CV axles oversee the engine to wheels transition of power in vehicles. Therefore, it is one of the most essential automobile components. As you can imagine, CV axles go through enormous strain throughout their lifespan. While none would last you a lifetime, getting the best aftermarket CV axles will give you better durability and performance.
As CV axles have to deal with conspicuous stress levels, they are susceptible to damage. Axle failure is a common culprit behind road accidents, so if you suspect your CV axles are compromised, you should check them and have them replaced if necessary.
How do you pick the best replacement CV axles? We will discuss that in detail.
Besides providing you a buying guide for picking out the perfect CV axle for your car, we will introduce you to a shortlist of 10 aftermarket CV axle models. We have taken account of a handful of factors while selecting these items to ensure that they represent the best in the market. In addition to that, we have weighed up tons of customer reviews to validate our assessment.
The Cardone 66-1009 is our ultimate pick among the best aftermarket CV axles. It trumps its competition with its superior durability and functionality. Moreover, the installation is absolutely hassle-free.
The compatibility list for this CV axle is very long, so you can expect to find your vehicle there.
10 Best Aftermarket CV Axles Reviews
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If you ask people to single out a name as the best CV axle brand, Cardone will be the most common answer you would get. Cardone 66-1099 is the bestseller CV axle of the company, and it has accrued countless positive reviews from satisfied customers over the years. In terms of performance and endurance, it sets the standard too high.
So, what’s the secret behind the unmatchable success of this unit? We will start the discussion by talking about its premium grease quality. The grease does an excellent job in insulating the axle from excessively high temperatures and pressure. In doing so, it makes the Cardone 66-1009 exceptionally heavy-duty.
Experts trace back boot failure to bellow pressure and axle deterioration. Neoprene boots of the Cardone 66-1009 come with extra bellows to minimize this problem. It can tackle high levels of stress with more effectiveness. As a result, the wearing-out rate of the axles decelerates significantly.
On top of that, boot clamps stick with the axle frame pneumatically. Therefore, the clamps will remain attached to the axle in high-stress scenarios. Thanks to the precision-rolled spines, the Cardone 66-1009 mounts easily on a wide range of vehicles. The package also features extra nuts so that you can replace worn-out ones in the future.
- OE Fit: Exclusive Cardone engineering technology makes the axle compatible across a vast array of vehicles. The high-precision spines of the Cardone 66-1009 make it easier to mount.
- Neoprene Boots: Neoprene boots offer superior resistance to lower the pressure and cracking. The boots have supplementary bellows, which subdues the stress levels as a whole.
- Axle Retaining Nut: When you replace an old CV axle, the retaining nut could be damaged. Cardone 66-1009 ships with a new axle retaining nut. So, you don’t need to buy a new axle nut if your old one becomes unsuitable for use.
- Uninterrupted axle rotation.
- Additional bellows.
- Free axle nut.
- Top-quality grease.
- The axle assembly could have been better.
2. GSP NCV10232
The next item on our list is the GSP NCV10232. These axles have been manufactured meeting international Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) standards. Therefore, this CV axle will perfectly fit a lot of car models and maintain the original equipment experience. To be more precise, this CV axle caters to most 1991-2008 vehicles.
The Anti-Break System (ABS) sensors make it compatible with cars with ABS locks. However, these sensors don’t interfere with non-ABS installations. So, the GSP NCV10232 can fit your non-ABS vehicle. The erosion-proof materials coated with Moly grease make the shaft resilient to adverse conditions.
The CV joint is another highlight of this product. GSP has engineered it to function at the top level in extremely high temperatures and strain. Thereby, it can nullify anomalous vibrations. Manufacturers have used Neoprene to strengthen the boots. The boots have a high tolerance to long-term heat and stress exposure.
GSP guarantees the quality of its products through rigorous testing. Before the final assembly, the CV axle will be subject to a thorough examination. Without passing the final inspection, no GSP NCV10232 will leave for the customers. The quality of this product transcends its price tag beyond the shadow of a doubt.
