OK, Halleluiah, I've now seen the light and have been converted!!!!
Last Fri evening, driving with 4 people in my cabby, the front end started vibrating like crazy. It felt just fine when I first started out, but after about 20min. of driving, we could feel it shaking through the steering wheel. The shaking was really pronounced under acceleration when it could be felt even through the chasse and floor. I was so ****** off because in the last 6 months I’d replaced both axles twice when the first replacements starting vibrating. On this set the local NAPA and their supplier worked with me to insure they were from the correct VW cores and the passenger side axle included the vibration damper as per the OEMs. Two of my passengers autocross a MK3, Golf and still had the original VW axles they replaced when they turboed the motor. So, I replaced the rebuilds with OEM, VW axles. And as so many posts on this and many other VW forums say, use VW axles and the vibrations disappear!!!!
From what I can see (at least with the ones I dealt with) it looks like the problem with the rebuilds are with the outer CVs. When I first received the axles the outer CVs felt tight with no play, but now after a couple of months of normal driving there’s now a lot of play. With the stub axle not deflected you can literally move the end about 5 to 8mm with no resistance. It feels like the races, balls, cage or all three, are worn out. The best I can figure is the remanufacturer regrinds the CV’s internals to resize them, but since this
type of CV needs its races hardened, they go too deep and grind away the hardened surfaces. So, when it’s installed it prematurely wears and shakes the car to pieces. I think confirmation of this is despite having many more miles on them, there’s no play in the outer CVs of the VW axles.
BTW if anybody reading this is here in SW, VA, the guys and gal at NAPA here in Dublin have been nothing but “top drawer”. They’ve been more than patient with the crazy VW guy!!