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Guest Message by DevFuse

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CV Joint Boots

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25 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 05 June 2001 - 09:36 PM

Well I took a gander today, and the passenger side boot has a small tear starting, on the boot nearest to the transmission. The driver's side has a small to almost complete tear in it.

So they're goin to need to get replaced soon, to keep the dirt and crap out of them. Here's my dilemma. I am having surgery on my hand this thursday. So that will put an ixney on most mechanicing for a while. My uncle has offered to help me, however I've personally never changed CV boots myself. I'm sure I could do it, but one I don't have the cool tools to help the job go smoothly, and from what I've heard and read, you got to take the main bolt off the hub, pop the tie rod down and basically disassemble the whole front end to change the boots. Is this correct, or is it done differently?

Other option, I know they have those boots that are in half, and you install them and then snap the connectors or something like that. Anyone use them or have any experience with them? Are they crap, or will they do the job. At this point, I don't really care if I have to do the boots the right way in another 50k + miles because the snappo jobs didn't last. By that time I'll either have another car, or have more time to work on it.

Opinions? The two main things I need to work with are time, and the fact I'll not be able to do alot of the work myself, so the need to keep things relatively simple.

The sooner I know what I'm goin to do the better. Just for kicks and giggles, anyone know how much the subie dealer would charge to do this, I'm sure it's a freakin helluv alot of money


#2 Guest_ShawnW_*

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Posted 05 June 2001 - 10:19 PM

I feel your pain and I hate AXLES!

Dont drive the car much more if you want to reboot the axles. Getting any water in the boot will make the grease worthless and the axle junk.

I havent done axles on my Legacy yet but I have done them on the 80's models. You mentioned before that you have done struts so I am to base your front end skills from this.

Comment. The dealership might be a very good idea for this repair, if you have a good dealer. A good dealer tech will know this job better than almost all techs out there and usually the dealer techs like working on the early 90's legacy models.

While you dont need a terrible amount of fancy tools you do need some tools that arent in a typical tool kit.
The axle nut will require a punch and a large enough socket likely a 30,32 or 36mm but I cant remember which one it is.
Typically you drive the pin out of the inner joint then find a front end component that can get you enough freedom of movement to slide the bearing assembly and whatever is connected to it away from the trans enough to pull it off of the stub.
Then you can reboot the axles. You need a tool for this and I recommend dealer boots and boot clamps. The dealer sells a kit for doing the axles that includes a grease packet so you get the right amount of grease into the joint and boot area.

I wouldnt bother with the snap ring half boots. This will be debated.

Im also glad somebody is takin a gander under their car at the axles! Almost every car I have bought used has needed an axle or 2.


If you want you can delay this repair by doing nothing. If you suspect your axle grease has been contaminated the axle is junk anyway but driving on it for a while isnt likely to cause you any problems for quite a few miles. Then you could let the hand heal up and save up for new/reman axles and do it later.

#3 Guest_MailmanX_*

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Posted 05 June 2001 - 10:36 PM

I like a couple of the things ShawnW said:

1. Avoid the half boots.
2. If you want to replace the axles rather than just replace the boots, then there is no need to hurry into it as long as the axles aren't "clicking" yet in tight turns. Personally, I think if you're going to all the trouble to replace the boots (which requires removing the axles), you may as well replace the axles anyway.

In answer to your "dealer cost" question, Carter Subaru here in Seattle wants approx $790 parts and labor for the two front half shafts (and that's for remanufactured axles). It's obscene. Too bad you aren't in this area 'cuz SMART Subaru (not a dealer) could do it for you for several hundred less using genuine Subaru parts. Maybe you could find a good Subaru specialist in your area who isn't a dealer.

Some of the Subaru purists may disagree with me on this, but I also believe you can get a good job done by a reputable repair shop using aftermarket axles. If they are good axles and the job is done right (with a warranty), there's nothing wrong with shopping around.

#4 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 05 June 2001 - 11:30 PM

Well Shawn, I've actually been tryin to keep an eye on them to see. Up until today they had been fine. The one most likely opened up within the last week or so. I put a good 1000 miles on the car. Drove to and from school a couple times, that's 150 mi trip one way, and up to Toronto, about 320 something miles one way. I do not know when it ripped, or if water got in, etc. It did rain in toronto, if it ripped on my way up, or before I got out of toronto, there is a chance water got in it. I don't think I drove it in the rain any other time. I will call the dealer and see what their price is to reboot. Do you think it's worth to reboot, after what I just said about my trips and such? I've gotten 147k on the boot and joints. How much are reman CV joints? I really wouldn't be opposed to doin the boot tie thingy. Even if it doesn't last too long. I just do not have the cash right now to do an entire cv joint replacement, and I'd sooner stick el' cheapo boot on, and not have the cv joint go to crap as quickly.