- OE Fit: Without prior knowledge, it would be hard to differentiate between the fit of this axle and the original one. The components come with precision measurements to mirror the OE experience.
- Neoprene Boots: Boot damage is the primary reason for CV axle failure. The Neoprene boots of the GSP NCV10232 retains boot strength over a more extended period as it can repel friction-induced damage and heat.
- Moly Grease Assembly: GSP has used Moly grease to assemble this axle. The application of Moly grease makes the item more tolerant of high temperature and friction. Overall, it facilitates a trouble-free user experience.
- High-quality lubrication.
- High-performance Neoprene boots.
- Reduces undesired vibration.
- OEM fit.
- The lower bellow count makes the boot less flexible.
Cardone makes another appearance in our article with the Cardone 66-1430. From the beginning of its journey, Cardone has satisfied its customers with premium car replacement parts. Cardone 66-1430 is a glaring reminder as to why millions of car owners still put their trust in the company.
Cardone’s trademark features can make the Cardone 66-1430 an upgrade over the existing axle of your vehicle. As a token of its premium craftsmanship, Cardone has graced the boots with Neoprene. The boots also have extra bellows in the offering. As a result, the decay is far slower than run-of-the-mill CV axle boots.
Proper lubrication makes it easier to survive frequent temperature and torque fluctuations. For this reason, the Cardone 66-1430 comes well-greased. It doesn’t only make the unit more durable but also helps it to produce more reliable and consistent output. On top of that, the meticulously sized splines ensure effortless installation.
Another notable characteristic of the Cardone 66-1430 is the diameter of its transmission seal. The design objective of the transmission seal is to shield the interior mechanics from external forces, and it fully attains this feat in practicality. High-fidelity heat treatment gave the axle a toughened exterior surface.
- Proprietary Engineering: Cardone has made use of its vast pool of proprietary engineering techniques to craft this axle. It conforms to global OE benchmarks so that it can deliver a perfect fit.
- Neoprene Boots: Neoprene boots, coupled with more bellows, make the boots more resistant to wearing out. The additional numbers of bellows soak in more stress and protect the integrity of the axle.
- Precision Rolled Threads: The precision rolled threads of the Cardone 66-1430 enables accurate fitting of the axle. Before shipping, the product goes through several checks. So, the thread measurements always remain valid.
- Precision measurements.
- Extra bellows.
- High-endurance exterior.
- No lubricant leak.
- The compatibility range is not as broad as the Cardone 66-1009.
4. GSP NCV12184
The GSP NCV 12184 is the successor of the much-acclaimed GSP NCV12183. GSP’s engineering pyrotechnics have upgraded an already popular model to a whole new level. The GSP NCV12184 is suitable for both driver’s and passenger’s seat installation. The boots come with a Neoprene build like most premium CV axle offerings currently in the market.
Neoprene, aka polychloroprene, is a synthetic rubber that boasts a solid chemical formation. For this reason, it is highly invulnerable to heavy shock, heat, and stress. Therefore, you can expect this axle to stay operational in temperatures where many CV axles would start malfunctioning.
GSP made no compromise in quality while designing this product. That’s why they sourced it from high-end raw materials. The final phase of production takes place under the CNC Machine technique. In this stage, the parts are cut per their size requirements, and then they undergo final assembly.
To make the joints and boots more tolerant of friction, GSP has implemented moly grease on the axle during assembly. Also, the presence of molybdenum disulfide in the grease solution makes it immune to intense temperature changes. As a result, the axle can withstand severe conditions and prolong its service period.
- Moly Grease Application: Moly grease in the joints and boots of this axle makes them more resistant to abrupt temperature shifts and abrasion. The existence of molybdenum disulfide in grease grants it high-temperature tolerance.
- CNC Machine Technology: CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines supervise the entire production process to attain precision measurements through 3D graphics design and long-lasting assembly.
