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Project Snicket, CV Boot Replacement

This isn’t a job I was looking forward to, but one that needed to be done. I had to replace the split outer CV boot.

The boot was split and spewing grease everywhere. I probably could have tried to get through the inspection with it cleaned up a bit, but figured it was best just to change it out.

Step one, as always, is loosen the wheel nuts with the car on the ground. Also do what I failed to do, and remove the split pin and crack the main axle nut before you lift the wheel. It isn’t torqued high, but you cant do it with a spinning wheel.

Jack the corner up and lower it onto a stand. Whip the axle nut and washer off

Next I loosened the nuts for the top ball joint and steering rod end. I gave the metal that the ball joints go through a good whack with a hammer but got nowhere, so I resorted to some WD40, winding the nut to the top of the thread and hitting the top of the nut. This broke both free without issue. I think I need a dead blow hammer.

Interestingly I found another grease point I didn’t know about, on the underside of the steering rod end. Will need to get some grease in that nipple.

I left the lower ball joint and tie rod attached (later removed, to flip the bolt around, but it doesn’t need to be removed) to the lower arm, and lowered the hub/drum complete. There was enough movement and slack in the brake hose to not strain it, but take care.

You can see the axle just slipped out of the hub, and with some wiggling out it came completely

Now, I tried to be lazy, and leave the axle in the pot joint and remove the CV, but don’t be lazy, it’s a waste of time. Remove the large CV clamp on the gearbox pot joint, on the other end of the axle, and the whole lot will just pull out and be removed from the car. Be careful that the balls in the pot joint don’t fall out when you remove it.

With the whole axle out, it’s very easy to split the CV off. Just hold the axle CV downwards, put something soft under it to cushion the drop, and hit the CV with a mallet. It should just pop straight off.

Everything is full of grease; this is a very messy job. I have heard of people putting the pot joint into a plastic bag to limit the greasy mess, but I just stuck the joint into a box the CV boot came in. Seemed to work OK.

Remove old boot

Slip the new boot on and make sure the small end seats into one of the grooves in the axle

Refit the CV (I wont say how to do this as it varies. The Haynes manual gives some detailed instructions)

And then get really angry at the stupid flat metal clamps they supplied, and the fact you didn’t think to get the proper tool for them. No, pliers don’t work properly. The boot I got from Supercheap (listed as for “front drums” as I know the ones for the discs are different) seems to be a bit short on the CV end and doesn’t sit completely in the groove. It seems to clip in though and doesn’t just pop off at maximum angle, so hopefully its OK. Teaches me to not buy it from a Mini parts supplier.

I ended up using zip ties to secure the boot, but I have ordered the correct tools, and more proper bands. If/when this boot fails me, I’ll probably just get a universal stretchy boot and use that instead. Apparently the stretchy boots are quite common to use on the Mini as its quick and easy.

Torque the nut up to the required torque (which is quite low on the standard cars, 81NM), fit a new split pin and away you go

Looking good after a quick spin (catch tray to catch the overflow from topping up the radiator)

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