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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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Update 15/2/18: Local mechanic dropped it back lunchtime and presented me with a bill for £60 (not vat registered) for fitting!! Happy days. He said it's a pretty easy job, not really different to and ICE hatch and only took him 1 1/2 hrs.

So total Bill for the self sourcing replacement was £163.75 with a pattern part. Way way cheaper that £700+ for GM in the UK.

Ok. So back in August 2017 during a 60k service on the wifes Chevy Volt the knocking noise from the wheels that had come and gone since 2016 was finally identified as a worn near side (Passenger side) driveshaft. No problems 90% chance an outer CV joint is worn easy inexpensive fix? Wrong.

Bollingers Chevrolet and Ampera dealer wanted £700+ to do the repair! The part was like £800 from Chevy UK and so Bollingers quoted on the Vauxhall Ampera one (identical) which was £500, plus £200 for fitting!!

No thanks I said and off I set on an adventure to find a cheaper solution myself not using the Stealerships. But managed to get it sorted for around £200. Job is being done next Thursday.

First problem was, you cant just buy plain old outer CV joint for the Volt/Ampera. GM and any other Pattern part maker just don't make it. I enquired on several UK and USA listings on ebay for the outer CV joint for either an Ampera or a Volt , and all came back and said "sorry the listing is a mistake, the supplier doesn't do it" and the listing disappeared.

So then I found several ebay lisitings in the USA for the "Driveshaft assy Unit" as genuine GM, but still looking at $300-$500 with shipping and customs charges. Better, but still not cheap enough as you could by an outer CV joint for a Vauxhall Astra for like £50 or less.

So I came across and researched and USA pattern parts maker called "SurTrack". and they made left and right side pattern CV Axle-shafts. I also studied the GM axle parts lists online and worked out the correct Front drive Axle washer that has to be replaced (according to the Volt workshop manual) if you fit a new drive shaft. Now as the SurTrack Axle assy comes with a new axle nut, it doesn't come with this washer, so I ordered a original GM one from another ebay supplier.

Took the plunge on 26th January and ordered both on Ebay paid by Paypal. The pattern Axle was $121.77 with shipping and import taxes (£87.25) and the washer was $22.92 (£16.50). So a total of £103.75. Much more easy on the Wallet than £500 from Vauxhall or £250 from GM in the USA (via ebay).

Delivery was pretty quick, washer arrived on 7th Feb and Axle on 8th.

So for the UK nearside (passenger side) you need the USA Left side (offside/Drivers Side) Axle.

SurTrack part number is GM-8347 and I bought it cheapest off ebay here ;

CV Axle Shaft-New Front Left SurTrack GM-8347 fits 11-15 Chevrolet Volt | eBay

The washer is universal to both sides and is GM part number 11611232 and I bought it off ebay cheapest here ;

GM OEM Drive Axles-Front-Washer 11611232 | eBay

Just been to see a local one man band mechanic just outside the village who has his own workshop and lives opposite my estate, took him the part and the workshop manual printout (thanks to the member who emailed it to me) and he studied it, said he had done a "hydrid" course but never worked on one yet, but we agreed this job was no different to doing it on a Focus or Astra, so he quoted 2 hrs max @ £40 p/h. Wont be more than £80 he said. Only extra cost will be may a litre of GM Dexron VI fluid to top the gearbox up if he cant catch all that dribbles out when he removes the inner part of the axle from the halfshaft in the gearbox.

So roughly I am now looking at the job costing a reasonable £200ish rather than £700 from the main dealer.

To add if you need the UK offside axle replaced, which is the USA Right side (nearside/Passenger side) then the axle part number from SurTrack is GM-8343 and you can order it off ebay here ;

CV Axle Shaft-New Front Right SurTrack GM-8343 fits 11-15 Chevrolet Volt | eBay

Some photos of the parts when they arrived ;
 

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The info is great - thanks just in case - but a quick question if I may; I was under the impression that a lot of the mechanicals of the Ampera were the same as the Astra, did you check the part numbers out to see if that was the case at all?
 

