CV Boot Maintenance on Axle drive shafts - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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CV Boot Maintenance on Axle drive shafts

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If just bad boots you can remove inner end snap ring pull inner CV and slide both boots off inner end.
and

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New boots maybe a wise choice though

outer 60556609
inner 60510352
My left side outer axle boot is foobared and needs to be replaced. In looking at cardisc, the procedure to pull the axles (or half-shafts if you prefer) seems relatively straightfoward for both sides. One advantage I believe I see here is that I do not need to drain tranny fluid to pull the left-side axle, right? On another car I have, this was needed as the LH axle inserts directly into the tranny.

Are there any hints or tips, or special tools needed to do this job? From reading some of the posts here, it seems likely I may have a fight on my hands to pull the joint attachment nut off (I have to check if I have the right size socket for this). Will a half-inch breaker bar be good enough to do this or do I need something bigger?

Also, are there cases where the axle gets bent or is this a fairly reliable part?

[I]Cheers,
Carl[/I]
[FONT="Tahoma"]1991 164 Black ATX [/FONT]
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 06:55 PM
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To change outer or inner axle boots, I find it is easier (even more so on a Base without ABS) to pull whole axle, bearing steering carriage/spindle, brake rotor and lower ball joint out of car as an assembly and don't even mess with removing axle nut.

First remove just brake caliper from caliper carriage like you would to change pads and tie up to strut spring to get out of way. Protect inner pad sensor wires by either removing pad and wires or locking pad into caliper. If car has ABS remove ABS sensor from steering spindle and tie up, too.

Disconnect outer tie rod end, loosen inner CV joint bolts enough to remove nuts from inner CV joint flange at tranny. Now remove nuts from 3 bolts for lower ball joint and then remove four bolts holding lower part of strut to steering/axle carriage and remove axle, brake rotor carriage and lower ball joint as one assembly.

Now with inner CV joint greasy end exposed remove snap ring from end of axle, remove inner CV rubber boot clamps, pop boot off inner CV, slide inner CV off axle, then remove inner boot. Now remove clamps from outer CV boot and remove it from axle. regrease outer CV, install new outer boot and clamps. Reinstall or replace inner CV boot, clamps, inner CV , snap ring and regrease. Put some grease inside boots before you slide them back over CV joints if you like.

Now you are ready reinstall axle, steering/brake rotor carriage with lower ball joint back into car. Hook everything back up and you are good to go.

This way you don't have to find a thin wall socket to fit axle nut, worry about breaking 300 ft lb of torque and re torquing nut, etc when all that was wrong was torn outer boot.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Fantastico! Tu sei un vero Mastro!

You do realize now you're going to force me to do the strut maintenance too now that I'm into it this deep, right? Will probably have the front rotors turned too. There are other things as well that probably need to be done.

Okay, school's out.

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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-26-2007, 08:33 PM
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Whoa...Before you go and remove those boots you better have a way to replace those boot clamps. This is easier said than done. I have a set of factory clamps here, but no way to crimp them on. I tried to find some clamps from some of the suppliers around here and many do not even repair axles any more. Since the advent of cheap axle rebuilds, many have given up trying to compete. I got really lucky, my old rebuilder has a machine that put on some clamps for me. Best part was that he gave me the whole job free, since he hadn't strapped axles in a long time and a good friend.
Next time I might not be so lucky to find someone with a strapping machine.

