the life of the vehicle if rebooted.

aftermarkets have a zillion issues and generally don't last very long without one popping it's head up on you.  you can search google or any subaru forum to see how bad they are.  better %100 successful solution is to buy a used Subaru axle and reboot it if yours is actually bad.



i would not drive without that pin, that's a lot of weight slinging around that will cause some damage if it does slide off.  not likely but on a 97 wagon there's bound to be some flex in the chassis...

Edited by grossgary, 26 July 2013 - 06:58 AM.

#5 vasy


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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:40 AM

If you have to drive the car now, as a temporary measure, you can put in a big cotter pin or thick steel wire and tie the wire around and twist it tight. This is safer than having nothing in that hole.

#6 Fairtax4me



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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

Unless you want a destroyed axle and chewed up stub, DO NOT drive without the axle pin. You can't make it happen by hand, but the car does produce enough force to make the axle slide off of the stub far enough to bind and break itself. It's a 3,000lb car, and when its rolling there is a lot of momentum that will fling a 30lb axle around like a wet noodle.

Yes, the axles only fit one way, if the pin won't go in, it's possible the axle is 180 degrees off.
Another possibility is the pin you have is a hardware store roll pin which is the wrong size.
I pulled CRACKED pins out of my friends forester that were cheap, poor fitting, hardware store replacements. If the pins don't have the serrated split down the side, they're not original, and they will give you problems. New pins are only a few dollars at a dealer, always in stock, and you get the right part that actually fits.

#7 Gloyale


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Posted 26 July 2013 - 11:04 AM

Fwiw i don't even run pins on my wheeler. Never a problem. 1000s of miles

I'll bet the op in this thread has the axle 180 out

#8 palfer


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Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for the comments.  Pin is in.  It wasn't 180 off oddly enough I just struggled to line it up just right.  Weird, I've probably done half dozen of these since I've owned the car, never had one fight me like this.

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