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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm wanting to replace the CV boots on my rear axle because my current ones are cracking but still intact. I've been having a really hard time finding a decent source for affordable rear axle CV boots. When I do find a website they want $80+ each. Seems a bit steep for a rubber boot. I've replaced quite a few similarly designed boots on other BMW models for significantly less than that. The front ones are plentiful, available, and cheap, the rear's are rare and expensive. What gives? I had to replace one of the rear half shafts a few years ago. It was very difficult to source a brand new one regardless of price.

I'm curious if any other BMW models have similarly sized boots. The $80 boots I find come with the metal flange already installed, meaning the CV joint has to be the correct size. I can live with just the rubber boot as long as I can clamp it onto the metal flange that fits my X3 CV joint. I've used universal boots before and had mostly bad results. Any insight would be appreciated!
 

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I did a little poking around assuming you just weren't looking at the right vendors, but.... WOW! I found a supplier in the UK that is more reasonable, so hopefully this link might help in your search: https://www.autodoc.co.uk/mapco/14550199

AM.
 

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“Seems a bit steep for a rubber boot.”

you can spend $20 and get junk that lasts 6 months

quality means price and CV boots are where the rubber hits the road, especially on the cheap ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Attacking Mid,

I appreciate you finding that, I'll have to look into that supplier. Not a lot of domestic options available.

abscate,

Yes I understand that, I learned that lesson on my e28 many years ago. However I recall paying less than $30 (each) for some GKN Loebro boots that were really good quality. That's why I was under the impression decent quality boots could be out there for $40 and under. Or if a boot for, say an e46 was compatible I would have some options.

I tried to measure the CV joint the best I could but my calipers didn't want to fit around it. It looks like the CV joint is aprox103mm, metal flange thing the boot clamps to is 68mm, and the shaft is 31mm. I'll do some reading on the e46 forums to see if anything turns up.
 

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You didn't state your year/engine/model/trans/odometer in your initial post...

Anyway, we had similar issues in Volvo P80 forum (1993-2000 850, S70, V70 etc.).
As it turned out, we found an Audi/VW boot that fits perfectly.

The morale of the story is to look at GKN website for spec's.
And look at other cars such as MB, BMW, VW and find the closest fit.
If the I.D. or O.D. are within 1-2 mm, then it would fit the BMW E83 rear CV boot without issues.
 

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It appears as though the axles changed with the LCI refresh, and were also dependent upon transmission type. Rockauto has a few here for M54 cars:


and none for LCI cars:

REALOEM, the interior boot seems to be unique to the E83, but the exterior is common among several models as new as and newer than E90.

Order from Tischer while the discount and inventory is available. Under $100 each.

Exterior:

Interior:

The LCI rear prop shaft has common u joint sizing with the E65 (or possibly E38), so you can cross-check its axle sizing too.
 

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O.P.,

This link is GKN online catalogue. It does NOT have USA market, but you can choose Germany, France or UK just for the purposes of looking for spec's.

 

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This is a screenshot of REAR CV boots taken from GKN website (Auto v Manual, and Trans side vs wheel side)...

Don't limit yourself to US sellers, sometimes you will find decent ebay UK seller selling genuine GKN CV boots...
Just use the GKN PN in the photo below...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You didn't state your year/engine/model/trans/odometer in your initial post...

Anyway, we had similar issues in Volvo P80 forum (1993-2000 850, S70, V70 etc.).
As it turned out, we found an Audi/VW boot that fits perfectly.

The morale of the story is to look at GKN website for spec's.
And look at other cars such as MB, BMW, VW and find the closest fit.
If the I.D. or O.D. are within 1-2 mm, then it would fit the BMW E83 rear CV boot without issues.
Yes Good point, I forgot that part. I have an 07 X3, n52 3.0Si, 6L45 transmission, 152k miles.

I'll have to take a look at GKN's website. I never thought to try that. I appreciate your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess I'm not surprised they changed the sizing for the LCI cars. I miss how the older cars parts shared a lot more.

It appears as though the axles changed with the LCI refresh, and were also dependent upon transmission type. Rockauto has a few here for M54 cars:


and none for LCI cars:

REALOEM, the interior boot seems to be unique to the E83, but the exterior is common among several models as new as and newer than E90.

Order from Tischer while the discount and inventory is available. Under $100 each.

Exterior:

Interior:

The LCI rear prop shaft has common u joint sizing with the E65 (or possibly E38), so you can cross-check its axle sizing too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is a screenshot of REAR CV boots taken from GKN website (Auto v Manual, and Trans side vs wheel side)...

Don't limit yourself to US sellers, sometimes you will find decent ebay UK seller selling genuine GKN CV boots...
Just use the GKN PN in the photo below...
I appreciate those part numbers! I'll see what I can find. Maybe I'll find a seller willing to ship internationally.
 

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I guess I'm not surprised they changed the sizing for the LCI cars. I miss how the older cars parts shared a lot more.
The LCI cars saw a completely different drivetrain: N52n, 6L45 transmission and 3.73 rear differential (2.5i and 3.0i cars had 3.91 and 3.64 ratios, resp.). I’m guessing there were subtle changes in the carrier, input and outputs positions of the diff (the rear prop shaft changed), so different rear axles isn’t too surprising.


Via the interwebs
 

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A quick look at realoem showed that:

  • All REAR axle CV boots (both inner and outer) are the same for 2004-2010 X3 models.
  • The difference is in Manual vs Automatic as shown in the photos above.
  • When searching for GKN, you can always replace "GKN" with "Lobro".

- Normally GKN Rubber boots for Volvo sell for about $12/each on FCPEuro. My theory why BMW REAR CV boots cost more: it is all economic...these CBMW REAR V boots lasts some 20y/200K+, so there is not much a market for it, thus higher prices...

- In contrast FWD cars CV Boots usually crack at 80K-120K (constant turning R and L in FWD cars), thus a bigger market for FWD axles...

- More info here re BMW PN:
 
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