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CV Joint boot replacement: Do it yourself or not?

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by LordVader, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. LordVader

    LordVader Member

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    Well the Civic (92CX) failed it's state inspection today because apparently one of the CV joint boots is torn. (not sure what that has to do with safety, but anyway...) My wife took it over to get it done so I havn't seen it yet but was wondering from those in the know is this something to tackle yourself? Would you go with a complete reman'ed axle assy? BTW, this inspection is required on any used vehicle before it can be transfered into your name.

    What REALLY sucks is that today is my son's 16th birthday and the wife and I wanted to have the inspection done and the tags on it when he got home from school. What a bummer... :angry:

    Discuss...
     
  2. GSRCRXsi

    GSRCRXsi Super Moderator Moderator VIP

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    just replace the whole axle.
     
  3. driverunknown

    driverunknown Senior Member

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    yeah go to autozone. it's sixty bucks with your core.
     
  4. 94RedSiGal

    94RedSiGal Senior Member

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    Does the car make a clicking noise when turning? It might be better and faster to buy a remanufactured axle assembly. You then turn in the old one to get the core fee back. You will also need to replace that large nut at that outer end of the shaft... once torqued down, you need to mush in one side again.
     
  5. LordVader

    LordVader Member

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    Nah. None of the usual clicking associated with a bad CV joint but I figure while I'm in there, I might as well go ahead and just replace the whole thing. I was curious as to why the nut would need replacing? :shrug: If it anything like the nut on the rear wheels I ca't see why it would but like I've said before, I'm a Chevy guy just helping his son. Or trying to...LOL
     
  6. driverunknown

    driverunknown Senior Member

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    IT's ok the nut usually comes with the axle if not, ask for it. It should be free The nut should be replaced because once you torque it down, you have to use a punch on the nut to stake it to the axle. If not, then you risk the nut getting too tight or loosening up on ya.
     
  7. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    AutoZone actually charges $2 for the nut- I've had to buy it separately before. It is always bundled in with the "new" axle though.

    The axle swap only takes about half an hour (for me). If it's your first time, budget out about 1-2 hours. You'll need a 14mm socket, 17mm socket, 32mm socket and breaker bar (for the spindle nut), ratchet and torque wrench, hammer/mallet, pipe wrench (my preference). Get some cotter pins to replace the old crusty ones from your castle nuts too (two total if you take EVERYTHING apart).

    What I basically do is:

    Remove center cap from wheel or remove hubcap- this may require wheel removal
    Have the car sitting on the ground on all wheels
    Remove spindle nut from end of axle through center of wheel (it's really hard to do with the car in the air)
    Jack up corner of car
    Remove wheel
    Remove 17mm castle nut that holds lower control arm to spindle
    Remove 17mm (I think, may be 14mm) bolt that secures bottom of damper fork to lower control arm
    Use mallet or hammer to break control arm free from spindle
    Swing up and out of the way
    Bang end of axle through back side of spindle to free it from the hub
    Wrap pipe wrench jaws around axle between axle cup and transmission housing (or intermediate shaft housing, depending on transmission)
    Tighten pipe wrench, but leave a bit of slack
    Kick pipe wrench handle so axle pops free
    Remove axle

    Reassemble

    You might want to disconnect the tie rod end from the spindle to make things easier- sometimes you have to remove it so everything can clear, sometimes you don't.

    I think the torque values are as follows, but you'll want to check a service manual to be absolutely sure:

    lower control arm to spindle (17mm) = 43lbft
    tie rod end to spindle (14mm I think) = 36lbft
    shock/damper fork to lower control arm = 36lbft ???
    spindle nut = 132lbft

    When you put the new axle in, you want to make sure that the axle bottoms out in the transmission (or intermediate shaft). There's a little circular spring clip around the end of the shaft that holds the axle in to its cup.

    Once you've replaced as many axles as I have, it becomes easy as pie- it really does take me less than half an hour on most days. $60 and some skin off your fingers is all it takes the first time- after that it's free, courtesy of AutoZone's lifetime warranty.

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  8. driverunknown

    driverunknown Senior Member

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    too bad they wont take my new d's when I get my b's ;)
    Good info Calesta :thumbsup: I had to use a tie rod puller to get the lower control arm.
     
  9. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    You never know- sometimes they don't even open the box when you take it in for your core swap: "is it all in there?" "yeah, it's all there"

    :lol:

    Big hammer always worked for me to loosen the control arm. :)
     
  10. LordVader

    LordVader Member

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    Great info, Calesta, as usual. I really appreciate it. I checked the Haynes manual last night and it doesn't look like any big deal. I have all of the tools you listed so I'm good there. I wont be able to get it done until Sunday as I am going to Maple Grove, Pa Thursday night for the NHRA race there. :) Tonight Jess and I are going to mow, weather permitting.

    One question, though: Were anti lock brakes an option on the Civic's? I don't think his has them but the axle assy's are different (for obvious reasons) I found it odd that the axle for anti lock was cheaper than without. Also, my local NAPA was cheaper than AtutoZone which I found strange but oh well...

