Replacing CV Joint Boots

by Jim Hagerty
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Recognizing Boot Damage

If a CV joint boot is damaged, grease will be spun out of the joint's casing, causing damage to the joint. Although damage could take several thousand miles depending on the severity of the boot problem, the joint will eventually run dry causing metal-on-metal contact and complete joint failure. Identifying a problem boot is usually done during routine maintenance such as oil changes and brake inspections. Inspecting the boot, commonly made of rubber, involves checking it for cracks, splits, tears and leaks. Dirty joints are usually wiped free of mud and sand to reveal possible damage.


To disassemble a CV joint boot, the retaining clamps, which hold the boot in place, are removed. Once clamps are off the unit, the axle is removed exposing the joint and boot This also exposes the bearings (steel balls), which are removed and placed to the side for reassembly. When all parts are removed from the joint casing, the boot is slid over the top of the housing (outer socket) and disposed of.

Replacement and Assembly

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In an empty joint casing, parts are returned to the proper location inside, according to alignment marks. After the bearings, hub (inner ball race) and joint cage are properly secure in the housing, the unit is lubricated according to specifications. The boot is then slipped over the end of the axle and worked over the joint housing. After the boot is clamped, it is inspected and secured (See image).

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