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Old 07-14-2019, 07:55 PM
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Question bmw x5 e53 2005 CV boot vs Axle replacement cost vs difficulty

Hi all, I have a 2005 X5 E53 4.4i and my front CV outer boots are torn. I have the option of replacing the full axles with both cv joints or just do a CV boot replacement. I see that BMW CV axles are expensive but have heard issues with aftermarket ones (GKN etc). The genuine BMW CV boot replacement kits are obviously much less expensive and you can pick up pullers for hub and cv at decent prices. However, I have read that the difficulty of CV boot replacement is a lot harder than replacing the whole axle. Also, there seem to be posts on different procedures for CV boot replacement where they vary which items need to be unbolted. The other thing is putting the CV joint back on and fiddling with the circlip.

Just wanted to check on those who have done this job if they had the same dilemma on which path they chose.

regards
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talljames View Post
Hi all, I have a 2005 X5 E53 4.4i and my front CV outer boots are torn. I have the option of replacing the full axles with both cv joints or just do a CV boot replacement. I see that BMW CV axles are expensive but have heard issues with aftermarket ones (GKN etc). The genuine BMW CV boot replacement kits are obviously much less expensive and you can pick up pullers for hub and cv at decent prices. However, I have read that the difficulty of CV boot replacement is a lot harder than replacing the whole axle. Also, there seem to be posts on different procedures for CV boot replacement where they vary which items need to be unbolted. The other thing is putting the CV joint back on and fiddling with the circlip.

Just wanted to check on those who have done this job if they had the same dilemma on which path they chose.

regards
Pricing probably varies quite a bit here in the States but when I had torn outer CV boots that ended up damaging the CV joints, the dealer wanted around $450 for the joints and around $150 for the boot kit. (just the parts) I ended up going with Chinese aftermarket complete axle assemblies for $100 each and have been on my X5 for over 7 years at this point with no issues at all. Even the boots are still in perfect shape.

So for a truck that is 15 years old, I didn't see a need for factory axles and saved probably $1500-$2000 after everything was installed. (nearly half the value of this truck over here)
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:50 PM
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I was going to re-boot, but others on here talked me into just putting on a cheap axle from Advance AP. Google for coupons, order online, then pick up in store. It's only been on for a few months, but so far, so good.

AM.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:52 PM
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I changed the boot - the cost of the complete axles is prohibitive over here (compared to just the boot) and the labour to change the entire axle is way more - it's a no brainer (for me).
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:03 PM
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I have 2-3 torn boots and since no secondary symptoms and one of the torn boots is on one of the replacement CV axles I'm going to get boots


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Old 07-15-2019, 12:36 AM
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I have replaced the boots only. One extra factor to consider is that I'm pretty sure replacing the whole axle is a bigger job than the boots, if you don't count the part of replacing the boots on the axle when it is out.

When you do the boots only, you leave the very outer part of the axle in the hub assembly. And that part can be a big deal for some people.

For example, when I replaced mine, I did not touch the axle nut or the brakes at all. Others on here have posted nightmare stories about getting the outer end of the axle out, after removing the axle nut.

There's a thread on here, about a thousand pages long, called something like "CV boot replacement in 30 minutes". That explains the basic method. I have a post in there somewhere where I was confused by the confusing instructions, and was pointed to a certain post in there that cleared things up.

Glad to hear others are getting good performance from those aftermarket axles.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:55 AM
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I had to have my mechanic do it. It was cheaper to replace with GKN replacement axles than to have him pull and reboot. Basically, the pulling and re-install is the same but you don’t have the labor for the rebuild. It really depends on your labor rates in your area. If I was doing it myself, I’d reboot since I have the time.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:10 AM
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I put some Amazon CV on wife's car and they have 40,000 on or so. One boot tore I suspect I damaged installing because it was a bitch to get in because the retaining clip was defective.

Her car is developing a bit of an under load wiggle might be from operator error (problem exists between seat and steering wheel). I let the torn boot go too long. Not unhappy about the $110 price avg. I would do it again.

About the non axle nut boot fix : it's easier to remove that nut than the FOUR ball joints holding the knukle.

I will be doing some boot replacements soon. I'll take pictures of course.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:43 AM
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The only vehicle I've re-booted was my son's (ill-fated) Subaru. I did it because it is well-known that Subarus don't like AM axles, and Subie axles are, of course, more expensive.

If your boot fails, then the grease left inside is compromised to some extent from exposure to dirt/dust/moisture, etc. To do the job right entails cleaning out most/all the old grease and replacing it with fresh, clean. That also makes it a fairly time-consuming job. It's important to use the right grease depending on the CV joint style. Rzeppa joints typically have 6 large balls and require a moly-infused high pressure grease. Tripod joints (typically used on the inner joints) require a much thinner grease - usually a polyurea grease. You can buy the specific greases from companies like GKN and some car manufacturers (Honda sells it). I ended up going to a John Deere implement dealer to find the polyurea grease in quantity at a reasonable price.

Having gone through all that hassle on the Subie, I was easily swayed to go the $65 Chinese Advance AP axle route. I had little trouble with the axle swap, though you need a serious impact gun to remove the axle nut. My old OEM axle wasn't making any noises, so I may re-boot it some rainy day and have it on the shelf for the day my Adv AP axle fails. More likely, it'll sit there untouched and I'll buy another $65 axle when the time comes!

AM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attacking Mid View Post
... It's important to use the right grease depending on the CV joint style. Rzeppa joints typically have 6 large balls and require a moly-infused high pressure grease. Tripod joints (typically used on the inner joints) require a much thinner grease - usually a polyurea grease. You can buy the specific greases from companies like GKN and some car manufacturers (Honda sells it). I ended up going to a John Deere implement dealer to find the polyurea grease in quantity at a reasonable price...
I bought the GKN boot kits (around $15 each, I'll guess). GKN is the OES for these parts. The kits come with a new boot, 2x 80g packets of grease (BTW, the spec from the Bentley is for 80g per joint, so the kits come with 2x as much grease as needed), c-clips (2 types, you need one), an axle nut, and the hose clamps. Same grease in the inner vs. outer boot kits.

Part numbers for the kits (2001 3.0i front axles, inner and outer): 31607507402, 31607565315. GKN-304206 is for one of the two.

So in that case, I figured GKN knew what grease was required and I just used what they supplied.

I know from my Honda, they originally specified two very different types of grease for inner vs. outer, but later released a new single grease that supersedes both of them. So maybe GKN has done this? It makes sense that they would be different - very different joint styles, one is near the brakes (hot) and flexes a lot (steering), the other is in-board near the transaxle or differential with pretty steady temperature and much less motion.

At the low price involved, I'm not worried about the type of grease.

I AM worried about avoiding an impossible step in the process, though. That's why I prefer the boots-only method.

Here's that 30-minute (not including reading time) thread, at my post, which is followed by some good discussion on options.

https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/...ml#post1135021

I'm not worried about getting the axle nut off, it's getting the axle end out of the hub without using a sledge hammer or the jaws of life. Plenty of stories on here about problems with that. Surely successful most of the time, like most things. But also, I hardly ever use a hammer on my suspension and bearings; I also seem to get a lot more mileage out of suspension components than most; correlated?

Taking a possibly longer path to avoid the land mines.

See this great thread, which contains this example along with a lot of other good info:

quote: "Got into my CV boot replacement project today. Got the axle nut off and can't get the splined shaft out of the hub. No amount of beating will budge it." And the only follow-up was a full retreat and re-assembly.

https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/...ml#post1150519

And yeah, if you're paying someone else to do this, you may not even have the option to have boots only replaced.
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