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Axles keep breaking, we keep replacing, need a better solution!

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We've had our 1991 Loyale Wagon (4WD) for a few years now and we've gone through about 4 sets of front axles, the last pair lasting about a month!  We've been buying after market parts from O-Reillys and Napa, and from what we've read it's probably just cheap parts.  I looked on Subaru's website and they've discontinued the front axles for this year.  

 

Another forum said the remanufactured ones from Subaru aren't worth the money, that the best soulution is the original axle. We're thinking about going to Pick-N-Pull to grab a used axle, but our specific model and year is hard to find.  Has anyone been able to find either a reliable new part that works or used an axle from another year that fits?  We also heard that you can put the Brat axles in these if you lift it, but we don't need to replace the back axle and would rather not put the time into lifting.  

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You cannot use brat axles....with or without lift.

 

hmmmm....... the aftermarkets are crappy, but 4 in a year is alot.

 

Are they actually failing?  or is the boot ripping?

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The inner CV joint is breaking but the boot is not ripped.  They were replaced when first bought it and lasted for around a year, but we had a shorter commute then.  The second set went out about the same time as the wheel bearings, so we replaced them all within about a week timeframe.  That set lasted a few months, then we heard the clunking and felt vibrations again, sure enough it was the axles. Had a mechanic replace them to make sure we were doing it right.  Those lasted about a month, then the timing belt broke and we took it to the mechanic again, after he fixed we drove it home and the next day it was shaking violently on the freeway and clunking again.  Took it in, he swapped out the axles for a "better" quality and those lasted another month!  We just replaced those ourselves the first week of October and we're starting to hear the thumping again.  I'm not sure if there is anything else on the car that could put stress on the axle and cause it to break, or if it's just the quality of the parts.  

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Most of those parts store remans are lifetime warrantied; if you don't mind replacing them now and again.

I'm boosted so I change a front axle monthly...

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Yeah, we figured we would jsut keep riding out the warranty, but it's such a pain to have to replace them! I also want to make sure it's not a symptom of a bigger problem.

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We've had our 1991 Loyale Wagon (4WD) for a few years now and we've gone through about 4 sets of front axles,  ... We're thinking about going to Pick-N-Pull to grab a used axle, but our specific model and year is hard to find.  ...

 

On the Subject, very kindly let me tell you that, beside the Turbo Models, which came with 25 inner splines, the rest of the Subarus with same Body and engine than yours, made from late 1984 (as 1985 models) up to 1994, (Usually know by engine designation: EA82) will use the same axles than yours, with 23 inner splines; so you have more year models that fit, beside yours.

 

To elongate the Constant Velocity Joints' Lifespan, I kindly suggest you to use the Best MoS2 Based Grease intended for C. V. Joints.

 

Beside the Subaru Original Axles, I've heard that the EMPI Axles has better quality than the rest.

 

Kind Regards.

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If you can, also try to get the axles that suit an 85-87 turbo, part time 4wd, 3 spd automatic.

 

These are thicker shafts (and I think bigger CVs, but not as big as the manual turbo 25 spline), but are still only 23 spline. I think these are the same shafts as on turbo, full-time 4wd manuals. (well, I've swapped them over before)

 

Do you have a suspension lift?

Are you towing?

What kind of driving do you do?

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If you have not already fixed the problem great!  If not here is what I would do.

 

1.  Like the above poster said.  Check your motor mounts good....

2.  Make sure when you install the next set that  you tighen up the boots to the inner rib causing the boot to scrunch allowing more travel.

3.  Make sure your not doing all this work and have shot struts causing excessive travel

5.  Make sure roll pins are installed correctly.  Had a buddy all he bitched about was his half-shafts.  Told him to leave at my shop my son and I would do the next set.  He was leaving the roll pin out cause it was too hard to instal......After we redid the mounts just so we did not take any chance and install the roll pins.....No problemo.

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Any EA82 Non-turbo axle will work in your car. As long as you match fronts with fronts and rears with rears, you should be fine.

And junkyard axles, as long as they're OEM, should be fine.

I would try getting new axles vs reman's. Because remanufactured axles are usually worse off than used OEM.

 

Twitch

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We checked the engine mounts and those look good.  We've also been having alternator problems so it's parked right now until we figure it out, so we'll go through some of the other things mentioned.  thanks for all the tips!

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Do you have a pitch stopper installed?  The bar from the firewall down to top of engine?

 

If you don't have that the engine will try to lift/twist stressing the inner joint on the drivers side mostly but both really.

 

I usually see this on lifted rigs, but it's something to check.

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My front inner right boot has a short 1" long tear...not sure how long it's been there but looks kinda fresh...My pitch stopper was missing the bushings so the same as missing.

 

Now looking to either re-boot the axle or replace the whole thing. I can buy a boot for about $25 or the whole axle for about $60...unless the replacement stuff is truly crappy that might be the way to go.

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reboot at all costs.

aftermarkets suck really bad.  just google or search any subaru forum, there's gobs and gobs of aftermarket axle issues.  the reason it seems ambiguous and you'll see mixed reviews is that folks that only do an axle here or there don't have any problems - of course not, we're not saying every single axle is bad out of the box.

