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Old 08-16-2005, 01:55 PM   #1
DDB
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Default Another n00b question re: CV Boots

My dealer is telling me that 3 of my 4 CV boots are torn and need replacing. Any tips for this replacement, or is it pretty self-explanatory? I've ordered the parts and they should be here in a few days.

Thanks,
DDB
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:52 PM   #2
fastenova
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Are you replacing your axles, or just the boots? I just did another of mine last weekend. Short list for the front, rear is similar:

Remove wheel.
Remove caliper from bracket.
Remove caliper bracket and rotor.
Remove roll pin from driveaxle next to transmission.
Unstake and remove axle nut.
Mark upper strut-to-knuckle bolt (affects alignment, so get it right on)
Remove both strut-to-knuckle bolts.
Pull stub shaft from knuckle (requires bending stub axle at weird angles).
Remove driveaxle from transmission.

Your axle is out. Now you can use snapring pliers and a screwdriver to take the CV Joint apart, keeping track of what goes where. Clean it out well and use lots of grease when you put it back together. Installation is the opposite of removal, but make sure you get the top camber bolt back in at the right orientation. Otherwise you'll need an alignment (which many people get done anyway, especially if you're going to do three corners).

I'd suggest getting new rollpins, just to be thorough. I have taken axles out and reused the rollpins them without issue.

Good luck.

-Aaron
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:06 PM   #3
DDB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastenova
Are you replacing your axles, or just the boots? I just did another of mine last weekend. Short list for the front, rear is similar:

Remove wheel.
Remove caliper from bracket.
Remove caliper bracket and rotor.
Remove roll pin from driveaxle next to transmission.
Unstake and remove axle nut.
Mark upper strut-to-knuckle bolt (affects alignment, so get it right on)
Remove both strut-to-knuckle bolts.
Pull stub shaft from knuckle (requires bending stub axle at weird angles).
Remove driveaxle from transmission.

Your axle is out. Now you can use snapring pliers and a screwdriver to take the CV Joint apart, keeping track of what goes where. Clean it out well and use lots of grease when you put it back together. Installation is the opposite of removal, but make sure you get the top camber bolt back in at the right orientation. Otherwise you'll need an alignment (which many people get done anyway, especially if you're going to do three corners).

I'd suggest getting new rollpins, just to be thorough. I have taken axles out and reused the rollpins them without issue.

Good luck.

-Aaron
Wow, thanks for the detailed response! It sounds like no special tools are required (other than snapring pliers, which I have), which is good news to me. I'll pick up new rollpins from my dealer prior to install. Also need to get some grease.

Also good to hear that there is some overlap with rotor replacement, which I'll also be doing.

- DDB
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:15 PM   #4
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If you not thinking about replacing the entire axel I would rethink it. You can get the axel with both boots for under 100 bucks I would think. Then you just replace the entire assemblely with a new one and let the remanufacture mess with cleaning and repacking the old joint. You will thank you self about half way though your first side.
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:25 PM   #5
DDB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhall
If you not thinking about replacing the entire axel I would rethink it.
I considered going this route, but it's much more expensive. I'm getting all four CV boots for around $60. The two axles would have been around $100 each, so the savings is significant.

Still, I'm sure you're right that I'll think differently while I'm in the middle of the job!

As an aside, I just ordered the Haynes manual for this car. I'm impressed that after two full years of ownership (bought with 120K miles, now has 155K miles), I've not needed to do any maintenance/repair other than oil changes and new tires.

- DDB
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:35 PM   #6
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Do what your wallet permits but if you can pony up the extra 120 bucks it is worth it. The job of pulling the axle is hard enough on your back then you have to clean out all of the grease and dirt then repack them and get the boot back on. If you dont get all of the dirt out then your just going to trash the joint. Also I know the full axle has the boots attached with a machine pressed strap which you will not get with just replaceing the boot and the joint is new or at lest remanufactured.

Good luck either way.
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:38 PM   #7
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A lot of what fastenova said I agree with but I dont touch the strut to knuckle bolts or remove the calipers or caliper bracket or rotors. Removing the front strut to knuckle bolts affects alignment and removing the caliper parts and rotors isnt necessary for any reason I am aware of.

