Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board
GeneralDisorder

Weird axle failure - pictures too *Updated*

Recommended Posts

Ok, so I've been hearing a lot of noises from my passenger front axle, and decided to take it out and see what the deal was. At first it looked like a *massive* gear oil leak from the diff side plate, but upon closer inspection turned out to be axle grease! After removing the axle I saw the cause of this - the plug in the bottom of the inner cup is ill-fitting, or improperly installed. When you expand and contract the axle, you can hear air comming through the plug. There is no evidence of any other damage to the axle - just massive loss of grease from this incorrect rebuild. The part that really makes my cheerios sour is this axle is only about 8k miles old. And this was a rebuilt from Discount Import Parts here locally. Now I wish I had got the lifetime ones.....

 

At least I have discovered the origin of the leak, and it's easy to fix. The stuff was dripping right on the exhaust, and made for quite a stench in the car - and even some smoke when I was at a stop light a few weeks ago.

 

I decided that since this axle was toast anyway, I would go ahead and dismantle the thing for a closer look into what went wrong with this "rebuilt" axle. Now I don't know for sure, but I suspect that this axle wasn't rebuilt at all - it was just repacked, and a new boot put on it looks like. You guys tell me if you think the damage in the lower photo's could have been caused by less than 10k miles of driving. I replaced this axle around September last year... If you look close in the photo, you can not only see the spalling on the bearing race, but also that the race has a cracke running the length of the valley where the ball sits.

 

What's the consensus? The boot was undamaged, and the grease was nice and clean - no evidence of leakage present, and yet the damage seems severe for less than 10k of driving. I didn't get a warrantee with this one, and I sure do feel ripped off.

 

axle_failure1.jpg

 

axle_failure2.jpg

 

axle_failure3.jpg

 

axle_failure4.jpg

 

GD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine did the same thing, it stunk up bad . Just let degreaser cleaner and a car was cleaner spray and finally got it clean, before replacing the axle to avoid water in the boot, but be careful and should be ok:burnout:

-Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. it is a clean cut, no signs of breakage, smooth cut

2. lack of lube allowed the spalling as you noted

3. due to lack of lube and prolonged use, the blue marks are from over heating

4. the rough () in the middle may be due to continued lack of lube, and its normal range of operation

5. you got hosed by not buying a limited lifetime warranty rebuilt or jy unit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to clarify, the peice cut out of the cage was from my dremel - in order that I might get a better picture of the damage, and to see what the cage surface looked like as well. The blue marks were already there of course....

 

I think they just regreased and rebooted a failed axle, and sold it to me as "rebuilt"

 

I sure would like to punch that guy in the nose.

 

GD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost every NAPA axle I've ever bought did that to me, on the inside of the DOJ. I don't think I've had a single NAPA axle last more than 20,000k (13,000mi)

 

Up in Canada, I've found that the MEVOTECH brand has a part no. that includes a redesigned outer CV that is supposed to be better than OEM, and the stores (Auto Parts Plus, I think) seem to be a lot nicer to customers than NAPA was. NAPA wouldn't take an axle for core (or honor the lifetime warranty) if the cv boot was ripped. These guys would take one back if it came in a shoebox, as long as it's all there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NAPA is supposed to accept whatever is in the box for a core, as long as it the the same as the axle you purchased, and as long as its all there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by stephenw22

Almost every NAPA axle I've ever bought did that to me, on the inside of the DOJ. I don't think I've had a single NAPA axle last more than 20,000k (13,000mi)

Unfortunately, NAPA's axles are now ARI. I can't speak to ones for Subarus, but ones we've installed for other makes have had very variable longevity. Some seem to hold up OK, others don't.

NAPA wouldn't take an axle for core (or honor the lifetime warranty) if the cv boot was ripped.

I send in really, really bad core axles to our NAPA, and they've never rejected one (yet). I hope you just have a particularly bad NAPA franchise.

 

General: IMO, the damage shown was present when you received it. The inner race should not have passed inspection during the rebuild. I do not believe that that damage occurred in 8k miles, unless you had lubricant contamination (ie a ripped boot). CV grease is special stuff, and you don't really need a lot of it to keep the wear down, but introduce some grit and the wear rate skyrockets.

