Axles- OEM, GKN, or GSP?

325_Guy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Location
West Central Texas
TDI
MkV Jetta
310k and it's time for axles. All 4 boots are toast and I figure with the mileage and towing use, it's best to replace the entire axle. I plan on getting another 300k or more out of this car, so no Rock Auto, eBay, Prothe, etc parts will be installed.



I've found three decent options and wanted to ask opinions on them.
OEM VW- $358 at Jim Ellis VW
GKN- $239 at ID Parts
GSP- $89 at ID Parts


I think that $89 is a little too cheap for a part that's usually three times as much. What are some thoughts on the GKNs? Are they worth the $120 off of the OEM part?


Thanks!
 

relumalutan

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Location
Michigan
TDI
06 Jetta TDI Special Edition
Raxles has a good reputation around this forum. Nice guy, fast shipping, he rebuilds them and you send him back your damaged ones as core.
 

325_Guy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Location
West Central Texas
TDI
MkV Jetta
Thanks! I'll check them out.

Another question, is it out of the ballpark to think that CV joints at 310k are still good? The boots are splitting but the joints themselves make no noise. Would it be realistic to just replace the boots?
 

relumalutan

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Location
Michigan
TDI
06 Jetta TDI Special Edition
I don't see why the CV joints would not be good if they are not making any noise while turning. I have replaced the inner booth covers myself on my 06 DSG (the ones for manual transmission are different), it's a messy job, but definitely doable. ID parts has the kits (2 different sizes for the boots), I went with the cheaper one, as that was the correct size for my car. Make sure you are buying a new bolt for the axle, and the 6 bolts per axle that are connecting the axle to the DSG. Might as well buy a
https://www.idparts.com/cv-boot-kit-inner-a5-dsg-p-3273.html
https://www.idparts.com/cv-boot-kit-inner-a5-dsg-p-3494.html
 

Mach1

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Location
Spicewood, Tx.
TDI
05.5 Jetta 5 spd, 06 Jetta DE DSG, 04 F250 6L, 2000 F250 7.3L
If the boots been split for a while then I would consider the GKNs assemblies..you can go with the boots as relum said, it is a very nasty dirty job and you would have to get ALL the old grease cause its contaminated, and will accelerate the deteriation of the joint. I liked the job as I replaced the wheel bearings and then just slide in a brand new assembly.

You are going to do the wheel bearings eh?

locktite the inner axle bolts and torque to 30ft lbs.
 

325_Guy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Location
West Central Texas
TDI
MkV Jetta
Bearings isn't a bad idea, actually. One was replaced about 100k ago, the other is original. I figure they've done their time, haha.

The boots themselves are very lightly split and really haven't flung a lot of grease yet. I feel that I caught them early enough to just replace them. After a thorough cleaning, of course.

I actually found the OEM boots from Jim Ellis VW at a very competitive price compared to the kits available. Waiting for an email back from them about what comes with before I go ahead and order them.

Thanks for the feedback from everyone about replacing the boots only. I wanted to do a reality check first before getting my hands dirty with these.
 

Mach1

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Location
Spicewood, Tx.
TDI
05.5 Jetta 5 spd, 06 Jetta DE DSG, 04 F250 6L, 2000 F250 7.3L
Seriously consider doing the bearings while you are right there, I am going to do the rest of mine at 190000, this winter/cool down.

You have of course done boots before? There is a way to do them in order. 310000m you got your money worth out of them. I usually don't rebuild them unless its the first one off, that second one is no fun, you can save some good money although I would have consider mileage on the parts as well. That's a lot of mileage on all those parts.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
GKN/Lobro is who makes many (most) of the drive axles for VAG. So they are OEM.


Chaxles are junk. Don't bother. They'll be bad in 6 months... and by bad I mean worse than OEM axles with 150k miles on them.
 

325_Guy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Location
West Central Texas
TDI
MkV Jetta
Mach1,

Never done boots, but I've done plenty of other things involving attention to detail, cleanliness, and adherence to proper procedures. What's this order you speak of? Curious!

I may just pull these apart and inspect them first and decide from there whether or not to completely replace or not.

Oilhammer,

Thanks for that! Makes me feel a lot better about getting them if I have to. I don't mind saving a couple hundred dollars for OEM parts.
 

Texas_sky

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Location
ATX/Mile Hi
TDI
2001 GOLF TDI 2dr 5spd
GKN/Lobro is who makes many (most) of the drive axles for VAG. So they are OEM.


Chaxles are junk. Don't bother. They'll be bad in 6 months... and by bad I mean worse than OEM axles with 150k miles on them.



Is there any extra labor to change Axles if doing the transmission and suspension at same time?
 

325_Guy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Location
West Central Texas
TDI
MkV Jetta
Quick question, do the inner axles have a backing plate or are the joints open when you disconnect them from the transmission flanges? I'm trying to remember from the last time I had the axles off.



Asking so that I have all my ducks in a row when it comes time to start pulling things apart.
 

pkhoury

That guy with the goats
Joined
Nov 30, 2010
Location
Medina, TX
TDI
2010 JSW DSG, 2013 JSW 02Q, 2014 NB 02Q, 2015 GSW DSG, 2004 Golf 02J, 2005 JW auto, 2003 Jetta 02J swap, 1995 Ford F-450
Came here because just like the OP, my boots are torn on both axles, and I also extensively use my car for towing (2004 BEW with 326K). And also like him, I'm in roughly the same part of Texas.
 

truman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 18, 2000
Location
columbia,MO,usa
TDI
'05 Passat Variant, Still miss the 03JW
About 2yrs ago I had both axles replaced on my 05 Passat, which is very sensitive to substandard hardware. OReilley MVP, Mexico remans were used. After about 60k, they are still flawless and dirt cheap. This is the longest I have gone without a boot splitting. I realize my personal experience won't be popular here. They were about 65ea + core IIRC. YMMV
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I am currently at 212k miles and no split boots. :p I did, however, proactively replace the outers at 100k because I removed the front strut assemblies at 80k and nicked one of them... but they did have slight signs of dry rot by then. The replacements still looked fine a couple weeks ago when I put my new torque converter in.

I think two things happen that hasten their demise: people turn all the way to the lock and move, which on newer transverse VAG applications puts the outer joint at a really extreme angle; and if the car gets parked with the wheels turned after driving, and the boot (which is now hot) settles into that shape.

Just a theory, but seems to work for my two Passats.
 

pkhoury

That guy with the goats
Joined
Nov 30, 2010
Location
Medina, TX
TDI
2010 JSW DSG, 2013 JSW 02Q, 2014 NB 02Q, 2015 GSW DSG, 2004 Golf 02J, 2005 JW auto, 2003 Jetta 02J swap, 1995 Ford F-450
@Brian/Oilhammer - Is it pretty easy changing the inner boot/joint? I ordered 2 GKN kits from IDparts. I checked the axles from a 2001 parts ALH I have here, and the outers seem fine, but the inners definitely need new lubricant, and who knows what else. I figured it would just make more sense to replace the entire joint while I'm in there.
 
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