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Registered
2000 FORESTER
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Instead of reading hundreds of posts regarding replacement axles, read this summary from someone who has:

- OEM axles (from dealership) are pricey, but they last.

- Replacement axles from China (NAPA, Autozone, Advance Auto, etc) are dirt cheap ($60 - $100), but will almost certainly fail within months. These retailers usually guarantee their axles for life, and will readily honor their guarantee…repeatedly, in fact, and without question…but you or your mechanic are then faced with doing the work over again. And again. These poor souls typically get so fed up with the repeated failures that they eventually opt for OEM. There are exceptions, of course, but the majority of those remarking on their experiences discourage the use of the Chinese axles.

- raxles.com and MW Enterprises (ccrengines.com/mwe) are mentioned frequently, as decent domestic replacement axles.

If you discover a CV boot is torn on an OEM axle, but it’s not yet making any noise, clean the joint, inspect it, and if there's no obvious problems, regrease it, and install a new OEM boot. It’s a fairly messy procedure, but is by far the most cost-effective way to go. It’s tempting to replace the entire axle for $75, especially when an OEM replacement boot (which is strongly recommended) is about $40, but you’ll probably regret it.

Please note that none of the above statements are based on personal experience. I recently removed the transmission from my wife’s 2000 Forester, and have been combing through posts to determine what I should and shouldn’t bother doing, before installing a replacement transmission.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,827 Posts
Very good points. On my 99 Forester I also learned going cheap will not always last as long as OEM, I quickly learned to go with what my mechanic knew worked best, OEM axles, aftermarket brake parts, etc. etc.

Heres a tip while the transmission is out. Inspect the separator plate on the engine, they are prone to developing cracks and leaking (not much but enough to aggravate you). 20-30$ in parts
 

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Registered
2000 FORESTER
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestion, good dog! Could you please elaborate on "separator plate:" I haven't taken a good look at the back end of the engine yet (I called it a day, after dropping the transmission).
 

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Registered
04 Forester X, MT
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1,039 Posts
Thanks for the suggestion, good dog! Could you please elaborate on "separator plate:" I haven't taken a good look at the back end of the engine yet (I called it a day, after dropping the transmission).
This is where the old black plastic one went:


This is what the new metal one looks like:
 

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Registered
04 Forester X, MT
Joined
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1,039 Posts
...

- Replacement axles from China (NAPA, Autozone, Advance Auto, etc) are dirt cheap ($60 - $100), but will almost certainly fail within months. These retailers usually guarantee their axles for life, and will readily honor their guarantee…repeatedly, in fact, and without question…but you or your mechanic are then faced with doing the work over again. And again. These poor souls typically get so fed up with the repeated failures that they eventually opt for OEM.

If you discover a CV boot is torn, but it’s not yet making any noise, clean the joint, inspect it, and if there's no obvious problems, regrease it, and install a new OEM boot. It’s a fairly messy procedure, but is by far the most cost-effective way to go (assuming it’s an OEM axle). It’s tempting to replace the entire axle for $75, especially when an OEM replacement boot (which is strongly recommended) is about $40, but you’ll probably regret it.

Please note that none of the above statements are based on personal experience. I recently removed the transmission from my wife’s 2000 Forester, and have been combing through posts to determine what I should and shouldn’t bother doing, before installing a replacement transmission.
I used aftermarket replacement axles from several aftermarket places and they certainly didn't fail within months. I did have issues once where I had to try a couple places to get one with the correct speed sensor ring (evidently a mid-year change or something). I think the longest I owned a car with the aftermarket axle replacement was maybe 4 years and 40,000 mi.
 

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Registered
2002 Forester
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292 Posts
My NAPA rebuilt axles on my Escort are doing just fine with about 27,000 miles on them. I chose them because rebuilt in USA vs new ones that are all Made in China tells me that they are probably all pretty bad but I try to keep my cars as domestic as possible.

Rebuilt ones from Autozone, Advance Auto, or Pep Boys I wouldn't trust.
 
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