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  11. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Thanks. I'm more willing to write out detailed instructions for people on the forums when I think they'll actually use it. :)

    I would suggest investing in a Helms manual though- they're the real official factory service manuals, and Haynes often has stuff misprinted or torque specs incorrect. The diagrams in the Helms are quite a bit easier to understand than the cluttered photos in the Haynes too.



    Yeah, ABS was an option. The ABS axles basically just have a little timing wheel (I don't know what to call it) that a sensor reads to check axle speed. You should be able to use the ABS axle in a non-ABS car, but I've never tried.

    As long as NAPA has a nice warranty policy on their axles, I would almost rather buy from them than AutoZone. The only drawback on that is no 24 hour NAPA stores... at least not that I've seen in Texas so far.
     
  12. LordVader

    LordVader Member

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    You are DEFINATELY correct on the Helms vs. Haynes thing. Funny that you mention that because just last night I was looking in the owners manual and found the order form for the Helms manual. I told Jess to save his money and buy one because it was MUCH better than the one he's got. :p Any suggestion on what to refill the transaxle with? The manual said 5 or 10W-30 motor oil which is fine but I know in dealing with the SS, over time owners usually come up with different things than what the factory recommended. I was also surprised it only held 2 quarts! I guess I'm just used to big Chevrolet V-8's and the automatics/6-speeds attached to them...LOL :p

    Forgot to add that I'll shoot the forum an update Monday morning on how things went...
     
  13. GSRCRXsi

    GSRCRXsi Super Moderator Moderator VIP

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    go to the honda dealer and get yourself 2 quarts of MTF (Manual Transmission Fluid) fill the transmission with that. it only takes about 2 quarts. you fill it through a bolt right nex to the passenger side axle.
     
  14. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    You can use Honda MTF (what I use) or straight non-synthetic 10w30 motor oil if you can't get the real Honda MTF. 2 quarts is about right- I usually keep a 3rd bottle on hand just in case though.
     
  15. LordVader

    LordVader Member

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    ***UPDATE***

    OK guys, here's the deal:

    I got the new axle installed last night. Well, sort of. Everything went together OK with the exception of the outer shaft into the hub. I had everything apart so it was easy to inspect the splines on the inside of the hub. I found that some hack of a mechanic :angry: had forced the old one in subsiquently hosing 8 of the ends of the splines. After some good old fashoned "mechanicing" I got the new one to go in. Then, as I was instaling the castle nut on the lower ball joint, I noticed that some one (probably the same idiot that screwed the splines up) had used the castle nut to try to break the joint loose from the spindle :angry: :angry: screwing the "castle" part of the nut up. I could get the nut started but after about 4 threads, the nut would stop turning and the ball joint shaft would start turning not allowing me to tighten the nut. I pulled the nut back off and inspected the threads and low and behold, about the first 6 threads on the stud arealmost non-existant.

    So, my question is this: What size die am I going to need to clean up the threads on the stud? I also want to replace the castle nut. Is this something readily available at any auto parts store? If I end up having to replace the ball joint, how big of a deal is it to do this?

    Suggestions?
     
  16. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    Wow... sounds like someone really did a number on your son's Civic! :(

    I don't know what size tap you would need to clean up the castle nut, but you should be able to match it up and buy a new one at your local parts store. If you have to go to the dealer to get one, they shouldn't be that expensive either.

    Wait, you're saying to clean up the stud... that I don't know. Match the nut at a store and then check and see, that's all I can say. If you do have to replace the whole ball joint, I think you'll only need a ball joint separator. I've never replaced one on a Civic, so I can't really give you any first hand information- but I do know that when I tried to replace the lower ball joints on my Hardbody, I gave up after 4 nights and took it to NTB to get it done. I don't think the Civic would be as difficult. Hopefully you'll be able to save the thread on the stud.
     
  17. cheese9988

    cheese9988 Senior Member VIP

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    I don't know about the eg, but I could definetly get the ball joints out on my crx, autozone sells them at a decent price. I guess if a parts store sells them separatly then you could get them for that car. Check your manual.
     
  18. 94RedSiGal

    94RedSiGal Senior Member

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    For the 92-95 EG Civic hatchbacks... only some of the '94 Si trim level ones were offered with ABS.... like mine. :) Then some of the EG EX coupes had it also. But never on the lower trim levels like the CX and DX's.

    And another vote for getting a Helms over a Haynes or a Chilton's. There is no comparison.
     
  19. LordVader

    LordVader Member

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    ***Another Update***

    Well, after a long, soggy weekend @ Maple Grove Raceway, I finally got it finished yesterday afternoon. I ended up going to Sears and buying a tap and die set. I determined the correct size tap and die (12mm 1.5) and after some VERY carefull rethreading of both the stud and nut, it went back together. (whew!) Anyway, thanks again everyone for taking the time to respond! It's greatly appreciated!
     
  20. 94RedSiGal

    94RedSiGal Senior Member

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    Congrats on putting it all back to together! What's the condition of the other CV boot? I inspect mine during every oil change. And BTW, a torn CV boot is a legitimate safety issue. You don't want those moving parts inside of them to go bad. The grease falls out and dirt gets in. First they will making a clicking noise as you turn, and when they click as you go straight... that is really really bad. :ph34r:
     
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