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Old 04-25-2006, 09:15 PM   #1
Dobes
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1997 Legacy GT-T

Default Ughh, first major Legacy problem since WRX swap

As some of you guys know, I've got a WRX drivetrain in my old Legacy which has proven to be damn fun. However, about a month ago the rear diff started making a hell of a whining noise. It got suddenly worse over the period of about a week so I decided to start checking things. When I went to change the diff fluid to see if that would reduce the noise I was surprised to find that NO oil came out of the drain plug, it was pretty much empty.

Anyhow, fast forward a couple weeks, and I now have a low mileage replacement diff that I was going to swap in since the old one was most likely toast. FYI, here's a shot of the old diff in the background versus the new one I got:



I found that both axle seals were torn on the replacement diff so I went to the dealer and get bent over for $12.50 per seal. After snagging a removal tool from work I got both seals off and pressed new ones on without any issues.

So everything's going well and I get under the car to start installing the new diff. The first thing I do is check the axles to see if I need to clean them up and spot my next problem and the reason why I think my old diff failed so quickly. Here's the good axle - note the sealing surface towards the green part of the assembly and how clean it is (there's still oil and some light crud present I didn't wipe off yet):



Now compare that to the other side:



The sealing surface is completely fubar'd so I'm not at all surprised the seal didn't work. I tried using scotchbrite to clean up the surface but it didn't work at all. I'm afraid to try anything too aggressive since the seal will be sensitive to scratches, etc on the surface. And I hate to buy a rebuilt axle just to get a good seal surface. However, I'm sure not putting the diff back on with the axle like it is. Any suggestions? Can I pull the axle and take it somewhere? Anyone run into a problem like this?

I'm a bit mad since this has taken so me a while to get to this point (2 weeks to find and pick up the diff, 1 week travelling for work, family functions, etc, etc) so I'm really hoping someone can offer some good advice. I'm all ears!


JD
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:24 PM   #2
IronMonkeyL255
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My suggestion is to just buy a remanufactured axle. Those things are more hassle than it's worth to fix, IMHO.
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:52 PM   #3
Patrick Olsen
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Yeah, I agree. You're looking at under $100 for a reman axle, which is well worth it. I don't know how you'd fix that bad one, anyway.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:06 PM   #4
Dobes
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Thanks for the tips, where is the best (and I mean quickest) place to get a reman axle? I was really hoping to get the car buttoned up by the weekend.

JD
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:12 PM   #5
fibuz
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Old 04-26-2006, 06:45 AM   #6
Patrick Olsen
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I've never done a rear, but I've done both fronts, and each time I got the axle from NAPA. I think I may have had to wait a day for them to get it from the warehouse, but no big deal. These guys - www.raxles.com - also get good press from what I've seen, but anything mail order means you probably won't reach your goal.

Pat
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:48 AM   #7
xcntrk75
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That axle stub is toast and should be replaced.

I’ve never had to replace a rear axle, anybody know how easy they are to obtain new, remanufacture, or otherwise? From what I understand, they’re not a common replacement like the front and may be hard to find!
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:15 AM   #8
Dobes
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I contacted a few places which didn't have any in stock (raxles was one) so then I tried the local PepBoys autoparts store. They had 2! I have to admit I'm suspicious because the price is only $69 + $50 for a core and they had 2 in stock. Seems too cheap but I'm hoping it's just a lucky break.

Thanks for the help.

JD

P.S. raxles said they could get a core in tomorrow and turn it around in a day but overnight shipping would be around $50. I've got the day off on Friday so I was really, really hoping to avoid having to overnight anything and now it looks like I don't have to.
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:48 PM   #9
GTWagon_Phreak
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For what its worth, I ordered two front CV axles from CVaxles.com (Reman of course). They arrived quickly, didn't get them put in for a few weeks, but worked fine. My cost was about $130 shipped for both, had to ship the old ones back (~$10 shipping via Fedex Ground). GL
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:37 PM   #10
IronMonkeyL255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobes
I contacted a few places which didn't have any in stock (raxles was one) so then I tried the local PepBoys autoparts store. They had 2! I have to admit I'm suspicious because the price is only $69 + $50 for a core and they had 2 in stock. Seems too cheap but I'm hoping it's just a lucky break.

Thanks for the help.

JD

P.S. raxles said they could get a core in tomorrow and turn it around in a day but overnight shipping would be around $50. I've got the day off on Friday so I was really, really hoping to avoid having to overnight anything and now it looks like I don't have to.

I'd say go for the ones PepBoys have in stock..... Shouldn't have any problems with them, and if you do, they usually have a decent warranty.
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:39 PM   #11
GTWagon_Phreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMonkeyL255
I'd say go for the ones PepBoys have in stock..... Shouldn't have any problems with them, and if you do, they usually have a decent warranty.
Speaking of which, adv auto/auto zone ones have a lifetime warranty I'm told.
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:41 PM   #12
IronMonkeyL255
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My Advance Auto one does.

I recently had a boot catastrophically fail. I was going to attempt to just change the boot, but couldn't get the thing disassembled. They were made differently than was shown in all the diagrams I looked at. I just decided to get a reman from advance, b/c there was one close, and they had a lifetime warranty.
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:13 PM   #13
Dobes
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Big surprise, the idiot at Pepboys somehow confused the words "front" and "rear" despite me clearly explaining what I need. They do not stock and cannot order rear axle assemblies for me. Back to square one....
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:15 PM   #14
GTWagon_Phreak
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Did you check Auto Zone/Adv Auto?

Call the guys at CV Axles.com, they're very nice and helpful.
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:40 PM   #15
Dobes
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Called Autozone which was one of the few places still open today it seems. They did not show any rear axles in their system. I eventually resorted to randomly searching the internet and found an axle here: http://tinyurl.com/njn98 My price with overnight shipping was $125. There's no core charge. Hopefully the guy I spoke with won't screw anything up but I won't get excited just yet knowing how these things usually turn out.

JD

Edit: Full link for future use: http://replacement.autopartswarehous...sembly&dp=true

Last edited by Dobes; 05-29-2006 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:44 PM   #16
GTWagon_Phreak
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For a single axle? You did not check with Constant Velocity (CVAxles.com) did you? May not have been open (they're in Florida), but I'd bet they have your axle and for near half the cost of what you paid.
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:52 PM   #17
Dobes
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cvaxles.com was closed. The axle assembly I got was $95 + $30 for overnight shipping which I didn't think was too bad. At this point I wouldn't have cared if it was $200, I just want to get it fixed by this weekend. For various reasons and my scheduling I've been without the car for a month now and I'm getting sick of driving my other car.
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:01 PM   #18
GTWagon_Phreak
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I hear ya man, good luck
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:04 PM   #19
Dobes
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Thanks
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:03 AM   #20
Dobes
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Finally got the car on the road yesterday and everything is back to normal. Actually, it's better than normal. The car made a whine since the first day I picked it up from Rallispec which I incorrectly attributed to the rebuilt gearbox. After replacing the diff the car is now whisper quiet so I suppose the rear diff had always been bad or on the way out. I even got a chance to give a Lotus Elise a run for it's money on the way home from dinner at my parent's house last night. Woo hoo!
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