Inner CV Joint Boot Leak

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Nov 5, 2003
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275
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Plano, TX
I had Acura change my oil and they noticed I have a bad right inner CV boot which has leaked oil. The part is only $31 but the labor is like $300. Is this an easy job?
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2000
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Warwick, NY, USA
You must remove the axle assembly from the car. If you have air tools it is not too bad. Hand tools, it will be a PITA. You need to remove the 36mm nut from the stub axle, remove the lower control arm, remove the inner CV from the intermediate driveshaft. Read the service manual to get a better idea of the job.

You may wish to check with an independent mechanic for pricing.

HTH,
LarryB
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
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Denver Colorado USA
No... but it depends on your skill level. I just did this last week on my car I did all four inners and outers and the job took me about six hours with air tools and a lift. If you are replacing the left rear inner boot it is a little easier than the right rear because you don't have to deal with the half-shaft when removing the axel on that side.
The job requires some tools that not everyone has in their garage, you will need a 36mm socket to take off the axel nut, pry bar, misc. extensions brass hammer and a special tool (can't recall the name) to tighter the clamp for the boot.
Here are some things you will need to do... this might help you determine if you want to do it yourself.
Unbolt and remove: axel nut (bend the notch out first) swaybar, tie rod, upper control arm, strut (not needed with coilovers but does make it easier)
Then you will need to remove the brake line from the caliper and brackets for the line. (Remember to bleed the brakes when you are all done.) After that you will be able to lower the whole brake rotor down towards yourself giving you the clearence to push the axel through. Use the brass hammer for this so the threads won't be damaged.

But first check to see what is leaking the cv boots hold grease, so if there is oil leaking you have a different problem. Hope this helps.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2001
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Houston TX
Evoking said:
I had Acura change my oil and they noticed I have a bad right inner CV boot which has leaked oil. The part is only $31 but the labor is like $300. Is this an easy job?

LOL...sometimes things that haven't been moved in over 14 years just don't want to budge :rolleyes:

Check out my whole write up that I did on CV boot repairs here
 
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There is no need to remove the brake lines to get the axle shafts out on either side. It is easier to remove the rear sway bar lower bolts (lower shock mount bolts) so you have enough play to move the rear knuckles outboard and leave the brake lines connected. I have never removed them.

HTH,
LarryB
 
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Mar 20, 2003
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Denver Colorado USA
Larry Bastanza said:
There is no need to remove the brake lines to get the axle shafts out on either side. It is easier to remove the rear sway bar lower bolts (lower shock mount bolts) so you have enough play to move the rear knuckles outboard and leave the brake lines connected. I have never removed them.

HTH,
LarryB
Larry, trust me if you are doing the job as I described you will need to unbolt the lines from the calipers. I know there is more than one way to do this job I chose the method I listed above.
Thanks,Erik
 
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Hi Erik,

As I read your description I noticed you mentioned the UPPER control arm. This sounds like why you would remove the brake line. Sounds like you are removing the axle shaft by pulling the knuckle out at the top.

To each his own, but this is way more work then needed, JMHO. I remove the two inner mounting bolts on the LOWER control arm after marking the alignment, remove the toe link, then swing the rear knuckle out by pivoting it on the TOP ball joint.

I do not know if you do this often, but I change the right inner boot on almost every NSX I see, they typically have bad grease due to the high heat from the rear header/exhaust, and I just cannot see removing a brake line, or separating a ball joint, or removing the upper control arm inboard mounting bolts on the upper control arm.

Especially for first time DIY guys, I think it is too complicated, and frankly too risky to separate the ball joint, or remove the upper control arm inboard mounting bolts on the upper control arm, they can be VERY easily cross- threaded.

The band tool is a KD3191. About $15:)

JMHO,
LarryB
 
Joined
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Houston TX
Larry, this looks like a good picture to illustrate what you are talking about.

4319P1130043.jpg
 
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Joined
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Warwick, NY, USA
Thanks Ty,

That is a good pic. I also remove the rear sway bar clamps, and then remove the lower bolt as I mentiond just to get a little more play in the suspension, especially on the left side that you show, since you need to be careful about the trans seal when inserting the left axle into the trans. I notice you have a coil over setup. With the stock setup, you cannot get the axle out/in on that side unless you remove the items I mention, and it really takes a helper to pull the knuckle back to remove/insert the left axle shaft into the trans. The right side is actually easier, since you really can get away with leaving the lower shock bolt in place if you remove the sway bar clamps.

This procedure is the same needed to do a clutch:). In a revision in the service manual in 1992 (if I recall) Honda updated the prodcure to NOT separate the ball joint. I think too many techs had problems using the special ball joint press. I only use it if an arm needs replacement due to being bent, or a bad ball joint.

HTH,
LarryB
 
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Bay Area CA
Larry - from looking at above pic & your description, is it possible to do the inboard joint without even having to remove the entire shaft, thereby eliminating the requirement to even remove the 36 mm nut?
 
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Hi Ken,

Well I know it has been done, but it would not be my choice at all. Mainly due to the fact you must align the three inner bearing in their races, fill the joint with grease and get it all back together horizontially. Definately would be a challange with one person, two people it could be done, but still challanging.

I like to mount the shaft vertically in a vise on the bench to rebuild these. I actually mount the CV joint in the vise and pull the shaft upward and out of the joint. I typically do this alone, so the vise becomes my helper. Remember you have to remove the inner bearing "spider" and reinstall it in the EXACT position as removed. The service manual describes this in detail. My recommendation would be to spend a few minutes getting the big nut off, way easier. Once you bend out the stake, an impact wrench takes them right off. I have also used a 5 foot pipe with a 16" rear OEM wheel:).

