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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 02-26-2010, 10:23 AM   #21
DIYDave
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I solved the question of replacing the boots on my wife's 2006 325XI. I removed only one bolt when replacing the boot, the lower swingarm. It took me about an hour and a half per side. That's longer than it needed to be because I pulled the CVJ totally apart and washed it down in solvent, and then repacked. To do it, I made a special tool out of some aluminum barstock.



Not sure if anyone's interested in how I did it, but if you are, drop a line, I'll post the rest of the pictures. And yes, I've heard the elusive click of the c-clip falling into place.

Dave
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:32 AM   #22
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Excellent! Brilliant idea to make a tool for the job. Have you thought of marketing the tool on the forums?
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:54 AM   #23
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The full story

Thanks for the thumbs up. I had another fellow ask via e-mail how the tool worked, so here's a pictoral. Here's what I made in all it's glory:

It's made out of aluminum, because I could band saw it, and because you can run aluminum past a router if you mount a 1/4" end mill in it. I used some stuff called Nikx Stikx to lube the mill, but it still dulls after a while because of the speed of the router. You can see some of the milling marks where I spun the tool.

Here's the tool mounted to a piece of aluminum tubing that represents the axle.

This is way overbuilt, but I had read so much about how tough the joint comes apart (a BMW tech told me that it was almost a press fit) that I made sure the tool would do the job. If I made it again, I would just have slotted the pusher rather than use a band clamp to hold two pieces together. The pressure needed is nowhere near this level of construction. The carriage bolts are 1/2". Seriously, 5/16" or 3/8" would be sufficient, and only two are really needed. Note that I made an extension on the pusher part, so that the tool pushed on the CVJ itself, and not the housing. It's hard to get the axle to line up square with the CVJ housing, but with the extension it doesn't matter.

I bought two other tools to make the repair simpler. A boot clamp squeezer:


And a ball joint separator:


I didn't like this particular ball joint separator. It was too bulky to fit well between the CVJ housing and the top of the ball joint nut. Hard to see, but here's a closeup without the tool.


Not much space there. Look at how precariously it is caught on the edge of the nut in the picture below. I have the nut on far enough so that the bolt is just level with the top of the nut. Not sure what's a better make. I got it to work, but there have to be better units out there.

Here's the repair:


Wheel off, I pop the swing-arm. This is the only nut that I removed from the car during the entire repair. Note that I left the nut on the top so that when it popped, it didn't fly around. Once you've popped the swing arm, you can move the outboard axle assembly around pretty easily so be careful not to pull on the brake line or the wire to the wheel speed sensor. There's also a leveler under here that senses level for the headlights. Use care.

Tool in use:


I alternated between two of the bolts, using a wrench on the flats of the carriage bolt and the nut to push the joint apart. Once the Cir-Clip popped, I could just use one of the carriage bolts to push the joint apart the rest of the way. Again, once the cir-clip popped, I was pleasantly surprised that this joint was not hard to pull apart. I probably could have used a pry-bar to speed up the process, but I wanted to take it slow and controlled, so I just used the carriage bolts to slowly pull the axle from the joint

I'll spare you pictures of the gritty details of cleaning the joint, but I disassembled it, cleaned everything thoroughly and reassembled it. Here's the joint ready for re-greasing and reassembly. I squeezed the entire tube into the center of the joint, and worked it back and forth until grease squeezed out between all the bearings. That's the new cir-clip on the drive shaft.


A little explanation is in order for the reassembly jig here. I originally made this turnbuckle tool, thinking that I could do both the dis-assembly and reassembly with this simple jig. It turned out that I could not get near enough pushing pressure to pop the cir-clip with the turnbuckle, it just folded in half. But a turnbuckle is really made to pull. Here I used it to draw the joint together. It's loosely bolted through the ball joint connection.


Note that my plan was to just put a threaded bolt hole into the aluminum axle clamp that I made, bolt the turnbuckle to it and pull with that. But I had this little jig handy and just lying there all sad from it's previous failure, so I gave it a job. You can easily draw the axle into the CVJ by turning the turnbuckle by hand for about 3/4 of the way. To start, pull the axle in up to the cir-clip, then put a very slight amount of pull on it as you push the cir-clip in with a flat screwdriver. If you can't turn the turnbuckle by hand, your cir-clip is not seated and you are binding on it. Make sure the open side of the cir-clip is pointing toward the floor. Easier to get to that way.

Draw it in. Sooner or later you will need more purchase than just your hand. I used a small wrench slid through the slot of the turnbuckle. When you are getting close, be quiet and you can hear the cir-clip snap home. It's faint. Turning more on the turnbuckle brings up resistance, letting you know that you are there.

