CV Boot Maintenance/Repairs
Article: Ron Photos: Ron

Changing CV boot IFS Toyota 4Runner/Surf

One month before going bush I always check the fluids in the gearboxes/diffs and check the CV boots. When the CV boots split it will spray the grease enclosed in a circular spray but the problem is more the dirt that will enter the boot and attack the CV joint. Replacing is quite simple and can be done two ways. One is to remove the ball joints however this requires special tools. This way is easier and only requires a jack, 17mm spanner, screwdriver, 12mm spanner, pliers and 2 x 8mm H/T bolts and gasket goo. Extra tools that help would be circlip pliers and a soft hammer or small hammer. The money saved doing it yourself will pay to get the second boot so both the inner and outer can be done at the same time. Else if money is very tight you can leave the good side greased up but it does pay for an inspection with no grease.

A Schematic of the CV boots and parts.

All photos were taken with a web cam so the colours are wacky J

Apply Handbrake and choc back wheels
Loosen nuts on front wheel. And jack up wheel with the jack on the bottom of the lower wishbone as close to the tire as possible. Put a stand for safety.
With 17mm spanner remove the six nuts and bolts attaching the half axle to the diff. These nuts are very tight and the easiest way I found to loosen is to put the ring around the nut and then turn the tire so the spanner hits the frame. Make sure it does not hit any wires or tubes.
Remove the wheel nuts and remove the tire.
With the screwdriver knock of the cap of the end of the axle (see pic 1)

Remove the small bolt with 12mm spanner and remove the 6 dome nuts holding the hub on. Underneath the dome nuts are spring washers and dome washers. These dome washers are hard to remove to a point that I leave them in and just force the hub. To remove the hub, I screw in the 2 H/T 8mm bolts and just screw them in (see pic 2) (I use these bolts as steering wheel removers and harmonic balance removers hence the washers but not necessary here). Sometimes if you wind the hub out 2mm and then loosen the bolts the hub slips back in but the cone washers pop out. Make sure these cone washers don’t pop over your shoulders into innerspace!
Under the hub on the axle is a circlip and a washer that needs to be removed requiring only a little force with the screwdriver. The axle is now free however still needs to be removed.


This is the tricky bit. The axle can be removed by sliding it towards the universal joint on the back of the axle while the jack lines it up. If the wishbones are too high or too low it does not line up so a bit of raising and lowering to get it right is required. A good starting point is having the lower wishbone parallel with the ground. (See photos)

With the half axle out, it is time to change the boot/s. Undo the large clip of the inside boot. Do it carefully if you intend to reuse it. The flange should just slide out exposing a tribearing assembly with grease everywhere. At the end of the splines should be circlip. Remove the circlip. Mark the splines and the bearing assembly to ensure that they go back together the same way you took them apart. This has been recommended to me but I can’t see the point. Better to be safe than sorry. Remove the tri-bearings. They should just slide off but might need a little persuasion. You can undo the smaller clip and the inside boot just slides off over some impressions on the shaft. Undoing the clips of the other boot and that too will slide of the same way as the first boot exposing the CV joint. You can clean all the grease off everything and check that there are no cracks in the cage surrounding the balls in the CV joint.
Time to reassemble everything. With the new boot, you should get the boot, two clips and a sachet of grease. See photo showing half axle with boots removed and new boot, clips and sachet


Open sachet and put grease in the CV joint. When you slide the inner boot on, be careful sliding it over the splines not to rip the inside of the boot. Just before it seals add some more grease. The boot should be resting at the impressions on the shaft. That is, the boot is not stretched or compressed. Add the clips and pull as tight as possible and push the tabs over to seal. The clips should not be able to move. This seals out any dust and water. The inner boot is then put on the shaft and the tribearing is put on the splines lining up the marks you put on previously. Then the circlip, greased up and all inserted into the tulip. The boot is then slid into position and sealed.

The axle is now put back into the frame the same way it came out. If you have not moved anything it is easier. When then axle pokes through the hub, insert the washer and put on the snap ring. This holds one end while you line up the bolts for the other end. I only finger tighten these bolts until the wheel is back on. Put some gasket goo on the hub and line up the two pins and 6 bolts and seal hub. Put in cone washers, spring washers and dome nuts and tighten. Put washer and 6 mm bolt that retains the axle. I put a bit of gasket goo/silicone on the dome that covers this bolt just so no water gets into the hub. Put the wheel on with nuts and lower the car of the jack and stands. Tighten wheel nuts and the six nuts joining the axle to the diff.
Handy hint. If I am only changing one boot, I will re-use the old large clips as the small clips and the two new clips as the large clips. They are long enough.

Ok this report was done after a lot of prompting as I did the report two months after the actual CV boot change therefore I accept no responsibility. It is accurate to my recollection. I have not had a look if it interferes those with underslung air-con units. Version date 21 Feb. 04