I need to replace the passenger half axle on our 95 impreza - the inner
u-joint is getting really bad. From what I've heard, the best way to do
this is just replace the whole axle. (correct me if I am wrong,
There are a lot of sources for half axles, including on ebay. I don't
want to do this job more than once so what's a good source reliable
source of rebuilds? I take it most places require a core?
This came up in a manual transmissions course (focused on
all cars, not just Hondas) I took recently, and was treated
at length. FWIW, generally speaking the preferred route,
cost- and labor-wise, indeed is just to replace the entire
half axle (a.k.a. "half shaft"). This came from the
instructor and my own research on this, which showed that
many automotive authors in the last few years recommend this
Napa and Autozone both offer lifetime warranties on half
axles. The cost runs around $75, typically, at Napa and
Autozone. This price does assume you return the core to Napa
or Autozone or wherever. A junkyard may also sell rebuilt or
used half axles, and for much less, like $5 (seriously) too.
This was from reports from my classmates and the
OTOH, a quick groups.google turns up some folks who think
Subarus axles should always be OEM and new. The boot rubber
used by rebuilders such as Napa and Autozone etc. can be
Check the replacement half shaft diameter, length, and
number of splines carefully with the old half shaft. That's
one point that can trip up the person doing the repair.
People say that when the match is not correct, Autozone etc.
have no problem working with the customer to get the exact
The solution may depend on how much longer you want to keep
this Subaru and so gamble on a rebuild through a place like
The subaru newsgroup(s) have some posts on this.
Oops -- Sorry, I typed "Impreza" but meant to type "Integra".
I am an idiot but, in my defense, this was typed before my morning
(This is because I have a different problem with my daughter's Impreza
at the moment so that's what I have on the brain.)
Does what you say hold true about integras/civics as well, then?
Yes. Furthermore, the Honda/Acura half shafts are said to be
fairly easy to pull, too. Sounds like an intermediate level
job (well, by my standards). It is something I would try on
my own, especially since the young kids in my class who had
pulled a half shaft said they typically had not found it too
difficult. The easiness of the job to me argues for getting
the ones with a lifetime warranty from Autozone or Napa. If
I'd done the job at least once, I might even be able to talk
myself into the cheaper ones from the local salvage yard.
IIRC, the variation in half shaft diameter, length, and
spline number is somewhat notorious for Hondas, so measure
all carefully at Autozone, etc.
I've done both axles (at different times, several years ago) on my '92
Civic, using rebuilts from Autozone. The only problem was that one had
teeth that were slightly beat up, and wouldn't fit through the hub --
it's a tight fit. They exchanged it. Inspect the teeth before you
leave the store.
The Haynes book recommends getting the split ring thingy that locks the
shaft into the tranny. You may of course have a problem getting the
nut off the hub. When I replaced the engine in my '85 Accord, a long
breaker bar wouldn't budge it. I rented an electric impact wrench, and
after a couple long sessions with it, it loosened. I ended up buying
one for about $20 at a Homier traveling tool show. They aren't very
powerful, but the rattling is sometimes what you need.
Thanks -- you're saying to replace that split ring, then?
About getting nuts off: I am restoring a vw beetle so after trying to
get some of the rusted bolts off, I invested in an IR impact gun. If it
doesn't come off, it will break :)
I recently did the timing belt on it. My wrench is 235 ft/lbs.
Wouldn't budge the crankshaft pulley bolt. My brother had a 375 ft/lb
IR. Ditto. A 5' pipe over the breaker bar did the trick on that. The
impact wrench worked, but the pipe didn't on the Accord hub nut. I
think the pipe was about 4' that time. The Civic nuts weren't as hub
bad. I think you also have to separate the tie rod too. That was the
only other obstacle. Good luck.
I've had success using a 235 ft-lb impact on axle nuts, but even the 500
ft-lb has to work at getting crankshaft bolts free.
I've also used a floor jack under a breaker bar to remove axle nuts when I
didn't have air tools. It still helps to have a long breaker bar because the
wheel always comes off the ground before the nut comes loose.
I was unclear - I apply torque to the breaker bar with the floor jack, as
though I were really strong (yeah... right!) and lifting up on the breaker
bar myself. The wheel always comes off the ground because I don't use a
cheater bar, but the other front wheel has never cleared the ground. I've
used a similar procedure on the crankshaft bolt of my old Volvo, but both
front wheels came off the ground before the bolt loosened. There isn't room
to do that with the crankshaft bolt of Hondas.
ok, i understand what you're describing, but with respect, i still don't
get why. to my way of thinking, it's much easier to push down on a
lever using gravity as your friend than it is to lift up against it.
you can't lift a wheel off the ground that way [well, not unless you
pivot the whole car against a truly locked bolt and succeed in lifting
the other end] and i see no difference whether it's axle nuts or
crankshaft pulley bolts. i'm a real lazy guy mike and i hate sweating
to be the strong guy when i can just use the weight of my lardy rear end
to assist my efforts. using a jack to lift a breaker bar is fraught
with potential danger from what i can see.
The difference is that I only weigh about 200 lbs, while using the jack I
can put much of the front half of the vehicle's weight to work... probably
more than 1000 lbs. It's really quite safe. The wheel only comes up a few
inches and the nut gives smoothly, lowering the car about like releasing the
floor jack does. Think of it as jacking up that corner of the car by placing
the jack under the breaker bar instead of the usual jack point. No sweat, no
strain. Since you are standing on the far end of the jack you are well out
of the way even if the socket pops off the nut.
In contrast, I once tried to loosen a crankshaft bolt with the trick of
putting the breaker bar on a jackstand and bumping the starter (on a Toyota,
not possible on most Hondas). It worked but was really spooky. The front end
suddenly rose a few inches. I won't do that again.
I would get a dealer quote just for grins. Who knows, maybe their price
is reasonable. Much depends on how long you plan to keep running the
car. If you want another 11 years out of it, then a new Honda/Acura
part might make sense. If another 2-5 years will do then a parts store
rebuilt may be in order.
I had mine replaced on my '96 Accord LX 5-Speed.
First one leaked around the seal
Second one ratcheted
Third one leaked around the seal.
All had life time warranty and did these things right out of the shop.
I said the hell with it and had them put an OEM Honda axle.
Not a problem.
I'll stick with OEM from now on. The shop that replaced them was nice
enough to not charge me a dime extra in labor for al that work. I'm they
one that said use aftermarket. We both agreed in the end it wasn't worth
it. I did pay the difference between the OEM and the Aftermarket axle.
It's the cheapest man who spends the most.
Honda OEM, whether it's brake pads or exhaust or axles, work great. A
Honda OEM exhaust is well worth the premium, for example. Anything else
is a false economy if you're going to keep the car and actually use the
part you bought.
Do you know from where your shop purchased the rebuilt half
I have in my notes that www.hondaautomotiveparts.com sells
the rebuilt OEM half-shafts for about $126 (again, assuming
the core is returned), lifetime guarantee, IIRC.
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