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Old 04-25-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
twheats1
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Default Front axles

It was time for a new/remanufactured front axle shaft. I had torn a boot on the outer cv joint. The parts were ordered from Napa for my 04 Baja Turbo, 5mt. The Napa axles don't match what's on the cruck! The splines on the transmission end are internal instead of external. After much discussion back and forth, I ordered axle shafts for an 04 Forester XT. Those fit!

I had heard of this being the case with auto trans Bajas, but it is also true for the manual trans. I have since checked with some other auto parts stores and it appears to be a common problem, they all list different part numbers for the Baja and the Forester XT.
Hopefully this info will save someone else some grief in the future.
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
moonzie
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Good to know twheats. Yeah I had the same issue with my auto.

Turbo'd Bajas have the same axle as turbo'd Foresters.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:50 PM   #3
Baja Milk
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I don't have the right part numbers for you, but I just had to replace my passenger side axle due to a torn boot. This is the second time in 3 years, same axle.

(sidenote-My 2003 has run great with no real issues for close to 5 years. Paid off in August and will still have under 80K miles) -
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
Hawk296
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Can't you replace just the boot if you catch it early enough?

Back in 2001 or 2002 I had an outer boot go on my Impreza, dealer wanted to swap the whole half shaft but I had them replace just the boot against their reccommendation. It was $12 in parts, labor rate was about the same as swapping out axles. It's still working fine to this day and all it ever sees now is a racetrack.

Might take a few more minutes for a DIY job, but should save money if the joint is not damaged and in good shape.

Last edited by Hawk296; 04-28-2009 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:10 PM   #5
twheats1
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^ The boot kit cost $15.00. A rebuilt axle assy. with a 3 year warranty cost $48.00. I decided to save the labor of doing the boot and just replace the assy. I figure it probably saved me an hour or so, plus at 80,000 miles the joints have some wear on them.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:28 PM   #6
machinegreen
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xcceleration has those performance axles will those actually match our bajas?
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:23 PM   #7
Hawk296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twheats1 View Post
^ The boot kit cost $15.00. A rebuilt axle assy. with a 3 year warranty cost $48.00. I decided to save the labor of doing the boot and just replace the assy. I figure it probably saved me an hour or so, plus at 80,000 miles the joints have some wear on them.
Can't argue with that!
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:55 PM   #8
Buck Rogers
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F.T.R. I changed my front axle (passenger side) last week. The inside boot was ripped, I also ordered a boot because the axle is in good shape, and I thought it would make a good spare. I had to get an axle for a 2003 because the parts store (Advanced Auto) did not list one for anything newer. Anyway, I thought I'd save some time and disconnect the lower ball joint instead of removing the lower strut mounting bolts, a member (not Baja forum) pointed out that this was the best way because it would not ruin the lineup etc. etc. Well, an hour and a half of f***ing around with the ball joint convinced me to do it the other way (removing lower strut bolts) marking the top bolt first so as not to change the camber adjustment and finnally completing the job. My question is this? Is it normally that hard to disconnect the ball joint, ie. pull cotter pin, losen the nut and seperate it from the lower controll arm? Or am I just a moron and did something a** backwards?

Buck
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:18 PM   #9
moonzie
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Dude, seperating that ball joint from the knuckle is stupidly difficult!! It took a 5lb sledge, a small crow-bar and a balljoint seperator, a can of PB blaster, and a whole *****storm of cursing about 3 hours to remove mine when I had to replace my front lower control arm.

Needless to say, I completely destroyed the ball joint in the process. Luckily they had one in stock at the local advance auto store for cheap. I also cracked my wheel-assembly knuckle in the process.


Anyways.. speaking of front axles, today I went to lunch and got back and noticed quite a bit of axle grease slung up on the lower cladding near the wheel-well. Upon further inspection there was a little bit on the inside, but it was mostly on the outside. I think before I leave today I'm going to put it on a jack and make sure my boots are okay. Inside one looks fine, need to check the outer boot. Maybe I accidentally hit a splotch of someone else's grease on the road? Hope so.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:05 PM   #10
twheats1
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^ Having a friend with a lift and air tools ftw!
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:26 PM   #11
Buck Rogers
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Well I guess i don't feel quite as bad, I did use a ball joint separator and a 5lb hammer. But if I didn't stop when I did, I would have ended up replacing the ball joint as well as an axle That will teach me to listen to advice from the Impreza forum
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:37 PM   #12
Hawk296
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The factory service manual does tell you to remove the ball joint. Except they want you to remove the pinch bolt and slide the whole thing out of the knuckle. I have NEVER had success doing that!! either the pinch bolt is so rusted it breaks off or the ball joint is so rusted into the knuckle that it's almost impossible.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:15 AM   #13
moonzie
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It wasn't my pinch-point bolt as much as it was that damn ball joint. When I put the new ball joint in, I greased it up some in hopes that it wouldn't rust too much.

My boots are fine. It's just strange that I had quite a bit of goop slung up on my front driver side panel and wheel well.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:42 AM   #14
holland_patrick
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Just replaced the boot on mine also 96k on her and cought it earlyenough there was not a ton of dirt in there (i'm sure there was some in there but not a lot we cleaned everything thing out and then inspected it then put it back together)

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Old 08-26-2009, 03:05 PM   #15
hatake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holland_patrick View Post
Just replaced the boot on mine also 96k on her and cought it earlyenough there was not a ton of dirt in there (i'm sure there was some in there but not a lot we cleaned everything thing out and then inspected it then put it back together)

Did you know the boot was going (how did you inspect, it's a fairly hard rubber), or it was one of your common servicing items? Was it a one-man job?
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holland_patrick View Post
Just replaced the boot on mine also 96k on her and cought it earlyenough there was not a ton of dirt in there (i'm sure there was some in there but not a lot we cleaned everything thing out and then inspected it then put it back together)
Did you know the boot was going (how did you inspect, it's a fairly hard rubber), or it was one of your common servicing items? Was it a one-man job?
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:33 PM   #17
moonzie
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Unfortunately there's no way to know if your CV boot is going out or not except by just visually inspecting it. Once you start to feel or hear something in your drivetrain and discover you've got a cracked/torn or otherwise broken boot there's a good chance that it's too late and you'll need a new axle assembly + boot.

At least that's what I've been told - anyone wish to correct me here?

It's generally a one-man job, but have fun seperating the axle from the wheel assembly! hehe.. see horror story notes as previously stated in this thread.

So it's probably a good idea to inspect your axle boots every time you go below the trucklette for an oil change or whatnot. Run your finger along the ribs and make sure it's not cracking open anywhere. Not that I usually do this... but - eh. I should. lol
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:03 PM   #18
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I was detailing my friends WRX and he had my truck. He found little things on her do to and while he was under her he found it ripped. when we took her apart we cleaned everything very well and found very little dirt in the grease. the inside passenger one is the one the that sits above the exhaust and it cooks so it's the first one to go.

he had it done pretty quickly.. i didn't help much..
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:04 PM   #19
holland_patrick
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Oh and the photo of the WRX

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