- ABS Sensor Ring: The GSP NCV 12184 can facilitate the anti-brake lock functionality of your vehicle through its ABS sensor ring. The ABS sensor ring won’t prevent you from installing it in non-ABS vehicles.
- Minimizes vibration.
- Anti-rust clamps.
- OEM fit.
- High tolerance to temperature and other extremities.
- Limited compatibility compared to other CV axle models.
Cardone 66-1325 is another item that made us wax lyrical about Cardone CV axles in general. It has all the features you would look for in a CV axle to satisfy your wheel needs. Let’s start with installation. As it’s the case for other Cardone axles, you would have no issues installing this on your car. You can mount it without professional help, and it won’t take more than a few hours.
Many car owners complain about irritating noise after getting an aftermarket axle. The Cardone 66-1325 is one of the high-performance axles that offer noiseless operation. It has a compact shaft that promotes engine transmission and enables swift rotation. The boots are flexible, which lowers the risk of rupturing.
There is a generous amount of bellows on both sides of the joints. Therefore, the grease material stays within the joint area and keeps it smooth. Moly grease improves the temperature resistance of the axle. It also helps the unit to fight off friction. Moreover, the grease keeps dirt from accumulating on the joints.
We must also mention the pair of boot clamps that shield the bellows along with the CV joints. This particular detail adds more to the durability of the axle. Regarding price, the Cardone 66-1325 is not the most affordable option to mull over. That said, you can’t label it overpriced considering the features it comes with.
- Precision Rolled Thread and Spines: The thread and spines of the Cardone 66-1325 accurately fit the measurement criteria of compatible vehicles. Meaning, you will get OEM fitting in an aftermarket axle.
- Precision Machined Transmission Seal Diameter: The transmission seal comes with a machine-perfect diameter. Meticulous heat treatment makes the seal more effective in keeping out intrusive materials.
- Moly Greased Joints & Boots: The Cardone 66-1325 has built-in lubrication for smoother operation. The 3% molybdenum grease gives the unit a certain level of heat and friction resistance.
- Tight and durable seal.
- Easy mounting.
- Quiet operation.
- High-quality exterior finishing.
- Some users might find it to be a bit expensive.
Cardone 66-5235 can give you performance similar to your original axle or even improve your overall axle experience. Cardone’s signature engineering technology ensures OEM fit for all of its CV axles, and Cardone 66-5235 is not an exception in that regard. The Cardone 66-5235 can be an excellent fit for a Toyota, Lexus, and other brands.
Some axles have specific side requirements. You can’t install an axle to the right side of your car if it’s meant for the left and vice versa. With the Cardone 66-5235, you won’t have to worry about the side orientation of the axle. You can install it on both sides of your car without any hassle at all.
What makes the installation even smoother is the notches that mimic the ones you would find in your car’s OEM axles. So, in terms of fitting, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate between OEM and aftermarket. You would also get an axle nut with the package, just in case your previous one has become defective.
Cardone has used Neoprene to construct the boots. As we have already mentioned a few times, Neoprene is the go-to boot material for high-quality axles. So, they hold up quite well over time. The boots also have additional bellows to make the unit more impervious to heat, friction, and other hostile factors.
- Side Neutral Installation: Side criteria are one of the things you have to think about while buying a CV axle. But, if you are purchasing the Cardone 66-5235, you can ignore that detail since it can fit a vehicle on both the passengers’ and the driver’s side.
- Extra Bellows: Having more bellows is a considerable advantage. Bellows absorb heat and pressure, so the more you have in your boots, the more heavy-duty they become. This axle comes with extra bellows to protect your boots from wearing out.
- Pneumatically Crimped Boot Clamps: Pneumatically crimped boot clamps secure the joints and seals off the space between boots and the shaft. In doing so, it saves the joints from dirt exposure.
- Dual side installation.
- High temperature and stress protection.
- Soundless operation.