Put the swing arm back in place. I used a jack stand, and let the car down slowly onto the swing-arm. This puts pressure on the ball joint to keep it from turning as you tighten it. Don't let the full weight of the car down on your swingarm, you might bend it.


About this time, I was 3 hours into the project, both wheels were on the car and I was done. I don't really know the rest of you reading this, but I strongly recommend popping a beer at this point, leaning back against the back door step, and basking in the limelight for a moment. Your wife will be along soon to remind you to clean the garage floor and that she's conveniently written a reminder of the next project looming up for you on her little whiteboard in the kitchen.

The new tool sits in my cabinet, if anyone wants to borrow it. I also did drawings so I could have this thing laser cut cheaply if someone wants their own. If so, there are a number of improvements that I'd make. The split collar would be one-piece with a slot to drop over the axle. The split axle clamp would have swing bolts with nuts to put it together (it was a headache lining it up under the car) and it would have a square shape rather than a fitted circular shape for where it contacts the axle, so different axle diameters could be accommodated. I spoke with a garage mechanic, and he said that built this way, this tool would work with 85-90% of the cars made.

If you would like one of these for your very own, contact me and I'll check out how much it would cost. (no one's asked yet, so I haven't checked.)

Gotta go. The under-cabinet lights in the kitchen need fixing, but that's for another post.

DIY Dave

Last edited by DIYDave; 03-03-2010 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:27 PM   #24
xixixi
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DANG nice i love people making their own tools and jigs!
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:43 PM   #25
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DANG nice i love people making their own tools and jigs!
Thanks! Sometimes, when you are sitting there bored while your wife is watching American Idol, useful thoughts roll through your mind.

Dave
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:49 PM   #26
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Dave, necessity is the mother of invention. Great jig you made there. Perhaps it is overbuilt, but you know it will not fail! I ran into the same problem with the clearance on the lower ball joint, as you I managed to work through it. Fortunately I was replacing the entire axle, so the boot were not an issue. Kudos on your invention!
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:41 PM   #27
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Dave,

Great explanation of the process and with pics . Great job too.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:47 PM   #28
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Tool available

I made up three of these. It takes forever so if someone wants one, I'd have to ask $125.00 for it.



There's probably people out there who are also handy and could make their own. If you want to know how I made the tool, let me know, I'll post a step by step.


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Old 03-15-2010, 04:11 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by DIYDave View Post
I made up three of these. It takes forever so if someone wants one, I'd have to ask $125.00 for it.



There's probably people out there who are also handy and could make their own. If you want to know how I made the tool, let me know, I'll post a step by step.


Dave
Great job Dave!
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:09 PM   #30
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This method works great. However, I do remove the nut from the axle as soon as I take the rim off. There is more stability that way. Outside of that, no special tools needed. Nice to have an impact and a 3/4 drive ratchet with 36mm socket for axle nuts. Do one axle COMPLETE at a time. Once back together and the rim back on and on the ground, then start on the other side. Piece of cake. Did both in about 3 hours time today while drinking beer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rckt64 View Post
I was having a terrible vibration from the front end of my car during acceleration. I checked the shafts and they both could be shook and rattled when moved by hand. So I bought the axle kit from Groton through ebay. Great deal. Lifetime warranty So I searched the forums for a how to change the front axles. There are a few different write ups on this. But there was more detail needed since I never done this to a BMW before. I would like to share my experience with you so that maybe it will be easier for the next guy. To start off I want to say it took me 2 days to figure out the first side (passenger). It took me 1 hour to do the second side. Big difference. I am writing this after the fact so the sizes of sockets are not exact.
Tools needed were:
1)Big Hammer and medium hammer
2)Metric alan wrench set (small to medium).
3)Metric socket set 10-19mm
4)Big flat tip screw driver
5) 36mm 12 point socket for axle nut.
6) ĹĒ Impact wrench and air compressor
Special Tools Needed.
1)2 foot ĺ or 1 inch steel bar for pounding.
2)2 foot 2x4 for pounding
3)small hydraulic jack for lifting the control arm back up.
4)small bucket 12 to 15 inches high with lid to let the control arm / hub sit on.
5) Knee Pads.

