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malacandro

Strong feelings about aftermarket front axles?

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Hi all - hope the new year has been treating you right. I finally got my suspension replacements installed with the (serious) help from more handy friends. Swapped out the upper and lower rear control arms, put in OME coils, KYB struts, and OME shocks. Unfortunately, when working on the suspension we found that my driver side CV boot has a serious tear. The stabilizer links were also shot. I was able to find some OEM stabilizer links on ebay for cheap, but found out that the OEM axle assembly is EXPENSIVE. If this were my daily driver it might be worth the money, but I'm having a hard time justifying that cost for a camping car.

 

The aftermarket axles (new and remanufactured) are much cheaper, but as I've scanned through different forums it seems that there is a divide on their quality. Does anyone have strong opinions about new aftermarket or remanufactured axles? Has anyone had positive experiences with the brands on rock auto? Appreciate any advice you have!

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Hi malacandro,

I frequently shop on Rockauto and can tell you not every item is of very good quality. But usually they will put them in categories like economy or daily driver etc. I have also installed reman cv axles some 5years ago on my truck and even the boots are still good. Probably around 75k km on those since I installed them (work in a remote area and on rotations so my truck isn't being driven when I'm away for work). The brand I bought was Cardone select, which sold new units for about $40 (at least I assume they were new since it said on info page that it was).
Good luck...

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27 minutes ago, dogla said:

Hi malacandro,

I frequently shop on Rockauto and can tell you not every item is of very good quality. But usually they will put them in categories like economy or daily driver etc. I have also installed reman cv axles some 5years ago on my truck and even the boots are still good. Probably around 75k km on those since I installed them (work in a remote area and on rotations so my truck isn't being driven when I'm away for work). The brand I bought was Cardone select, which sold new units for about $40 (at least I assume they were new since it said on info page that it was).
Good luck...

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Hi Dogla - thanks for the response. I appreciate the advice about quality and the information about your experiences with different options. The job looks relatively straightforward, so I guess I can give it a try with remanufactured or new aftermarket, and will only be in the hole for the axles if they don't hold up. 

 

Have a great week

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$40 for a new aftermarket axle seems relatively cheap compared to new OEM. I guess for every new oem unit you could replace the aftermarket at least 5 or 6 times. Please bear in mind I'm not an off-roader so I can't say how durable they are if you would go off-roading...

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Some perspective:

My OEM CV axles lasted 150,000 miles. I only changed them because there was a tear in one boot, but otherwise they were still strong.

 

My recent axles (remans, usually) have lasted anywhere from 10,000-20,000 miles or less. I do, however, now have 33” tires, which puts a lot more stress on the little guys offroad, but still.

 

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20 minutes ago, QuasarDecimari said:

Some perspective:

My OEM CV axles lasted 150,000 miles. I only changed them because there was a tear in one boot, but otherwise they were still strong.

 

My recent axles (remans, usually) have lasted anywhere from 10,000-20,000 miles or less. I do, however, now have 33” tires, which puts a lot more stress on the little guys offroad, but still.

 

 

Thanks for the info! Yes - I'm in the same boat with regards to the OEMs. My pathfinder likely sat for a long time unused (only 110K when I picked it up last year), so lots of the rubber had gone bad. I should post a picture of the control arm bushings...I'm amazed they worked at all. The CV boots both ripped in recent months...I should have paid more attention to them when I bought it. I'm not getting any noise or having issues, but don't want to risk getting stuck out somewhere.

 

I'm only going with 31" tires (once I get this problem taken care of) so hopefully that will help them last a bit more.

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I'm only going with 31" tires (once I get this problem taken care of) so hopefully that will help them last a bit more.


Of course!
Get some manual locking hubs when you get the chance too. You’ll see most everyone praising them in Pathfinder pages. They help gas mileage a little, and definitely keep those CV axles in good shape while you’re not needing 4WD, so they’re nice and tough when you actually need them.
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5 minutes ago, QuasarDecimari said:

 


Of course!
Get some manual locking hubs when you get the chance too. You’ll see most everyone praising them in Pathfinder pages. They help gas mileage a little, and definitely keep those CV axles in good shape while you’re not needing 4WD, so they’re nice and tough when you actually need them.

 

 

I already have the Mile Markers installed...they have been good thus far, although I know most others have the Warn. 

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I already have the Mile Markers installed...they have been good thus far, although I know most others have the Warn. 


Perfect. And while Warm are definitely nice, my Mile Markers have been going strong for a few years now. I would’t worry.
Oh, and I’d avoid Carquest axles. I used to work at an Advance Auto Parts and we sold Carquest axles. I swore by a lot of things there, but not those. I’ve broken more carquests than anything else, and I saw so many of them returned constantly.
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My Mile Markers are holding up pretty well too, though the chrome plating on the trim rings is coming off in sheets.

 

Thanks for the heads up on the Carquest axles. When I had my front end apart, I rebooted some factory axles, figuring it couldn't be that hard and I'd be sure to avoid a bum reman. Next time I'm taking my chances on remans! Those things are a right greasy PITA to get apart, and of the four axles I disassembled (or tried to), only two of them were in good enough shape to put back together.

