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Replace Joint or Axel?

cv joint axel

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25 replies to this topic

#1 potter2010

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 10:29 PM

Hello,

Just a quick question. My wife mentioned that there was some clicking noise when turning corners and on occasion when going over a bump. I took a look at the cv joints and the front driver outer boot is split. From my repair manual and online if replacement goes well it's easy but issues can easily arise. Since this is our only vehicle I'm thinking I'm going to get a local shop to do it to minimise downtime just in case I damage something accidentally.

 

To my main question, most places say just replace the whole axle (and the other side too) for the cost but then I keep reading that the aftermarket axles are junk. Should I have just the worn CV joint replaced, replace both front outer CV joints, or replace both front axles? If I can't get my hands on Subaru parts, any aftermarket brands to go with or stay away from?

Thanks!

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#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:12 PM

You can get remanufactured axles from Subaru. $193 each.

No one replaces joints and boots anymore. It's not economically feasible. Lookup the prices of the components - it's ridiculous.

GD

#3 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:52 AM

if it's already clicking, don't reboot it.

 

they will drive a long time before actual failure so, you have time (when they start clicking going straight , that's when you begin to worry, still, they will drive a long time)

 

 

you have time to get a used subaru axle from LKQ or car-part, regrease and reboot it. maybe find Beck-Arnley boot kit at amazon. Or, gamble on aftermarket new or rebuilt. Or, save-up for new OEM ($$$$)

 

I think I've seen Febest brand outer CV joints at amazon but, that would be another gamble. RockAuto could be another source....? harder to return something bad though. Some folks have gone to a large NAPA and looked thru the axles for the green cups - likely indicating a rebuilt Subaru axle. But, if the case hardening was ground away by the rebuilder, it could be as questionable as any rebuilt.



#4 potter2010

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 06:38 PM

Thanks for the advice. Axles it is then. I'll have to look into Subaru ones, hopefully they can get them in as it seem that aftermarket are not the best.

Should I do both sides on the front or just the dying one? The car has about 130,000 miles on it.



#5 06SubLegTx

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 08:18 PM

Thanks for the advice. Axles it is then. I'll have to look into Subaru ones, hopefully they can get them in as it seem that aftermarket are not the best.

Should I do both sides on the front or just the dying one? The car has about 130,000 miles on it.

Potter2010,

 

Where do you live at?



#6 Olnick

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 09:53 PM

Best choice for re-built axles used to be MWE in Denver--reasonable price, quality work.  I think the name changed a couple of years ago.  Anyone know if they're still in business?



#7 IXION

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:27 PM

Hi, new here, I had honda crx for 15 years, two sets of axles, one in, one waiting. Boots always ripped, but the balls and cage were always, ALWAYS in great shape! My experience, buy refab, or used axles, as an extra set. I understand its a daily driver, but one day is good time to spend, both cost and experince.
Jmho

Edited by IXION, 29 March 2017 - 10:28 PM.


#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:50 PM

if the other axle's boots are in good condition and it isn't making noises, leave it in place. do more frequent inspections of it and regrease/reboot when a split boot is detected.

(if you want a 'project', swapping it to the other side would put infrequently worn surfaces used only in reverse, into the forward use position and could extend the life of a few of the metallic components.  while it's out, you could also reboot it as preventive maintenance.)

 

 

 

MANY people will just replace axles as the labor and cost is close to the same as rebooting but, finding quality replacements is not easy - do a search, everyone has issues along these lines.

 

if MWE/FWE is still in business, they enjoy a good reputation for having quality rebuilt Subaru axles. Some folks have had good luck with aftermarket new axles; Raxles, EMPI, SureTrak and others - still, you can find complaints.

 

as said, we all seem to gamble when we stray from the OEM axles. It's my understanding that the Subaru rebuilts are rebuilt for them by Cardone. If the there is no or limited grinding such that the case hardening of wear surfaces isn't compromised, they should be decent parts.

 

I know it seems like a crazy issue,...... because it is. If we could just find a way to get NTN axles at discount prices.....



#9 Olnick

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 11:06 AM

Well stated, Tex!



#10 potter2010

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 06:29 PM

Potter2010,

 

Where do you live at?


