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Old 10-21-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
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FEQ axles

I have a 2003 boxster S that I purchased about a month ago. It has a torn inner CV boot on the right hand side. The grease has splattered out of it.
An independent shop recommended replacing the entire axle assembly, because moisture has most likely already gotten in there. He quoted me a price of $400.00 incl. labor. The axle assembly is around 150.00.
Problem is, the axle assembly is from FEQ, which after some research, turns out to be a Chinese axle.
I called the shop back, to ask him about the axle, and he told me it IS an FEQ, and the work, and the part is covered under a 2 year, 24,000 mile warranty (Any work this shop performs is.) The OEM axle is around 989.00. It would be around $1200 installed.
I'm not sure what I should do.
If the FEQ axle wasn't covered under warranty, I would say NO WAY to the Chinese axle. But since it's covered, I'm considering giving it a chance. The shop manager said he has put these axles in cars, incl. Porsches before, and has never had any come back.
What do you guys think I should do?

Thanks.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:14 PM   #2
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Don't put Chinese parts in a German car. Have the shop quote cleaning and repacking/re-booting the original axle as long as the joints aren't damaged from debris and lack of lubrication. If they can show you the internal damage to the joint bite the bullet and get an OEM axle or buying a used OE axle as a core for the shop to recondition.

Mike
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:51 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm worried about the quality of a Chinese made axle assembly.
This particular indie shop won't just repack and reboot the cv joint. They warranty all their work, and they said they can't replace the boot, and then warranty it. Of course there are other shops that will.
I'm leaning toward getting the OEM axle.
Thing is, I was planning to get the clutch, and IMS retrofit done this winter. If I have to drop $1200 - $1300 on an axle, that's going to be tough to do.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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I can somewhat understand their reluctance to warranty a repacked axle after who knows what has got inside through the torn boot. However, I've repacked/rebooted probably a dozen axles on various cars and any damage to the balls, cage, and races is pretty easy to see. If there are any defects then of course the joint or axle should be replaced. If they have a quality parts washer then there should only be 2 hours actual work or there abouts to disassemble, clean, repack and boot the axle. I guess it comes down to your willingness to gamble. Worst case, you are out the cost of the r&r and repack if it fails and you have to install a new axle.

Mike
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:19 AM   #5
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IMO, do NOT put in Chinese axles. I made that mistake exactly once. I thought I would try it as the cost of the Chinese axle was less than buying two OE CV boot kits. I went through three axles under warranty, each failing after six to eight months. I got the last replacement free (whoopee - installing it is a PITA), but never put it in.

Luckily I had been able to save the original axle. I disassembled the CVs, thoroughly cleaned them, repacked them with grease, reassembled them with new boots and put it back in. No more axle issues. If I do have an issue in the future, I will take them to a rebuilder and have the CVs rebuilt.

As long as you do not drive them until they dry out and get noisy, chances are you can just replace the boots and you will be fine. If you feel play in the CVs, or they are noisy, then you need to rebuild or replace the axle. Otherwise, do the boots.

A lot of shops would rather throw in new axles because they is the cheap and easy solution, and fine if they use OE axles. None of the good shops I know will touch the cheap axles as they almost always have issues.

YMMV.
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:57 PM   #6
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Are the axle shafts hollow like the ones on my 928? If so cleaning the joints is a breeze. Submerge the joint, sans boot and all the grease you can wipe off, in container of mineral spirits. Connect a compressed air hose to the top end of the shaft so as to direct the air down through the center of the shaft and into the joint so as to agitate the solvent. Turn the air pressure way down so as to not splash the solvent everywhere. Come back in an hour and the joint will be completely free of the old grease. Rinse with brake cleaner or other volatile solvent to remove the mineral spirits before packing and booting the joint.

Mike
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