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2004 Forester X Auto
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94 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have about 30k on an ADF lift on my SG5, and have some notes now that I've been through the most common experiences first-hand:

1. Move the inner boots outward 1/2" over the bump on the OEM axle shaft - this seems to prevent boots from rub-ripping, which seems to be the #1 boot issue with lifting. Everyone (including myself!) forgets to do this it seems.

2. Repair ripped boots immediately if possible, and you won't have to replace the axle. If you have an axle replaced under duress, like I did, get the OE axle back from the shop when they swap in a crap aftermarket axle so that you can rebuild it (assuming the axle wasn't run for any period of time after ripping)

3. Treat aftermarket axles as temporary items to limp home with if one gets put in. They are all garbage, they have terrible boot rubber and all of them seem to be horribly un-balanced.

4. IMO don't bother with $400 new OEM axles, find pre-pulled and inspected ones at a reputable salvage supplier - I get OEM ones for $24 that are in great shape from a place in town called All Foreign Auto Parts (Pittsburgh), then I put another $25-35 into NEW OEM boots and if needed, clamps, also OEM. And of course use new full-syn CV grease from a reputable company (I believe I used Mobile1).

5. If you are running lifted, consider building a nice spare using the process above before you actually need to swap one.

6. If you get an aftermarket axle installed in a pinch, don't fret too much if you have a wobble between 15mph - 25mph, they all seem to do that in my experience.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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13 Posts
I'm about to replace the front inner boots and I was wondering if you could answer a few questions.

1. Did you reuse the boot clamps? If not, do you know the part numbers for the big and small ones? I can find the boot but not the clamps.
2. Were you able to reuse the retainer/snap ring? If not, would it be OK to use any random band as long as it was the right size?
3. What size retainer/snap ring pliers did you use?
4. Is this the grease you're talking about?

I've watched a few YouTube videos and it doesn't seem that difficult. I just want to make sure I get the right parts.
 

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Registered
2004 Forester X Auto
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94 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I reused the OE clamps because replacement OE clamps are expensive and they were in decent condition and I was ready to go to the dealership if I broke one. Same for snap rings.

I've still never seen an acceptable pair of non-professional snap rings pliers, so I use Jewelers pliers.

That grease is probably right, any CV synthetic would do but I am partial to mobile1.


I'm about to replace the front inner boots and I was wondering if you could answer a few questions.

1. Did you reuse the boot clamps? If not, do you know the part numbers for the big and small ones? I can find the boot but not the clamps.
2. Were you able to reuse the retainer/snap ring? If not, would it be OK to use any random band as long as it was the right size?
3. What size retainer/snap ring pliers did you use?
4. Is this the grease you're talking about?

I've watched a few YouTube videos and it doesn't seem that difficult. I just want to make sure I get the right parts.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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854 Posts
Great advice BoulderGTI, aftermarket CV axles have been junk for years! Also agree that I'd re-use factory clips and clamps, but be prepared to buy new if needed.
 
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