Poor aftermarket drive axle fit

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So my girlfriend had her drive axle on her Mazda replaced after my persistent nagging. Her struts were on their way out too but instead of paying the quoted $1000(what a rip) to have the shop do them she had her brother replace them. The axle popped out without any force applied to it while he was replacing the strut for the wheel with the replaced axle. He tried getting it back in but it didn't look like it was in all the way. His friend came over to check it out and his friend(an ASE mechanic) said it was in but it was too long. They picked up another axle from the only place open that day that had one(autozone) and the axle the shop put in was completely different than the one that was specified for the car. The autozone axle doesn't quite fit properly, there's a lot of play and atf gets right past it. She ordered an axle directly from the dealer parts department in hopes that it will fit properly. Has anybody else experienced this sort of variation in aftermarket parts? Seems like selling an axle that doesn't fit correctly would be a liability, or at least not a very good moneymaker.
 
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Out of curiosity, what Mazda is this for? We ran int the same situation here! While replacing the Struts, we also replace the driver side half shaft for my daughter Mazda3 listed in my signature, due to torn boots. We ordered up the 2 different shafts because the listing gave two different part #'s. Then we matched the one being removed and installed the correct one and returned the other. Some vehicles have different part #'s depending on build date as it was in our case. Also, in our case, one shaft had a round housing and the other was more squared off looking.
 
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slowdime

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It's a 2007 Mazda 3. Yeah it's kind of baffling. I did some online searching using the oe part number and saw a lot of poor reviews for the aftermarket offerings. The dealer parts guy asked for the vin to get the correct axle, so as you say, maybe they changed something mid year.
 
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Its no wonder a ton of rebuilders have gone under in the past 5-10 years.You no longer hear of Arrow brand,Champion Rebuilders,Car Component Technologies,Westling Manufacturing.....while rebuilding items makes sense for the environment and helps lower prices,its a haphazard business that moves too quickly and cannot be assured of decent quality cores.They also try to reman items far too many times.I have seen water pumps with corrosion holes clear thru the casing,and the rebuilder smears epoxy on it to cover the holes.And lets not pat the new items on the back too hard...new stuff is all made in China (shafts,water pumps,starters/alternators) and is pretty cheaply made too (new pumps are cheaper cost than rebuilt!).Unfortunately quality is all bad now,no matter their ISO ratings,and isn't getting better.
 
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Originally Posted By: slowdime
It's a 2007 Mazda 3. Yeah it's kind of baffling. I did some online searching using the oe part number and saw a lot of poor reviews for the aftermarket offerings. The dealer parts guy asked for the vin to get the correct axle, so as you say, maybe they changed something mid year.
Was the shaft that you replaced, for the driver side? I haven't had to replace the passenger side yet!
 
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I'm just amazed that an 07 needs a axle or has boot issues! I must be lucky because i have never had one fail or the boot. Even my 93 olds is on the original boots, i've expected them to tear from age.
 
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Well in our case, we had the front lower control arm replaced. And IMHO, when the tech spread the hub while removing/installing the new control arm, they must have split the boot apart. The shop wouldn't cover the damage and it was too hard to prove that this was their fault. But, the boot was fine when I brought the car in to the shop as I had just done some front brake work prior to the control arm replacement and the boots(all of'em) were fine. Driving around during the week after the control arm replacement I had notice grease spewing down the side of the car and, you guessed it! The boot was torn on the same side as the control arm that was replaced. FRUSTRATING! Again, hard to prove!
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: NHGUY
Its no wonder a ton of rebuilders have gone under in the past 5-10 years.You no longer hear of Arrow brand,Champion Rebuilders,Car Component Technologies,Westling Manufacturing.....while rebuilding items makes sense for the environment and helps lower prices,its a haphazard business that moves too quickly and cannot be assured of decent quality cores.They also try to reman items far too many times.I have seen water pumps with corrosion holes clear thru the casing,and the rebuilder smears epoxy on it to cover the holes.And lets not pat the new items on the back too hard...new stuff is all made in China (shafts,water pumps,starters/alternators) and is pretty cheaply made too (new pumps are cheaper cost than rebuilt!).Unfortunately quality is all bad now,no matter their ISO ratings,and isn't getting better.
This is so true and is even the case for many OEM parts frown This was the very reason I created my BMW parts thread quite some time back. The COO on almost everything has been Germany and the quality has been excellent.
 
