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Half Shafts - Rebuilt vs Remanufactured - A Discussion

New 03/12/2005

I'm getting ready to change out some half shafts that have been
bugging me on my Red 97. Similar symptoms as described. Most
noticeable on flat ground, straight and level under cruise, neither
accelerating or decelerating. Then it shakes like a Biotch at about
60 - 70 mph. Give it gas or hit coast button and the vibration goes

Eric Lehmann

Half shats eh???

Here is a post from the SHOItimes last week. The last part deals with
rebuilt half shafts. For new ones go to http://raxles.com/ordering.aspx

Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured

It is not so much the quality of the finished product as much as it is the quality of the core. First off the consumer and the industry talk two different languages. Here are the industry's definitions:

Rebuilt Only those items found to be worn are replaced

Remanufactured. All wear items are replaced.

There is a difference know what you are buying.
Cores: some of the V-6 cores have been through the
system more than 8 times some probably more. How many times before
the core is just worn out junk?

You would think the remanufactured would just rebuild
each core one by one. Not so. The cores come in get
disassembled and the parts get put in a big bin. They
get tested the ones that are bad get tossed then they
are cleaned and reassembled from the bin with no
regards from where it came from. Marginal but usable
parts are used in the rebuilt starters. Rebuilt is one
step above buying at the junkyard the difference is
the rebuilt unit is clean.

The reman unit is only as good as the core. If the core is worn out
it will not hold up. This is why the original brand new alternators
starters etc last between 80-150,000 mi but even the quality remans
last only 60-80,000 (exceptions apply) Fact is if you have a good core
you are better off having a local shop or your self reman
it. If you plan to keep the car but do not want to do
it yourself or if you feel the core is junk then step
up the the plate and buy brand new from Ford. You
will be better off in the long run when you factor in
inconvenience, downtime, and the tow. If you do it
yourself and do not want to reman it or can not find a
shop to do it for you, then get the Premium lifetime
warranty model of the starter and alternator. It
won't last that much longer but at least you will not
keep paying for the unit over and over again. Keep
that receipt! The reman companies have statistically
figured their loses, use the best cores, and price the
original accordingly to "self insure themselves
against the future replacement they know is coming"
They figure you'll sell the car before the unit goes
bad again. One more thing, front drive axles. These
should always be bought Brand New if available. If
you saw how they are remanned you would be appalled.
Basically the noise you hear is the balls in the joint
clicking because they have the worn the groove in the
joint oversize due to lack of lube. The solution is
to hand grind the groove larger, install oversize
balls, and cage. The original joint is hardened.
After grinding the hardened metal is removed but the
joint is not rehardened allowing future wear to take
place at an accelerated pace. Not to mention the
groove is only as smooth and as accurate as the
operator can make it by hand. Shakey at best. They
all are the same NAPA, Advance etc etc. I bet even
the dealers use the same process. Buy new if you plan
to keep the car.

Bill Strobel
Independent Towing
Fayetteville NC

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