 

You got a bad one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

speaking of napa.. i remember my dad had to special order a master cylinder for his 68' t-bird.. it came in and all 4 mounting bolts were bent over.. he told the guy he isn't gonna take that and to order another one.. the guy absolutely refused, and said "you take this one or ya ain't getttin one"

 

needless to say we left it there.. this was napa in ashland, or btw..

 

 

really looks to me like they repacked and booted it and gave it back to ya.. hate places that rip people off like that..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow,I'm not happy about hearing those NAPA stories.I just got an ARI axle from them.Hey,if it blows I just return it.

 

Also,the guy said he'd take whatever axle I brought in even though I'd be getting another 25T axle for Turbo manual shift.

 

So far my local NAPA has been great for me.Most parts I use are dealer but for axles and radiators I don't have a problem (yet) with NAPA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never gotten more than 10K out of any axles bought from Schucks, NAPA, or other name chain. I have not had any luck with axles rebuilt by ARI. In all cases, I received a replacement and in half of those, the replacement failed again in a short period of time. I've had my best success (and for the lowest price) with axles pulled from wrecks at a junkyard; I'm very picky about what I pull and haven't had to replace any of those until a boot let go. My personal choice is http://www.cvaxles.com; I've had an occasional axle fail there also, but never a complaint about a replacement; I've replaced two there over the years and one had a slit in the boot and it was replaced without question. Just to get a comparison, I've owned or worked on (for my kids), two Brats, two EA81 wagons, a EA82 wagon, and a Legacy wagon for the last 6 years and have certainly done my share of axles. Best bang for the buck has been my carefully pulled axles from a wreck; but cvaxles.com still gets my vote for a quality rebuilt axle--I would not purchase a rebuild from anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does http://www.cvaxles.com have a warrantee on their axles ed? I'm seriously condsidering that route but I'm wary of not having a warrantee since as you know I'm lifted....

 

This canadian company "Mevotech" that was mentioned above does indeed have a redesigned outer joint - I have emailed them to find out more, and where I might get them in the US....

 

http://www.mevotech.com/

 

GD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call CV axles at their 800 #; I think Kevin is the guy you want to talk to. My understanding is that the axles are lifetime warranteed (unless the boot is torn). Price is $55 per axle plus shipping; there's a core charge of $55 but they hold off on billing that providing they get a good core within 30 days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you dissasemble the outer CV the way you can the inner? I have taken the inner CV apart to replace a torn boot and regrease it. The outer one looks pressed on, but maybe I didn't clean the grease off enough to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently the outer joints aren't serviceable - at least according to every manual I have read. I would like to know how they come apart... but even if I could get it apart I don't know where you would buy the parts to do a rebuild.... also, I can't imagine the rebuild parts being cheaper than a whole axle with all new parts in it anyway..

 

Pressed in sounds right - I tried beating on one, but couldn't make it budge. They are on there with something stronger than I can remove with my neanderthal techniques. Maybe someone else on the board knows the magic words to open one up.... anyone?

 

GD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shipping charges: I don't remember actual costs anymore, but the typical axle in a box weighs about 17 lbs. Go to ups.com or fedex.com (ground only) for a cost estimate of shipping. No advantage for you, but I've found that my savings on salestax almost covers a portion of the shipping costs. Last time I received a warranty replacement from cvaxles.com, I paid to ship the bad unit to them and they paid for shipping of the replacement unit back to me.

Replacement parts: Cvaxles.com will sell you the individual pieces if you really want to rebuild your own. They might even tell you how to do it properly.

Local source for you: Another place I've done business with that is in your back yard--

Oregon Drive Axle Supply

12533 SW Main

Tigard, OR 97223

503-639-9476, FAX 503-684-8365 and 1-800-336-2953

I'm not really sure that they are still around. The last time I did business with them was two axles for my wife's Geo Metro. They were the only ones who were able to supply them in a timely fashion (no one up here stocked them and the local price was outrageous-->$200 EACH!). They had two axles back to me in two days at $69 each plus shipping. I put both axles on the car more than three years ago and they are still working just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×