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Discussion Starter #1
While changing out a ball joint, I accidentally punched through the rivet, stabbing a hole in my cv boot with the drill bit. Now my cv boot leaks grease. I have tried patching it with a innertube patch. The hole is right in the crease so it is really hard to get the patch to seal properly. I am trying to get it sealed up. I guess I am curious what is the prognosis. If the boot leaks, what will happen? Will the cv joint actually fail? How hard is it to replace the boot? Are there any replacement options where I don't have to take apart the hub?
 

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I guess you just want someone to confirm the bad news.

The patch will not hold - first, you can't get the boot clean enough, and second the constant flexing will either break the patch loose or tear the boot at the edge of the patch.

What happens if the boot leaks - centrifugal force will force the grease out of the hole, and the joint will eventually fail due to a lack of lubricant - yes - it will actually fail.

How hard is it to replace the boot - not that hard - the most difficult part will be the metal band that secures the boot to the joint & shaft - it requires a special tool to do it properly.

Are there replacement options where you don't take the hub apart - none that I would recommend for long term use - Dorman makes the quick boot shown below - I've never used one, and don't know that I would consider it a permanent repair.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually, I was hoping someone would say, "it's not that big of a deal." But really, I knew better.

I see there are several boot replacement kits for cheap. The OEM is $50. It would seem some companies claim a split boot is just as good as a solid one. Anyways, most of these boots require the hub to be removed. How hard is it to do that?
 

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A little "google research" will reveal lots of complaints about the split boots leaking and failing prematurely, the problem with "google research" is that it is unscientific & anecdotal, you don't know how the split boot was applied, if an incorrect application caused the failure, and you will never hear from the folks who used it successfully.

My vehicles are more than just transportation to me, I have a lot invested in them and tend to keep them maintained to a high standard, so I can see myself using a split boot to get me home, but not as a long term fix, I also avoid using after market boots, I find they fail prematurely, even the "solid" ones.

Taking the hub apart is not that difficult - you were half way there changing the ball joint.

Unscrew the hub nut as step one, and then jack the car up and put it on stands, remove the wheel, put a drain pan under the transmission where the inner CV comes out, remove the brake caliper and hang it from the spring with a piece of wire (do not let it hang on the hose), unplug the ABS sensor (if fitted), disconnect the steering end, the lower ball joint and then remove the two bolts holding the knuckle to the strut - at this point you should be able to remove the knuckle along with the hub, leaving the CV axle in place.

Next step is to remove the axle from the diff - either with a slide hammer or pry bars - and then remove the outer CV from the axle.
 

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nice little write up fordem. i feel the same way about my cars also. i try to keep them in as best a shape as i can. buy the best parts i can when upgrading something and have the right person do the work, if it isnt me :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Can't I remove the cv joint without detaching the axle from the diff? Is it really that easy to remove the axle from the diff? How hard is it to put it back in? I have never done drivetrain work before. I would love as much info as I can get. How long will this procedure take?
 

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OK then. Removing the axle from the diff...

No it's not always easy, there's usually a wire circlip on the CV stub that latches it into the differential side gear, and on some occasions it can be a downright pain in the backside to remove, but yes, I believe you'll need to do it, because you'll need to disassemble the axle, and disassembling the axle is pretty much the same pain in the backside, because there will be a very similar circlip securing the axle in the inner race of the outer CV.

The normal method is to secure the axle in a bench vice with the CV hanging down, pull the boot back and the strike the CV with a dead blow hammer or small sledge - not exactly easy to do, if the axle is still on the vehicle.

One way around this is to get a boot kit like the one shown below - the cone goes over the outer CV and then you stretch the new boot using the cone, and slip it over the joint. Please note that this requires a "stretchy" CV boot.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, I have seen these stretchy cv boots. I am more inclined to give one of these stretchy boots a try first, before dismantling the axle. I know it's not OEM, but it is definitely better than a split boot. Do you know where to purchase one? I haven't been able to find it online.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a couple other questions as well :). Fixing this boot needs to happen within a day. I can't have any surprises, like needing a special tool or requiring the help of another person. I need to be prepared ahead of time. So, how hard is it to remove the knuckle from the axle? Assuming I have detached the strut, rod, ball joint, caliper, nut, and anything else, how hard is it to pull it off the axle? Do I just pull it off? Can I pull with all my might?

Looking through the Daewoo manual (thanks 7-even!), I see the cv joint is held on by just a circlip. Is it possible to remove this circlip and pull the cv joint off the axle, with the axle still in the car?

Depending on how hard it is to do these things, it will determine which type of boot (stretch or OEM) I will get. It will also determine whether or not I bring it to a mechanic to do. This doesn't sound like a very difficult procedure, nor does it seem like it would take that long. It seems it may be a matter of having proper tools. It may not cost that much to bring it in.
 

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Looking through the Daewoo manual (thanks 7-even!), I see the cv joint is held on by just a circlip. Is it possible to remove this circlip and pull the cv joint off the axle, with the axle still in the car?
Look a little more closely - I think you'll find the circlip is not accessible when the joint is assembled.

The normal method is to secure the axle in a bench vice with the CV hanging down, pull the boot back and the strike the CV with a dead blow hammer or small sledge - not exactly easy to do, if the axle is still on the vehicle.
You also run the risk of damaging the inner CV and or boot.

If this is your daily drive and you can't afford to be without it, I suggest you take it to a shop - it's not a difficult task, but it's also not the most straight forward - it can probably be done in a half day, by a person with the requisite experience - in fact a good mechanic could probably do both axles, all four joints in a half day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I ordered a new axle. Considering how relatively cheap they are ($65) and the fact that I got 130K on the car, a new axle is probably going to be needed in the next couple of years. I have a friend who has done a half axle on a Vibe and a Prius. He is going to help me install it.

While I'm at it, I am going to put on a new tie rod end. I noticed the rubber seal had a pin hole leak in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I changed out the axle and tie rod end this evening with my friend. It was a bit of a learning experience. After about five hours of work, we got the axle and the tie rod end changed out. The only problem is that now there seems to be a bad vibration going on when I go around 60mph. It sounds like something is loose. There doesn't seem to be any noticeable shimmy in the steering, so I don't think it has to do with the tie rod end. I am going to check things over tomorrow. In the mean time, does anyone have any idea what it could be?
 
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