E46 (1999 - 2006)
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replace front CV inner/outer boots for 325xi
I just replaced the front cv inner and outer boot on both driver and passenger side for my 2001 325xi.
I read a lot of posts before I started so I want to share my experience as well.
-36mm 12pt socket for the axle nut
-18mm wrench and 16mm wrench for control arm
-some small torx bits to get the headlight arm off the control arm if you have the xenon lights (you'll find the bolt has a place for the torx bit so you can keep it from spinning while you take the nut off with a wrench
-KD Tools (KD 3955) CV Boot Clamp Tool (I got it from NAPA)
-Flange FWD axle puller (rent from Autozone OEM# 27037 for free)
-OEM slide Hammer flange (rent from Autozone OEM#27032 for free, the box shows rear axle puller)
-Breaker bar and socket wrench
-lots and lots of shop towels to wipe away a lot of grease
Once you have the tools you will need the parts (I used realoem.com to look up the part numbers and then ordered the parts from pelicanparts.com):
-Front inner CV boot kit
-Front outer CV boot kit
-The Bentley manual
1. The puller:
I saw people use KD Tools 2251 Heavy-Duty Universal Wheel Hub Puller or 3 jaw gear puller, or just hammer.
The Universal Wheel Hub Puller is a little expensive so I rented "Front Hub Puller with Spare Locknut" from Autozone.
You can see the picture here:
OEM Front Wheel Drive Hub Puller
But the diameter is a little bit small for my car, so I rent "OTC (OTC7792) Flange Type Axle Puller Attachment"
The rear axle puller does not come with a bolt, so I use the bolt from FWD axle puller with the rear axle puller and
make it a perfect axle puller. Normally, I use 3 lug nuts to fix the puller on the hub and tight the bolt in the middle
to push the axle out. But my axle on the passenger side is too tight, when I tight the screw, the puller and the hub keep
spinning. So what I do is: I fix the bolt on the puller with nut. And then screw the lug nut on the hub. I tight the 3 lug nuts
with Breaker bar while use socket wrench to fix the bolt in the middle. When the lug nuts are all screwed in, I removed the
puller from the hub and screw the middle bolt in 0.5 inch and fix it, then tight the 3 lugs again. In this way, I successfully
removed my axle from the hub.
2. the boot clamp of GKN Loebro
The inner boot clamp of GKN Loebro axle boot kit is too thick and too hard to bend. Even I bought the clamp tool, I
can not tight the clamp. Even I tightened them, The gease was still leaking. So I ended up replace the big clamps with the
one I bought from NAPA to solved the problem.
The outer boot clamp of GKN Loebro axle boot kit is too soft. I broke one clamp into 2 with my clamp tool when I tight the clamp.
1. jack up the car and remove the wheels.
2. take a hammer and punch (or screwdriver) and pound out where the axle nut is staked.
Then use your 36mm socket and Breaker bar to loose the axle nut. When I loose the nut, I need another one to step on the brake
to prevent the axle from spinning.
3. remove brake caliper and bracket. Hang caliper from strut spring using a stiff wire (a bent hanger will do).
Remove brake rotor. Remove the dust shield under the car, remove the aluminum heat sheild under the passenger side,
(I really had to pull to get the heat shield out)
4.Remove the ABS Pulse Generator Sensor, headlight arm off the control arm on the passenger side.
5. remove stabilizer Hex nut from stut
6. loose 2 18mm HEX bolts of control arm with 18mm wrench
7. remove 2 16mm Hex bolt of control arm bushing from the frame. Now the control arm just hang on the hub with ball joint connected.
the stut, the hub and the axle are loose.
8. use my own axle puller to push the axle toward the transmission and out of the hub.
9. Once you have seperated the axle from the hub, in stead of pulling the axle stub out of the transmission, I simply grabbed the axle and
gave it a couple good tugs. The inner CV boot pulled off the transaxle stub and I was able to remove the outer axle from the car.
Since this method separates the inner CV joint, you should definately replace both boots at the same time.
Make sure you take the adapter out of the inner boot (adapts the triangular transaxle to the round boot) as you will need to
10. Remove the boot clamps from both joints. Slide the outer boot (big end of the boot) back and hit the large part of the stub
with a hammer to separate it off of the center axle. Then you can remove both boots off of this axles; and you will need to wipe out all the grease.
Remove the old circlip with screw driver.
Once both joints and all axle parts (balls and bowl) are clean,
11. You can then slide the boots back on and pack the grease into the joints but don't tighten the clamps.
take the new circlip amke it as small as the axle
and slide it down into the groove in the outer axle stub joint. If the circlip is too big, you can not slide it in to the Axle shaft stub.
(I broke 3 circlips when I hammer the outer axle stub back onto the center, and the car generate noise if the circlip is not working.)
Next you put the outer CV joint back together and hammer the outer axle stub back onto the center until
the clip snaps into place inside the joint. Next tighten down the large clamp on the outer boot,
and manipulate the joint in every direction; then tighten the small clamp.
12. Noe you can slide the axle back into the (cleaned) transaxle and get the outer axle stub started into the hub.
Slide the adapter and boot onto the transaxle and tighten clamp. Squeeze the inner boot to burp the air out and then tighten
the small clamp.
13. put the 36mm 12pt socket and an old 5'' 1/2 socket extension on the hub and used a small 5 pound sledge hammer to pound
the extension to make hub back onto the outer axle stub far enough to get then nut threaded about half way on
(it took a lot of pounding and some pretty hard shots and I damaged the extension).
14. Finally I tightened the nut with 2 lug nut on the hub and use a long screw driver or pry bar to stop hub from spinning.
15. reinstall the control arm, stabilizer, ABS Pulse Generator Sensor, brake rotor and caliper. Then tight the 36mm axle nut as much as I can
with another one step on the brake. and stake the nut.
16. put on the wheel.
That's all. I spent a lot of time to deal with the circlip and clamp on the inner boot. Other than that, everything goses
quite smooth. Because of the circlip, I had to order extra boots and bough some generic cv boot clips from local NAPA store.
Last edited by liuczh; 07-17-2009 at 08:51 AM.
This is one of those overly messy jobs that I usually pay an indy to do. However if you ever need hand turning a wrench on the Xi, I'd be more than happy to help. Where in NJ are you at?
Arthur John "Destroyer of Sleep"
Sean David (has more rolls than a bakery)
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