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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Puzzling steering problem-80s Axle Issue

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Whtspoke_*

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Posted 28 September 1999 - 08:10 PM

On Sunday i was offroading for awhile, and then all of a sudden my steering went crazy. The steering wheel was pulsing counterclockwise so hard I couldn't keep it straight, it felt like a caliper was pulsing because my steering would jerk one way, but not the other. It started with a light pulse, and went down to pulsing so hard that it forced me to stop. From a standstill I would start up again and everything was fine until 30mph, then it happened again. Embarrassing as it was, my neighbor and i pulled off the front right tire, and spun the wheel around. Every fourth turn at the same spot it would bind up so bad I could barely force it over the high spot. This isn't good. Not knowing what else to do, i put it back on, and hoped to drive it off. For some reason it worked, and drove home 15 miles in excess of 50mph without a problem, even drove around Monday and today-until tonight. It's back and as strong as ever, it can't be driven on the road. The car has a manual rack, and it happened right after going through a large puddle. Any expertise is appreciated, I have 20 possibilities in my head and not enough time to test them all. Thanks, Chad

#2 Guest_Mike W_*

Guest_Mike W_*
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Posted 28 September 1999 - 10:40 PM

I exactly had the same thing happen to me a couple months ago on my '83 wagon. It turned out to be a bad axle. A subaru mechanic tells me there is a freeze plug or something like that inside the DOJ joint that likes to come out on some of the remanufactured axles. I guess when that plug gets loose in the joint it can float around in there for sometime not doing much damage until you go offroading or hit a bump and bounce it up into the joint and get it pinched in there. There theory is that the plug locks up the joint and keeps it from hinging and moving normally so it is like the suspension on that side is locked up. Get the car up to speed and get a little vibration going and before you know it the whole car is shaking like it's possessed by demons or something. Replacing the axle solved my problem. Good luck.

#3 Guest_Mick82_*

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Posted 29 September 1999 - 06:50 AM

that's exactly the same thing that happened to me 2 days after putting in a rebuilt axle. scared the **** out of me at first. replaced the axle, and it's been fine since. I thought it was the steering at first too. I drove mine home 200 miles at highway speeds. At the point when I could feel it start to go, I locked my grip on the wheel and held it steady until it subsided. Another thing I did to "reset it", was to pull off into the gravel and stop. then slowly move forward while turning the wheel all the way in both directions. This seemed to help correct the axle. luckily, if the axle would have blown all the way, just pop it into 4wd hi, and you'd still be able to move. after 200 miles, the CV joint was popping like crazy... but I had to get it home...

#4 Guest_Whtspoke_*

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Posted 29 September 1999 - 07:48 PM

Thanks guys. I put in a new one today and it runs beautifully. I wonder if you can buy halfshafts in bulk... Chad

#5 Guest_Mike W_*

Guest_Mike W_*
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Posted 29 September 1999 - 11:11 PM

Glad you got 'er fixed. Buying in bulk, that's what I need. My other axle has been clicking and today blew a boot. Nice how they fail almost in unison. I now need three axles for my two cars. So what's the "best deal in town"? Is there such a thing as a better remanufactured axle? That is, any one brand better than the others or brands to watch out for? I realize that any decent Suby lover that hates rework should just bite the bullet and by new ones, but hey, my last remans. were good for nearly 30k miles and cost around half the price of OEM. Also since I'm going to sell one of the cars as soon as the axles are replaced, I can't get very excited about putting money into it. I might even sell it -as is- and let the buyer deal with it. Any good deals out there?

#6 Guest_JimN_*

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Posted 29 September 1999 - 11:37 PM

From my experience there is a huge variance in quality of reco joints. Even the good manufacturers do a bad job sometimes, so the golden rule is make sure it has a warrenty! At least a 12 month warrenty at that I'd say. Some things to look out for are companies that replace the inners and turn the outers around so they don't click. I even heard a story rcently about a copany that put a notch into the sahft so they could 'identify' it is there's. Of cause this acted as a stress riser and the shafts snaped after a short while.

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