 

read from people that have done dozens of axles and they all say the same thing - aftermarket axles have a high percentage of failure - not only out of the box but a year or two down the road too.  Numbchux (user here) says he's never seen an aftermarket make it 2 years...probably an exaggeration on a wider scale, but it's a real issue.

 

also Subaru boots last a few years, aftermarket boots often only last a couple.

 

Subaru boot = cheaper and better end product.  and replacing the boot, while messy, isn't terrible hard at all as long as you got the right tool for crimping/installing the bands.

Edited by grossgary

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I've gone through dozens of c/vs. what finaly fixed it for me was to get a good set of new axles and reboot and regrease them with better quality boots and grease. i also use heavy duty zip ties instead of the cv boot clamp. not sure if that makes a difference but they are easier to use.

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Are you sure the engine mounts are good? You loosened the cross member bolt and jacked engine up? I thought mine were good too... Till I took the weight off them... Both were Trashed!!

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I had this problem too!

I cringe at the thought that I lost my OEM driver's cv as a core to my local shop.

 

By the time I realized my mistake, they couldn't do anything about it. Which is kind of absurd, like they really can't contact their aftermarket part supplier/remanufacturer and hunt it down?

They told me they couldn't.

 

The issue with my hatch is it requires a shorter shaft.

 

ALL the shafts at Autozone were too long, or short. Only one fit, but it's about 3/4 of an inch too short and is stretched. First one lasted maybe 5 weeks. It went from a chatter, to (while on the highway) and knocking/thumping as OP described. THAT scared me, but it ran for a while longer.

 

Got my money and compensation back from Autozone, and order one from Rockauto. It was the same length CV shaft :banghead:

~3/4inch too short. It was cheaper though, so I slapped it in and it hasn't caused me an issue so far. I'm at least 3 weeks in and the last one would have chattered by now.

 

I'm going to try a different CV from RockAuto if this halfshaft breaks down again.

 

>>>Like the other members said, you can ride on the Lifetime Warranties or find an original and "refurbish" it yourself.

I have also heard from the forum that EMPI is the better brand. RockAuto.com sells them.

 

One last thing, I have a spare front OEM Subaru CV Shaft, it's not for my hatch but I obviously held onto it.

It has two metal rings on the shaft, which indicates which powertrain it is for. I believe EA82?

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contact ShawnW on this site and get him to send you an MWE one.  they have a shop next to his and do quality rebuilds.  Last time I talked with him it wasn't too much more for one of their axles ($75 I think but don't quote me on it).  I haven't used them yet myself, but I have heard good things.

 

also check your local shop.  the shop I go to costs $150ish per axle, but come with a 1 year warranty.  sometimes even they go through a couple but generally they hold and I just look at it as $12 a month for axle insurance lol.

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IMG_20131027_172533.jpg

IMG_20131027_172541.jpg

IMG_20131027_172700.jpg

 

It's the CV shaft on the top of the last picture (without the tape).

-23 Spline, Subaru OEM from a pick and pull.

 

If anyone is interested, I'll accept paypal for shipping! Maybe throw a fiver my way on top ;)

 

I'll take measurements and update within a day or so.

Edited by SnatchedHatch

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The issue with my hatch is it requires a shorter shaft.

 

Shorter than EA82, but should be the same as any EA81.

 

You have to remember that the inner joint is stretchy......so it's easy to see them as different lengths, but all Hatch, Brat, and EA81 wagon and Sedan front axles are interchangable.

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Shorter than EA82, but should be the same as any EA81.

 

You have to remember that the inner joint is stretchy......so it's easy to see them as different lengths, but all Hatch, Brat, and EA81 wagon and Sedan front axles are interchangable.

Tell that to my cringingly stretched CV shaft. You all have said that all EA81 compatible shafts will work when I made a thread awhile back on this topic.

 

Fact is my auto zone had 4 different lengths of reman or aftermarket for my car. Most were so long they wouldn't bolt up. And one was too short but I believe that was for an automatic.

 

 

The one I settled on now is stretched more than the original one my car came with. Don't know what else to say, other than I'll post an update when I find a suitable one.

Edited by SnatchedHatch

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Does the EA82 CV axle vary for automatic and manual transmissions?

 

Trying to find out if my axle is from a manual car/if it will fit one.

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I had this problem too!

I cringe at the thought that I lost my OEM driver's cv as a core to my local shop.

 

By the time I realized my mistake, they couldn't do anything about it. Which is kind of absurd, like they really can't contact their aftermarket part supplier/remanufacturer and hunt it down?

They told me they couldn't.

 

 

 

I'm about to put a rebuilt autozone special in. I didn't want to mess with re-booting an old axle...and then likely having to do the other boot sometime in the near future either...2 boots cost close to a rebuilt AZ special with warranty...

 

 

If you are really bummed about losing your OEM axle you can have mine for the core charge if you want. I'm not sure if it's worth it but I'll offer it if you or someone really, really wants an OEM axle to rebuild. the outter boot is still fine. The inner boot torn open a last week so the joint still has plenty of grease and should be uncontaminated...at the moment.

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