I have a 1992 Subaru Loyale, 4wd wagon, with a manual transmission. 217,000 miles on her too. Bought it for $700, and have had minor problems; accessory belt blew, and later the alternator and consequently the battery. No oil link, but does eat some every 300 miles or so. When I first got her, I noticed that when I turned the wheel all the way to the left (maximum amount) and added gas, there would be a popping/cracking noise. I was told that this meant my CV joint was going bad/was bad. With the past 150 miles or so, with hand at 12 o’clock position and turn left so that hand is at 9 or 10, I start to hear a similar knocking noise. Although, when I try to produce the noise from the maximum turn position, it now doesn’t do it. What’s going on? Is this the CV joint? Steering knuckle? The car drives strong, and I’ve not noticed any handling problems. Is replacing the CV half shaft (includes the CV joint) an easy job?
If you have the time, knowledge and equipment to safely do the job, you can do a lot with a car. As a struggling student myself with more courage than experience, I managed a lot of repairs. Do the research, find an experienced hand to advise.
Also, the boot is intact.
thank you dagosa.
Jack it up and put it on jack stands. DO NOT go under any vehicle that is on a jack alone. Then you can see if either of the front wheels wiggle, I.E. bad balljoint, also see if the tie-rod ends are snug, and you can check the half-shart and cv joints. You may have to situate yourself so you are not under the car and kick the wheel with you knee to get it to jiggle. You should also look at the control arm bushings. There is a company in cali that will mail order you a new set of poly bushings for $60 or so. I’ll see if I can find it and post the link. It is also a good idea to have a buddy around incase something bad happens and he has to extract you from under the vehicle.
[UPDATE] I could’t find the company I ordered from, but you can google it and find bushing kits.
One more “comment” w/o scaring you, from article.
"While the basic concept of a CV joint axle is the same from vehicle to vehicle, there are a number of different peculiarities that make access to a service manual an important first step before disassembly. Axle pullers and impact wrenches may be required. Pry bars, circlips, and snap rings inside differentials may also be part of the bargain. This knowledge is best gained before getting started, not while 90-weight gear oil is dripping down your sleeve."
Best of luck
Call 1 800 889-2953 They are a cv axle half shaft place in Florida. Prices are fair and quality is good. They ship it and you return old unit. I put 2 different axles on a plymouth and Subaru approx 5 years ago and no problems. Not hard to do hopefully you have a friend that can help you if you few overwhelmed ? Need jack, drift punch. few sockets, breaker bar, loosen nut with tire on ground as it is torqued at 100+ ft lbs. If cv boot isn’t broken to lose grease, you can drive it without a problem. Unless the noise gets noticably louder. use commom sense, google cv axles and you probably find their website. Email me at email@example.com if I confused you
It does sound like CV joints are the problem and many of the Subarus vary a bit on replacing the halfshafts. In a nutshell, many are not as easy to replace as other makes of cars.
From memory here, your car should use DOJ pins to lock the inner joint onto the transmission stub axles. To separate the halfshafts from the transmission you will need to remove the lower control arm bolts that attach the arms to the subframe and separate the tie rod ends from the steering knuckle.
Each halfshaft is attached to the transmission with a serrated DOJ pin that must be knocked out with a 6 MM punch and the following is absolutely CRITICAL.
Paint or chalk must be used to mark the joint in relation to the stub axle because it is very possible to get them 180 degrees off. If this occurs it may appear to the eye that the holes are aligned but they are not. Forcing the pin back in when it is off can even destroy a transmission if pounded hard enough. (and I’ve seen this done more than once)
If you have this job done then make sure whoever does it is aware of this. They are to be tapped back in place; not pounded.
Here’s an example of the pin hole. (center view, small hole near the end)
The halfshafts will also not come out of the hubs easily. This requires a special tool but one can get around that with a large hammer, oak block, or whatever but care should be used not to damage the shaft. (even if is a core to be returned)
Installation is a bit tougher and also requires a special tool. This can also be gotten around by using the halfshaft nut to pull the shaft through the hub bearings, although it can be difficult sometimes to get enough thread showing to latch the nut onto and it can still be a slow process.
Anyhoo, hopefully that info will help in your decision about whether to do this or not.
I’ve done a million of them so my perspective is a bit different. Hope some of that helps and good luck.
“Paint or chalk must be used to mark the joint in relation to the stub axle because it is very possible to get them 180 degrees off. If this occurs it may appear to the eye that the holes are aligned but they are not. Forcing the pin back in when it is off can even destroy a transmission if pounded hard enough. (and I’ve seen this done more than once)
If you have this job done then make sure whoever does it is aware of this. They are to be tapped back in place; not pounded.”
I’m not clear on this point. My chilton manual doesn’t go very far into this step. Am I marking the point on the old shaft? To mimic on the new? Also, will there be fluids escaping anywhere? If so, what will I need to replace?
This pic is kind of small but if you look closely you can see the area I’m talking about.
Look toward the bottom of the bellhousing at where there appears to be a toothed circle. This is the final drive bearing retainer. Note the small splined stub sticking out of there? That is the stub axle and while you can’t see it there is a hole through that stub.
No fluids will leak out. There are several ways of marking this. When the pin is driven out you will notice that on one side the hole on the halfshaft has a very slight bevel. Mark the stub with chalk or paint so the marked side will line up with the bevel on a new shaft.
Another method is to eyeball the hole in the stub and you will notice one side of that also has a slight bevel, although it is harder to see.
Bottom line is make sure that the bevel on the stub and the bevel on the halfshaft are on the same side. If they’re half a turn out the pin will try to go back in but it’s off just enough to cause all kinds of grief.
We had a Subaru towed in to the shop one time in which an independent shop was not aware of this 180 off thing and whaled on that small pin until it was completely mushroomed; and they broke the transmission case while doing it.
Once you get into and look at it closely you’ll be able to see all of this. It’s really not as difficult as it may sound.
(And in regards to that toothed wheel that I mentioned do NOT remove the small lock on it or try to rotate it. This will throw the ring and pinion gear sideplay off and open up a can of worms. No reason to mess with that; just pointing it out.) Hope that helps.
I’d like to thank you for your help. It was very informative. I was able to install the half-shaft very easily. Although, now when I shift from first to second, or if I take my foot off the gas pedal (not engaging the clutch) then press the pedal again to accelerate, I hear a knock. When working on the driver-side Half-shaft, I noticed that the lower ball joint was weathered. Could this be the culprit?
Again, thank you for your help ok4450, Payne935, Carveaholic, and dagosa.