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Old 01-30-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
Blackhills
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Default Rear axle problem (popped out?)

Hey all,

Hoping for some help.. I have a 2005 Saabaru Linear, which im sure most of you know is just a Saab branded Subaru.

I have about 150k on it and took it on a 800 mile trip to WI. The day before I left I had what felt like a nasty clutch slip but after some research discovered it was a axel problem.

Limped it home and discovered the drivers side rear axle was separated (popped out) from the differential.

I could not push it back in so I disassembled. Got the axle out and it looks ok to me. Tried to put it back it in with no luck.

1) Does this axle look ok?
2) Is the c-clip supposed to stay in the diff?
3) What would cause it to pop out?

Any suggestions and feedback from you Subaru pro’s would be greatly appreciated.






Cheers!
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:00 PM   #2
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The C clip is not supposed to stay in the diff.

Remove the diff cover and see if you can fish out the clip. It is probably stuck inside the diff housing preventing you from putting the axle back in.

Also do you have adjustable lateral links by chance? If so that could be the reason it popped out. Sometimes people adjust them to far out and it makes the axle pop out.

I would not reuse that axle w/out getting a new clip.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
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With adjustable lateral links, you could accidentally put to much camber and pop them out.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:16 AM   #4
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Actually what I was looking at says the clip stardom the diff. Be warned I had my axle pop out too and less then a month later I just bought a diff to replace mine since I munched the spider gears
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:17 AM   #5
Blackhills
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Ouch Cowboy! not what I wanted to hear!

No aftermarket Links.. maybe the C-clip just got tired?

Thanks for the hlep guys.. Looks like im going fishing for a c-clip.. Its sitting in the groove where it should be. I thought it was strange that it was not on the axle and I was affriad it was bouncing around in the diff somewhere.

First time diving into the Subaru axles.. Thanks guys
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvdrt View Post
The C clip is not supposed to stay in the diff.

Remove the diff cover and see if you can fish out the clip. It is probably stuck inside the diff housing preventing you from putting the axle back in.

Also do you have adjustable lateral links by chance? If so that could be the reason it popped out. Sometimes people adjust them to far out and it makes the axle pop out.

I would not reuse that axle w/out getting a new clip.
The c-clip commonly stays in the rear diff. On the front axles, the clips commonly comes out with the axle.

I've dismantled over a dozen cars and have had no issue with inserting the axle into the diff when the clip is in place in the diff. You just have to ram it home a bit.

Last edited by kpluiten; 01-31-2011 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:17 AM   #7
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Any clue as to why this would happen? I would like to fix it once if possible.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvdrt View Post
The C clip is not supposed to stay in the diff.

Remove the diff cover and see if you can fish out the clip. It is probably stuck inside the diff housing preventing you from putting the axle back in.

Also do you have adjustable lateral links by chance? If so that could be the reason it popped out. Sometimes people adjust them to far out and it makes the axle pop out.

I would not reuse that axle w/out getting a new clip.
the c-clips stay in the diff in the rear
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:21 PM   #9
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bump... getting conflicting stories...
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:06 PM   #10
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I have a 2005 rear drivetrain assembly at home. I pulled the rear axles from the differential and the circlips came out with the axles.

The circlips are there to effectively hold the input shafts in place so they don't float around.

OP, here are some thoughts:

The axle input shaft to the differential looks scored between the splines and the CV head/base. If the circlip came off inside the differential and the input shaft is scored, more-than-likely there is an internal problem with the differential internals themselves.

Perhaps on that side a carrier bearing has gone bad causing the carrier to wobble on that side causing the circlip to be moved or destroyed, which caused the inner CV assembly to walk out of the differential housing.

This would of course require the removal of the differential to service it.

Otherwise, as others have stated, the only way I can see the axle pulling out is if a lateral link or both broke; they have been replaced by units that are either adjustable and adjusted too far outwards; they have been replaced by units that are simply too long (e.g. sedan components on a wagon).

Or even if one or both CV joints collapsed thus causing the axle to have too much play and thus cause the inner CV joint to walk out of the differential housing.

