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I will need to replace front axles on my 2006 Jetta TDI. The VW axles are significantly more expensive than aftermarket. Are they worth it or are there particular aftermarket brands that are just as good? Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Ok thanks. Understood. This verifies what some others have advised. Do I have to replace the axle bolts or can I re-use the originals?
 

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Correction courtesy of Dave N. Item 14: Bolts-always replace.
They are torqued to:
  • Pre tighten to: 7 FT LBS
  • Final torque: Tighten in a criss cross pattern to 30 FT LBS for M-8 bolts and 52 FT LBS for M-10 bolts
Some people have problems with them coming loose after some miles most likely because they didn't use a torque wrench and/or reused the bolts.
 

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Ok thanks. Understood. This verifies what some others have advised. Do I have to replace the axle bolts or can I re-use the originals?
Yes you need to replace the bolts as they are torque to yield. I also recommend going with Raxels and if you do they include new bolts and the triple square tool for removing/installing them
 

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Ok. One more question. Is realignment necessary after replacement? I see that I need to remove the three lower ball joint bolts to swing out the wheel bearing assembly. Struts will remain in place for now.
 

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I don’t mean to be contrarian, and I have never replaced a VW axle (have on an A6), but I have replaced a dozen or so over the years for myself and friends. I have never had a ‘parts store’ axle go bad. In fact, I have never had to replace them more than once on a car. Usually they last to 100k - 150k. The most miles I have driven a car is 220k so never got to the point of doing a second replacement. I would not argue against OEM parts generally being of better quality but for a 11 year old car, I am not sure what you get from the OEM is "OEM quality" any longer.

I would caution against the really cheap ones on amazon or eBay. My experience with those parts in general (not axles specifically) has been they are definitely lower quality.
 

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Yes you need to replace the bolts as they are torque to yield. I also recommend going with Raxels and if you do they include new bolts and the triple square tool for removing/installing them
Thanks, I don't know how I missed that........................
 

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Yes on Raxels, yes on new hardware and yes on alignment after. Also, "plan" to replace any bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, links, wheel bearings, brake components, ect...that show wear while your at it.
 

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Well, I did replace two axles on a Subaru using NAPA deluxe versions which were supposedly not re-manufactured and do come with a lifetime warranty. So I suppose that means if they ever fail they will give you another one? For $70 each that was a pretty good deal and so far they appear to be working ok. I heard the GKN axles were high quality and not quite as expensive as the VW versions so might look into these. They are still around $250 each, though. The project did get bigger as now I do need to look into the bushings and the ball joints and only want to take it all apart once before the re-alignment. Oh well, the struts could use replacement as well....
 
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