Here's my list:

-Pull center cap on wheels, unstake and BREAK but dont remove axle nut.
-Jack up that side and rest on stand.
-Remove wheel.
-Remove castellated nut on control arm to knuckle balljoint(IMO do not, under any circumstances, attempt to open the knuckle pinch joint around the top portion of the balljoint. These are almost always seized and are not worth the time/trouble. I have both rounded off and snapped the pinch joint bolts. Very poor design IMO.)
-Use crowbar or fork plus hammering to break the compression joint on the balljoint connecting control arm to knuckle(right above where you just removed the castellated nut.)
-Tap out the roll pin on the tranny side of the halfshaft with a punch(examine the replacement axle for its location if you cant find it.)
-Remove axle nut and extract cv halfshaft.
-Reverse.

I can do it in about an hour and half including jacking etc. Too much practice.

ss
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:45 PM   #8
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Interestingly, I am trying picture in my mind how your approach works fastenova. Does the ball joint allow enough slack/pivot of the knuckle assembly to slide the axle off the tranny stub-out? Do you drop the knuckle assembly way down or something?

I gotta go look and see.

ss
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:34 PM   #9
fastenova
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With the strut bolts off, the knuckle pivots forward and out on the control arm and tie rod end just enough to pop the stub outta the hub/bearings. Once it's out of the knuckle it's easy enough to just pull off of the tranny stub. I usually use a punch and hammer to get the splined axle stub out of the hub. However, there is no way to pull the axle off the tranny stub without removing it from the hub first.

Takes me about an hour to remove and reinstall. Add to that another 20-30 for taking apart CV, cleaning, regreasing, and clamping new boots on, and it's not too bad of a job. I use a tool I got from the auto parts store to get the CV boot band tight, then use a center punch to notch it in place. Has worked perfectly for me on both of my inner CV boots I've replaced (on opposite sides of the car). I have been wondering if there's any harm in just using a screw-type hose clamp, but I haven't been bold enough to try it. I am not positive if there's enough clearance to make sure the boot doesn't rub up against the screw. It looks like it, but...

In the past, I've had a REAL tough time getting the ball joint stud out of the control arm. When I had to remove my knuckle a year or two ago, I ended up screwing up the ball joint boot because of the amount of force I had to use to get that stud out. I still haven't replaced the ball joint, I just lube it up every time I tear that part of the car apart

I am also not as concerned about affecting my alignment because I'm going to put on new springs in less than a month so I'll need one then anyway. However, I haven't had an alignment done in a couple of years and no crazy tire wear. I'm just really careful about getting that bolt in the right place. I usually make a drawing of the notches and mark where they match up.

-Aaron

Last edited by fastenova; 08-16-2005 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Accuracy
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:31 PM   #10
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Cool. So I guess it gets enough angle to slide it out of the hub. On my approach its easy to pull the axle off the tranny stub because the knuckle strut assembly pulls outward once detached from the control arm. The stub length at the tranny is shorter than the portion that extends through the hub so for me its easier to take the tranny side off first.

In either event I think both methods would work.

Just a tip on breaking the ball joint loose. Apply moderate pressure with a fork or crowbar and tap the control arm with a hammer. The combo of some force plus the tap gets it every time. Pressure alone takes a ton of force.

Another tip on the sticking splines through the hub(where you hit it with a punch,) coat the splines with some ant-sieze before sliding it back into the hub. Next time it comes out like a breeze. Same for the compression portion of the ball joint stud above.

ss
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:37 PM   #11
fastenova
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subysouth
In either event I think both methods would work.
Apples n' oranges: both tasty!
Quote:
Originally Posted by subysouth
Just a tip on breaking the ball joint loose. Apply moderate pressure with a fork or crowbar and tap the control arm with a hammer. The combo of some force plus the tap gets it every time. Pressure alone takes a ton of force.

Another tip on the sticking splines through the hub(where you hit it with a punch,) coat the splines with some ant-sieze before sliding it back into the hub. Next time it comes out like a breeze.
Good suggestions. I think I tried force plus tapping when I was trying to get mine off. It was REALLY stuck. Heat might have done it too, but I didn't have access to a torch. I eventually got it out, I actually used a jack to push up on the stud against the natural resistance of the control arm, along with a pickle fork. Messed up the stud a little, but I just had to clean up the threads.

