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CV Boot Replacement
Author : Matt Blehm
Published : 09/13/2002
Last Modified : 09/13/2002
1. remove center hub from spindle and break that bigass nut loose. don't take it off, just break it loose. it's easiest when the car is on the ground, as the wheels won't turn. I had to put a 3ft cheater bar on it and I STILL had to jump on it to break mine loose. (the jackass at the shop who did my body work put it together with an impact wrench)

2. block rear wheels,jack up car, and put on jack stands as to where you have full access to the corner you're working on.

2 1/2. DRAIN YOUR TRANNY FLUID! if you don't, you'll regret it in about an hour. (fairly self explanatory)

4. remove wheel, caliper and rotor. you can leave the caliper hanging, but be sure not to kink or stress your brake cable much. it'd suck if you messed it up and didn't find out until you were back on the road (with no brakes!)

4. remove lower ball joint. there's 3 17mm bolts on the very bottom of the control arm. get those 3 and the spindle will come loose from the control arm.

5. remove the two bolts between the spindle and bottom of the strut. now remove the center nut you broke loose earlier.

6. the whole spindle assembly should now be only attached to your tie rod end. pull it free and rotate out of the way. the outer end of the axle should be dangling in mid-air. Go inside and drink a beer or five, because now you're ready for the fun part. :)

7. There's a "retainer ring" inside the tranny that holds the axle in the tranny. with some effort, you can pop the axle out of the car. I was a dumbass and just jerked the whole thing out. that's not smart, as you can damage the retainer ring (mentioned in another post) that holds the whole CV joint together. The smart thing to do would be to use some sort of pry bar and pry the axle out of the tranny. Note: if you didn't drain your tranny fluid, this is where you run all over the garage looking for as many rags and buckets as you can find because you just dumped 2 qts of slop on the floor. Again, don't ask how I know this.

8. drink another couple of beers, because this is the last time for an hour that you will be clean enough to go inside to raid the fridge.

9. Now that you have the axle out, it's time to tear the entire axle apart. there are large retainer rings just inside the lip of the CV joint housing (as mentioned before- it's probably bent to hell by now).

10. follow instructions that came with your CV boot on replacing the boots. Actually, my instructions showed you pictures of all the above and didn't say $hit about how to change the boot! but you tear apart the whole CV joint- be sure to keep all clips, bearings, retainer rings, etc seperate from inner and outer joints. the bearings will fall out and roll away, so make sure you're paying attention to where they all fall and roll. there's 6 ball bearings on each end, about 1/2" round. make sure the dog is inside too, cause they tend to chase and eat things like this. NOT a good idea.

take everything apart and clean the whole thing with some type of parts cleaner (this is a BIG no-no, but I just used a paint brush and some old kerosene we had in the garage.) once clean, inspect all the aprts for wear and damage and replace as necessary.

11. blah blah. now it's time to put everything back together. lube up the parts very well before putting it all back together. (My new boots came with a package of grease, but yours may not have). stuff the boot almost full of grease, then work some into the bearings after you get it all assembled. blah blah blah. once you have the boots back on and everything is assembled, work the bearings and axle around to make sure the grease actually gets into the joints rather than just sticking to the inside of the new CV boot.

12. once you have the axle completely rebuilt and excess grease cleaned off (or smeared around. by now, you've got more grease on you than the floor of a $hitty mechanic), head back to your Max--that's probably still dripping tranny fluid on the floor because you didn't drain it like the instructions told you to.

13. If you were smart, you also bought new axle seals for the tranny, because it's a good idea to replace this $4 part now, instead of having to pull the axle in 3 months to replace it when it blows out and leaks gallons of red Maxima blood on the driveway. again, been there, done that. buy the part and save you some misery.

14. now that the new seal is in and lubed with a good wiping with tranny fluid, grab the rebuilt axle and aim the inner end into the hole.. shove that puppy in there, and put it all back together following reverse order from the pages of stuff I typed above.

15. once you have everything put back together and the max is back on 4 wheels, remember to fill your tranny fluid again. about 4 qts is necessary for an auto. I dunno about a 5 spd. add 2 or 3 qts, then have a clean (yeah right!) helper get in and start the car.. check and add tranny fluid as needed until full.

16. that's about it. go inside, take a shower, drink another few beers and call it a day. you're probably worn out by now and your hands are smashed and cut and just generally in a pissy mood.

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