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Old 04-01-2008, 04:35 PM   #1
bradley01
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Exclamation CV Boot Replacement -- Need Help!

Has anyone done a replacement of their CV boots? I have a torn front left boot. I am considering replacing only the boots. I say considering because I am wondering whether or not to replace the whole axle. I am confident that the cv joint is in good shape. My worry is about how easy it is to get the axle off and replace the boot. Anyone who has tips/tricks or even some good 'ol fashioned know-how, please chime in and help a guy out! I have noticed that there is a lack of a complete DIY on this subject. That is kinda weird considering it seems like this topic is a slightly common occurence. With all of your help, I will attempt to post a complete DIY on the subject.

Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:33 PM   #2
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CV boot replacement requires the removal of the axle shaft. This requires disconnecting the outer control arm ball joint and tie rod from the hub, removing the hub nut, pushing the splined end of the axle out of the hub, and pulling the axle from the front differential. Then, remove the boot clamps, remove a circlip that holds the CV joint onto the axle, separate the CV joint from the axle and slide the old boot off. Clean, re-grease, install new boot, and re-assemble everything. This is a time-consuming and very messy job.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
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In the "old" days, it was usually more economical to replace the boot. We sold the boots for about $15. The mechanic would knock the spindle free from the lower ball join, push the joint out from the hub, and do the swap with the axle in the car. Not the best way to do it, but doable. The above post is the way it should be done and involves the extra step of removing the axle from the car...(I'm assuming this is for the front axle, not the rear axle?). Swapping axles assemblies is certainly easier and the more common axles are available for under $100 (you still have the labor of R&R, which should be less than the labor to replace just the boot).

Doing the job isn't that bad. Getting the axle out is a big pain and getting the joint off can be a big pain. It can be messy, but that's what paper towels are for. Unless a lot of water and dirt has made it's way into the joint, a good cleaning is all you'll need.

A quick look at RockAuto shows the boot for about $20, but no axle assemblies are listed. My guess is that the book calls for 2 hours labor (this is a WAG), which translates into $180 for labor and $40 for the parts?

As for tips and tricks...make sure to burp the boot prior to putting the clamps on. Also, do yourself a favor and buy a CV boot clamp tool. Pull the axle out of the car...it will make things easier. Have lots of paper towels on hand. Have a big hammer on hand to knock the outer joint off. Get the big socket from the spindle nut. Drain the front differential prior to pulling the axle. The Bentley manual says to pound the outer joint off with a hammer. That means that the circlip holding the joint to the axle is blind. No problems. Replace the circlip on the axle with a new one. Tap on joint until is clicks into place. The Bentley manual actually has a very good description of how to do this. The biggest deal is having the right tools and lots of patience. You might need a tool to press the joint out of the hub. You might be able to get that at autozone...seems like I tried to use a generic tool for a rear axle on my old BMW but it didn't fit...I ended up making a tool.

Good luck!

Last edited by shall36; 04-01-2008 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:29 PM   #4
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Cool. Thanks guys. shall36, you mentioned that the axle assy's can be found for under $100...where? Everywhere I have searched, I have found them for between $400-600. I have looked at realoem.com, pelicanparts.com, autohausaz.com... I even checked www.car-part.com to try and find a good used axle assy (bad idea) where else should i look? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I have already ordered the replacement boot kits from autohausaz.com. They should be at my door Thursday. I am opting to go this route for now. ixtoxi, it sounds like you have done this and have experienced its pains. Are there any special tools I will need for this job? Is there anything else I might need other than the boot kit from autohausaz.com? I have my Bentley manual ordered and it should be here tomorrow.

