REPLACING AN INNER DRIVE SHAFT (CV) BOOT USING A SPLIT
The reasoning behind my choice of the split boot kit is straight forward enough.
I really didn’t fancy the removal and replacement of the drive shaft and
I had heard about these split boots and was intrigued to give on a go.
The entire operation was carried out with the front side of the car raised
and blocked. All work was done with the brake disc and calipers in place on the
car…effectively the only thing removed from the car was the wheels.
The kit was purchased from these people: http://www.partsdirectderby.co.uk/split_gaiter_kit.html
The kit includes: Boot, Grease, Adhesive, Scalpel, inner and outer Tie-wraps,
rubber gloves and pretty good instructions.
Tool required for the job (over and above those supplied with the kit) were
as follows (Fig 1 refers): Drip tray, rubber gloves (more than the single set
supplied with the kit), wire clippers, pliers, junior hacksaw, hammer, cloths,
craft knife and small flat head screwdriver
Once I’d removed the wheel I remembered just how little space there is
to operate round the inner boot. Some exploratory tugging and probing was carried
out but it was obvious that the old boot had to be cut off. I snipped a couple
of knicks in the
convex parts of the concertina and then thrust the screwdriver into these holes
to try and make them larger without much effect. So I changed tactics and attacked
the smaller outer tie wrap at the conical end of the boot.
Note: At this juncture it’s worth mentioning
that you will need the drip tray in place for the next step. I was amazed how
runny the grease had become (does it break down or something?), and it goes everywhere.
This smaller tie wrap can (with some effort) be persuaded off the rubber and
once free needs to be cut or sawed to remove it from around the drive shaft. Then
insert the flat headed screwdriver between rubber and drive shaft and prise it
open enough to attack the edge with the snippers and after a while you can snip
fairly easily up the entire length of accessible boot. You should know have a
well-butchered boot still firmly attached by its large inner tie-wraps and grease
all over the place (Fig 2 refers).
As you can see, the whole boot gets covered in grease and is a complete swine
to handle. You need to concentrate on getting a small piece of the rubber from
under the tie-wrap. I prised and hammered the screwdriver (from both sides) between
the tie-wrap and flange until I eventually managed to free the smallest bit of
rubber which I held in place by putting the screwdriver through it and snipping
it thus freeing the remaining trapped rubber.
Note: This step took the vast majority of the time.
Half way through, without having made any noticeable progress I turned to the
instructions to see if I’d missed any “Top Tips”. The instructions
sum it up in four words…and I quote “Remove the old
boot”…a great help! I didn’t expect the old boot to be so very
hard to remove…there’s probably an easier way, but I didn’t
find it. Obviously it would facilitate the entire operation if the car was on
The boot and clip can then be slid down the drive shaft. The boot will separate
from the clip and the clip then needs to be sawn through to get rid of it. The
next step is to thoroughly clean all parts. I stopped short of using a de-greasing
spray but I spent several minutes with clothes cleaning all and sundry. The instructions
stress the need to avoid contaminating the new boot when applying the adhesive.
Once cleaned, the joint looks like so (Fig 3).
Note: I wasn’t expecting to find this rather
larger nylon washer inside the boot. I assumed it was to aid the retention of
grease within the immediate confines of the joint rather that having it spill
into the boot. I hope that’s what it’s for because that’s what
it’s doing now!
The next step is to cut the new boot to as good a match as possible to the
old. The instructions say to measure the diameter of the old boot etc…I
couldn’t see an easy way of doing this then I remembered my dad’s
old engineering tools and Hey Presto! Calipers. You won’t need these, because
I’ve recorded the measurements. The large diameter is 81mm (Fig 4) and the
small 28mm. The instructions have a cutting guide included (surprisingly, there
no mention of the Elan size) but we equate to a B3 cutting comparison. Use the
scalpel provided to carefully cut at the appropriate marks (Fig 5 refers).
Note: On the rear of the instructions the more common
cars are listed with the cutting criteria as a guide. B3s include All Mazda models
except 626 2.0ltr, All Mitsubishi models except Sapporo rears and All Vauxhall/Opel
models except Ascona and Kadett. This may be of use for equivalent complete boot
You now need to assemble to new boot around the drive shaft. Start at the narrow
end and glue the two edges together in 20mm increments. You need to hold each
section together for about a minute so don’t make the sections to big and
don’t even dream of trying to glue the entire seem in one go, you’ll
never do it.
Eventually you’ll end up with a complete boot that can easily be pushed
up and down the drive shaft. Now is the time to fill the joint. Cut a corner off
the grease sachet and squeeze it into the housing. It stays in place easily…unlike
the old grease!
TOP TIP Don’t be tempted to use the nylon
washer as a grease dam. I did this at first and had terrible problems trying to
get the large end of the boot over the flange to apply the clip. The trick is
to work the washer into the boot end (once the adhesive has set the boot’s
easily stretched and manipulated) and seat it in the second convex concertina.
Now push the entire boot over the joint. The first concertina can fairly easily
be stretched/seated over the flange by pushing and rotating using a little bit
of effort. Once it’s seated secure the small outer and then the large inner
tie-wrap. It should then look something like Fig 6.
Note: If the large end is not seated properly, when
you tighten the tie-wrap it will ride down the conical boot and over-tighten.
You’ll then have to cut it off and go to your nearest workshop and scrounge
another one… I know…I was that scrounger!
My final quote from the instructions is…””If you removed
the wheel and brake calipers put them back, then lower the car”. Bugger,
I knew I’d forgotten something!
- by Simon V.