With the car still on the ground, remove the centre cap from the wheel and
loosen the hub nut using a 32 mm socket (a 1¼" will do) and a
breaker bar. Loosen the wheel bolts while you're at it too (17 mm socket).
Raise the car and remove the wheel. These little grease splatters on the
inside on the rim are a clear sign of the problem. The side where the
grease is concentrated the most can help locate the crack in the boot.
Undo the hub hut completely. Remove the caliper (10 mm Allen socket) and
hang it onto something so no load is placed on the brake line.
Clamp the tie-rod and undo the nut (18 mm socket). Use a gear puller to
separate the rod end. You may also remove the ABS sensor to clear the way
(5 mm Allen key).
Disconnect the anti-roll bar link from the control arm. Use a 13 mm socket
on the nut and a 11 mm spanner on the top end.
Remove the index screw
(see here for
possible solutions if it gets stuck) and take the rotor off.
If you have a proper ball-joint separator (NOT a fork-type!), you can undo
the ball joint. I found it easier to unbolt the control arm from the
subframe instead (15 mm socket). Tilt the strut out of the way and pull
the axle out.
Remove the old clamps from the boot with a chisel or a big screwdriver.
Slide the boot up the shaft and start removing the grease.
The joint is firmly seated on the driveshaft and secured by a snap ring.
Once you dig the ring from under the layer of grease, do you best to remove
it. I ended up pulling it out with vice-grips, which straightened it
completely (and thus destroyed). Gently tap the CV joint until it comes off
This is where the crack in the boot was. It didn't seem big, and there
was enough grease to last for the next half a year until it all leaks out,
but I didn't want to take my chances.
Disassemble the joint. First, turn the inner part sideways to take
out the balls one by one, then remove the remaining parts.
Clean everything thoroughly to wipe out all of the old grease. Do not
let the dirt to get into the joint from now on.
Here's the new boot kit from
eEuroparts. It contains a new boot,
two stainless clamps, a replacement snap ring and a tube of fresh grease.
Put the boot on and inspect how the joint assembly connects to the axle.
Put the new snap ring into the joint so the angled ends are seated in the
opening in the star-shaped centre part, and fill the bearing with grease.
Gently tap the joint on until the ring clicks into the groove
in the shaft.
Put the boot on. There are grooves in the joint body and the axle that
help you position the boot properly. Put the clamp on.
If you don't have a specialized crimping tool, the job can be done with
a pair of thin Allen keys and the mighty vice-grips.
Put the second clamp on and inspect the boot.
Insert the axle into the hub.
Bolt the control arm to the subframe (85 ft-lbs) then connect the anti-roll
bar link (8 ft-lbs). Clamp and tighten the tie-rod end (55 ft-lbs), install
the ABS sensor.
Install the rotor and the caliper (87 ft-lbs). Bolt the hub nut on
reasonably tight. Put the wheel on (84 ft-lbs) and lower the car to the
ground. Tighten the hub nut to 214 ft-lbs.