I'm sorry I can't be more specific.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-E View Post
I have a 2005 rear drivetrain assembly at home. I pulled the rear axles from the differential and the circlips came out with the axles.

The circlips are there to effectively hold the input shafts in place so they don't float around.

OP, here are some thoughts:

The axle input shaft to the differential looks scored between the splines and the CV head/base. If the circlip came off inside the differential and the input shaft is scored, more-than-likely there is an internal problem with the differential internals themselves.

Perhaps on that side a carrier bearing has gone bad causing the carrier to wobble on that side causing the circlip to be moved or destroyed, which caused the inner CV assembly to walk out of the differential housing.

This would of course require the removal of the differential to service it.

Otherwise, as others have stated, the only way I can see the axle pulling out is if a lateral link or both broke; they have been replaced by units that are either adjustable and adjusted too far outwards; they have been replaced by units that are simply too long (e.g. sedan components on a wagon).

Or even if one or both CV joints collapsed thus causing the axle to have too much play and thus cause the inner CV joint to walk out of the differential housing.

I'm sorry I can't be more specific.
This. The clip is not supposed to stay in the diff.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:35 PM   #12
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^^^^ Dude, I don't know what to tell you. I have a pile of rear axles in my garage that I have personally pulled from cars. I have 4 WRX axles, 2 STi axles, and Impreza L axles, and wagon axles. All OEM. NOT A SINGLE ONE HAS A C-CLIP ON IT, NOR DID IT WHEN I UNINSTALLED IT.

I also have two R160's and an R180. I just sold 3 R160's as well. ALL OF THEM HAD THE C-CLIPS IN THE DIFF. I purposely check this before I sell them to people.



I've installed dozens of axles. Probably 2 or 3 dozen at this point. And a bunch of rear diffs too. I have NEVER seen the clip come out with the axle for the rear diff. The only time I see the C-clip come out with the axle is with front axles. I also have a pile of those and everyone has C-clips.

I actually pulled the C-Clips out of the diff one time and installed them on the axle. It would not insert into the rear diff as it could not compress into the axle groove enough. I put them back in the diff, and presto, the axles popped right in.

I'm not trying to be an ass here, just share my experience, which is pretty extensive at this point. :shrug:

Perhaps there were changes over the years? I'm not sure.

Last edited by kpluiten; 02-01-2011 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluiten View Post
^^^^ Dude, I don't know what to tell you. I have a pile of rear axles in my garage that I have personally pulled from cars. I have 4 WRX axles, 2 STi axles, and Impreza L axles, and wagon axles. All OEM. NOT A SINGLE ONE HAS A C-CLIP ON IT, NOR DID IT WHEN I UNINSTALLED IT.

I also have two R160's and an R180. I just sold 3 R160's as well. ALL OF THEM HAD THE C-CLIPS IN THE DIFF. I purposely check this before I sell them to people.



I've installed dozens of axles. Probably 2 or 3 dozen at this point. And a bunch of rear diffs too. I have NEVER seen the clip come out with the axle for the rear diff. The only time I see the C-clip come out with the axle is with front axles. I also have a pile of those and everyone has C-clips.

I actually pulled the C-Clips out of the diff one time and installed them on the axle. It would not insert into the rear diff as it could not compress into the axle groove enough. I put them back in the diff, and presto, the axles popped right in.

I'm not trying to be an ass here, just share my experience, which is pretty extensive at this point. :shrug:

Perhaps there were changes over the years? I'm not sure.

Well it appears we are both right.

According to my FSM section 4-2 page 42 states

"8) Remove DOJ from rear differential using ST.
ST 28099PA100 DRIVE SHAFT REMOVER
NOTE:
The side spline shaft circlip comes out together with the
shaft."



BUT section 4-2 page 36 states:

"CAUTION:
Do not remove circlip attached to inside of differential."


So, I really don't know what to tell him. I, like you, have a crap load of experience, 14 years with Subaru, and I have never had a clip stay inside. On the illustrated parts breakdown of the axle it shows the clip belonging to the axle. Also, new axles come with the clip already pressed on.

