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Replacing Front Brakes and cv joints


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Fritz

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 08:39 PM

Hi,

Just found this board, looks like a great resource.

I have a 98 Legacy L 5 speed manual with 95k on it. My mechanic tells me that the cv joint boots are torn and all the grease is gone and that I need to replace both front axles as a result. He also says that I need new front brakes including pads and rotors.

He wants $220 to replace each axle = $440
and $300 to do the brakes with new rotors and pads.

I've already had another mechanic replace the pads on the rear brakes, but have been told that I should also replace the rotors and pads together.

Money is tight right now, so I'm thinking about tackling this myself. I used to do all my own work, replaced 2 or 3 clutches, rebuilt a transmission, rebuilt many sets of brakes (mostly drum brakes) and other fun stuff on other vehicles, but haven't done any serious auto repair work in about 15 years. I have a good basic set of tools that has gotten me through several of the jobs mentioned above.

So the question is -- How hard are these as do it yourself jobs and what do I have to watch out for as I do them? Do I need any special tools?

Thanks,

Fritz
Cincinnati

#2 Setright

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 07:14 AM

Well, I am not an expert on your specific model, but I will offer my general advice anyway:

When you remove the drive axles, make sure you punch the dowels out of the indboard CV joint in the correct direction. They are tapered! There should be a mark on one end to indicate this. Basically, if taping on it doesn't make it budge, try from the other side.

It is possible to replace the joint alone, but it takes a press (or big hammer) to get the joint off the axle.


Some Subaru brake caliper pistons need to be screwed back into the caliper. Not sure about your model. I always expand the brake caliper by squeezing the whole assembly with a large G-clamp before I loosen any bolts. I reckon this beats trying to push the piston in alone. Easy does it, don't tighten the clamp too fast - and watch the fluid level in the reservoir, it will rise....but you probably know this :D

#3 Legacy777

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 07:29 AM

subaru brakes are easy to change. If you have any mechanicing ability, you can do the brakes. I don't think you'll have to worry about the caliper needing to be screwed in. I haven't run across that on the newer subarus.

re changing the pads & rotors, if the rotors aren't giving you shudder or don't have huge grooves, they're probably fine. You may want to sand them down to remove any old pad material.

#4 mattski

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 07:32 AM

If your axles have not been clicking, you may be able to just replace the boots. There are a couple of recent threads that have a lot of info.

Matt

#5 Fritz

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 07:18 PM

I took my Legacy to another mechanic today, one I have used a number of times in the past, not the one who recommended new axles. This mechanic, who has a history of taking the most expensive view on any issue that my cars present simply suggested that he replace the boots and that unless the cv joints were clicking that they should be fine. I decided to give it a try and hope by spending $300 now, I can postpone replacing the axles for another 95K.

I will probably try just replacing the pads on the front brakes myself and hope that that works out.

Thanks for the advice, I'm sure I'll be back for more.

Fritz

#6 DerFahrer

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 08:11 PM

Setright, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you in two ways: 1) I have driven the spring pin into the axle from either side of the axle, from either side of the tranny shaft. Yes, putting it in the tapered side should be easier, but I've done both.

And 2) his 98 does not have these pins to my knowledge, his axle simply pries off the tranny shaft with a crowbar...




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