Yes, the axles are a messy affair. I rebuilt all of my CV joints. The hardest ones to get off are the outer CV joints. You might not be able to disassemble them. The inners are easier.
1. Remember which side is the outside of the CV unit. This will aid your installation. The CV joint will go on both ways but only one will allow you to install the circlip.
2. Watch the paper sealing gaskets as they will tend to tear. These gaskets go between the CV joint and the CV axle in the transmission. Remove and replace carefully. If they split you might wind up smearing grease over the engine compartment out through the tiny split.
3. Check the inner CV unit for wear. If there is any deep marks where the bearings run in the race, chances are you will hear a clicking sound upon rebuilding. This is slack that is taken up when you accel and decel by the ball bearings in the race. This wear looks like a shiny spot with some indentation in the metal. A shiny spot is normal but if it has a couple of thousandths in depth you might want to consider replacement. This is very hard metal, probably on the order of 56 Rockwell or higher. If anyone has any exact measurements I would like to hear.
4. The ball bearings must not have any wear. This will accellerate the wear in the CV unit. A good ball bearing should have a polished appearance.
5. Take a picture of the CV joint before you take anything apart. The bearings, and the cage are tricky if you haven't ever done one. When you bend the CV joint over, the ball bearings can fall out and it will then become a chinese puzzle of frustration trying to get every thing back in place.
6. The CV joint must be exceptionally clean. Any dirt, grime, etc will be like sand against your teeth to a CV joint. Use Moly grease or synthetic grease. I rebuilt my axles with synthetic grease and they are very quiet, and should give me good service. By the time most people discover the CV boot is split, alot of dirt has already worked its way in to the bearing and the grease is long gone.
7. Be aware of the alignment of the inner bearing race to the outer race. There is two ways to put them together. One is binding and the other is free movement. I know, as I couldn't figure this one out for a couple of days of what I was doing wrong. These have two different widths, and do not align the points together. Take note of this before you disassemble the CV joint of where things are aligned. It is easy to mix things up and still think it will work, when it doesn't.
8. Do not over pack the bearing. You might think you are doing the right thing by putting in alot of grease, but it isn't the thing to do. A bearing needs only about 16 oz. of grease. If the bearing is adequately packed it will last a long time. The bearing should have grease all around the bearings and cage and up to the edges of the CV joint.
9. Do not use a steel hammer on these CV joints. A brass hammer is more than enough to remove a CV race from the axle splines. There is a circlip that holds the inner race to the axle. Once this is off, the inner axle CV joint will come off with mild tapping of the brass hammer.
If you misalign the CV joint putting it back on, the CV joint can ruin the splines on the axle before you realize it. Then it will be near to impossible to get the CV joint back on the axle.
10. How a CV joint goes back on the axle isn't necessary for you to mark the axle, as any place it goes back on is ok. It isn't like a traditional driveshaft where you have to make sure the u-joints are in alignment. The alignment of the inner and outter CV races is what is critical ( see above)
11. Reassembly- use antiseize on the axle that goes through the outer splines so it is easier to remove next time.
Don't forget to put the circlip back on the axle! Be sure the axle is fully seated in the race before tightening down the axle nut.
12. Acura axle nuts make a great replacement for the factory nut. They are as strong and look as good. Some of the aftermarket axle nuts just don't look like they would hold up compared to what came with the car (thinner metal)
13. The axle nut according the info I have is torqued to 200 ft/lbs. That is a lot! I have 100+ on mine and it seems adequate.
14. Make sure the Allen bolts and nuts are very tight on the stub axles. It is easy to not get them tight as there is very little room in the area.

I have pictures but with out a server to upload them to, I have no clue how to post pictures in here. This was to be a big tech article for the Alfa Owner, but it got sidetracked.

Ok, flame away and tell me I don't know what I am talking about. I can handle the heat, I have rebuilt alot of CV joints on Hondas, Nissans, VW's etc. Nary a one has given me a problem. Everyone has their way of doing CV joints and mine is only one approach. My 164 axles are quiet and should hold up well for another 100,000 miles or til the next boot splits.

Christopher

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Last edited by velocedoc; 01-26-2007 at 08:36 PM.
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 04:17 AM
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IAP sells metal bands and installation tool if you are so inclined to go that way.

http://www.international-auto.com/in...?fa=p&pid=2596

I have that tool but used up all my bands on last Milano I had.

I have used large spot ties aka quicky handcuffs with equal success. These work equally well on steering rack boots.

Chris is correct on dirt being an issue but I have been lucky and catching problem before that became an issue. And I have not found it neccessary to remove outer CV joint from axle by taking boots off from inboard end.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 04:36 AM
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Vick's sells a universal CV boot strap kit - no special tool required. The kit comes with both a small and large strap. Worked perfectly on a GTV6 race car that I was servicing last week.

ANDREWG

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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I have used large spot ties aka quicky handcuffs with equal success. These work equally well on steering rack boots.
Yeah, I was thinking this too. I have used this method on other car.

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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Nevermind, found it.

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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 06:58 PM
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did you mean to say what I thought you said?

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Originally Posted by Alfisto Steve View Post
And I have not found it neccessary to remove outer CV joint from axle by taking boots off from inboard end.
I thought that was exactly what you said you _were_ recommending? Or is it that you recommend it but haven't yet had to do so?

