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Just branching out my search, having trouble replacing my CV shaft on my 87' hatch. What's the correct compressed length?

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I'm back!

I've been working on a my "new" hatch and have run into a problem with replacing my driver's side front cv shaft.

Mine was TOAST, no wonder it was making that horrible chattering sound.


I ordered a new production oem style shaft from Autozone, and hoped that what would come up would be the right length.


Nope, later I found out it was a 27 and 5/16" (compressed) long shaft. Not only was it too long, but the metal "head" right behind the wheel/hub side spindle was too fat to fit the suspension assembly.

~~~ 27-5/16" new oem style shaft too long and too wide on the spindle "head"


Next one ordered, 27 and 1/4" this one looked like the one I pulled off the Soob (same aftermarket style head). The "head" wasn't as fat either, but again, it was about half an inch too long for the lower ball-joint to fit into it's bracket.

-Something I noticed was that if I mated the engine side of the shaft and slid it as far in as it would go (preventing me from pinning it in place), it still need < half an inch to properly fit the ball joint.

~~~27-1/4" new oem style shaft still about half an inch too long to fit the suspension assembly properly.


I've orderd my last option from Autozone (and they dropped the price for me thankfully), and the system checks it in as having a 25-3/4" compressed length. I've got the part already and I fear this one will be too short.

~~~Going to try a 25-3/4" cv shaft today, fear it's too short even if it bolts on.




On the forum, someone pointed me toward Rock-auto for the "shorter" EMPI cv shaft listed for my car.

That one has a 27-1/4" compressed length, I'm guessing the shoddy build of the New OEM style 27-1/4" shaft is to blame?


What's the compressed length for the GL hatch front (driver's side) CV shaft? Has anyone ever experienced this same issue before?


Thanks in advance!

Edited by SnatchedHatch

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The problem arises from the fact Subaru called 2 completely different cars, the SAME NAME!


Wagon/Sedan/Coupe GLs are EA82 cars.  These are the ones that use the "longer" shafts.  The bigger jointed one is for the turbo cars.


Hatches, and Brats GLs (and DL's) are EA81 cars.  Carryover models from the older line of the early 80's


But when you try to order for an "86 GL" you get parts for both.....mostly EA82 cause there are more of them in the later 80's.  To make it worse...each had a 1.8 engine......differnet 1.8 engines!



To avoid this just order for an 84 Brat.   This will exclude the EA82 cars from the list because they started in 85.


I'd be like ordering parts for a Jeep " Cherokee" and getting parts for a "Grand Cherokee"




Though it sounds like they got you the right one now.  EA81 shafts are about 2" shorter than the EA82 shafts.  Compressed lengths will vary slightly, it's the installed length that needs to be right.

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Hmm, I understand completely. I knew I would be getting inappropriate parts coming up even after selecting my year, make, and model, AND vin specific engine. 2BL carb 1.8L.

Sadly, I bet the same parts come up.


I have read on this forum that the EA81, EA82, and turbo shafts all have different markers (1 band, 2 ba.. 3 band), is this true?


Thanks for the advice nonetheless! I'll post once I solve this issue

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I have read on this forum that the EA81, EA82, and turbo shafts all have different markers (1 band, 2 ba.. 3 band), is this true?


EA82 shafts have "pads" to denote the slight variations for FWD, 4wd, and Turbo models.


I don't believe EA81 have that.those pads.


and that is only on original suabur parts.


The new crap from china doesn't have those pads.

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I have an original Subaru cv shaft I pulled from the junkyard, but decided not to use it as the cost of new boots (they both had cracks from age) was as much as a new CV shaft from autozone.


This part was 27-1/4" compressed , albeit varying by a few mm's compared to the last part I had from Autozone, which was listed/measured out to be 27-1/4"

It has two bands on the mid steel shaft!! I take it the EMPI shaft from Rock was also this type (also 27-1/4"). I have the ea81 so I'll give this shortie a shot today. I really hope it cuts it as it has a lifetime warranty.


Thanks man, I can't stress how helpful this forum is!


If all works out, I'll post an update

Edited by SnatchedHatch

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I returned the 27-1/4" CV shaft and received the last option from my particular local parts store.

It is a CV-shaft with a compressed length of 25-3/4", that's a whopping 1.5" shorter when I was short about half an inch on the last part.


So it fit alright, but it's stretched out, it's definitely too short and about a good inch too short for a sturdy set-up. My hatch is driving now though, with none of the original part's horrible rattling. When it's cold though, it will make a subtle rattle here and there, I know this part will wear out prematurely so I need to find the correct part!


I'll try Rock-auto, and search under a different year/model.

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...I have found different CV shafts, one was listed as shorter than what I have now. The others don't have any lengths or specifications listed, just pictures. They do have the smaller "heads" (right before the spindle) which would technically fit, but ???? as to the length.


Does anyone have any experience in ordering GL HATCH front/driver CV shafts?

I'm about to hunt down and pester all the Hatch users haha

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Order a half shaft for an '84 GL.  That eliminates most of the confusion.  As a general rule most of the parts you order for your Hatch are the same for a '84 GL wagon except windows and door and such.  I have an '81 Hatch and I even use the '84 rule almost everytime.


I saw an '86 Standard Hatch in the JY the other day, realized that your grill is stock.

Edited by ferox

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Ahhhh yes.

CV-axle troubles.


I have an '87 GL Wagon.

Ft. a '93 Impreza tanny.

Stock hubs drilled to 6.


When it came time to replace a CVA....


An '87 GL CVA didn't fit.

A '93 Impreza CVA didn't fit.

However, an '87 GL-10 (turbo) CVA fit like...

Play-dough perfectly moulded into tupper-ware.....


My point...?

Sometimes it simply takes trial and error to find the right part.

Be certain you're purchasing through a company with a decent return policy.


All of my questions regarding what I mentioned above were answered here at USMB.

With that said, it sounds like you're on the right path.

Best of luck.

Edited by BoxerRebellion

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Digging this thread up!


So down the line I ordered a CV shaft from RockAuto for an 84' GL.


Came in, was the same as the only compatible part from autozone, slightly too short.

Since the last one was KNOCKING :blink: , and since the part was $30 cheaper (full refund from autozone B) )
I installed it.


In the time since then, I had the mind blowing realization that my car was not who she said she was!

Remember, I've been new to this. When I bought the car, my insurance form said something about Standard. LOL I thought that was the policy.

Add to the fact that I jsut didn't see any Standards on the forum at the time, I mistook mine as a GL.


I'll be ordering another CV from Rock in a few weeks. I can already here one of the two up front lightly chattering about my wallet when I make a turn. Since I bought the car, the other side had a new/rebuilt/aftermarket one in and it went from shiny to rustic


If this goes goes unnoticed, I'll post a new thread. In fact, I'll do that anyway

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