Thanks to all for your help!
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:30 PM   #5
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P.S. will I need reallignment after this job?
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:43 PM   #6
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I just posted a lot more detail about my recent front CV boot replacements in the DIY section. The link below should take you to the thread; hope this helps.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...91#post7667491
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:59 AM   #7
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See revshed's post above for details about CV boot replacement. You are right about the cost of the new axle. They are about $450.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:58 PM   #8
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The $100 for an axle is for most normal cars. I didn't even find them listed at the normal websites. If and when the day comes that either a joint has gone bad or the inner joint is shot, consider finding a local axle re builder, who can probably rebuild the axle for much less than $450.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:10 PM   #9
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i have done it twice so far... andi have also replaced my axles
i its about a 3 hr job for the boots alone. only need new axles if the bearings are worn
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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edit: I don't have a DIY listed for this.
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Last edited by bombguy; 04-02-2008 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:17 PM   #11
gn120760
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CV Boot Replacement

I have torn CV boots on both sides and have to replace them. I just bought both NEW CV Drive Shaft Axles for my 04 325Xi from Mac Auto Parts in New York for $109 each plus tax. Includes Lifetime Warranty. I'll be doing it within the next couple of weeks and will try to take pictures. Anybody familiar with them?
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:46 PM   #12
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You can get a rebuilt axle for about $70, or OEM for about $300, there are some links in this thread. I wouldn't trust new non-OEM axles. I bought a new DSS brand (non-OEM) axle for around $120 and it vibrated a bit brand new, and the boot tore about 5000 miles later. I put in a rebuilt axle from rockauto.com and it's been perfect ever since (about 5000 miles so far). I wouldn't waste time replacing the boots when you can replace the whole axle for $70, and this would make the job easier.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:52 AM   #13
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This is for the whole axle... But you get the idea. Most of the work is the same.

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Old 12-31-2009, 11:28 AM   #14
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replacing boots is so freaking messy, i hate doing those
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:09 PM   #15
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CV Boot Replacement

Thanks for the links and the info. I bought GSP axles. I.m gonna send them back.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:28 PM   #16
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CV Boot Replacement

I figure as long as I'm down there, I'll replace the control arms and put in new bushings so I don't have to deal with them later. Been reading it's a weak point on the E46 models. I've had the usual problems, sunroof clips, window and door lock switches, thermostat, etc..

Any recommends on controls arms or bushings? I was thinking of using urethane for the durability, but hear its a harsh ride and the suspension winds up taking a beating.

Can the XI's be lowered? Just bought 18's with toyo proxies and wanted to lower it using Bilstein springs and Koni shocks? Or should I go coilover? or just stock?

Thanks guys!! New to modding and wanted to avoid costly mistakes. This is a great forum!!
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gn120760 View Post
I figure as long as I'm down there, I'll replace the control arms and put in new bushings so I don't have to deal with them later. Been reading it's a weak point on the E46 models. I've had the usual problems, sunroof clips, window and door lock switches, thermostat, etc..

Any recommends on controls arms or bushings? I was thinking of using urethane for the durability, but hear its a harsh ride and the suspension winds up taking a beating.

Can the XI's be lowered? Just bought 18's with toyo proxies and wanted to lower it using Bilstein springs and Koni shocks? Or should I go coilover? or just stock?

Thanks guys!! New to modding and wanted to avoid costly mistakes. This is a great forum!!
Remember that our xi's have steel control arms rather than the forged aluminum that our 2wd comrades have. As such, they are not quite as problematic. Be certian they really need replacing.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:37 PM   #18
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CV Boot Replacement

Thanks GCoop for the heads up, just looked, both seem fine, very little play in the bushings. Ball joints ok too. I had assumed they were aluminum like all other E46 models. Just saved me alot of money and work!
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:28 PM   #19
gn120760
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CV Boot and axle replacement

Replaced left side axle and started right but sheared off the bolt holding the steering knuckle (carrier) to the strut tower. I had to remove the whole assembly and wound up tearing the outer ball joint with a pickle fork taking it out. Machinist friend told me to tighten these nuts a tad to break them free before removing. Hope this helps somebody else. Messy job. Helps if you have some help.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mekaneck View Post
You can get a rebuilt axle for about $70, or OEM for about $300, there are some links in this thread. I wouldn't trust new non-OEM axles. I bought a new DSS brand (non-OEM) axle for around $120 and it vibrated a bit brand new, and the boot tore about 5000 miles later. I put in a rebuilt axle from rockauto.com and it's been perfect ever since (about 5000 miles so far). I wouldn't waste time replacing the boots when you can replace the whole axle for $70, and this would make the job easier.
hey mekaneck, did you buy a1cardone reman axles? How are they doing now / mileage? i'm debating these for my replacements
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