I have another option for those of you who are in the throes of engine R&R: while the engine is out of the car, simply take inner CV off, slip the outer off, and replace both a' la the instructions above. It works well and you don't have to disassemble anything you didn't have to disassemble already. I really don't see just now (thinking about what I had to work through) why one can't just pull the inner CV off without disassembling anymore of the assembly than just pulling the strut out and taking the axle flange apart from the drive shaft.

I'm willing to be corrected, but I've been there and I don't see why a good right-angle set of circlip pliers wouldn't make short work of it even with the engine in place.

Michael

And, BTW, the Beck-Arnley inner CV boots have the half-round thickening on the boot edge mating to the flange that fits the groove formed there. I now have a few kits on the shelf for the inevitable, and thought I'd inform the rest of you. The B-A outer boots don't seem to have the shaping in the rubber, but the inner ones looked primo, just like the OE boot I pulled off.

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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
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I thought that was exactly what you said you _were_ recommending? Or is it that you recommend it but haven't yet had to do so?

I have another option for those of you who are in the throes of engine R&R: while the engine is out of the car, simply take inner CV off, slip the outer off, and replace both a' la the instructions above. It works well and you don't have to disassemble anything you didn't have to disassemble already. I really don't see just now (thinking about what I had to work through) why one can't just pull the inner CV off without disassembling anymore of the assembly than just pulling the strut out and taking the axle flange apart from the drive shaft.

I'm willing to be corrected, but I've been there and I don't see why a good right-angle set of circlip pliers wouldn't make short work of it even with the engine in place.

Michael

And, BTW, the Beck-Arnley inner CV boots have the half-round thickening on the boot edge mating to the flange that fits the groove formed there. I now have a few kits on the shelf for the inevitable, and thought I'd inform the rest of you. The B-A outer boots don't seem to have the shaping in the rubber, but the inner ones looked primo, just like the OE boot I pulled off.
I also recommend what Chris mentions and use a good synthetic grease.
I prefer to use a grease with MOLY in it. I use Luqi-Moly CV joint grease, made in Germany. Pretty good stuff.

J


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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 12:48 PM
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IRT Mr. T if not clear I remove inner CV after removing wire lock ring and inner end of axle, slide inner CV off, then both boots, repack if not contaminated outer CV with grease, install outer boot, inner boot and install clean inner CV with new grease and then wire lock ring. Then install boot clamps or spot ties. If you can do this with engine and tranny still in place go for it. If engine tranny out yes by all means do boot replacement/clean/regrease if needed.

I just find it much easier to do this with axle, brake hub and carrier out of car but do it whatever way works for you. I am to old and stiff to always take the "easy way out".

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 05:50 PM
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And I have not found it neccessary to remove outer CV joint from axle by taking boots off from inboard end.
Ahhhh... Now I understand. You said that taking the inner boots off from inboard has kept you from needing to disconnect the outer joint from the axle. I thought you were somehow saying you had not found it necessary to (_access_ the outer CV joint) -- or -- (remove the outer CV _boot_) from the axle by first taking the inner boot off. My mistake.
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 08:21 PM
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I followd Alfisto Steve's instructions (removing the whole carrier) and it worked for me. It is time consuming though. Mind you, I only followed the instructions after I realised that no matter how much force I put on the axle nut, it was never going to come off without destroying the outer CV joint. You have to juggle things a bit to get the carrier, strut and lower suspension arm together again, but it's better than not doing it.
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 11:07 PM
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I got some of those same type of axle boot clams from a local supplier, they are made by Doorman. I used them on the steering rack boots on my peugoet, worked like a charm. They are kind of like zip ties, only they are metal, and work quite well. Check your local auto supplier to see if they have them.

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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drubie View Post
I followd Alfisto Steve's instructions (removing the whole carrier) and it worked for me. It is time consuming though. Mind you, I only followed the instructions after I realised that no matter how much force I put on the axle nut, it was never going to come off without destroying the outer CV joint. You have to juggle things a bit to get the carrier, strut and lower suspension arm together again, but it's better than not doing it.

I think the reassembly trick somebody added to my procedure was to disconnect (removed lower nut,washer; rubber bushing) lower end of sway bar lollipop from lower suspension arm so it was easier to get lower ball joint hooked up again.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
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