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Old 08-17-2020, 12:56 AM #1
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CV Joints boots cracked, replace axle now or wait?

Hi there. I noticed that both of the inner boots on each of my CV joints are cracked. One appears dry and the another appears to have leaked grease at some point. I honestly believe that both of them were cracked earlier this year in February when I did a bunch of maintenance on the truck. That was about 18,000 miles ago and have driven to the west and east coast since.

I am getting ready to do another trip out to Montana in 2 weeks and started inspecting the truck to make sure it is ready.

Am I driving on borrowed time or can these things go for a very long time in this condition?

I don't hear any noises at all when driving. Pics below...



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Old 08-17-2020, 07:11 AM #2
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What is the cost to have both "boots" replaced?
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:10 AM #3
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What is the cost to have both "boots" replaced?
Not sure, especially if you had to pay someone to do it. I didn’t even consider it since the axels both need to come out and looks like a hard job. I spent sometime searching this forum yesterday and most related posts recommended replacing the axel instead of doing the boots.
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:48 AM #4
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Not sure, especially if you had to pay someone to do it. I didnít even consider it since the axels both need to come out and looks like a hard job. I spent sometime searching this forum yesterday and most related posts recommended replacing the axel instead of doing the boots.
The boots aren't terribly hard to do, just messy. If you take your time it's not a bad job.

That being said, CVJ axles in Colorado sells rebuilt OEM axles for a decent price. They'll take those beat up OEM ones as cores to rebuild.

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Old 08-17-2020, 11:09 AM #5
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The first one looks like it hasn't been torn for very long since there isn't grease everywhere. The second one might have been torn for a bit. Check both for lots of play in the inner joint. OEM axles are worth their weight in gold, so try and get them rebooted as soon as possible. If too much grease slings out, the bearings will get super worn and loose. I have more pictures of axle damage from poor lubrication here: Old CV Axle Teardown for Science


CV Reboot
The reboot process isn't too hard, and I've heard of people replacing the inner boot without even removing the axle nut. The inner tripod bearing can slide out after loosening the 2 knuckle bolts to the LCA. Theres a bit of discussion on this method in this thread: CV Reboot without Axle Removal

For my reboot, I picked up a junkyard axle in really good condition to reboot, since mine was thoroughly toasted. OEM used axles can be purchased for anywhere from $30-$70. An OEM reboot kit is about $45 and I optioned for worm drive CV boot clamps that I got for $18. I had about $100 into axle purchase+rebooting, which was much less than CVJ OEM equivalent for $200+shipping+core. Whichever route you take, stretch the inner boot so it the ribs don't rub onto themselves and cause premature wear. I did a writeup on my reboot process here: CV Reboot Tutorial with Boot Stretch (80+ Pictures)


CV Replacement
If you want to pull the axle and replace, I did a writeup on my CV axle replacement process that you might be interested in checking out: CV Replacement Tutorial with New Seals (120+ Pictures). This was my first time replacing a CV axle, and it was not terrible. I tried to grab a million pictures so it would be as approachable as possible. Let me know if you have any questions on either the reboot or replace!