- Anti-leak design.
- It doesn’t have a dedicated seal.
Dorman 630-429 is one more CV axle recommendation for you. This 5-pound axle shaft fits a selection of cars, especially Jeep models. If you find your vehicle compatible with this axle, you can consider it for a long-term aftermarket replacement. The reasonable price tag also adds to the appeal of the unit.
Upon unpacking, you will get a preassembled, U-shaped axle. That means you will not have to do any manual assembling by yourself. As soon as you unpack the axle, it is ready to go into the car. The axle is made of 4340-grade steel. Its heat-treated surface can take a beating and remain in good shape for a considerable amount of time.
The axle exhibits sufficient tolerance to sudden changes in temperatures. If you need a CV axle for the long haul, the high endurance of the Dorman 630-429 makes it an excellent choice for you. The accuracy of the threads and splines in this axle makes it a perfect fit for target automobiles.
As you can see, the Dorman 630-429 is a CV axle that can endure hostile atmospheres and retain its functionality. The build material of the product is of excellent standards. Therefore, it provides insurance against shock loading. Maintaining customer trust is Dorman’s utmost priority. That’s why Dorman technicians carefully check each axle to ensure top-notch quality.
- U Joint Design: Dorman 630-459 comes with an ergonomic U-shaped joint design. This enables the joints to avoid excessive impact and retain grease. Therefore, the axle lasts longer and functions desirably.
- Oil Seal: Oil leaks from the axle affect transmission and increases the likelihood of on-road malfunctions. To prevent a puddle of oil underneath your car, the Dorman 630-429 comes with industry-grade oil seal characteristics.
- 4340-Grade Steel Construction: Dorman has used 4340-grade steel to build this axle. It is a high-strength steel alloy consisting of fragments of nickel, molybdenum, and chromium. So, the axle won’t break prematurely.
- Fast installation.
- Ideal torque management.
- Durable build.
- Effective oil seal.
- The package doesn’t include bearings.
AC Delco 15886012 is an OEM automotive part for GM vehicles. Since automobile heavyweights like General Motors recommend this axle, you really shouldn’t have any doubts about its quality and performance. Apart from GM, it will also fit vehicles with identical measurements. So, what does the AC Delco 15886012 brings to the table?
This axle facilitates transmission-to-wheel torque transfer in your car with the utmost efficiency. As a result, you can expect smooth wheel operation even in substandard terrains and driving conditions. The CV joints allow for ideal articulation of suspension and wheels so that you can enjoy trouble-free driving sessions.
The axle shows high resistance to ozone and other deterrents. So, it doesn’t pick up early cracks upon use. The synthetic rubber boots do a great job in repelling damaging elements. The infusion of high-quality lubricant retains spontaneous boot movement. Therefore, it dampens shock and keeps the axle healthy over time.
Precision fit thread and splines reflect the accuracy standards of AC Delco’s production. In terms of performance and durability, you will get the level of service you would get in original GM factory parts. This axle can boost your engine output significantly by lifting your transmission to new heights.
- GM Authorized: The AC Delco 15886012 has GM’s approval as an OEM component for its vehicles. If you own a GM car, this axle should be at the top of your list of aftermarket CV axles.
- Universal CV Joints: The AC Delco 15886012 has universal CV joints on both sides of its shaft. Hence, it can allow for superior articulation of wheel and suspension. Meaning it can deliver a better driving experience as a whole.
- High-Performance Grease: The axle joints are layered in high-performance grease. Therefore, it can ward off grime and keep the axle functional for extended periods. Also, it gives the unit better protection against friction and high temperature.
- Easy to mount.
- Superior transmission.
- Heavy-duty grease.
- Fits OEM requirements for GM vehicles.
- Pricier because of official GM recognition and premium materials.
As our ninth entry to the best aftermarket CV axles argument, we present to you the Traxxas 6851R. These axles are designed for Traxxas 4×4 Slash, 4×4 Stampede, and Rally RC cars. If you are an RC car enthusiast and looking for replacement CV axles, these axles could be the best for you.
