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So I've got a 2000 Legacy Outback with a bad U-joint in the propeller shaft. I pulled it out but did not find the two-piece OEM shaft that I was expecting. Instead it looks like a one-piece shaft? See images.

I'm fairly certain the car has the original shaft in it. I have a good maintenance record from the previous owner and there's no mention of replacing the shaft. Did some Outbacks ship with a one-piece?

Also, if it's not OEM what are the odds this has serviceable U-joints? How would I tell other than taking it to a shop?

With the age of this car (230,000 miles) and other problems I was planning on just removing the rear half of the drive shaft and running it FWD for another year until I can afford something with lower mileage. But this throws a wrench into that plan.

driveshaft1.jpg

driveshaft2.jpg

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25 minutes ago, GeneralDisorder said:

Hacksaw. Done. 

GD

That's definitely an option, right through the narrow part of the slip joint. I guess what I'm really wondering is whether it's worth trying to keep this shaft going (I guess I'd have a new u-joint welded onto the rear?). Or, if I want AWD should I just replace the whole shaft anyway. If the latter, then I'll definitely cut this one in half for now and keep the car going. Better to save money for something more reliable than keep sinking funds into this one.

Edited by Smo

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Update: I started with the hack saw but realized it was going to take forever. I took it to a welding shop and it was too hard to cut with their saw so they cut it with a torch. $5 later and I'm ready to reinstall my half drive shaft.

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I would of spent the $100 and gotten a used shaft.   

GD has good connections , around here that drive line rebuild would be in the $400 range.

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Well, the half shaft is installed and the problem is still there. Sigh. I think my duty C failed and the drive shaft is rotating despite the FWD fuse being in. The front U-joint was in very bad shape, almost totally seized in one direction. I'm going to go put a mark on the shaft to confirm that it's rotating.

If it is, I figure my options are:

1) If I want AWD, replace the duty C AND buy a new/used shaft. Not gonna sink that much money into this car.

2) Replace the Duty C, keep my shaft in there

3) Go to U-Pick-It and find a shaft with a good front U-joint, then get that one cut as well.

4) Plug the transmission with something else rather than half a drive shaft

Either way, I'm glad I did things this way. I didn't spend a ton of money to find out the problem isn't fixed.

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SMo; 

You haven't really told us what your car is doing.   A bad ujoint is going to cause vibration .. a failing duty C and clutches are going to cause torque bind,   with no driveline to the rear differential you can't feel torque bind so .... what symptoms do you have ? With it not connected to anything,  Of course the drive line still turns and your toasted front ujoint is still going to vibrate.   230,000 miles on a 2000 ob is nothing.   My personal driver is a 2000 obw 5 speed with 298,000+  I would load it up and drive to the Florida keys or New Brunswick Canada, today !   I expect if I can avoid suicidal deer and elk , and the occasional attack Turkey that that car will hit 400,000 or maybe even 500,000.   Used drivelines for that car are readily available around $100 . BUY one and drive that subi  for another 200,000 miles ,   IMO the newer Subarus are not as reliable as the older ones.  You live in the desert , no rust issues . If 230,000 scares you then look for a different one with lower miles. 

Edited by montana tom

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I usually pay about $75 for used prop-shafts. Call around. Just get a new Duty-C and the gaskets - it's not expensive. You have a running/driving car - do you really suppose that you can replace it with another running/driving car that doesn't have unknown and possibly debilitating problems for $250? 

230k really isn't that high if it's been maintained. One of my loaner cars has 320k and customers routinely comment on how they are surprised that everything works, how much power it has, and how tight the car is. It's a one-owner 1990 Legacy 5MT. I have people offering to buy it all the time. High mileage is usually an indication of excellent maintenance. I've seen plenty of low mileage cars that were mechanically thrashed. I would rather buy something with 300k and a huge stack of records than one with 150k and no maintenance. 

GD 

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