CV joint renewal

First time wrenching and first time blogging so go easy on me :)

After Matt over at SCR pointed out that my cv boots were starting to show stress cracks I decided that this sounded like the perfect project for me to start with on my new 02. Little did I realize how involved this process was going to be.

First step was to remove the halfshafts. To do so use a 6mm allen bit on either a impact drill or ratchet(I found it easier to use a ratchet). The bolts connecting the halfshafts to the diff output flange had a nut on the backside whereas the bolts on the wheel side of the cv joint don’t.


Once halfshaft is removed take a screwdriver and release the old clamps on the boots. The original clamps simply need to have the end pried up and then give a good tug on the clamp. Once the clamps are out of the way I recommend putting on a pair of blue nitrile gloves( Have a box of these handy along with lots of shop towels) before you cut the boot off the cv joint. Exacto knife works great on this.

Above is what the joint looks like after removing boot. Wipe away excess grease and flip over to end cap. It is similar to a small paint can lid except you will find the lip easily bends so work your way around with a large flat head screwdriver and eventually it will pop off. You can always hammer the lip back to original contour when finished(Apparently the BMW cv boot kit includes new lids however I hear they cost $50 each vs $13).

Photo via


I reminded you to wear gloves! This moly grease is horrible stuff especially when it is 40 yr’s old.

Photo via

In above photo you see a c clip that needs to be removed in order to extract halfshaft from inner hub/race of cv joint. I thought that I could get a screwdriver under this but wasn’t happening. Off to home depot and $20 bucks poorer.. What else is new!

Once retaining clip is removed its time to extract halfshaft. I was lucky and mine pulled apart. I have seen posts on the faq where putting head of cv joint in a vice so halfshaft is loosely hanging and using a punch may be required. I would assume a 3 prong gear puller would work just as well.

Success! CV joints removed from halfshaft.

Using brake cleaner I thoroughly cleaned it from both sides till the inner race and bearings were completely clean. Don’t forget to spray the lid, washer, retaining clip and shaft. I spoke with Marshall Lytle on the faq and he now soaks everything in kerosene and attacks the parts with an old toothbrush, Afterwards spray everything with brake cleaner for final cleaning and let dry.

The cupped washer is the last thing to come off the shaft and first to go back on during reassembly. It should point up towards the joint.

Some on the faq will completely remove the race and bearings. I hear it’s similar to a rubiks cube but since mine cleaned out and looked good I proceeded without removal.


Repack with grease on both sides of cv joint. Matt from SCR recommended that I cut just a corner off the bag of grease that is included with cv boots. Then you can squeeze it like you were frosting a cake.

With new boot in place on the shaft and washer facing up its time to press joint back on. You should see the notch where the retainer clip goes around and then you can quit pressing. Insert retainer c clip add some grease and put lid back on.

Now comes time for getting the large end of the new boot over the joint. I found that by woking on half on I was able to get my finger under boot and work it around to get whole boot over lip of joint. Not easy but I’m open for better suggestions. Once boot is on secure with clamp.

Repeat process for other end of cv joint and put back on car. I found it necessary to loosen larger boot clamp on both sides so I could get the bolts started during installation back to diff output flange. Don’t forget to retighten clamps when finished.

Now go drink a beer or 6 of them!





171 thoughts on “CV joint renewal

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  169. quite awesome, indeed. Might have to put this on the list for spring… going to have the rears off for the bearings. Suppose I should probably get a new diff lined up too..

    • Car is headed into shop next friday for 5spd conversion and lsd swap so I figured I might as well overhaul the cv’s beforehand. Then I can tackle the front/rear door cards in my basement as I won’t be spending much time outside freezing my keister off.

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