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HELP: Rear axle boot replacement


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8 replies to this topic

#1 morgantruce

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 08:15 PM

I have a freshly torn outer boot on the rear axle of my '88GL 4X4 wagon. The car has zero miles since the boot was torn -- so there is no contamination in there.

I understand that I need to remove the inner boot and cage in order to slide on the new outboard boot.

My question is: can I do this with the axle assembly still in the car? I THINK / HOPE so, but wanted to check.

Alternatively, has anyone had any luck at all with the much-easier-to-deal-with "split boots" at this location --- or are they just not worth the modest effort?


----

I have swapped Subaru axles in the past, but it's just not one of my favorite things... and my other car is sending me clicking messages that say, "Please replace my front CV assembly soon..."

#2 grossgary

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 09:41 PM

split boots work fine for short periods of time. you'll likely want to try a real boot. though in my oppinion it's a messy pain. i'd rather install a new or used axle than replace boots.

not sure what car you're talking about but the rear axle should pull out if you knock the pins out, very easy to do. pull the axle out and then replace the boot.

on a side note, unless you drive through some really nasty gunk or sand you don't really have any need to replace that boot. i've never replaced the rear boots when they fail and i've never had a problem with them, i've never even heard my rear joints make any noise. not much articulation back there like the front for steering. i drive off road all the time through mud and corn fields and have had my XT6 burried to the point where mud pours in the doors when i open it and put 50,000 + miles on rear CV's without ever missing a beat or thinking about it. i mention this because before i knew anything about axles i thought broken boots were a very bad and scarry thing thing just because i didn't know anything about it, now i know better.

#3 torxxx

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:41 AM

yup he's right about just puttin in another axle.. its worth the 50 bucks for a reman'd axle. lifetime warranty on the axle, year on the boot.

For now, drive it til it snaps. its not going to hurt anything

axle grease is nasty.... its 10x easier to just pop the axle off and a new one on than cleaning up all the old grease to take the axle apart and then putting the boot on and regreasing it is a PITA also.

#4 morgantruce

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:19 AM

Thanks for the opinions guys, but my question was: Can the rear outer boot be changed with the axle still in the car?

...or does at least the inner end need to be be pulled out of the differential?

#5 wagonist

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 09:09 AM

You could, but why bother?

There is a simply knock pin in either end of the shaft. Take both out, remove the bottom shock bolt & then remove the shaft so you can work on it at the height required, rather than lying on you back in cramped conditions under a car.

#6 bratman2

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 09:35 AM

On my 87 Brat all four boots were dry rotted. I checked on remanufactored axles for the rear and they were twice the cost of fronts. I pulled them, simplier than front axles and rebooted them, switched them left to right. I don't know if it's the same for a 88 Gl but all I had to do was jack it up, knock the pins out and the axles just would clear. A set of snap ring pliers and surgical gloves makes it a whole lot easier. I would reboot it, I have had alot of trouble with reman. axles on the front, two bad right out of the box and had to be taken back.

#7 morgantruce

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 11:26 AM

I'm talking about a car that seems like it spent it's early life splashing merrily thru heavy salt brine. The last time I pulled (the other) rear axle, the inboard end came out easily enough from the differential. The outboard end took me TWO WEEKS of tapping, pounding, propane, two cans of PB Blaster, and untold grief to get those ^&$*)*&# rusty splines apart. I thought I was going to have to junk the car (I really should have...) until one morning I went out there and the thing let loose in my hands! :banghead:

That is why I am asking if I can change the outer boot without removing the axle from the car. :rolleyes:


-------
One trick I have picked up along the way is to remove the spring roll pin from the end of the axle with a punch. Then plug one end of the hole slightly (I used a tiny dab of Liquid Nails). Then rotate the shaft so the holes are 6 and 12 o'clock. Then fill up the top hole with PB Blaster and tap away. The vibration seems to get the solvent distributed in and around all the splines --- much better than just squirting some into open holes.

-------

OK, OK.... Now I'll fess up about how that boot got torn...

I was removing the whole axle and rear suspension arm from my junker car to put into a daily driver that had a bad wheel bearing. Things were going pretty good... I got the brake line apart, and got those big bolts out of the control arm. Everything was loose---except the inboard axle splines from the differential. I was getting pretty frustrated... and being the a**hole that I am... I backed up another car to the rear side of the axle I was trying to pull... and attached a rope around the bearing housing. I pulled a little. Then I gunned it.

Of course the junker car was pulled sideways right off the jackstands (and 3 other backup piles of stuff under there... I'm scared plenty of getting squished by a car.)

That's when the boot got torn (and when I SHOULD have fixed it) but I was in a rush to get the mother into my other car.

As you can see, I'm the sort of fellow that gives shade tree mechanics a bad name....

:cool:



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#8 All_talk

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:32 PM

OK, OK.... Now I'll fess up about how that boot got torn...

I was removing the whole axle and rear suspension arm from my junker car to put into a daily driver that had a bad wheel bearing. Things were going pretty good... I got the brake line apart, and got those big bolts out of the control arm. Everything was loose---except the inboard axle splines from the differential. I was getting pretty frustrated... and being the a**hole that I am... I backed up another car to the rear side of the axle I was trying to pull... and attached a rope around the bearing housing. I pulled a little. Then I gunned it.

Of course the junker car was pulled sideways right off the jackstands (and 3 other backup piles of stuff under there... I'm scared plenty of getting squished by a car.)

That's when the boot got torn (and when I SHOULD have fixed it) but I was in a rush to get the mother into my other car.

As you can see, I'm the sort of fellow that gives shade tree mechanics a bad name....

:cool:


Stupid, just stupid (but you know that). :-p But do me a big favor, next time set up the video camera... that clip would be priceless.

And yeah, you should be able to reboot it with the axel on the car, put it wont be much fun. I've rebooted lots of axels (I'm good enough now I dont even make a mess with the grease) and they are all still running, and the boots only cost about $12. When I bought my RX it had a bad boot on every axel and had been running that way for some time, I've put 46,000 miles on it since re-booting.

Gary

#9 morgantruce

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:04 PM

And yeah, you should be able to reboot it with the axel on the car, put it wont be much fun.
Gary


Ahh... that's what I wanted to hear -- especially from someone who did it a few times. Heck, If I were looking for fun, I'd have used that 8-pound sledge to do a number on the whole car.

The icing on the cake: just as I gunned the other car to pull on that rope, I thought to myself, "This is probably not going to......."

Hey, I live on a small farm. I've used my Soobs to pull some really outrageous things... no use firing up the tractor just to pull some small stumps. Right?

Years ago I used to own a Jeep J10 full sized pickup. I had it stuck deep in muddy ruts and gave up on it and went to bed. The next morning all the mud was frozen. I tried to get out again and twisted the Jeep axle right in two --- like it was a piece of spaghetti. Never budged! So I got my Subaru and a chain and pulled it right out.

"Jeep. It'll Go Anywhere!" Uh, huh.


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