Well I'm open to other suggestions or comments. I've gotta do some calling tomorrow, and maybe some runnin around. Of course it has to happen just now, when my finger is gettin operated on....;) damn luck...hehe

#5 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 05 June 2001 - 11:36 PM

Ok I know if I were goin to do it right I wouldn't use these things, but is there really anything wrong with them? Or is it more a personal preference. The only reason I'm leanin towards them, is because it will save moucho denaro, as well as buy me more time then if I were to just let the boot go to crap.

#6 Guest_subaru3_*

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 02:59 AM

Just worth mentioning...I drove 10400 miles with a completely destroyed INNER right boot on a 95 Impreza. I just decided to see how long I could go!!! I finally took it off and had it done at the shop, but the CV was not giving me any problems! The shop said it was a good thing I got it too them quickly or I would have ruined the joint. Cost to clean and reboot both ends...$39.00. I didn't dare tell them how long I let it go!


#7 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 06:03 AM

Axles-- argh...

I had the dealer do it on a '90 loyale-- cost about $300 per axle, but they replaced the entire assembly.

When the other side started to go I took a different approach. The joints were still good b/c the boot tear *just* started, so I went to an independent mechanic who charged $60 for boot replacement. I was totally impressed-- real boots (not split halves) sealed on nice and tight. If you can fix them/get them fixed before the joints die, it can save you some $$.

BTW if you and your uncle do decide to actually pull the axles and do a full replacement, be sure you keep track of which balls orient to which joint on the axle. They don't like to be interchanged.

Personally, if all else fails, I would use the split boots over just driving it as is, if nothing but a temporary patch to keep the dirt out. You've been very good to catch the problem before it destroys the CV joints.

(Too bad subaru didn't use VW's design, where the axles are mounted by 8 allen bolts per side-- made for nice easy axle work...)


#8 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 07:55 AM

Well I found out that they don't make the half boots for the inner CV boot, or at least non that I could find. The outers are still ok, at least that I can see. I'm not sure what to do now, I don't feel like rippin the whole axle off. To replace the boots at the dealer, they want $240 plus tax, that includes parts and labor. That is money I just do not have right now. Anyone have any suggestions? Duct tape...haha :lol:

#9 Guest_PaganQWA_*

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 07:58 AM

Are the half boot snap ons of the same quality rubber as new full CV boots? Would melting the seam together make them worth while?

I paied 500 dollars so Tires Plus could do my inner CV joint boot. We had to leave for Iowa that afternoon, so we droped it off at 7:00am. They quoted $130 for doing the boot. Well the got it all apart and said my bearings are shot... +$400 oh by the way we tend to brake the CV joints when doing this job so might as well get a new one... +$80

Personaly it sounds like changing an axle is a bitch of a job... so if the snap ons could be improved, I'm all for it.... Who knows when the other side will go, or I'll tear one off my '88 GL offroading :(

#10 Guest_whippet_*

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 12:25 PM

Josh, look on the 80's board for the post after market cv's vs factory cv's. The post is on about the 3 page now. Axles are not that difficult to change. You may just want to replace the axles at this time you do have a few miles on your car. With your new job and everything it probably won't be to long and you'll be driving a WRX anyway.


#11 Guest_submannz_*

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 04:30 PM

Those half cv boots come in different qualities if you buy the more expensive ones they are great. Last a long time and don't spit on the joins.

Other wise as Shawn said.

#12 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 05:53 PM

I'm just goin to have the boots replaced with subie ones. I trust the dealer around here, they have always done good work, and I don't feel like spending an extra 500 bucks later to replace the whole axles.

Whippet: You're probably right, but I'll just do the boots now, and wait for the turbo motor in the legacy GT :) hehe

Edit: Thanks for that link for that site about the CV Joints

#13 Guest_FJZ_*

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Posted 07 June 2001 - 04:55 PM

Factory made dealer supplied "boot kits" retail for about $25.00.
Anything else is a waste of time and $$$. Labor is another story-
the axles on an early Legacy are very easy to change - I can do it in
about 10 minutes, vehicle on the rack of course. Recently, brand new,
aftermarket axles have become available, which I sell for $155.00.
Dealer ones run about $300.00. Anyone with a need, please reply.

#14 Guest_mts3_*

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Posted 07 June 2001 - 07:41 PM

I recently was unfortunate to replace one of the axles on my 95 MX-6 LS at 118K, the second time. It took a long time the first time because I was learning. The part was $69 (aftermarket remanufactured) at AutoZone. I didn't have much of a choice because I discovered it on a Saturday and had to take the car on a long trip on the Monday.

If you have a solid day to do it, it's not too difficult. I just had to round up the tools (a punch, large socket, breaker bar). I ended up removing the top part of the swivel assembly instead of the ball joint.

