CV Boots

24 Dec

“All I want for Christmas is CV BOOTS THAT DON’T SPRAY GREASE!!”  (Imagine a little kid with no front teeth singing that for full effect)

The CV Boot saga started on December 11.  We drove the Passport to Easley the weekend of my niece’s college graduation.  I was checking something under the car when I noticed grease sprayed on the inside of the right tire.  The left tire was clean, but the right tire had spray on the rubber AND inside the wheel.  Further inspection (AND texting two pictures from my iPhone to Paul Frazier’s iPhone) confirmed the outer CV boot was leaking.  A little.  Paul told me it looked to him like it was safe to drive home.  No popping or grinding.  So we brought it home, knowing it would be better to let the guys at Creel look at it OR to do it myself if possible HERE.  If I did it in Easley, it would drive Dad crazy.

So we drove it home.  I talked to the guys at Creel.  It wouldn’t be a terribly expensive repair, but would cost more than I have available at Christmastime.  Another option was a Quick-boot, sold at most auto parts stores.  That one was the $20.00 option, and even if it got me through six months that would be better than putting a lot more money out right now.  So, after talking it over with a couple of experts, that is the route I took.

I bought the boot and waited for a warm day.  IT NEVER CAME!  These boots are made of a rubber/plastic and have to be glued on TWO seams, and require a relatively warm area to work in.  My garage is too full of …. shall I say “stuff!”  I’d been keeping a close eye to see if the spray was getting worse when I suddenly noticed THE OTHER SIDE was spraying, too!!  The left front assembly was doing the same thing!!  I bought a second boot and waited for a good day to do both.

That day came this past Wednesday.  I took the day off and Drew and I set out to do the deed.  And, WOW, what a deed it was!!  We cut the first boot off and proceeded with the repair.  There was plenty of grease still in the joint and didn’t seem to be ANY contamination, so we repacked it and started putting the new boot back on.  To make a long story short, the kit had steel bands with which to clamp the boot.  They didn’t work great, so we opted to put hose clamps on (making sure they had plenty of clearance).  There was a spacing wedge that came in the kit.  It was also in two halves with fingers that interlocked.  It really didn’t fit the axle and kept pushing out when I would tighten the clamp.  I called their technical support, who seemed very knowledgable and helpful, and he recommended I reglue it and allow it to dry.  That didn’t work.  We ended up cutting a small piece of heater hose and using it as a shim.  So far, it is working like a champ!

The first boot took three hours to complete.  The second (minus drying time) took about an hour.  The ONLY other problem (so far) is there is one fold in the boot on the driver’s side that apparently didn’t seal with glue.  It is kind of like a pinhole leak.  The tech team at Dorman Industries (makers of the Quick Boot) is sending something to help me fix it.

The car went up on the jack at 8:30 am and came off around 2:30 pm.  And I have a great appreciation for auto mechanics now!!!  If I’d had the cash, I DEFINITELY would’ve taken it to the shop!!  Drew and I still have grease residue in our cuticles.  The one up side to all of this is we did the repair together, and I think he could do this someday when he has to!!!

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