I hadn't seen a procedure for CV boot replacement yet here
so I thought that I would add one. Suggestions and
corrections are appreciated.
Replacing outer front CV boots:
1. Pop out center cap and remove drive axle bolt. This is
highly torqued so remove (and install) with the wheel on
the floor. Loosen the lug bolts.
2. Jack up both sides at the front of the car. Put a
jack stand on the working side and set the tire down on
a block on the opposite side of the car. You need weight
on the tire so the block should be thick enough compared
to the height of your jack. The jack stand should be high
enough so that the suspension is hanging. Remove the
3. Pull out the ABS sensor from the wheel bearing housing.
4.Disconnect both upper control arms by removing the
pinch bolt. Sometimes a BFH may be required on this bolt.
Make sure to Never-Seez it on re-assembly.
5. After removing the bolt, gently tap out the control
arms from the bottom. Do NOT pry open the slots.
The suspension is not loaded so that nothing will spring
at you upon disassembly. Remove the steering tie rod
end. This taps out very easily. Set a block under the
brake disk to keep from hanging by the brake line.
6. You should now be able to manipulate the hub assembly
in order to pull the driveshaft out.
7. Once you get the CV joint separated from the wheel
bearing housing, stick the drive axle bolt back through
the CV joint and tighten it down keeping the joint in
line with the axle. This will pull the joint right off
the shaft. This does require a fair amount of force but
you will know it has worked when it pops.
8. Disconnect the axle (half shaft) from the drive flange
on the transaxle (transmission with a differential) by
removing the 6 bolts with a 10mm triple square bit (KD
9. Clean the CV joint thoroughly of all dirt and grease.
If you use Varsol to clean it, use Brakleen to remove the
residue; the moly grease won't wet to a Varsol residue.
Let air dry completely before re-greasing.
10. Remove the old circlip, etc. Slide the new small boot
clamp, boot (use a little grease to help it slide on the
axle), curved washer (would be cupped up in the picture
above), and plastic cone back onto the axle. The boot
should slide over the bump and down to the stop. Put the
new circlip into the groove.
11. Pack the grease inside the joint, some on the
driveshaft and some in the boot.
12. Drive the CV joint back on the driveshaft with a
rubber hammer. It actually goes on quite easily compared
to coming off. The plastic cone should not be able to move
when the CV sets down on it. Squirt any extra grease inside
13. Clamp the boot.
14. Re-install it. It's easiest if you put the driveshaft
through the hub first, and then bolt the other end to the
drive flange on the transaxle. Clean out the flange bolt
holes with Brakleen and Loctite the bolts.
15. You probably need to replace the pinch bolt. Install
the new one threading toward the front of the car (head to
the back). The boot kit should come with a new axle bolt
Pinch bolt 30 ft lbs
Half shaft to transaxle 30 ft lbs
Axle bolt 140 ft lbs + 1/2 turn
Is it necessary to take apart the control arm assembly? On my 1990 V8s and 1991 200s, I've been able to extract the axles by undoing the flange bolts and turning the wheels full crank to opposite lock from whichever wheel I'm working on. Maybe on later cars there isn't sufficient room to allow this?
Also a couple procedure notes:
Clean the flange bolt head cavities thoroughly before inserting the triple square driver tool. I usually soak 'em with WD40, stir up the compacted dirt and old lubricants in the cavities and blow out with a long-stem airgun. Makes a big mess, but it makes sure the tool will go in all the way and not strip the heads. I use the type of triple square tool that comes on a 1/2" drive socket and enough extensions I can be outside the wheel bearing housing with my 24-inch ratchet or breaker bar and apply leverage to hold the tool in the head.
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Sounds familiar to what Kneale Brownson said. Remove axle bolt from outer hub, the inner boot cast aluminum shield, triple square bolts on the inner flange. Turn steering to full lock exposing the rear side of the axle, then swing inner axle end into the obvious cavity. There *could* be enough room to pull the outer joint from the hub and then the axle is out...on a non-turbo C5 chassis that is...
No control arms are disconnected.
In step 8: "Disconnect the axle (half shaft) from the drive flange on the transaxle by removing the 6 bolts with a 10mm triple square bit." I purchased a 20" socket extension from Sears for about $15. With a 3 1/2" extension added it was long enough to be beyond the brake disc. I was able to stand and remove the transaxle bolts without fussing under the car. I blew out the inside of the triple square bolts with air to remove dirt and oil to avoid stripping.
I just did mine on the driver's side along with a bearing replacement on a facelift A8 with the aluminum upright. I turned the steering wheel hard right, removed the bolt on the outside of the shaft and then popped the rear lower control arm (not the one with the strut attached to it) using a special tool from Harbor Freight. I then pushed the shaft in using a drift pin attachment on an impact gun (I swapped the complete shaft - $75 from Autozone). If I were going to keep this shaft and only replace the boot, I would have put the axle bolt back in hand tight, backed it off three turns and then pushed on it to break the bond between the shaft and the hub/bearing assembly.
I threatened the car with the four foot pry bar in case I needed a little more clearance, but it was unnecessary. It seems that once I cinch up a pair of Mechanix gloves, I'm possessed with superhuman strength and I GI Joe Kung-fu gripped that ***** out of that ho.
+2 on the L-o-n-g extension on the triple square to extract the six inner bolts without getting your tie dirty.
"Oh, bother", said Pooh as he chambered another round.