Saskatchewan, Canada. The land of no hills. :P

 

Hi, new here, I had honda crx for 15 years, two sets of axles, one in, one waiting. Boots always ripped, but the balls and cage were always, ALWAYS in great shape! My experience, buy refab, or used axles, as an extra set. I understand its a daily driver, but one day is good time to spend, both cost and experince.
Jmho


It seems relatively straight forward but there seemed to be cautions about damaging seals and whatnot that made me a bit iffy as it'd be out of commission while I waited for parts. If we had a second vehicle I'd certainly give her a go.
 

 

if the other axle's boots are in good condition and it isn't making noises, leave it in place. do more frequent inspections of it and regrease/reboot when a split boot is detected.

(if you want a 'project', swapping it to the other side would put infrequently worn surfaces used only in reverse, into the forward use position and could extend the life of a few of the metallic components.  while it's out, you could also reboot it as preventive maintenance.)

 

 

 

MANY people will just replace axles as the labor and cost is close to the same as rebooting but, finding quality replacements is not easy - do a search, everyone has issues along these lines.

 

if MWE/FWE is still in business, they enjoy a good reputation for having quality rebuilt Subaru axles. Some folks have had good luck with aftermarket new axles; Raxles, EMPI, SureTrak and others - still, you can find complaints.

 

as said, we all seem to gamble when we stray from the OEM axles. It's my understanding that the Subaru rebuilts are rebuilt for them by Cardone. If the there is no or limited grinding such that the case hardening of wear surfaces isn't compromised, they should be decent parts.

 

I know it seems like a crazy issue,...... because it is. If we could just find a way to get NTN axles at discount prices.....


I was wondering about only changing the one side as the other seems fine right now. Everywhere says to change both sides but doesn't really say why. RockAuto doesn't seems to have much selection so I stopped by NAPPA today and they could get the axles in at $750 each! Granted they were new and couldn't get refurbs but still, pricey! At that price plus potentially labour the thought of doing one side is attractive. Any real reason why they say to do both beyond the other side potentially going soon? Couldn't I just keep an eye on it as you say and keep an ear out for clicking?

Thanks for everyone's replies!



#11 idosubaru

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 09:49 PM

For $750 I'll fly out and do them for you.

1. Get used OEM axles. They're $15-$35 and last the life of the vehicle.
Www.car-part.com for cheapest ones in US and maybe CA
Reboot them before install

Have someone from US ship you a set if you can't find any.

2. Absolutely no need to replace both - zero. That's just stupid...harsh but true.

I've rebooted noisy inner axle joints and had 100% success rate so far. They were just split at the boots with runny aged grease. Fresh thick grease and they're all good Wouldn't surprise me if outer joints responded the same way if they're OEM and weren't neglected /abused. But I havent tried outer joints yet so I'm sure that's pointless to someone paying for labor.

#12 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 11:20 AM

just replace the bad one.

 

750? how much is a new axle from a Subaru dealership!

 

if you cannot do - or have a mechanic do for you - the grossgary suggested reboot of a used axle. I think,

 

if I were in your position I would roll the dice on an FEQ, or EMPI or SureTrak axle from Amazon or RockAuto .

 Based on a conversation with a local builder/tuner, I'd probably get FEQ. I've had one on my WRX for a while, seems OK.  Check Amazon?

 

just a thought.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 02 April 2017 - 11:21 AM.


#13 06SubLegTx

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 02:21 AM


Saskatchewan, Canada. The land of no hills. :P

 


It seems relatively straight forward but there seemed to be cautions about damaging seals and whatnot that made me a bit iffy as it'd be out of commission while I waited for parts. If we had a second vehicle I'd certainly give her a go.
 

 


I was wondering about only changing the one side as the other seems fine right now. Everywhere says to change both sides but doesn't really say why. RockAuto doesn't seems to have much selection so I stopped by NAPPA today and they could get the axles in at $750 each! Granted they were new and couldn't get refurbs but still, pricey! At that price plus potentially labour the thought of doing one side is attractive. Any real reason why they say to do both beyond the other side potentially going soon? Couldn't I just keep an eye on it as you say and keep an ear out for clicking?

Thanks for everyone's replies!

This is where I am looking.  They sometimes offer free shipping in the winter months.  Here is a link to my axles

 

https://parts.subaru...rive-axles-scat



#14 potter2010

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 03:43 PM

just replace the bad one.