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If you are suggesting to reuse oil that comes out, I think that would be a bad idea. You can't risk a single grain of contamination that could be avoided. Much better idea just to drain and refill, then you also have cleaned your transmission fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The info is great - thanks just in case - but a quick question if I may; I was under the impression that a lot of the mechanicals of the Ampera were the same as the Astra, did you check the part numbers out to see if that was the case at all?
No , but I doubt they are the same on the driveshafts as the Volt / Ampera runs from / through the planetary gearbox and an Astra runs from a Transverse gearbox bolted to an ice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you are suggesting to reuse oil that comes out, I think that would be a bad idea. You can't risk a single grain of contamination that could be avoided. Much better idea just to drain and refill, then you also have cleaned your transmission fluid.
I asked him to source new from Vauxhall 1 ltr and top up. assuming it wont lose more than 1 ltr in the change.
 

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I don't know what will be lost, it is not a conventional gearbox of course. I would plan to have enough on standby at your local stockist for a full replacement of the fluid.

There is a full description of refilling and checking the level in gm-volt if you want to dig it out to show your guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update 15/2/18: Local mechanic dropped it back lunchtime and presented me with a bill for £60 (not vat registered) for fitting!! Happy days. He said it's a pretty easy job, not really different to and ICE hatch and only took him 1 1/2 hrs.
So total Bill for the self sourcing replacement was £163.75 with a pattern part. Way way cheaper that £700+ for GM in the UK.
 

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Thanks for the handy information, should any of us need to know in future!
 

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I have signed up especially to thank you for putting this information out there, you saved me a small fortune.

For me I required a drive shaft for the other side "8343"
The eBay seller you mentioned seemed to be out of stock, but a quick Google search brought me to a company called Rockauto. They sold me the part for £47, but by the time I paid shipping and import duty (which was all done for me by Rockauto) it totaled £91.

The washer has changed, the part code you mentioned is now obsolete, and it has been superseded by

11547142

Incidentally this part is used on the Astra and Zafira and can be purchased from any main stealers for £1.90

When I get a chance I will post some pictures of what I got
 

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Rockauto is a brilliant site, they often give you the manufacturers PNs for the parts you need so you can search elsewhere, you do have to be a bit careful sometimes because the prices can vary wildly and I assume that reflects the quality.
 

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Hi guys,
I have new axle ready to be replaced, left, driver side. Also washer is here. I have a friend who is professional car mechanics and he is willing to do the work, but he is also not a big fan of electric/hybride cars and has not much experience with those, but axle is mechanical part and he wants to do it. My questions for those of you that went thru this replacement is; can you please give ANY tips on good preparation for this job. Do we need also to disconnect the big battery pack? Do we need to change the gear oil? Can someone send me a link for the Volt 2013 workshop manual?

Thanx a lot, I'll keep you posted on how it all went.

Nenad, NL
 

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Hi all, after first looking at an Ampera 4yrs who, I’ve finally taken the plunge, with a Volt, which needs a new nearside driveshaft assembly. Was quoted £1,040 by Bellingers (£150 more than what is presumably the same part for an Ampera). Thanks to Volt69 for starting this thread (and Red2 for the update)! I will now get on to Rockauto. Do any of you who have had this repair done have anything else worth adding o the matter?
 

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Can’t add anything useful, but I wonder if this is what’s been bugging me on my car. Knocking from the front, mostly when the offside wheel drops into a small dip at relatively low speeds (<30mph). Had the ‘Handy Andy’ brake fix done just in case but that wasn’t it (thanks Andy, great job and sorted for the future at any rate). Does anyone know if having non OEM drive shafts fitted by a non-Ampera specialist would knacker the Voltec drive train warranty? Is that literally just for the electric bits?
 

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Can’t add anything useful, but I wonder if this is what’s been bugging me on my car. Knocking from the front, mostly when the offside wheel drops into a small dip at relatively low speeds (<30mph). Had the ‘Handy Andy’ brake fix done just in case but that wasn’t it (thanks Andy, great job and sorted for the future at any rate). Does anyone know if having non OEM drive shafts fitted by a non-Ampera specialist would knacker the Voltec drive train warranty? Is that literally just for the electric bits?
I cant see why drive shafts should affect the warranty any more than changing the alloys or even tyres. It's just a complicated bar.

I'm sure there was a known suspension mount/strut issue on these that causes the noise your talking about. I seem to recall many have a fix under the original 3 year warranty. I have a similar noise from the rear that I keep meaning to investigate.
 

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I cant see why drive shafts should affect the warranty any more than changing the alloys or even tyres. It's just a complicated bar.

I'm sure there was a known suspension mount/strut issue on these that causes the noise your talking about. I seem to recall many have a fix under the original 3 year warranty. I have a similar noise from the rear that I keep meaning to investigate.
Thanks, will look into that too.
 
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