The steel shafts of the Traxxas 6851R do a phenomenal job in torque management. It efficiently transfers power from the transmission to the wheels. The external U joints are also instrumental in maintaining such high-performance levels. They are lubricated with high-quality grease to withstand temperature changes and other harmful elements.
The boots are not made of Neoprene, as we have seen in other CV axles we reviewed. But since this axle is for RC vehicles, Neoprene boots are not necessary. These car parts cause far less friction and heat compared to their regular counterparts. So, silicone boots are enough to keep the axle safe.
The nickel coating over the shafts, paired with sleek, ebony silicone boots, imposes a custom look on the axle. The joint pins are firmly secured. So, they won’t fall off when you are operating your RC car in high traction. Its compact and lightweight design makes it perfect for light and medium bashing.
- Steel Shaft With Nicole Plating: A sturdy shaft is essential to getting the best out of a CV axle. The Traxxas 6851R shaft is made of steel and has a nickel coating over it for further protection and better aesthetics.
- Well Lubricated Outer U Joints: The lubricant in the outer U joints helps them cope with higher levels of stress and temperature fluctuations. Joint pins secure the joints to the axle, and they are incredibly long-lasting.
- Silicone Boots: Thick silicone boots also protect the joints from adversities. They have a sufficient endurance of temperature. Moreover, they keep the friction to a minimum and prevent dirt entry.
- Steel shafts covered with nickel plates.
- Good torque handling.
- Satisfactory temperature and pressure tolerance.
- Secured U-joint pins.
- The axle stub should have been more durable.
10. Cardone 66-4060
Cardone 66-4060, like most Cardone CV axles, has a large selection of compatible vehicles. The Neoprene boots are insusceptible to frequent ups and downs of temperature. Consequently, the risks of boot failure are virtually non-existent. An ample amount of bellows also back up the boots and prolong their lifespan.
The bellows hold the 3% Moly grease solution, which is responsible for effortless boot movement. The grease is sourced from molybdenite, a graphite-like natural mineral. It alleviates the friction between the parts and slows down their decay. Moreover, it keeps the joints clean.
The transmission seal goes through heat treatment and machine finish for immaculate fitting. Cardone deployed their proprietary Cardone’s Selected Engineering methods to fix the shortcomings of the previous model. Therefore, you can expect an even higher level of accuracy and performance from Cardone 66-4060.
Cardone’s precision rolling technique perfects the threads and splines of the axle. The preciseness of the threads makes the axle easy to mount. On the other hand, the splines firmly connect the inner axle to the transaxle through a mating hub. In doing so, it supplies torque to the wheels via the transaxle.
- Neoprene Boots: Neoprene has high resilience to heat and pressure. Therefore, it is a fantastic choice as axle boot material. The Cardone 66-4060 has Neoprene-made boots that save the axle from the factors mentioned above.
- Precision Rolled Threads and Spines: Precision-rolled threads and spines have the exact measurements as OEM components of compatible vehicles. So, it makes the Cardone 66-4060 an ideal replacement axle.
- 3% Moly Grease Solution: The Cardone 66-4060 joints are covered with 3% moly grease solution. It makes the boot movement smoother, makes the axle heatproof to a substantial degree, and keeps the joint spotless.
- Noiseless operation.
- High-quality grease.
- Thick bellows.
- Has fewer bellows than other Cardone axles.
How To Choose The Best Aftermarket CV Axles?
How can you be sure that the CV axle you are buying is up for the job? Here are the factors you should keep in your mind while choosing a CV axle:
Wheel Drive Type
To get the best aftermarket CV axle for your car, you need to know the nature of the wheel drive your vehicle has. Cars with front-wheel drives use CV, aka constant velocity joints. Some vehicles need rear CV axles too. So, check your car specifications to determine what type of CV axle you would need to suit your wheel drive type.
