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Outer CV boot replacement on a 1996 Saab 900SE turbo. The repair had to be done because the old boot developed a crack and started leaking grease.

Tools and supplies:

  • new CV boot kit: boot, clamps, snap ring and grease;
  • 32 mm (1¼") socket: hub centre nut;
  • 18 mm socket: tie rod nut;
  • 17 mm socket: wheel bolts;
  • 15 mm socket: control arm to subframe bolt;
  • 13 mm socket: lower sway bar link nut;
  • 11 mm open wrench: upper part of sway bar link;
  • 10 mm Allen key: caliper bolts;
  • 5 mm Allen key: ABS sensor screws, rotor index screw;
  • torque wrench;
  • car jack and axle stands;
  • C-clamp: for tightening the tie rod end;
  • breaker bar;
  • vice-grips;
  • gear puller;
  • hammer.
Hub nut

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).
Control arm

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.
Rotor off

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.
Joint removed

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 the axle.

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.
Cleaned up

Clean everything thoroughly to wipe out all of the old grease. Do not let the dirt to get into the joint from now on.
New kit

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.
Boot on

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.
Joint finished

Put the second clamp on and inspect the boot.
Axle installed

Insert the axle into the hub.
Control arm

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.

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