The first time I had them done on my MX-6, it was $150/side.

Oddly enough the ones on our 95 Impreza have lasted 131K miles and still look okay.


#15 Guest_BadDogg2001_*

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Posted 10 June 2001 - 02:32 PM

I just replaced both front axles on Ruby (that's what my kids call my 90 Legacy) I did the whole thing by myself with basic tools and a very long prybar. this is a fairly straight forward procedure and I used the Haines manual as my guide. It took me the better part of all day, but (and I know I won't get too much of an arguement from my wife) I'm hardly a genius. Total cost was $155.00 per side after exchange. Also a little tip, the pin on the passenger side must be reinstalled from above...you'll have to disconnect some air ducting but way easier than from below. Hopes this helps.

#16 Guest_Gus_*

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 06:09 AM

I have had a torn outer boot on my '92 Legacy for years now and I have just been awaiting the clicking sound since I assumed that replacing the CV boot required some sort of dismantling of the CV joint, thus many hours of hard labor. If this job can be done 'in ten minutes', I would love to know how. For future reference, unfortunately, as it is too late now for my axle with the torn boot after my little mud excursion a couple of weeks ago. That toasted the CV joint in short order. Now the CV sounds like it could blow apart any minute. I have never heard one sound quite this bad. I think it's still safe to drive though... right? I drove on a bad CV on my '85 RX for quite a while. That half shaft wasn't -too- difficult to replace, but it wasn't fun either. If I remember right, I think I can get a rebuilt half shaft for the Legacy for about $100 (plus core), so the price isn't too bad. Obviously, I would have preferred to replace just the boot if I would have known that it was a ten-minute job. I asked Captain Firestone about replacing the boots while I was standing around waiting for my new tires and he quoted me something like $200 per axle. Could someone provide the details of this procedure? I just don't see how the boots can be replaced short of cutting the axle in half :)


#17 Guest_whippet_*

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 07:47 AM

Gus if you go to the site about cv joints in post above they sell them for $55 plus core.

#18 Guest_Gus_*

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 08:50 AM

Thanks for the tip! $55 is a killer deal. The shipping has to cost a lot though... especially considering that you have to ship back a core.

#19 Guest_Greg Donovan_*

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 11:05 AM

i drove my fwd 90 legacy w/two torn inner boots for about a year w/no noise. the boots were torn when i bought it so ifigured i woud just buy new axles when they started to get noisy. well they were fine untill i and my brother took about 20 45 second rally croos runs this weekend now they sound like they are going to explode. oh well. in the chilton maunual it says i need a tool to press the axle out of the hub. i that tool actually necessary?
thanks, greg.

#20 Guest_Gus_*

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 12:29 PM

I had to use an air chisel to get the axle out of the hub on my '85 RX and that resulted in a mushroomed end and a return of only half of my core charge. I'm sure there's a better way :)

#21 barksmearer


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Posted 06 November 2003 - 09:56 PM

Here's what i did (but on my 86 GL)

I was pretty sure that the outer cv joint was ok
(passenger side, like yours) so i got the $60 rebuilt
axel and pulled the inside joint and boot off of it (had to
cut the boot bands *carefully*.) Did the minimum to get
the inner end of the axel free and pulled off the bad
joint, and slipped on the joint and boot from the rebuilt.

just be clean and reuse all the grease. Buy a couple of
aftermarket boot clamps or they say you can use hose
clamps if you can find them narrow enough.

Anyway, hold onto your core a while if you're not sure
of the condition of your outer joint. But at $60, it's not
to bad if you have to do it again soon.


#22 Nug


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Posted 07 November 2003 - 04:11 PM

forumlurker cough cough cough.

#23 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 06:19 PM

Folks seem to have lost their locations but I think I recall legacy777 is in Houston? Up here in Ft.Worth we have a shop called DAPE (Discount Auto Parts Exchange or the APE) and, though I have done 3-4 cv joints in a drivvewat now I take 'em to DAPE and they replace the entire axle with rebuilt inner and outer joints for abot $150 bucks with a lifetime warranty. I think they own a bunch of wrecking yards and have most parts on the shelf. If not they rebuild yours. maybe they have some shops elsewhere in Texas or the US?

#24 Setright


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Posted 07 November 2003 - 06:47 PM

came up with the rather smart allen-bolted axle.

I am helping a friend restore a 1972 Brabham Formula 3 car, and it has this type of axle. Seriously considering if I could install them on my Sube :D

#25 Legacy777



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Posted 08 November 2003 - 07:50 PM

I actually just ordered a set of axles from cvaxles.com Should've done this in the first place rather then repack the bearing & replace boot. Cost was $55 per axle & $50 core charge. Not bad in my mind, and they also have a lifetime warranty on them.

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