I don't know.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:31 PM   #14
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I'll go check my other manuals.

Edit:

neither of my other Subaru manuals are that specific. The exploded view of the rear axle assemblies show the clip with the axle, but that doesn't say much.

Sorry I couldn't be more definitive.

Last edited by iluvdrt; 02-01-2011 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvdrt View Post
Well it appears we are both right.

According to my FSM section 4-2 page 42 states

"8) Remove DOJ from rear differential using ST.
ST 28099PA100 DRIVE SHAFT REMOVER
NOTE:
The side spline shaft circlip comes out together with the
shaft."



BUT section 4-2 page 36 states:

"CAUTION:
Do not remove circlip attached to inside of differential."


So, I really don't know what to tell him. I, like you, have a crap load of experience, 14 years with Subaru, and I have never had a clip stay inside. On the illustrated parts breakdown of the axle it shows the clip belonging to the axle. Also, new axles come with the clip already pressed on.

I don't know.
Figures. Subaru! Well, good info none-the-less.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluiten View Post
Figures. Subaru! Well, good info none-the-less.
Yeah thats what I thought too. At first I thought I was right, but then I was unsure again.

If I had to take an educated guess, it would be non-LSD (open) diffs retain the clip on the axle since there is nothing behind the planetary gears to keep it from falling off.

LSD diffs keep the clip inside the diff inside a groove that expands when the axle is inserted. Since the LSD diff is full of LSD goodness the clip cannot fall into the spider gears like it could in an open diff.

So, to the OP, I would say to inspect the clip inside the diff and ensure it is in good shape (since you have a WRX LSD diff essientially). Then ram the axle back into the diff until it seculy clips back into place.

Of course this an educated guess.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:06 PM   #17
Blackhills
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Thank you gentleman so much for using your recourses to help a fellow Subaru owner.. much appreciated. It is clear as mud but at least gives me a route to try. You have been most helpful! Great forum, great people.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:39 PM   #18
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+1 For clips staying in the rear but coming out in the front
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:55 PM   #19
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I'm looking at two pictures from a 2004 Subaru repair manual with respect to the rear differential and it shows the following:

Without LSD: circlip stays inside the housing in/on the center carrier.

With LSD: circlip stays on the axle.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:00 PM   #20
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Im guessing that the non turbo model would not have a LSD?
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:26 PM   #21
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humm..... I've never seen a cir-clip on the rear axles during my time. I do see them on the front axles though. This goes for R160 and R180. Even WRX/RS VLSD and open diffs.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuJi K View Post
humm..... I've never seen a cir-clip on the rear axles during my time. I do see them on the front axles though. This goes for R160 and R180. Even WRX/RS VLSD and open diffs.
+1 this has been my experience as well
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:12 AM   #23
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One of my axle clips came out attached to the axle (Left side Rear). I can't get the axle to go back into the diff no matter how hard I slam it in, the clip is dropping a little and preventing the axle going past the first bump inside the diff.

I removed the clip from the axle and tried to press it into place inside the diff but can't get it in place like it should be.

Any advice for inserting the clip back into the diff?

I tried pressing it in with a socket, pushing with fingers and screwdrivers, must be an easy way?

Thanks,

Steve.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:49 PM   #24
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So I pulled my rear axle and no clip. I guess after reading this it is a toss up huh. Haha
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:11 PM   #25
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Old thread.
I'm in the process of trying to figure out exactly what rear diff is in my USDM 02 WRX which previously had a JDM transmission swap with a 4.44 ratio. My left rear axle must have popped out a bit because the tip of the spline teeth ground off while accelerating in 1st gear, causing my wheels to lock up and skid to a stop.
My only guess as to why it popped out is that there was an ongoing leak from the left inner boot, but I couldn't find any splits (until after removing the axle), the loss of grease and small split might have allowed the axle to compress and pop out, but not all the way, just enough to damage the splines.
*My circlips stayed inside the diff when I removed the axles.
OR do I have a rear diff that doesn't mate up perfectly with the axles in my car? which appear to be stock 02 WRX axles.
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