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I pulled the left half-axle on our 2001 Outback 4 cyl AT to replace the inner CV boot, and the stub transaxle came out too. This was a bit disturbing in itself, but more so because no fluid leaked out. We just had the engine replaced, but I assume that the transmission, differential, etc., were not disturbed?

 

I tried to reinsert the stub, but I didn't know how much force was permissible. The snap ring is still on the end.

 

So, should I replace the oil seal, and what is the best way of putting the axle back? The car was running a little rough (could feel vibation through the accelerator pedal) after we got it back a week or so ago, but was smooth before that, so I hope there is no significant damage.

 

Any advice appreciated.

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Check the front differential for Gear Lube with the Dip Stick on the Passenger Side!

 

If there is none, I'd stop and call the shop that did the work as they must have drained the gear lube. With the car up on jacks, you will not get a correct reading unles you level the car.

 

The Snap ring should hold the stub shaft in, but I've seen them come out. I'd get a new snap ring from Subaru and then reinstall the shaft if the gear lube checks out OK.

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in general you just pop them back in and don't worry about it. no big deal, but with the engine replacement and axle work that might not be the end of the story (that's my disclaimer for a car i can't see!).

 

"car was running rough"....is it still running rough? and "after you got it back" from what, the engine replacement or something else?

 

how bad was the axle boot, was it completely blown apart? making any noises? vibrating?

 

i would avoid replacing that seal unless it's damaged or starts leaking. keep an eye on it. that seal might look easy to replace but it is not. it requires unthreading the huge backing plate surrounding that area.

 

that huge thing actually unthreads. but it needs to be reinstalled exactly the same way as it actually controls some very critical measurements inside the diff.

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in general you just pop them back in and don't worry about it. no big deal, but with the engine replacement and axle work that might not be the end of the story (that's my disclaimer for a car i can't see!).

I tapped it in with a hammer and piece of wood and it seemed to snap in quite nicely

"car was running rough"....is it still running rough? and "after you got it back" from what, the engine replacement or something else?

It stlii runs a bit roughly, and yes, after the engine replacement. It is not very bad, but you expect things to work at least as well as previously ...

how bad was the axle boot, was it completely blown apart? making any noises? vibrating?

It was torn more than half way round, but most of the grease was still in it. There was no sign of contamination and it ran smoothly when I turned it by hand. Cleaned it out and saw no pitting or damage, so replaced the boot and reassembled axle.

i would avoid replacing that seal unless it's damaged or starts leaking. keep an eye on it. that seal might look easy to replace but it is not. it requires unthreading the huge backing plate surrounding that area.

that huge thing actually unthreads. but it needs to be reinstalled exactly the same way as it actually controls some very critical measurements inside the diff.

I replaced the seals on my 87 GL a few years ago and it seems like it would be a similar procedure for the Outback. However I don't intend to do it if it is not required. When I put the vehicle back together and lowered it to check the diff oil level it was perfect, so I guess it must not come up to the level of the axle when it is not running.

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I tapped it in with a hammer and piece of wood and it seemed to snap in quite nicely
yep, sounds like you're done to me!

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