 

750? how much is a new axle from a Subaru dealership!

 

if you cannot do - or have a mechanic do for you - the grossgary suggested reboot of a used axle. I think,

 

if I were in your position I would roll the dice on an FEQ, or EMPI or SureTrak axle from Amazon or RockAuto .

 Based on a conversation with a local builder/tuner, I'd probably get FEQ. I've had one on my WRX for a while, seems OK.  Check Amazon?

 

just a thought.


I believe the $750 was an actual Subaru part, explains the cost. We were away for a few days and away next week so I ended up breaking down and have a shop do it. $375 for off brand part and labour.

 

This is where I am looking.  They sometimes offer free shipping in the winter months.  Here is a link to my axles

 

https://parts.subaru...rive-axles-scat


Thanks for sending that along. The price isn't bad but shipping and duty is the killer. Rolled the dice with an off brand one from a local shop.


An update: Picked up the car today with the new axle and it's popping/clicking just as bad or worse than before. Think I got a bad part or maybe it's something else? Previously it was making noise on corners and going over a bump. Now it only seems to make noise on corners but more often. I don't think it's the other side but hard to tell from the drivers seat. The boot on the other side looks good though. I'm going to give them a call and see if they have any suggestions.



#15 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 03:52 PM

An update: Picked up the car today with the new axle and it's popping/clicking just as bad or worse than before. Think I got a bad part or maybe it's something else? Previously it was making noise on corners and going over a bump. Now it only seems to make noise on corners but more often. I don't think it's the other side but hard to tell from the drivers seat. The boot on the other side looks good though. I'm going to give them a call and see if they have any suggestions.

 

This is typical of aftermarket axles. That's why we said don't do that.  :horse:

 

At my shop we use Subaru remanufactured axles from the dealer. They are $193 and it's 1 hour labor for a total of $292.

 

I can do those axles in 15 minutes. Maybe less. You got took. 

 

GD


Edited by GeneralDisorder, 10 April 2017 - 03:54 PM.


#16 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:58 PM

well, other things under a car can make noises, but if the original diagnosis was correct then, the part you received seems to be bad.

 

(slim possibility but, maybe the shop didn't tighten the axle nut well or, they left an endlink loose or.... some other re-assembly issue is now the problem?)

 

was it a rebuilt axle? they are often reground to receive larger ball bearings, the grinding 'should' be done by a multi-axis machine, not by hand. and, it should NOT remove all the case hardening. and they should use good lubricants. and they should pay attention to 'clocking' the joints (installing them correctly in relation to each other's rotational position).

 

if you are using your own labor, the 'lifetime warranty' that comes with them isn't quite so bad - makes them a tempting risk. But, you might now have to pay labor charges again. Many people have been down this road.


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 10 April 2017 - 11:12 PM.


#17 potter2010

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:05 AM

This is typical of aftermarket axles. That's why we said don't do that.  :horse:

 

At my shop we use Subaru remanufactured axles from the dealer. They are $193 and it's 1 hour labor for a total of $292.

 

I can do those axles in 15 minutes. Maybe less. You got took. 

 

GD

 

Yea, I wasn't too big on them but it was going to be $650-$750 CAD for a Subaru one so took a gamble. If I was in the US there seemed to be better deals, the shipping and duty are killer up to Canada and Rock Auto only had two options. Locally NAPPA or Kal-Tire couldn't get anything but brand spanking new axles. If I was closer to a dealer I may have had better luck.

I had a chuckle and the dead horse. :D
 

well, other things under a car can make noises, but if the original diagnosis was correct then, the part you received seems to be bad.

 

(slim possibility but, maybe the shop didn't tighten the axle nut well or, they left an endlink loose or.... some other re-assembly issue is now the problem?)

 

was it a rebuilt axle? they are often reground to receive larger ball bearings, the grinding 'should' be done by a multi-axis machine, not by hand. and, it should NOT remove all the case hardening. and they should use good lubricants. and they should pay attention to 'clocking' the joints (installing them correctly in relation to each other's rotational position).

 

if you are using your own labor, the 'lifetime warranty' that comes with them isn't quite so bad - makes them a tempting risk. But, you might now have to pay labor charges again. Many people have been down this road.

