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Brittle CV Joint Boots


Guest SwiftBuicks

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Guest SwiftBuicks

After inspecting the engine compartment of my aged Riv yesterday, I noticed that the CV Joint Boots were not leaking but cracked and brittle. It may not be long before they do leak. Many years ago, I replaced a set of boots with those after market ones that can be folded around the shaft, but they didn't seem to work as well as the OEM boots. Is there a way to replace them with solid rubber ones just like the original?

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Yes but to do that you must remove the entire half shaft which requires removal of the hub bearing and all lower attachments to the suspension so might as well just replace the axle and CV joints particularly if over 100k miles. See section 4 in the FSM.

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Guest SwiftBuicks

Ya, I was thinking that I would want to replace the CV joints. I've done that on other older vehicles. However, when I did it on the '95 Century wagon I owned a year and a half ago, soon after the job some joker slammed into my rear and totalled it. Certainly, it sucks when you work on a vehicle a lot and that happens.

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Just a word of caution: if you replace entire cv joint or axle, you should use GM parts only. Many aftermarket rebuilt and new joints and axles are of lower quality. This is one area that GM did a pretty good job of, boots excepted. If I were you, I would remove, disassemble and inspect axles and joints carefully. If everything seems in order, (no dirt contamination, slop, cracked balls, etc) clean joint with brake cleaner, not solvent, re-lube and replace boot with a neoprene component (EMPI is a good one) and you will probably be set for the rest of the life of the car.

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Guest SwiftBuicks

Actually, you reminded me that I had trouble with the Auto Zone rebuilt CV joints I put in the Century. They didn't fit right. Are you saying that I can buy the joints from a Dealership?

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Fitment problems are very common with aftermarket units. You know that the ones in the car now fit and have worked well so far. I would tackle them; its not that difficult. Just getting them out is half the battle which you have done before, so I do not see you having too much problem installing new boots on your existing axles. As far as dealer avalability, haven't checked for a while, but there are some GM parts houses online where you might look, but going to the dealer is the best bet. Caution: the prices are not for the faint-hearted! You might also want to change the transmission to axle seal as they sometimes like to leak. Requires a little reaching, but do-able. Just as an addition, the inner workings of these joints are made of hardened materials, so they wear very very little if the boot has not cracked, but they suffer catastrohpic failure if they have been contaminated. Hope this helps.

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Guest SwiftBuicks

Thanks <span style="font-weight: bold">sfair</span>, for the replies. I'm going to give both boots a better inspection now that I have read your post. Since I have another vehicle on the road, now, I can keep this one in the garage if I see any reason to do that. As I remember, I brought the misfit of the CV joint to the attention of the Auto Zone staff. It did effect them. I had already made an adequate installation by then, though. I was concerned that it might cause some trouble down the road, but the car was totalled by a truck driver soon after. That was a very dis-heartening experience and dispelled any concerns about the CV joints completely. I put a lot of work into the Century wagon. A '95, it looked good. Nevertheless, I wasn't going to let it break my determination in working on automobiles.

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