 

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As for the replacement CV axles, I've used cardone select (these are new not reman) on many different vehicles over the years and have had great results.

 

As for the hubs, I've had both warn & mile marker. Yes, the warn's are stronger, but unless you're rock crawling with 35's on a daily basis, I think you're fine with the mile markers.

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with a lifted front end, I found that the aftermarket cv axles bound up.  this could be because the OEM axles were worn in before I lifted the front suspension. 

I ended up breaking one of new new CSP axles shortly after replaceing it.  I saved my oem axles and put new boots on them so I was able to put them back in. the broken axle also took out one of my warn premuim hubs. the hubs cost over twice the price of the axle.

 

keep this in mind if you have a frnt suspension lift. you may have to lower it until the axles get a bit of wear on them and can move freely without binding at the lifted angles.

 

this was on a WD21,  not sure if there is much difference on the R50

Edited by msavides

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keep this in mind if you have a frnt suspension lift. you may have to lower it until the axles get a bit of wear on them and can move freely without binding at the lifted angles.
 
this was on a WD21,  not sure if there is much difference on the R50


Match a SFD with the lift size for the R50 and CV angles aren’t an issue. Anything over 2” without a SFD is going to cause some headache later on.

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2 hours ago, msavides said:

with a lifted front end, I found that the aftermarket cv axles bound up.  this could be because the OEM axles were worn in before I lifted the front suspension. 

I ended up breaking one of new new CSP axles shortly after replaceing it.  I saved my oem axles and put new boots on them so I was able to put them back in. the broken axle also took out one of my warn premuim hubs. the hubs cost over twice the price of the axle.

 

keep this in mind if you have a frnt suspension lift. you may have to lower it until the axles get a bit of wear on them and can move freely without binding at the lifted angles.

 

this was on a WD21,  not sure if there is much difference on the R50

Ah - that is an interesting idea. I wonder if the remans are safer in that use scenario. I don't think I have the energy to wrangle those springs on the compressors again...really wish I had just paid to have the struts assembled! 

Edited by malacandro

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I just did the tortion bar crank to raise 2".   I did eventually get sway away Tbars.  I had to lower it for the aftermarket shafts.  when I put my oem shafts back in, I raised it back up again.  have not had an issue since.

 

 

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Search Rockford CV Boots for the recommended boot replacement on the CVs. I haven’t done it yet but it gets rave reviews.
Rockfordcv.com Pt#166-21 & 166-23 (2 of each) per prior posters

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Thanks for all of the responses. I ended up swapping in remanufactured Cardone axles (got a great price, and ordered just before I saw the Rockford recommendation), TRQ lower ball joints (the rubber on mine were all cracked), and Nissan OEM stabilizer bar links (same...rubber was completely shot, and found a good price on ebay). I was going to try to do the work with a friend, but he flaked and the tire shop gave me a good price for doing all of the work at the same time. 

 

I've been taking my time, mostly due to laziness, but think I have taken care of most of the problems with my pathfinder. The last major thing is to figure out the roof rack situation (need to pull the anchors from a vehicle in the junkyard, but haven't looked forward to pulling down TWO roof liners) so I can store the spare, which doesn't fit underneath anymore.

 

Thanks to the forum for help through this process...through lurking and asking questions, I've learned a ton. 

 

LhpMvzc.jpg

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I purchased two brand new half shafts from Napa after I installed my lift.  They vibrated so badly the vehicle was undriveable with the front hubs locked.  With the wheel at full droop on jack stands it was almost impossible to turn the half shafts, you could see the binding on the inner CV joint.  I reinstalled the factory half shafts...smooth as butter, even with the lift.

 

I have found most NAPA parts to be pretty good, but was amazed at how crappy these half shafts were.  From now on I grab some from the yard and re-boot em.

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Thanks for all of the responses. I ended up swapping in remanufactured Cardone axles (got a great price, and ordered just before I saw the Rockford recommendation), TRQ lower ball joints (the rubber on mine were all cracked), and Nissan OEM stabilizer bar links (same...rubber was completely shot, and found a good price on ebay). I was going to try to do the work with a friend, but he flaked and the tire shop gave me a good price for doing all of the work at the same time. 
 
I've been taking my time, mostly due to laziness, but think I have taken care of most of the problems with my pathfinder. The last major thing is to figure out the roof rack situation (need to pull the anchors from a vehicle in the junkyard, but haven't looked forward to pulling down TWO roof liners) so I can store the spare, which doesn't fit underneath anymore.
 
Thanks to the forum for help through this process...through lurking and asking questions, I've learned a ton. 
 
LhpMvzc.jpg
Nice looking rig.

Mr Cox 96R50-97JR50

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Nice looking rig.

Mr Cox 96R50-97JR50



Thanks - it’s getting there. However, it is definitely a “good from far, far from good” situation! I did a pretty crappy job with the touch up paint...it does what it is supposed to do, though.


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