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My Spectra has like 6 different axles as well, the left for automatic/manual is the same except for ABS and noABS, the left is Auto with ABS/ Auto w/o ABS, Manual with ABS and Manual w/o ABS. So i can understand how it can happen lol. The best way to know is to either take it out and look at it or get it from he dealer with VIN number. I changed my right side axle on the spectra, I got a aftermarket rebuilt one, fit perfect, I prefer a rebuilt, cause at least you know it should fix, seeing as it was on a car same as yours.
 

slowdime

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Originally Posted By: Char Baby
Well in our case, we had the front lower control arm replaced. And IMHO, when the tech spread the hub while removing/installing the new control arm, they must have split the boot apart. The shop wouldn't cover the damage and it was too hard to prove that this was their fault. But, the boot was fine when I brought the car in to the shop as I had just done some front brake work prior to the control arm replacement and the boots(all of'em) were fine. Driving around during the week after the control arm replacement I had notice grease spewing down the side of the car and, you guessed it! The boot was torn on the same side as the control arm that was replaced. FRUSTRATING! Again, hard to prove!
Yeah trying to prove a screw up is the shop's fault isn't really easy. And yeah it was the drivers side. Hopefully the dealer part fits as it should!
Originally Posted By: JBinTX30
My Spectra has like 6 different axles as well, the left for automatic/manual is the same except for ABS and noABS, the left is Auto with ABS/ Auto w/o ABS, Manual with ABS and Manual w/o ABS. So i can understand how it can happen lol. The best way to know is to either take it out and look at it or get it from he dealer with VIN number. I changed my right side axle on the spectra, I got a aftermarket rebuilt one, fit perfect, I prefer a rebuilt, cause at least you know it should fix, seeing as it was on a car same as yours.
The shop that replaced the axle said they ordered the part by the vin number. As I told the shop owner and he even acknowledged, the part that comes in the box isn't always what the box says it is. He even acknowledged that the axle he ordered was for a 2.3 even though her car is a 2.0! Supposedly the parts are interchangeable but I couldn't find any matching part numbers for the two different motors, the transmissions are different as well. The shop owner was a jerk who wouldn't shut up, in fact he refused to talk to my girlfriend about it and instead looked directly at me when he was speaking, even though I reminded him several times it was her car and she was there when the problem was discovered and knew more about the chain of events than I did. The dealer doesn't get the part in until Wednesday and it's going on the car that night. Next is to deal with the shop.
 

slowdime

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Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
Its no wonder a ton of rebuilders have gone under in the past 5-10 years.You no longer hear of Arrow brand,Champion Rebuilders,Car Component Technologies,Westling Manufacturing.....while rebuilding items makes sense for the environment and helps lower prices,its a haphazard business that moves too quickly and cannot be assured of decent quality cores.They also try to reman items far too many times.I have seen water pumps with corrosion holes clear thru the casing,and the rebuilder smears epoxy on it to cover the holes.And lets not pat the new items on the back too hard...new stuff is all made in China (shafts,water pumps,starters/alternators) and is pretty cheaply made too (new pumps are cheaper cost than rebuilt!).Unfortunately quality is all bad now,no matter their ISO ratings,and isn't getting better.
This is so true and is even the case for many OEM parts frown This was the very reason I created my BMW parts thread quite some time back. The COO on almost everything has been Germany and the quality has been excellent.
Finding quality replacement parts can be hit and miss. The truck I had needed new balljoints last year and there was probably more than a dozen options ranging from $5 up to $40 per joint. Homework and the internet are your friends! Reviews from other people with the same truck led me to get made in USA Moogs. They worked great but there's a lot of junk out there.
 
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I certainly know of parts rebuilt too many times. CV axles for 1980s cars were a good example. They weren't good to begin with, so there wasn't much left to rebuild. I had a friend experience an improperly fitting CV axle on a Pontiac Montana. He showed to the service writer that the axle clearly didn't match, and it quickly leaked transmission fluid soon afterwards. The only solution was to get a low mileage unit from a junkyard.
 

slowdime

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*update* just finished putting the dealer axle and seal in. When I was at the parts counter I was talking to the clerk and he said the axles for the 2.0 and the 2.3 are different, unlike what the shop owner said. I used the axle from the shop for the core deposit and put the two next to each other, the clerk, the guy behind me in line, my girlfriend and myself had a chuckle when they weren't even close to similar. So the new axle is on and I gave it a good firm wiggle test before I put the wheel back on and let it down. When I pushed up on the axle there was a very very small amount of atf that slipped past the seal, I wouldn't think that to be normal but maybe it is, I don't know. It's an oem part straight from the dealer with a seal, the transaxle didn't look like it had been messed up or anything.
 
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Originally Posted By: slowdime
*update* just finished putting the dealer axle and seal in. When I was at the parts counter I was talking to the clerk and he said the axles for the 2.0 and the 2.3 are different, unlike what the shop owner said. I used the axle from the shop for the core deposit and put the two next to each other, the clerk, the guy behind me in line, my girlfriend and myself had a chuckle when they weren't even close to similar. So the new axle is on and I gave it a good firm wiggle test before I put the wheel back on and let it down. When I pushed up on the axle there was a very very small amount of atf that slipped past the seal, I wouldn't think that to be normal but maybe it is, I don't know. It's an oem part straight from the dealer with a seal, the transaxle didn't look like it had been messed up or anything.
A little ATF will be lost when replacing a CV axle. Just make sure it doesn't continue to leak.
 
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