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Guest Message by DevFuse

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'05 O.B. Left and Right inner CV boots torn. Replace axles?

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Juan


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Posted 16 May 2014 - 10:25 PM

'05 Outback 2.5i. Dealer says "left and right inner CV boots torn open"  and "steam clean off grease from exhaust." Wants to replace both boots for $454.


Shouldn't I assume that the CV joints are contaminated and will soon fail?


No telling how long ago the boots tore "open" -they didn't notice at last oil change.


Am I simply tossing away money that will be needed later to replace the joints?


Not sure how much two front CV joints are going to run, but I'm willing to pay to get it done right in the first place.


I am hearing click/clunks on the right-hand side at any accelerating right turn from standing stop.


What do you think?

#2 Dinky26



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Posted 16 May 2014 - 10:34 PM

Yes if you are hearing clunking such as that, that is a pretty good indicator that the cv is shot.

I would replace at least the right one, the left one probably isn't far behind either.

Since you'll have it all apart any way it would be worth a few more C notes to do the axels too.

#3 upnorthguy


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Posted 16 May 2014 - 10:41 PM

General consensus is that non-OEM axles are terrible.  They often make noise (sometimes right out of the box).  The best bet most of the time is to clean the joint, regrease and reboot the factory CV joints and keep the axles.


CV axles are quite tough and generally do not fail...even after they have torn a boot and spun out much of the grease.  I've driven older Subarus for thousands of miles with torn boots.  Turning and hearing the clicking is the tell-tale sound of torn CV boots and the bearings clickity clacking.


I'm not as familiar with that newer gen Outback, but in my '95 wagon I saw I have a torn inner CV boot.  I just ordered CV boots from RockAuto and they were about $8/ea plus a few bucks for shipping (I was happy to see that this included a packet of grease as well!).  Are you able to do the work yourself?  There is good info here and on youtube for boot replacement.

#4 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 01:01 PM

maybe ask them to swap sides when they do the work. You might get lucky and the noises stop with the previous 'reverse worn' surfaces now getting the forward stress.

#5 Juan


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Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:52 AM

Yes if you are hearing clunking such as that, that is a pretty good indicator that the cv is shot.

I would replace at least the right one, the left one probably isn't far behind either.

Since you'll have it all apart any way it would be worth a few more C notes to do the axels too.

You where absolutely correct, Dinky.


Took it up the street to small shop and had them replace both axels. I figured if two boots where shot, two more coudn't be far behind AND the right one was clunking.


When they called me to come pick it up they said. "You where right. It needed both axles replaced."  They showed me the old axles. Right one was shot. Left one was loose.


Total repair $460 and drives like a charm.


The  Subaru shop would have got me in there for inner boots for $454.

They would have "discovered" that both axles needed replaced for $650.

They would have had me over a barrel and into a rental for $40 because my only rig would have been up on the rack for another day. 

After Shop Fees and Haz Mat Fees etc. I would have been into it, two days later, for a good $700


Thanks. I saved $240 because of what you guys/gals know in here.

#6 grossgary


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Posted 01 June 2014 - 06:08 AM

good job getting it done.  rebooting would have been risky, no fun if you're paying labor.


1. the original axles would have lasted the life of the car

2. they may or may not have made noise - they are often quiet once cleaned and regreased. i have a set that i beat to snot without boots for thousands of miles, offroad, towing thousands of pounds up 10,000ft Colorado mountains, coming back east they made noise and vibrated so bad that i had to constantly change speeds to stop the madness/shaking and stuff them with grease by hand at ever gas stop to make the 2,000 miles home.  i beat the snot out of them.  rebooted them and they're still on my vehicle today - which is also lifted 2", stressing the joints even more.


probably not a good gamble for someone paying for labor, but so far i and others have done it a bunch without issue.


the Subaru boots last much longer than aftermarkets.  i've routinely had aftermarket boots fail in 30,000 miles.


the best replacement option is to buy a used OEM subaru axle (green inner cup) and reboot it with Subaru boots

aftermarket axles have terrible issues - they routinely have issues at low mileages, including right out of the box.  10-25% have issues right out of the box, 50-75% (some people say 100%) have issues within a few years.

Edited by grossgary, 01 June 2014 - 06:13 AM.

#7 Juan


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Posted 02 June 2014 - 06:58 PM

Thanks, grossgary. I'll keep an ear on them and keep posting.


Next stop: 105,000-mile timing belt change in 2,000 miles.



#8 Flowmastered87GL


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Posted 03 June 2014 - 09:25 PM

Make sure to do the water pump and tensioners while you are in there.  Since with any luck you won't be in there for another 105K

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