An Axle Askew

Update by Alan Cesar to the Subaru Impreza WRX project car
Apr 14, 2014

Our WRX wagon suffered a torn CV boot. We did not "just replace" the axle.
This little guy was spewing CV juice onto our turbo's down-pipe, causing smoke and bad smells.
Cleaning just took some rags and some CRC Brakleen.
The kit came with everything we needed. Cinching the clamp down called for a special tool, but we did fine with plain pliers.
Afterward, the axle was like new and ready to be reinstalled.

Just replace the axle,” people seem to say these days whenever a CV boot tears. “It’s cheap enough, and the labor is the same.”

Those are the kinds of people who don’t know the difference between $15 and $50. Our CV joints were still in perfectly good condition, it’s just that the inner front-right one was spewing grease onto our downpipe, releasing a burnt-oil smell into the cabin. Pregnant wives aren’t fond of that.

We went to RockAuto and picked up a Raybestos CV boot kit for $10 plus shipping. A complete axle for that corner costs $41 (for the cheapest one) plus shipping. Of course, the boot is also cheaper to mail, and it comes with grease. We got just one, because the outer boot was still in good shape.

Sure, it took some messy work with some Brakleen and a few rags, but who doesn’t like taking things apart to see precisely how they work? That’s half (maybe even most) of the fun of working on cars. (It’s also why we love Legos.)

So, we saved thirty bucks or so, and had a little fun in the process. Next time someone tells you that rebuilding something is a waste of time, mentally replace the words “waste of” with “damn good.”

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View comments on the GRM forums
Eb4Prez New Reader
4/14/14 3:42 p.m.

My Dad was a mechanic his entire life. Towards the end of his career he'd tell me how frustrated he was getting with the new mechanics. "They don't FIX anything, they're parts changers..." Thanks for the training, Pops..

Streetwiseguy PowerDork
4/14/14 6:15 p.m.

I'll add in the opinion that an original Subaru shaft with a new boot is miles better quality than a new Chinese knockoff.

Ojala HalfDork
4/16/14 11:51 a.m.

The quality difference isn't even close. Non oem axles for subarus all suck. Oem axles($$$$) or a Boot kit ($) are definitely the way to go.

Uncoiled Reader
4/16/14 1:20 p.m.

I'm about to do this same thing on my 2002 WRX next week, I just noticed it was torn during an oil change.

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