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.

 

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16.07.2005: 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).

 

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17.07.2005: Rim
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.

 

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17.07.2005: Caliper
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.

 

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17.07.2005: Tie-rod
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).

 

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17.07.2005: 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.

 

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17.07.2005: Rotor off
Remove the index screw (see here for possible solutions if it gets stuck) and take the rotor off.

 

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17.07.2005: Disconnected
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.

 

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17.07.2005: Clamps
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.

 

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17.07.2005: 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.

 

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17.07.2005: Boot
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.

 

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17.07.2005: Disassembled
Disassemble the joint. First, turn the inner part sideways to take out the balls one by one, then remove the remaining parts.

 

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17.07.2005: 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.

 

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17.07.2005: 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.

 

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17.07.2005: Boot on
Put the boot on and inspect how the joint assembly connects to the axle.

 

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17.07.2005: Packed
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.

 

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17.07.2005: Installed
Gently tap the joint on until the ring clicks into the groove in the shaft.

 

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17.07.2005: Clamp
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.

 

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17.07.2005: Crimping
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.

 

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17.07.2005: Joint finished
Put the second clamp on and inspect the boot.

 

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17.07.2005: Axle installed
Insert the axle into the hub.

 

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17.07.2005: 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.

 

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17.07.2005: Brakes
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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