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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 2003 B5.5 1.8T Tip AWM engine code.

My CV boots have torn a long time ago, and now my CV joints are "clicking"...both of them. I'm going to replace both axles. Called Raxles.com, and they're asking $175 per axle. Having done my homework, I know Raxles is reliable and uses NEW CV joints (not rebuilt) which is great but EXPENSIVE!!

Has anyone here found an entire axle with NEW CV joints for less than $175 each?? Please keep in mind its for a B5.5. I found B5 axles for around $89, but I don't think they're compatible with the B5.5....am I right? TIAA.
 

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ah, but with raxles, you get a lifetime warranty and better than OEM boots... in addition, they are a complete pleasure to deal with, and send you the necessary tools (10 mm 12 point and a 17 mm allen) - you just have to send the tools back with the old axles.
 

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It's not the initial cost of the axle that gets you when you only pay $89 per side...

...it's having to pay the labor charge to swap them out again in two or three years (sometimes less depending on abuse level).

Then again, if you'll be selling the car within the next six months, get the cheap versions from Autozone or your local stop and rob auto parts store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ah, but with raxles, you get a lifetime warranty and better than OEM boots... in addition, they are a complete pleasure to deal with, and send you the necessary tools (10 mm 12 point and a 17 mm allen) - you just have to send the tools back with the old axles.
Jay,

I'm sure they are pleasant to deal with. Better than OEM boots...I'll take your word for it, that's a definate plus. I'm always sceptical with any "lifetime warranty" (nothing against raxles per se). I'll be taking it to an indy to have them replaced...need to save money somewhere!!

If I'm not able to find a cheaper "apple to apple" axle source, I'll go with raxles.
 

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if your replacing the whole axle, you should be able to do it yourself and save yourself some more money that way... I'm not compentent by anymeans mechanically and me and my old man replaced my cv boot, which is harder and messier than replacing the whole axle, too bad we didn't catch it earlier, because the clicking is back and will end up replacing the axle now... You just need the axle tool, got it at germanautoparts.com, like $12 i think
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've found the axles at germanautoparts.com for $102.50 each for the B5.5.

http://www.germanautoparts.com/Volkswagen/Passat/Drivetrain/8/11

They seem directly comparable to the one's from raxles. Does anyone have any experience with these axles from germanautoparts.com?? A combined price diff of $150 ($75 each) pays for installation. Advice??
 

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Napa has axles that look to fit your car, BRAND NEW for $89.99 each. These were online at www.napaautoparts.com Item numbers 942004 and 942005. It says the prices may be different in stores.

Nothing against Raxles but they are expensive, and they are still remanufactured not new, at over 3 times the cost of a regular reman axle they just arn't worth it.
 

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PLEASE buy from raxles if anywhere. I went through a 2 week NIGHTMARE when my cv boots went bad and had to get new axles. I didn't go through raxles and ended up throwing away $700 to a shitty mechanic thinking he knew what he was doing. He put the WRONG axles on my car 3, yes THREE times!! Before I refused to send my car back there and finally screwed my head on straight and went through my normal indy guy who bought the correct ones and fixed it all.

DO NOT cheap out on axles. if it sounds too cheap, it's for a reason!
 

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Napa has axles that look to fit your car, BRAND NEW for $89.99 each. These were online at www.napaautoparts.com Item numbers 942004 and 942005. It says the prices may be different in stores.

Nothing against Raxles but they are expensive, and they are still remanufactured not new, at over 3 times the cost of a regular reman axle they just arn't worth it.
wrong. a reman. axle uses a rebuilt joint. Marty uses ALL NEW JOINT but the original shafts. NOTHING wrong with that. you're getting an axle assmbled the same way a BRAND NEW one is made. go with a Raxle axle.
 

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wrong. a reman. axle uses a rebuilt joint. Marty uses ALL NEW JOINT but the original shafts. NOTHING wrong with that. you're getting an axle assmbled the same way a BRAND NEW one is made. go with a Raxle axle.

X2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't stress enough....PLEASE DON'T CHEAP OUT. My indy guy sourced my axles, I don't know who through but he know's his shit big time so I trust him. Other wise I would have gone through Raxle.
Shit the last thing you want to to get your so called "new" axles from napa....:thumbdown ....that's just asking for problems.
 

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I had reman. axles put on my B5 two years ago, and I had requested Raxles but my indy talked me into going with a cheaper source she(yes, she) had been using for years without problems. So far, so good. I guess I would go with Raxles unless a mechanic you trusted had a trusted and tested source of their own as did mine or Limey's.
 

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wrong. a reman. axle uses a rebuilt joint. Marty uses ALL NEW JOINT but the original shafts. NOTHING wrong with that. you're getting an axle assmbled the same way a BRAND NEW one is made. go with a Raxle axle.
I think you are wrong friend. I am not saying there is anything wrong with Raxles other than the price you pay for a reman axle. To say their axles are better than new or as good as new is far from the truth. I have never had a joint fail on an axle, sure I change the boots as soon as they crack and resist urges to drop the clutch at a full wheel lock, what I have done and seen are several broken and bent shafts. Almost all reman axles come with a lifetime warranty. If you buy a $50 reman axle from a parts house you need to check it before you install it, make sure the joints are smooth and you will not have a problem. These get new joints too, if the existing joints are beyond repair. Sure there are some bad rebuilders out there that let a few bad axles slip by, that is why I will always check the axle before installation. This risk is always present. If there are retailers selling new axles for less than Raxles can sell a reman I will always choose new. At the very best any reman axle, including a Raxle, is as good as an OE new axle minus many stress cycles.
 