 

With the boot split I assumed the noise was from the CV joint. It was fine last fall when I put the winter tires on but that was six months ago so who knows how long sand and stones were getting in there. Maybe I could have gotten away with just a new boot but it would have had to have been replaced anyway I'm thinking. It does seem a bit different the more I drove it, somewhat better.

Since they did the work I took it back in case, as you said, something wasn't tightened enough. I figured that was a possibility. After driving around I noticed it was more when stopping but still some on turns and not as much on bumps. Possibly a control arm maybe. They took it apart and said it was a control arm bushing that had worn down. Hopefully that's it. I haven't had one of those wear down before. It's odd both happened on one side when the other side seems fine. I guess the split boot partially explains that but I guess I should keep an eye out for the other sides control arm I guess.



#18 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:53 AM

Derp... Canada. That's why. I didn't catch that.

Call a dealer in the states and get some remain axles shipped up. Or get the part number. Dealers do ship parts. Mine does it every day.

GD

#19 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 10:54 AM

try subarugenuineparts.com - they are in Washington I think



#20 potter2010

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 08:46 PM

Derp... Canada. That's why. I didn't catch that.

Call a dealer in the states and get some remain axles shipped up. Or get the part number. Dealers do ship parts. Mine does it every day.

GD

 

Hmmm, I'll have to keep that in mind. I'm sure the other side isn't far behind.

 

try subarugenuineparts.com - they are in Washington I think


I think I had checked there and was cheaper than NAPPA for Subaru parts but still fairly pricey. I'll have to check again though. Thanks!



#21 potter2010

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:54 PM

Update!

After being out of town then back and then out of town again then back then dealing with a burst pipe I can start thinking about the car again. Axle and control arm replaced, still clicking/popping/clunking. I think lighter than before, doesn't seem as violent but still there. I notice it most on accelerating or decelerating with no noise while cruising. Someone mentioned that it might be a sway bar or some component thereof. Before I toss any more money and time after this any thoughts as that being the culprit? :)



#22 potter2010

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 10:02 PM

My MOOG sway bar link arrived so I'll change it out this weekend. Hopefully that's the issue otherwise I'm thinking it may be the ball joint. I've driven it a few times now and the pop/click inconsistently happens on a big bump but seems to be most consistent following a right turn when the wheel is being turned back to centre. There is a single pop/click, never more than one, and generally at higher speeds or when (de)accelerating and as far as I can tell never at slow speeds like coming out of the driveway.



#23 idosubaru

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:20 AM

another axle option is to buy a used axle at a local yard - make sure it has green inner joints which is Subaru OEM and reboot it.  

reboot Subaru axles and they'll last the life of the vehicle. 

 

i've done it countless times and they'll last the life of the vehicle and are cheap.  $25-$33 all day long stateside. 

 

www.car-part.com



#24 potter2010

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:34 PM

another axle option is to buy a used axle at a local yard - make sure it has green inner joints which is Subaru OEM and reboot it.  

reboot Subaru axles and they'll last the life of the vehicle. 

 

i've done it countless times and they'll last the life of the vehicle and are cheap.  $25-$33 all day long stateside. 

 

www.car-part.com


Hmmmm, there is a yard local that I'll have to try if the sway bar link doesn't do it. When I called them about what I could get for my old Subaru they said they don't usually take them as there's no call locally but who knows what's sitting in there.

I had the car today for the first time in a while and was driving it quite a bit so I was kinda giving it to 'er to see what would happen. When really accelerating or decelerating when going straight I did hear the pop/click but was having to drive more aggressivly than normal. Again just on pop/click. I got under the car today and it looks like either the balljoint was replaced at some point, possibly with the control arm, and there was no play in it. I had been wondering about that too but doesn't look like the balljoint is worn.



#25 idosubaru

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:42 AM

www.car-part.com is a nationwide database of used subaru parts.  i can find a $15 axle and have it shipped to me.  i don't need to wait for the local place to get one. I think i've even seen some canadian yards on there as well, not sure if there are many or just ones close to the border? 

 

with shipping or knowing someone, you've got options. 

 

or craigslist - or kiji or whatever that board is in canada they use - there's others place people part out subarus. 

 

subaruoutback.com would be a good place to ask for assistance in canada as well - if someone knows someone parting a car, sources of used parts, axles, etc. 







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