CV joint/axle time for my '95 Legacy, need some advice!

Discussion in 'Subaru Legacy' started by Rob Aries, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. Rob Aries

    Rob Aries Guest

    I have a 95 Legacy FWD Auto. The left front boot is torn and the joint
    is clicking.

    1st of all the local Subie dealer wants over $300 to fix this, which I
    think is outrageous. An independent station I've used for other work
    gave me an informal quote of about $200 but that was after warning that
    CV joints for some cars are more expensive and she didn't know if that
    applied for my car or not.

    Doing a little research I have found remanufactured axles that include
    both inner & outer joints for about $70 (+ core charge). I am assuming
    that this is what everyone does since the joint by itself is about the
    same or even more money to fix (and I think I read that you can't fix a
    CV joint by itself on Subies).

    My basic question is, how doable is this job for a weekend mechanic like
    myself? Any specialized tools needed? I imagine that doing the entire
    axle in one piece is probably easier than just the CV joint by itself;
    however, I've gotten into trouble with supposedly easy jobs that
    suddenly get more difficult when unexpected things happen. Any tips
    and/or advice is appreciated, TIA!

    Rob Aries
    Rob Aries, Dec 18, 2004
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  2. Hi,

    If you're a moderately accomplished shade-tree'r, you should be able to
    do the job yourself. Might take some imagination depending on the tools
    you have available. With the proper puller, the axle should press out of
    the hub fairly easily (inner DOJ--double output joint, for all intents a
    CV joint--is held on a splined shaft w/ a roll pin. Drive the pin out
    from the smaller hole side, and reinstall from the larger. Be sure to
    grease the splines. If it doesn't go easily, rotate the joint 180 deg
    and try again. Some of the parts are tapered. Unhook the inner end
    first, hook it back up last--you need some wiggle room.)

    If you don't have the proper puller, you can drive the stub axle out w/
    a block of hardwood and a decent sized hammer. Some advocate replacing
    wheel bearings at this time regardless of removal method--if you have to
    whack the axle I'd definitely recommend replacement of the bearings.

    Replacement: go to Subaru and get one of their "remanufactured" axles.
    It will cost about twice the price of the cheapies from the local auto
    parts store. Trust me, it's money well spent. Last time I bought
    aftermarket, I went thru three axles, and STILL had to go to Subaru to
    get the right one. And the build quality is worlds apart.

    Reinstallation is fun--you'll have to devise a way to use the original
    axle nut and various goodies as spacers to get the axle pulled thru the
    hub far enough to actually use the proper tapered washer and new axle
    nut to finish the job. Make sure you torque the axle nut to spec (145 ft
    lbs on my '90) or you'll have noise and possible damage to the splines
    and hub. Be sure to use a new split cotter pin to be safe.

    Figure it's a nice day's work first time you do it. After you learn the
    tricks, it's pretty quick. Subaru quoted me a price that, subtracting
    what the parts guy charged me for the axle, translated into only about
    one hour's labor, so you see what you can do w/ experience and the right

    Best of luck,

    Rick Courtright, Dec 18, 2004
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  3. Rob Aries

    johninKY Guest

    Rick pretty much covered the topic. I changed a front axle on my 95 last
    summer. Fairly easy. Axle came free of the hub with little effort. The
    top strut bolt is slotted. Make sure you mark the position of the strut
    wrt the hub to avoid an alignment problem. Replacing the bearing may be a
    sound idea but it's a bear to replace. Has to pressed off and on. Please
    use the correct size pin punch to remove the roll pin. jam something in
    the hole that is the wrong size or worse, breaks off, and you now have
    major problems.
    johninKY, Dec 18, 2004
  4. Rob Aries

    Rob Aries Guest

    Thanks guys for the tips. It sounds like this job is not technically
    difficult but there are definitely opportunities to screw up. The
    weather just turned nasty cold here in the Northeast US so that's
    another consideration (my garage is storage space). It's looking like I
    will pony up the bucks. I will try and ensure that a Subaru axle is
    used, thanks for that tip Rick.

    Rob Aries
    Rob Aries, Dec 20, 2004
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