My girlfriends '01 forester is suddenly having lots of problems. I'm capable of fixing these but budget and time are constraints making it hard to determine my best choices in what to repair, with which parts and what order.
Here is the short list of problems:
- Radiator just started leaking (likely due to recent extreme cold weather)
- PS system began leaking
- Passenger side CV outer boot failed and is now making noises
- Drivers side CV outer boot appears to have small crack also
- I replaced the water pump over a year ago but Timing belt was not changed at that time due to lack of funds.
I have a couple of questions on this mess of issues. First on the CV issues, it seems wisest to replace both axle shafts. The price for new/reman seems reasonable but when added on top of the other stuff to fix price starts to become an issue.
I did some reading on this and other forums about subaru axles and found that more than a couple of people recommended trying to locate used OEM subaru axle(s) and go over them, clean, re-pack with grease and add new boots. It was also pointed out that the OEM subaru axles have a distinct green paint color. I believe I found one today on a 98 forester in the junkyard. They would charge me about 20 all said and done to take it home, provided I can remove it rom the vehicle. I was already able to tap out the pin and it is loose from the transaxle. A previous junk-yarder already pulled the strut towers so it's basically ready to be pulled with the exception of the axle nut is still on (and is crimped too). Also, I'm still under the assumption that both left and right axles are the same part.
So first questions:
- I did some research on the axle compatibility, and from what I found only 99-04 forester axles are the same, but not '98? If anyone knows, clue me in.
- Is getting a used axle (subaru OEM only) dumb and a waste of time trying to clean it up?
- If its a good idea for $20, how will I be able to crack that axle nut. Currently the parts vehicle has no brakes or even a front seat. The car is sitting on 3 welded together rims for support, so too much torque with long breakers could be a problem in the yard. I have an older 1/2 breaker but would still have to buy the 32mm socket. Unlikely that I can afford 3/4in. drive socket and breaker, or battery powered impact.
On the topic of the timing belt, I'm getting nervous, it's been at least 5 years since replacement, maybe more. No documentation to confirm when it was installed last. I had to put it back on when I did the water pump because the price of t-belt and all the tensioners/rollers was too much at the time.
- Seems like a no brainer to get the t-belt changed and probably all the rollers/tensioner.... but that's still at least $140 in new parts.
- If I go for new/reman axle(s) is is safe to let the tensioner and rollers go and just change the belt? Or what is the best option? just tensioner and belt?
- Also, I know that the oil pump is often discussed with a Timing belt... again, I have no idea how old the OP is... but at least 5 years old.
It's looking unlikely that I'll locate a used radiator, but it may not even be worth my time, so I'll probably just get a new radiator. Also, I believe that the Auto trans has lines running to the rad also? is that right? if so, do I need to change out all the ATF, or suggestions here... I've never owned or worked on an automatic so I can't say I know what I'm doing there.
And the power steering issue looks like a leak at a threaded connection, so hopefully that'll be an easy fix, but needs further investigation still.
Ideally I'd like to just do everything at once... having the radiator out will make the t-belt job easier at least. I'm also thinking of flushing the brake fluid since all the other fluids will be changed out, but any other thoughts on things to do and how to prioritize them while considering cost would be helpful.
Worst case I could put off some of the work for a month or so and possibly be able to spend a little more on parts, but it's hard to decide what is less
important right now.