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Changing a CV Boot

red_triangle.gif (202 bytes) Written by Wayne Cox

  • Remove big axle bolt on wheel hub. Way tight (over 150 ft lbs). I needed an impact wrench (rented an electric for $9) and propane torch to get one of them. Also a 32mm socket.
  • Separate ball-joints. Nissan manual shows special puller. Don't use a regular "pickle fork" wedge splitter. I did and trashed a ball-joint boot.
  • Separate tie rod ends. You'll need a puller/splitter here too, but they come off easily. Detatch sway bar ends.
  • Push down on the control arm, and pull out the hub/brake and you can extract the axle. The hub/brake/strut will dangle from the top of the strut. Loosening the 3 top strut bolts will give a little more play to work with.
  • Drain the transaxle oil.
  • The driver side axle takes a lot of prying to get out, there's a snap ring retainer in the transaxle.
  • Other side has a bearing (attached to engine block) in the axle center. 3 bolts and it's out. The axle will pull out easily on this side.
  • You should also replace the axle seals on the transaxle. They are prone to leaking, esp after having the axles out. Don't drive the new ones in too far - they won't bottom out until you have gone way too far. Just go till they are flush with the outside of the housing.
  • Careful not to scrape the seals on reassembly - put some grease on the splines and contact surfaces. Grease up the retaining ring on the L side to keep it centered in its slot.
  • This is also a perfect time to remove your control arms, brackets, motor mounts, and anything else to sandblast, prime, and paint :) Also polish and clear-coat your transaxle. Course this is why it takes me 3 weeks for a dumb weekend clutch job.

red_triangle.gif (202 bytes) Comments by Kit Wetzler

Discovered something new. The Driver's side outer CV boot is really easy to change. Take the wheel off, take the 32mm nut off undo the 2 strut mounting bolts. When you do that, tap the axle with a hammer and flop the hub out of the way. (not quite that simple, takes a bit of manuovering)

Then, separate the outer CV joint, just whack it with a sledge hammer, it'll pop off. Clean it really well, and put the boot onto the inner part. Then get the little circlip back in carefully and give it a whack to reseat the outer joint. Fill the boot with grease and put the clamp on. You're done.

No need to damage the tranny seals, or use a ball joint spreader. Not sure if this will work on the other side.

red_triangle.gif (202 bytes) Steve Hum then replied:

Proceed with caution.  I tried this when I changed my driver's side CV a couple of weeks back, and promptly yanked the whole axle out.  Ended up changing the oil seal anyways.  I didn't use a sledge but a slide hammer with a Ford inner CV puller attached (OTC P/N 7507 for you toolaholics.)  I did have some concerns about loading up the pinion side bearing when putting the CV back on, but since the whole axle ended up out it didn't matter.

This actually works better on the passenger side since the support bearing holds the axle in.  Again, I ended up pulling the axle and changing the seal since I couldn't get the @%&* thing back together on the car.  Sometimes just having the whole thing out makes things go much faster.