Structurally, CV axles come with two joints. There is an internal joint and an external joint. Both joints serve their own purpose. The inner joint brings together the transaxle and the transmission through the mating hub. In doing so, it transports power from the engine to the vehicle.
On the contrary, the external joint incorporates the wheels into the rest of the system. As you can see, the joints are crucial in making a car operate smoothly. So, joint quality has to be up to mark for getting optimal performance from the vehicle. Check the bearings of the outer joint and spline thread finishing to validate the robustness of the joint.
Boots protect joints from heat, friction, and grime. So, durable boots ensure a durable axle. Neoprene tops our list of boot materials because of its flexibility and resistance to detrimental agents. Also, look for extra bellows, which dampens the stress even further. Below-par boots put your axle at risk. So, make sure the boots are durable.
Grease has an uncomfortable texture, so we usually like to stay away from it. But when it comes to axles, grease is actually a good thing. It makes boot motion smoother. That means there will be less friction, and the parts will wear out at a slower rate. It also builds higher heat resistance. 3% molybdenum sulfite grease is the best one for this purpose.
Center Shaft Quality
CV axles routinely deal with humungous amounts of power and torque. Most of this stress goes through the center shaft. So, look for a sturdy center shaft that can put up with enormous stress levels. CNC-designed axles are the best in torque handling. We suggest a stainless steel construction for better durability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How Long Does A Good CV Axle Last?
A good quality CV axle should last you approximately five years. However, mileage is a better benchmark to answer this question. Usually, a CV axle can cover 60,000 miles before making way for a new one. This number can be greater or smaller based depending on the quality of terrains you drive on.
Q. Is It Okay To Drive With A Faulty CV Axle?
A CV axle will not stop working as soon as it gets bad. But, that doesn’t mean you should drive with a faulty CV axle. You should replace it as soon as you can. Even though a bad CV axle can still last around five months, you would never know when you lose control of the car. Therefore, change the axle as early as possible.
Q. What Are The Telltale Signs Of An Underperforming CV Axle?
Look out for the following signs to detect a bad CV axle:
- A popping sound comes out when you turn the vehicle. The sound originates from the loose joints of a damaged CV axle.
- A knocking sound while driving. However, this could also indicate non-axle issues. So, take the cat immediately to a servicing station if you hear such noises.
- If you see grease on your wheels, it possibly means the boots in your CV axles have leaked.
- Vibrations while driving and tends to increase as you accelerate.
Q. Can I Only Replace The Axle Boots Instead Of Changing The Entire CV Axle?
In some cases, you can. But, you would have to detect the boot damage at an early stage. If the grease doesn’t come out of the boots, and no dust or water enters inside, changing the boots is all you need to do. However, you would have to change the whole axle if the boots stay damaged for a long time.
Q. What Is 3% Moly Grease?
Moly grease is a high-performance grease with a molybdenum disulfide concentration of 3%. It has widespread applications because of its excellent resistance to abrupt temperature shifts. Because of its fundamental properties, moly grease is a common lubricant in the automotive industry.
Q. Can I Change My CV Axle Without Professional Help?
You can, mostly. Some CV axles are very easy to install. You can easily install them by watching DIY videos on YouTube. But, some CV axle models are a bit difficult to handle. In those cases, you should hire a professional mechanic for the job.
If you don’t have any prior experience working with auto parts, we recommend asking for professional help.
Q. Do You Need To Change Both CV Axles At Once?
You should only change the axles simultaneously if both axles wear out and become inappropriate for use. However, if one CV axle remains functional while the other one becomes unfit, you should only replace the one that has gotten out of service. There is no need to change both axles if they are not broken at the same time.
Purchasing options are plentiful when it comes to aftermarket CV axles. But, which are the best aftermarket CV axles? Our article attempted to make you aware of the facts that would help you make the right decision. You can also pick the one that suits your profile the best from our top ten list.