Changed my oil and found a bunch of torn boots!

Mar 20, 2008
1998 Forester

both steering rack boots are torn, and the left CV boot is torn. I am not experiencing any drivability problems with the steering or axle right now.

A brand new OEM CV axle is $400 each, which I'm not spending, and I heard now that Raxles uses neoprene boots, which are garbage. I found two aftermarket axles that use thermoplastic boots:
Trakmotive HD/XTT/Extended Travel
GSP XD Extreme Duty

The GSP is a normal CV axle but with TPE boots.
Trakmotive made an interesting redesign that's supposed to allow more articulation for lifted trucks. My car is not lifted. Napa reboxes the Trakmotive axles and charges twice as much :sneaky:

Both are around $100 each.

I could reboot the original axles with those yellow polyurethane boots, but they have to be shipped from the UK and cost $40, and I'd have to get some grease, too.

I will also replace the tie rods along with the boots, since they have to come off anyway. I will probably use Delphi tie rods and boots.
Nov 8, 2018
Ontario, Canada
I see on the Subaru part website that there are two different part numbers depending on your car:

Screen Shot 2022-11-13 at 1.05.15 AM.png

If it's the second one, SKF makes one for the European market.
total cost shipped to the states via fedex: 151.56US
says OE part numbers: 28021AC280 or 28021AC281
Mar 30, 2015
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Are these components sealed, or are they, "greasable"? Over the years I've found the difference between torn boots, and boots that are intact, are more frequent grease jobs. (If possible). That's hard if you live and drive in a wet climate, or in a snow and salt environment.

But if you keep pushing out old grease with fresh, it will minimize the problem. That, or else fix it. (Reboot or replace). Out here we have minimal rain and zero snow or salt. My truck is 31 years old, and has several boots that were exploded by idiots who over greased them at one time or another.

I have yet to replace a single front end component. And my tires wear evenly. That said, I grease my front end at every oil change. While it's a ****, I have no doubt that has helped over the years and miles.
Jun 12, 2004
Athens, GA
FWIW I've been running a drivers side GSP on my TL for probably 5 years and 30k now. It has been a good piece for me. Don't know what kind of boot is on it. Don't really care. If it fails I'll replace it with the same. I also replaced a leaky drivers side on the Accord with a GSP piece as well, but that was not all that long ago.
Nov 20, 2006
I have the Trakmotive HD/XTT/Extended travel installed in a later model right now, they can be used in non lifted vehicles also. The axles that were in the car were cheap remans someone installed and had badly worn joints. I since have found a pair of clean used one that I re-boot if these don't pan out.
The Trakmotive and all the other brands sold at Napa, AA, AZ of this type are made in China by Wohn, the make the inner joint under license from GKN, it is call a ball spline joint. Not saying it is but it could be a actual GKN joint as they have Chinese factories also.

I cannot fully endorse using these due to not enough time/miles on them but so far no vibration, roughness or noise. Time will tell but the inner joint is a much better design than the plunge cv joints that tend to wobble and vibrate especially with reman or aftermarket axles.
There is one issue you may or may not run into with these, the inner boots get sucked in like they were vacuumed, the fix is easy though if you find the correct clamps for the inner joint boot to shaft which is 54-55mm. The Subaru inner steering rack boot clamp 34128AG00A is the exact size you need.
Remove the original clamp insert a plastic tool or hose pick under the boot and let the air in, then re-clamp.

The negative with these is there are no easily found replacement boots and they must be installed in pairs. Use the OE steering back boots and OE clamps and do it ASAP, once rust gets in the tube the rack will be damaged and start leaking.

Edit: What works on other cars does not mean it will work with a Subaru, because of the boxer engine it puts a greater load on the inner cv joints.
May 15, 2012
The land of USA-made Subies!
Unfortunately torn boots and rubber parts are not only common on 24yo vehicles but especially so on Subarus.

If you catch them extremely quickly before lots of dirt/grit gets in, it is possible to use the “repair” boots that clamp around the joint. But these are only temporary. I’ve only had great results on the green remans; even brand new axles from Advance lasted maybe 12-14k before it got a vibration. I also took the time while everything was apart to replace all the bushes in the suspension and rack. I personally used Whiteline, which Trav has stated can have issues in the salt belt, but so far mine are holding up.

I can say without a doubt that new bushes (especially poly) will completely transform the feel. I went ahead and did sway bars and endlinks as well, and my ‘01 Forester, ‘05 Outback, and ‘07 Impreza felt like completely different cars with varying levels of bushing replacements. It’s worth it IMO, all 3 of those vehicles are on the far side of 190k and still being used daily!
May 7, 2020
Ames, IA
My 09 Camry has a slightly torn boot and leaks grease minimally. We’ve been driving it a year and a half that way. I’ll put a new axle in one of these days, but it isn’t an issue now.
It would be nice to be able to pump some gears in through the hairline crack that is weeping.
Jan 9, 2010
Los Gatos, CA
I just noticed the right outer boot on my friend's '15 Altima strippie is leaking. The long axle has a carrier in middle; I am concerned that it may be a problem removing the axle. Guess I will find out.