HTH,
LarryB
 
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Bay Area CA
Understand - always looking for something even simpler but you guys have all the shortcuts already down!
Hopefully I won't need to do this for some time - just increasing my knowledge!
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
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274
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Bay Area, CA
The inner CV boot of my car leaked about half a year ago due to skrinkage of the rubber over time. I just bought the CV boot bands from the dealer and replaced the existing bands. This is an easy fix. You may want to check the boot first to see if it is really cracked or just shrunk.
 
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Mar 4, 2008
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Edmonton, Canada
Thanks Ty,

..... I also remove the rear sway bar clamps, and then remove the lower bolt as I mentiond just to get a little more play in the suspension, especially on the left side that you show, since you need to be careful about the trans seal when inserting the left axle into the trans. .......

LarryB

If I only have to change the transmission seal can I get away with only undoing the lower control arm, shock/sway bar link? Are there any god pointers about changing the seal or is it a simple pick it out and press a new one in by hand?
 
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Apr 13, 2004
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242
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Garden Grove
I just took my passenger side shaft out twice in the last two weeks and the driver side out once. It is easy if you have basic level of mechanical skill. The second time around I used all hand tools and left the air tools in the drawer. If you dont have air tools dont sweat it. The driver side can be done on your own (I did it ) but you should have a friend help (i dont have any) You dont need a brass hammer either, if you have a good size punch for the axle or air hammer point that works great with a BFH or medium sledge. Ask me anything, the job is still fresh in my mind.
 
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Apr 13, 2004
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Garden Grove
One thing to think about though is my car is lowered so im not dealing with a tall spring. Im not sure if that makes the job harder, i would think so considering I removed my suspension and used spring compressors to get enough travel to move the shock ( a must for the driver side)
 
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Mar 4, 2008
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Edmonton, Canada
I just need to do the axle seal itself. My main concern is to not have to take out the axle from the hub to save a bit of time and labour. The mechanical part of it is no problem; I just want to find the most efficient way to change the seal. I looked into it some more and it looks like just swinging the lower control arm out of the way should do it.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
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NJ
Well, I'm doing this job this weekend and I'm all by myself right now. If anyone is available to chat on the phone to give some tech support, I sure would appreciate it. I have plenty of tools, lift, and all the parts here already. I have the drivers wheel off, the lower frame bracket thing off and the speed sensor wire hangers off. I'm about to take off the 36MM nut.

So, if you're willing and able to chat on the phone sporadically today, please pm me your number and I'll give you a call. :)

Thanks!!!
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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St. Louis
HA! My impact won't take this nut off..... wonderful......... any ideas?


I just replaced my drivers side axle and would be glad to walk you through any problems. My axle nut was a bear too. I had to keep soaking it with PB Blaster and 2 days later my cheapo electric impact took it right off.

A few tips:
- Take the strut all the way off
- Mark the alignment settings on the lower A arm before loosening
- Get a new tranny seal (it was not stocked at the dealer - I had to wait)
- Drain the tranny fluid

Good luck!
 
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Mar 20, 2004
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511
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tarrytown,n.y.
1st is comp. set to develop at least 125 psi, if not it wont do it , i have a 1/2 and 3/4 impact that will take nut off , i live by tappan zee bridge , your welcome to both , if larry b is closer he has a 3/4 i gave him that will do it , i'll hook you up provided you have enough air (3/4 needs a minimum 1/2 hose )pm me ,i 'll be home sunday morning
 
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Feb 7, 2010
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618
Borrow or buy a more powerful impact. The basic ones sold by most all companies are WEAK even when rated higher than the tightening torque for the part you're trying to remove.

Ex. My new Campbell Hausfeld 1/2" air impact rated at 250 ft/lbs will NOT remove the 150 ft/lb lug nuts of my truck even with a massive air compressor behind it.

I say buy the most powerful one you can find like a 500+ ft lb twin hammer or even that "earthquake" harbor freight. Money well spent.

http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-inch-impact-wrench-2623.html
 
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Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
250
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NJ
Larry never mentioned having to drain the tranny fluid. He did mention get the seals just in case I nick it, so I got a pair of them. Can that seal be changed without draining the tranny fluid?




I just replaced my drivers side axle and would be glad to walk you through any problems. My axle nut was a bear too. I had to keep soaking it with PB Blaster and 2 days later my cheapo electric impact took it right off.

A few tips:
- Take the strut all the way off
- Mark the alignment settings on the lower A arm before loosening
- Get a new tranny seal (it was not stocked at the dealer - I had to wait)
- Drain the tranny fluid

Good luck!
 
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Messages
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NJ
Thanks, but that's a bit far for me right now... :) I would've had Larry do it, but he's backed up with cars. Besides, this is why I bought the lifts for the cars anyway! :)

If anyone can pm me their number so I have someone to call if I get stuck, I'd appreciate it. :D

---Dan

1st is comp. set to develop at least 125 psi, if not it wont do it , i have a 1/2 and 3/4 impact that will take nut off , i live by tappan zee bridge , your welcome to both , if larry b is closer he has a 3/4 i gave him that will do it , i'll hook you up provided you have enough air (3/4 needs a minimum 1/2 hose )pm me ,i 'll be home sunday morning
 
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