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Old 08-17-2020, 11:21 AM #6
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OEM brand new are north of $350 and some dealers charge over $400 a side just for the part. Call CVJ to see how quick they can get their set sent out. If not within your timeline, See if your nearest dealers(s) have the reman axles in stock. I picked a couple up last year for less than $200 a side. The boots aren't the greatest, but they fit really well and spin true. That way you will be able to do your trip to Montana with out incident. I have not had great luck with parts store axles. Some had fitment issues, others had vibrations. Other members on here have had no problems, so it's hit and miss for the $100 axles imho. If you can get the Toyota remans, then you can find someone cheaper to install them, because we all know dealer labor costs are outrageous. Then when you get back you can either send in your OEM cores to CVJ and have theirs to install when the Dealer remans have problems, or reboot the cores yourself. There are some threads on here and some Boob Tube videos on the subject. If you do go with a parts store reman, take one of your OEMs with you and make sure they are the right length and match up as much as possible. I actually had a cheap one that was just a hair too long and didn't notice it until I installed it and it was binding up. Had to take it back out and measured it with an OEM and found that it was too long. SMDH what a PIA.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-17-2020, 11:28 AM #7
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Replace now. An option is brand new A1 Cardone axles with heavy duty cv boots. < $100 each new available at Summit Racing, Rock Auto ($56-68 each), etc... I installed these over 3 years ago on these on my V8 and not an issue.. Kept origs as potential back ups but not needed to date.
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Old 08-17-2020, 11:29 AM #8
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Originally Posted by 4RunnerAquasport View Post
EDIT: And there he is ladies and gentlemen, @y=mx+b FTW!! Our new king of the "How to thread" lol
Thanks! Now that I've done the writeups, I have pictures for everything lol.
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Old 08-17-2020, 11:56 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprajayaz View Post
Replace now. An option is brand new A1 Cardone axles with heavy duty cv boots. < $100 each new available at Summit Racing, Rock Auto ($56-68 each), etc... I installed these over 3 years ago on these on my V8 and not an issue.. Kept origs as potential back ups but not needed to date.
Thanks, I saw these yesterday and was thinking about going this route.


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The boots aren't terribly hard to do, just messy. If you take your time it's not a bad job.

That being said, CVJ axles in Colorado sells rebuilt OEM axles for a decent price. They'll take those beat up OEM ones as cores to rebuild.

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Thanks!


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Originally Posted by y=mx+b View Post
The first one looks like it hasn't been torn for very long since there isn't grease everywhere. The second one might have been torn for a bit. Check both for lots of play in the inner joint. OEM axles are worth their weight in gold, so try and get them rebooted as soon as possible. If too much grease slings out, the bearings will get super worn and loose. I have more pictures of axle damage from poor lubrication here: Old CV Axle Teardown for Science


CV Reboot
The reboot process isn't too hard, and I've heard of people replacing the inner boot without even removing the axle nut. The inner tripod bearing can slide out after loosening the 2 knuckle bolts to the LCA. Theres a bit of discussion on this method in this thread: CV Reboot without Axle Removal

For my reboot, I picked up a junkyard axle in really good condition to reboot, since mine was thoroughly toasted. OEM used axles can be purchased for anywhere from $30-$70. An OEM reboot kit is about $45 and I optioned for worm drive CV boot clamps that I got for $18. I had about $100 into axle purchase+rebooting, which was much less than CVJ OEM equivalent for $200+shipping+core. Whichever route you take, stretch the inner boot so it the ribs don't rub onto themselves and cause premature wear. I did a writeup on my reboot process here: CV Reboot Tutorial with Boot Stretch (80+ Pictures)


CV Replacement
If you want to pull the axle and replace, I did a writeup on my CV axle replacement process that you might be interested in checking out: CV Replacement Tutorial with New Seals (120+ Pictures)
Wow, that's a lot of info. Appreciate that response. A few questions on my current axels.

If rebooting, will it be obvious if mine are damaged or have too much play?

Also, what happens if my axels were replaced and are no longer OEM. Does that rule out rebooting? I will check this afternoon but I thought I saw a NAPA sticker on one of the axels.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4RunnerAquasport View Post
OEM brand new are north of $350 and some dealers charge over $400 a side just for the part. Call CVJ to see how quick they can get their set sent out. If not within your timeline, See if your nearest dealers(s) have the reman axles in stock. I picked a couple up last year for less than $200 a side. The boots aren't the greatest, but they fit really well and spin true. That way you will be able to do your trip to Montana with out incident. I have not had great luck with parts store axles. Some had fitment issues, others had vibrations. Other members on here have had no problems, so it's hit and miss for the $100 axles imho. If you can get the Toyota remans, then you can find someone cheaper to install them, because we all know dealer labor costs are outrageous. Then when you get back you can either send in your OEM cores to CVJ and have theirs to install when the Dealer remans have problems, or reboot the cores yourself. There are some threads on here and some Boob Tube videos on the subject. If you do go with a parts store reman, take one of your OEMs with you and make sure they are the right length and match up as much as possible. I actually had a cheap one that was just a hair too long and didn't notice it until I installed it and it was binding up. Had to take it back out and measured it with an OEM and found that it was too long. SMDH what a PIA.
Good Luck!
EDIT: And there he is ladies and gentlemen, @y=mx+b FTW!! Our new king of the "How to thread" lol
Thanks, I will check CVJ out too. Not sure if non OEM cores can be returned though if that's the case.