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X2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't stress enough....PLEASE DON'T CHEAP OUT. My indy guy sourced my axles, I don't know who through but he know's his shit big time so I trust him. Other wise I would have gone through Raxle.
Shit the last thing you want to to get your so called "new" axles from napa....:thumbdown ....that's just asking for problems.
How do you know your nice shiny Raxle didn't start its life as a Napa axle?
 

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I have Raxles axles on both sides and am totally satisfied, both with the product and the service. The build quality is 1st class.
When I did my research (both here in PW and talking to various local indies), I was really tempted by the lower priced remans and "OEM" axles you can find on the www but you know what, you get what you pay for and its a crap shoot with the remans AFAIAC. I use my mein Variant for work and I can't afford the downtime ...
 

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How do you know your nice shiny Raxle didn't start its life as a Napa axle?

The very well may have...but i'd pay extra for a rebuilt one from raxles that was done properly and tested then buy "new" from napa for WAY less than what a reman one costs....doesn't say much for napa's quality if you ask me and it show's if they are being used for rebuilds.;) (Purely hyperthetical.)
 

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Almost all reman axles come with a lifetime warranty. If you buy a $50 reman axle from a parts house you need to check it before you install it, make sure the joints are smooth and you will not have a problem. These get new joints too, if the existing joints are beyond repair. Sure there are some bad rebuilders out there that let a few bad axles slip by, that is why I will always check the axle before installation. This risk is always present. If there are retailers selling new axles for less than Raxles can sell a reman I will always choose new. At the very best any reman axle, including a Raxle, is as good as an OE new axle minus many stress cycles.
What you may not realize is that raxles uses new inner and outer CV joints.

Other axle remanufacturers regrind the metal cage of the CV joint and use slightly larger bearings to rebuild the CV joint. When the cage is ground, the hardened surface portion of the cage is ground away, leaving softer metal. Why take a chance on an axle that most likely has CV joints with reground cages.

"Lifetime replacement warranties" are for people who haven't yet been bitten hard in the ass by replacement labor costs after cheap parts are installed...warranty only covers parts, not the labor (Midas mufflers or brakes anyone?).

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow, looks like I stirred up a hell of a debate regarding Raxles vs NAPA vs Other Rebuilts. That was not my intention, but so be it.

I spoke with Marty from Raxles at length yesterday. I was trying to "comparison shop" as well as justify the obvious price premium that he charges for his product. It was an interesting convo to say the least.

Here's what Marty pointed out to me regarding Original VW axles (the ones on the car when you buy it):

- They're a MOSTLY well engineered product, but have crappy boots and are originally filled with grease that with time chemically "attacks" the boot from within. This is why so many boots are failing early.

- The original shafts, are first class made in Germany. Hollow tubes, light weight yet strong, always the right length, etc.


Here's what Marty said regarding the axles sold by germanautoparts.com NAPA and other part retailers, including the DEALERSHIP (if what ScottPassat2.8 claims is true.)

- They are EMPI brand axles. Made either in India or China.
- The shafts on these axles are SOLID core cut to length. They're not hollow. They're much heavier. There is a high rate of incorrect lenght and fit with these axles.
- The boots are of same material as OEM..(inferrior according to Marty).

- The usually do not come with the 7 "special" bolts needed to replace the original ones.

- Marty claimed, he is able to sell them for approx $60, (and actually challenged me to buy them...ha ha ha) so that I would most likely have to return them because they would not fit right. Or if they did fit right, he claimed I'd be in the same place in a year or two with a failed boot.

Here's what Marty said about his Axles:

- NEW CV joints, placed onto "refurbished" (used before) original shafts. This is why you send your old axle back to him...he wants that original shaft (core). Hence, there are no fitment issues at all.

- he uses boots of superior material to OEM boots, that will not deteriorate. He also uses synthetic grease to fill those boots.

- he provides the 7 "special" bolts, and all the tools you need to DIY.

Is it worth the price premium over the EMPI pruduct brand??? YOU decide.

There is another alternative: Do what Marty does yourself. Remove the bad CV joint, buy a new one, find the boots he uses, the grease he uses, the "special bolts" (readily available at what price?), and assemble all of that together onto your own original shaft. How much would it cost you?? Don't forget to add the cost of YOUR time....its worth something.
 

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What you may not realize is that raxles uses new inner and outer CV joints.

Other axle remanufacturers regrind the metal cage of the CV joint and use slightly larger bearings to rebuild the CV joint. When the cage is ground, the hardened surface portion of the cage is ground away, leaving softer metal. Why take a chance on an axle that most likely has CV joints with reground cages.

"Lifetime replacement warranties" are for people who haven't yet been bitten hard in the ass by replacement labor costs after cheap parts are installed...warranty only covers parts, not the labor (Midas mufflers or brakes anyone?).

Good Luck.
I know Raxles uses new CV joints these days. What I am not sure if you know and you are implying is that all other rebuilders only regrind their joints and used poor quality parts putting them back together. There are many rebuilders out there, they are not all the same. Raxles makes a top quality reman axle, they are not the only one. While I cannot speak for all rebuilders, most of them also will replace the CV joint before regrinding. It costs them less to replace these than it does to spend time on the machine and than matching bearings. Do you have any first hand experience in this industry or are you only going to repeat the marketing on the Raxles website?
It states right on the Raxles website, "At Raxles® Inc we are striving to become America's premier supplier of OE quality CV Axles and CV joints". They make OE quality axles, so do most other rebuilders.

While it can be said that you get what you pay for, to these people I suggest you go to the dealer to get your broken axles repaired. For the cost of their repair you should have no doubt in your mind that you are getting the best service.
 
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