OK, Break loose the lugs on the front wheels.
Jack up the car and set it on Good sturdy jack stands.
Take wheels off. Do 1 side at a time.
Take the brake caliper of using the 13 or14mm bolts (2 of them), not the allen head bolts. The whole caliper with the brakes and the brake sensor if you got one should come off together. Keep them together it makes it very easy to put back on. Use the bucket to sit it on until you decide to hang it with a piece of wire from the spring.
Use the impact wrench and the 13 or 14mm socket to take the bolt from the middle of the strut that holds that 12 inch connecter to the front support. If you do not have a impact that bolt is hard to get off Ė you will need a wrench and allen wrench to do it.
Now is a good time to use that big screwdriver and the smaller hammer to bend the axle nut back to normal so you can get it off with the big 12 point socket. I used a breaker bar and a 4 foot pipe to get it loose. Watch you donít knock the car off of the jack stands.
Take the bolt(15 or 16mm) out of the back bottom of the strut(this holds it to the control arm) using the impact wrench. It is on there tight. Pull it all the way out. At this time the hub and lower control might fall down a little. You will need that bucket again to catch the whole thing as it drops. You might have to bounce that big hammer on it a couple of times. Be sure not to damage anything. The hub will flop toward you when it comes off. Use that bucket. Pull the hub toward you.
Now you can get that steel bar and place it in the hub on the end of the axle where you took the nut off. Use the big hammer and knock the axle back through the hub. Be sure not to hit the bearing in the hub. The axle should pop through after about 10 hits.
Push the axle toward the motor to close it up. It should move enough so you can pull the hub end up out of the hub completely. This is where I got stuck, trying to figure out how to get the axle out of the differential without knocking the clip off the axle and into the diff. I discovered if you crawl under the car and take the plastic cover off you can get that pipe up in there and place it on the back of the fat part of that axle where the bearings are and hit it with the hammer. It will come right out and the clip will still be on it. Take that clip off without bending it open. You will need it for the new shaft. The clip that comes with the new one is too big. I could not get the new shaft in with those clips. So I put the old clips on new shafts. They are smaller!!!!!!!

Input: Now when you handle the new shafts keep them pushed together while inserting them in the car. They will come apart if you jerk them outward and you donít want that. Now place the axle in the hole and slide it into the teeth of the differential gear. Be sure not to catch the boot on anything and tear it. You know you are in the gear when the wheels want to turn as you turn the shaft. To get it the rest of the way in you will need that 2x4 I mentioned earlier. Put the end of the board against the boot where it is clamped onto the shaft. Make sure you got no extra boot under the board. The board should be directly against the thick of that back section of the bearings holder. I donít know what it is called, it could be called joint guide or something. Push it tight and then give it a couple of taps with the hammer. You might have to hit it pretty good. But,,,,,try not to tear that boot!!!!!!!
Once you got that in you home free. Just lift the hub side of the shaft up and into the hub. Push the hub into the shaft. you might need to tap it in also. Now use that little jack to jack up the control arm while you shake the bottom of the strut into the hub. It might take a couple of tryís to get it in right. There is a guide pin on the back of the strut that goes down into the hub. Make sure it is down in there all the way. Put the bolt back in with the brake hose holder.

I wonít go through the rest it is just a reversal of taking it apart.
I hope this helps anyone who has to change front shafts on an XI.

By the way the shake is all gone and she rides like new again.
Thanks
Rckt64
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:19 PM   #31
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Once you have seperated the axle from the hub (pulled out the back) rather than following the process of pulling the axle stub out of the transmission with another $200 tool, I simply grabbed the axle and gave it a couple good tugs. The inner CV boot pulled off the transaxle stub and I was able to remove the outer axle from the car. Since this method separates the inner CV joint, you should definately replace both boots at the same time. Make sure you take the adapter out of the inner boot (adapts the triangular transaxle to the round boot) as you will need to reuse it.
ok first of all , this thread is a powerhouse for everything cv boots! there are so many write ups from many different people!

Anyway, about to remove the outer axle and im hoping that "a couple good tugs" will work out for me lol. Assuming it does, i shall return with yet another write up!
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:00 AM   #32
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Link to my write up! Its extremely detailed with good pics!

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...0#post13545530

Scroll down to my second post!
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #33
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OK so one of the members asked me if I could help in making their own axle press. This is a DIY forum, so happy to help:
Buy some aluminum rod. I used metalsupermarkets.com/. Ask them to cut you a 1" and a 1/2" wafer of 4" aluminum barstock, and a 1/2" wafer of 2-1/14" aluminum bar stock.

Download this PDF Drawing. Print it out making sure that you are at 100% of size. Cut out the drawings, and use some photo spray adhesive to stick them to the barstock faces. The outer edges of the drawing should match up to your wafers. You now have your template showing you where to cut. Use a punch to set your drilling centers, and away you go.