-A
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:05 AM   #12
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FYI, heres a great place for rebuilt CV axles: http://www.cvaxles.com/retail.htm 50-55 bucks. I've used them before and they offer a great product.

fibuz
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Old 08-17-2005, 12:34 PM   #13
DDB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fibuz
FYI, heres a great place for rebuilt CV axles: http://www.cvaxles.com/retail.htm 50-55 bucks. I've used them before and they offer a great product.

fibuz
Thanks for the link, fibuz. I think I'm going to end up returning the CV boots and just getting the complete axles, especially with prices like that!

- DDB
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Old 08-17-2005, 12:41 PM   #14
Idahoser
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Ive done lots of them and never undid a strut yet, just turn the steering wheel to the opposite side and flop it out once you have the axle nut off. If you beat it alot, just R and R the whole thing.
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahoser
Ive done lots of them and never undid a strut yet, just turn the steering wheel to the opposite side and flop it out once you have the axle nut off. If you beat it alot, just R and R the whole thing.
Theres not enough angle on the BD/BG Legacys unless I am unaware of what flopping it is.

ss
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Old 08-17-2005, 04:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahoser
Ive done lots of them and never undid a strut yet, just turn the steering wheel to the opposite side and flop it out once you have the axle nut off. If you beat it alot, just R and R the whole thing.
Yeah, I'm with ss - done this far too many times, and you have to detach _something_ from the knuckle to get it out. Please give us more detail on your method, I'd love to save myself the work.

And it shouldn't matter which way you turn the steering wheel. The axle stub goes through the knuckle on the same plane that the pivots are on vertically.
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Old 08-17-2005, 04:47 PM   #17
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Undo the nut on the ball joint underneath the strut, pop that out downwards, and that's all you need. The axle will slide have enough room to be slid out.
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:30 PM   #18
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Sorry guys- should have said undo ball joint too. Then with the tie rod fully extended outward on that particular side it comes out.
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Old 08-17-2005, 08:01 PM   #19
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Gotcha.

ss
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Old 08-17-2005, 08:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDB
It sounds like no special tools are required (other than snapring pliers, which I have)
While they're not special per se, you'll also need a 32mm socket for the axle nut, and a roll pin punch. (a regular punch works ok but a roll pin version is much better)

These items are not typically found in the average toolbox.
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Old 08-18-2005, 11:05 AM   #21
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You can rent a 32mm socket from Autozone since this is the only time you will need a socket that big.
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Old 08-18-2005, 03:36 PM   #22
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You can also buy an impact-grade socket from Napa for like $17 or something. Kinda spendy, but it's nice to have around. Not as good as Craftsman or Snap-on, but also only $17. Also works great for installing largish seals.
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Old 08-25-2005, 11:46 PM   #23
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I've read this entire thread advising how to remove the f/axles. Need more help with removing stupid pin. I got it half way out but now things are tight. No room to manuever. How are you guys getting that pin out with no problem? How high must I jack my car up to get a good swing with the hammer? The car in question is a 95' Impreza L awd w/2.2L and auto. Somebody please pass on a little of their experiance. Thanks
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Old 08-26-2005, 12:43 AM   #24
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As far as I know its not tapered, might have burred of mushroomed soething in the process of removal I guess. Penetrating oil or possibly some heat would help removal.
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:25 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willmoodom
I've read this entire thread advising how to remove the f/axles. Need more help with removing stupid pin. I got it half way out but now things are tight. No room to manuever. How are you guys getting that pin out with no problem? How high must I jack my car up to get a good swing with the hammer? The car in question is a 95' Impreza L awd w/2.2L and auto. Somebody please pass on a little of their experiance. Thanks
I just jack it up with the hydraulic jack, one side at a time. It does help to rotate the shaft so you can get the best wack at the pin opening possible. Usually if it ever gives trouble its getting it to start moving. If it has come halfway out I see absolutely no reason it wont go the rest of the way with you tapping the punch. You do have a long pin punch correct?

ss
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