Btw, this site rocks! I get amazing feedback all the time.

Last edited by zguy1; 08-17-2020 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:17 PM #10
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Wow, that's a lot of info. Appreciate that response. A few questions on my current axles.

If rebooting, will it be obvious if mine are damaged or have too much play?

Also, what happens if my axels were replaced and are no longer OEM. Does that rule out rebooting? I will check this afternoon but I thought I saw a NAPA stick on one of the axels.
No problem! I'm learning as I go, so I try to help others out to pay back all the knowledge I've gained from this site.

Yes, I didn't have any sounds coming from the front end but when I went down to shake the axle, it was pretty floppy. There was significant play and, maybe 3/16"-1/4" up play. I stuck my finger in the grease and was able to pull out metal bits, maybe coarse salt sized. This picture should be expandable or clickable for a bigger version, but you can see the little metal granules sitting on the axle shaft inside the joint. If you have metal chunks, I would look into replacing the entire axle.


The grease color is also a good indication of the joint health. The darker the grease, the more metal and wear on the joint. from left to right, we have yellow=new, greyish yellow=used, black=most likely dead.


If they're not OEM, you can still reboot. The OEM kit has a trilobal inner joint housings (see reboot writeup pictures), so depending on if the shape of your current axle the OEM boots may not fit. There are certainly aftermarket boots, but they tend to be a weaker neoprene material. If they're NAPA axles, they may have some sort of lifetime warranty than can be swapped in for a new axle, no charge. Maybe try calling the local NAPA and ask if they'll honor the warranty without the receipt? Although they might want the original purchaser if they have it computer cataloged, still worth a shot for a free axle!
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:42 PM #11
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Thanks, I will check CVJ out too. Not sure if non OEM cores can be returned though if that's the case.
No CVJ won't take non OEM. Sorry about that, for some reason I thought I was in the 5th gen section this morning. The dealer remans are pretty good, except for the boots being thin, but might last you long enough to make them worth your while. FYI everyone: on a small tear in my boots I've had luck doing a bicycle patch, but anything over an inch or two and it's probably not going to last for very long.
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:52 PM #12
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No CVJ won't take non OEM. Sorry about that, for some reason I thought I was in the 5th gen section this morning. The dealer remans are pretty good, except for the boots being thin, but might last you long enough to make them worth your while. FYI everyone: on a small tear in my boots I've had luck doing a bicycle patch, but anything over an inch or two and it's probably not going to last for very long.

No problem, thanks for clarifying
I probably should ask. Aside from a sticker from a parts store like NAPA and such, is there a way to know for sure that an axel is OEM?
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:03 PM #13
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No problem, thanks for clarifying
I probably should ask. Aside from a sticker from a parts store like NAPA and such, is there a way to know for sure that an axel is OEM?
The inner cup has a tulip shape, but past that I can't tell for sure. There are people on here who know more about it than I do.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:18 PM #14
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No problem, thanks for clarifying
I probably should ask. Aside from a sticker from a parts store like NAPA and such, is there a way to know for sure that an axel is OEM?
The inner boots will say Toyoda on them (with the D not T), I think this is the best way to tell. Also the OEM inner joints have a trilobal housing with notches for slide hammer.


I have this comparison picture saved from somewhere on the interwebs. The second pic is an O'reilly axle that LQK sent me by accident when I ordered a used OEM axle. If you do want to go the "reboot a used OEM" route, I would pick one up in person or from a member here vs ordering online from eBay.

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Old 08-18-2020, 10:21 AM #15
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I think I may have OEM axels after all. My inner axels housings have that weird shape and are not round. I'll call CVJ this am to see. I'm tempting to reboot but considering my timeline I may save doing a reboot for next time.


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