I cut these on a cheap bandsaw, using a wood and metal cutting blade, (Morse part# ZCDC06) that you can get at Menards, Home Depot, etc. Drill and tap, and sometimes countersink, and you should be good. You could use a hole saw to make quicker work of the centers if you want but I just cut them.

Note that I dropped the bolt sizes down a bit from my original. I really got some good pressure out of this thing. you could probably break the joint free with only two of the 1/4" bolts going through the press part, but there are four holes there just in case. You need a long threaded bolt, if you can't find one, use a carriage bolt and turn it using the square end, or use threaded rod with a pair of nuts jammed at the end for your ratchet wrench to turn.

Use the details above in replacing your boots, and you should be good!

Last edited by DIYDave; 12-16-2011 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:27 AM   #34
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This is much appreciated. I'll get to work on it and eventually post my results. Dam these CV boots. Having paid an indi on two occassions to do this and doing it myself once, I know this a nasty job. I'm grateful that DIYDave had the ingenuity to come up with this and make it a bit easier.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:18 PM   #35
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Dorman CV Speedi-Boot

I will keep it short and sweat my fellow CV boot fans,

Tried something not posted here or anywhere and far as I can search.

Go buy part # 03601 at Autozone. It's a Dorman speedi-Boot kit (split type with screws and nuts) add red locktight to them. The kit has everything you need except the jack, jack stands and a bunch of paper towels (strong ones).
Cost $6.99 and about 2 hrs. of my labor, start to finish.

Cut off old boot and install new, simple as that. Has instructions with it. You should have all the tools you need already and if you don't you should not be working on your car anyways then.

Do this method before spending money on all those tools and or labor of someone else.

Any questions?
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:21 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orthotist View Post
I will keep it short and sweat my fellow CV boot fans,

Tried something not posted here or anywhere and far as I can search.

Go buy part # 03601 at Autozone. It's a Dorman speedi-Boot kit (split type with screws and nuts) add red locktight to them. The kit has everything you need except the jack, jack stands and a bunch of paper towels (strong ones).
Cost $6.99 and about 2 hrs. of my labor, start to finish.

Cut off old boot and install new, simple as that. Has instructions with it. You should have all the tools you need already and if you don't you should not be working on your car anyways then.

Do this method before spending money on all those tools and or labor of someone else.

Any questions?
How long will it last?
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:46 AM   #37
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Smile Cv boot quick boot

Dont know but, its better than having it sling out all the grease from the way it was.
For $6.99 DIY how can you not try it, its torn anyways. Knowone else has tried it or posted it as an option. I will report back on how long it last as long as I own the car.
Worst case is that I am back at square one again and then I will spend the extra money to do a solid boot.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:48 AM   #38
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You know, this might be a pretty good solution for a car that is iffy, or a temporary fix until I had time. I still think that if it was something long term, I'd go for the long term fix. I'm probably a bit of a purist in that I want my vehicle to look factory underneath, and I would also have the worry of that long seam letting go.

I recently ended up replacing the whole shaft on the drivers side, as the inner joint dried out and wore until it shook. My fault, as I didn't check the inner joint for grease when I did the outer one. It wasn't leaking, so I assumed it was good.


Another fun day of figuring out how to do a proper repair without proper tools. I ended up cutting an aluminum circle, drilling holes where the lug nuts are, and putting a bolt in the middle. I used this to push the outboard shaft out of the splines.

That inner joint is hard to get at. I ended up making a sort of a push pull hammer to pop the inner shaft out of the gearbox. In essence, I used three all thread rods, about 3" long each, that were spaced as wide as the outside of the inner joint housing. Then I used a three foot piece of all thread from the center to create the slide hammer. I slid this on to the joint and tightened it down with a couple of band clamps. My thought was that the threads would bite into the sides and give some grip, and it worked well. Took longer to make the tools than it did to do the repair, but it's nice and clean with no scars, and I don't feel like I could have possibly messed anything else up.

Last edited by DIYDave; 03-14-2013 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:35 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orthotist View Post
Dont know but, its better than having it sling out all the grease from the way it was.
For $6.99 DIY how can you not try it, its torn anyways. Knowone else has tried it or posted it as an option. I will report back on how long it last as long as I own the car.
Worst case is that I am back at square one again and then I will spend the extra money to do a solid boot.
It just might be a good find for the price. Keep us informed...
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:52 AM   #40
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Will I need to pop the control arm off the hub like this to do this job? It seems like some of the diys on here don't have that listed.

I did this job once before 4 years ago, but was replacing my struts and springs at the same time, so I am having trouble remembering what I have to do for just the axle.


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