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2001 Outback driveshafts - same as Legacy?


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Hi everyone,

Quick question: will a front driveshaft intended for a 2001 Legacy 2.5 also be a fit for a 2001 Outback 2.5?

I only ask because I can see that new driveshafts on eBay marked for that age Legacy are really cheap, but Outback ones are a bit more expensive, but they look the same to me.

(Also, apologies if this isn't the right bit of the forum for this question!)

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Our 2003 Outback was the 3.0 litre, and assuming the shafts are the same as the 2.5 they are a doddle to remove and dismantle to reboot and repack with grease.

The usual problem is the inner boots sit right over the cats so due to heat perish and split, but unless they've been left for months and dried fully out allowing wear it should be possible to simply repack and reboot them good as new again, they are very well engineered parts.

If they are showing wear by rattling on tight lock then simply unclipping boots and repacking with grease may well see them last the car out, i've done this many times and now do this as a matter of course during an intensive service...note the original clips on Subarus take some removing, they are tight and surprisingly strong.

Shafts don't need to come out of the final drive, the inner joint is simply push fit onto the output shaft spline and held in place with a roll pin, drive that out with a drift undo the hub nut, drop the bottom ball joint and if i recall the track rod end and the shaft will come straight out, CV joints circlipped to the shaft itself, couple of hours will see them both off and rebuilt. assuming the hub isn't too tight with muck/corrosion to the shaft, but even if this were the case you could in theory remove the hub carrier with shaft in place, awkward but better than destroying the wheel bearings at the same time.

Don't know if this helps but it might save you ditching perfectly serviceable shafts for the sake of an extra hlaf hour stripping cleaning and repacking your own OE set.

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Thanks so much for the advice - much appreciated!

I've seen a video of the front driveshaft removal, and it doesn't look terribly different to conventional front-drive cars I've worked on in the past. How difficult is it to split the inner CV joint in order to get a new boot on? I must confess I was looking at a complete drive shaft as a quick way of replacing a failed inner CV boot.

It's on my brother-in-law's car, and despite the CV boot looking just fine before we sent it off for MOT, it was in two pieces when it came back...

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It is very similar you should have no issues removing (cracking the nut will be the biggest challenge). Splitting the CV joint is also straight forward, get the cap off and then a split ring

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As Jay describes, its a doddle once the shaft is off, release the split pin holding the CV joint on and everything can come out be cleaned repacked rebooted refitted, easier and cleaner than most designs because (assuming its the roll pin design on the 2.5) you don't have the struggle of forcing the drive shaft out of the gearbox past it's spring circlip resistance.

Quite honestly once you have the shaft off it would only be half an hour longer to sort the present problem, and you've saved the cost of a rebuilt shaft.

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