Changed cv boots now the joints are stiff

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by Uncle Nick, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Hi all, like it says, I finally found time to refit the nearside driveshaft after stripping, cleaning it, regreasing and replacing both cv boots. I checked they had plenty of motion up, down and sideways both ends before tightening up and torquing down.
    Then I took off the other side and noticed how freely they move in all directions, far easier and without any of the sticking that my 'rebuilt' ones had.
    So, is it just they need to bed in or (as it's the first time I've done this), have I done something wrong?
    (Or for Barry, do I just need to wait while my balls re-arrange themselves until everything is slack again?)
    Valveandy likes this.
  2. Rez


    They should be stiffer when new. The old ones have worn down and move much more freely
    Uncle Nick likes this.
  3. Even if they're the originals and have only been repacked with grease ?
    snotty likes this.
  4. I had the same issue. Moved the balls around in the joint when I rebuilt it with grease & it was stiff & locking up. I wasn’t happy with it so fitted a new one.
    Uncle Nick likes this.
  5. If you can still flex them but they are stiff, you are OK. They will wear in rapidly.
    If they only bend a little, say 5 degrees, and tighten up to immovable as you try to bend further then they need to be reassembled with the big gap facing the small gap. In the case of misassembly they will wear very rapidly or break.
    Uncle Nick and Moons like this.
  6. This is more or less exactly the position I’m in now. Don’t want to risk them breaking when actually on the road.

    James: they do move fully in all directions but feel very notchy.
    I’ve got the other side off and the first boot off. This time I’ve marked it to make sure it goes back the way it came off.
  7. Custom & Commercial do quality SKF joints at a tad over £40. . I wouldn’t risk it if it’s locking up.
  8. Did you take the CV joints to pieces? Are they assembled the right way round?
  9. I thought so before but now I’m not so sure.
    There’s a lot of conflicting info on the web and my Haynes manual is pretty useless.
    The outer section is definitely correct but the cage may be wrong.
    The inner is correct in that the big gap faces the small gap but some sites say smooth side faces out while others say inward.
    It’s a bloody minefield!
  10. The joints are basically symmetrical. They can be installed in any of the four arrangements that is possible, thinking of which end of each machined part faces out or in.
    Putting them together "wrong" will move the wear points around and buy more lifetime.

    If a joint feels stiff to a puny human, dont forget there will be a 2 ton bus waggling it about soon..

    Also remember the molybdenum sulphide particles will begin by feeling like dust in the grease, its not as "smooth" as the clear stuff.

    So a stiff joint which can be flexed without becoming stiffer shows tolerances are OK.

    A joint that is loose but tightens up severely as you flex it 10 degrees may be a badly worn joint that is put together wrong.

    The main thing is when it goes back on the driveshaft the ends dont slide up and down the splines. If it needs a spacer washer, the washer will fit. If it doesnt fit it doesnt need it.
    And that all the spacers and washers are on the bolts and they are all torqued up fully.
    Betty the Bay likes this.
  11. Many thanks for that. It puts my mind at rest that the first two joints I did are actually ok.
    I’ve had to buy a replacement joint for the third one as there was corrosion and pitting in one of the grooves.
    It was stiff and notchy when dry but once greased moves nicely in all directions. The inner on it didn’t have the raised section and, as you say, needed the spring washer to stop it sliding on the splines.
    I guess I’m just been panicky and worried as it’s the first time I’ve done them.
    I’ve taken lots of pictures and annotated the differences so they’re definitely going on the original way. (Crosses fingers!)
    Thanks once again for all your help, I think I owe everyone a beer!
  12. Was good to have @mikedjames reassurance...this was a job I was going to do this winter .... after your post, I almost chickened out !
    Report back later to let us know all is well ( hopefully ).
  13. Well I've refitted them and the wheels seem to turn ok!
    It's still up on the stands waiting for me to have another go at the rear brakes, which was the reason I was crawling about underneath and spotted the split cv boots.
    @Betty the Bay With hindsight I wouldn't bother stripping, cleaning and checking the cv joints. My local motor factors can supply cv joint kits for £28, that include the boots, grease and new bolts, which isn't much more than I paid for just the boots. Changing the boots and joints is far easier, and much, much less messy than faffing about with the old joints.
    Thanks once more to all that helped, what a great site this is! :)
  14. Be wary of the cheap CV joint kits. Quality isn’t great and its not something you want to be changing on a regular basis.
  15. I thought exactly the same thing...anyway who doesn't love getting good and greasy !
  16. They’ve been on and off that many times now I could do them in a flash!

    They’ve got a two year warranty so well see. :)
    Barneyrubble and Betty the Bay like this.
  17. I only believe in the VWH / genuine VW boot / grease kits at £35 a boot.. all others have failed fast..

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