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280ZX Turbo CV Boot Replacement (56k Beware!)


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280ZX Turbo CV Axle Boot Replacement Visual How-To


Here’s the method I used for dealing with those pesky inner boot cups. I hope the following visual how-to helps those that are unsure how to proceed. I hope to use this format and document as much as I can as I go through the various rebuild projects on my car.



First, the tools:

  • A cutoff wheel
  • Snap Ring pliers
  • At least one small ball peen hammer
  • A flat chisel (flat round)
  • A cold chisel (sharp line)
  • CV band crimp pliers (not shown)
  • A vice is really helpful (not shown)





Here you see one completed axle and the one we will be working on today






The new boots we’ll be installing. You will want these on hand before you begin. Some of the boot kits include the O-rings and some do not. Recommended are the Beck-Arnley parts that do:

Inner # 103-2280

Outer # 103-2282

(Thanks to zcarnut’s post here)




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First we will have to grab our cutoff wheel and make a cut around the face of the raised band. Cutting on the stub end of the raised ridge could cause you to cut the rim of the tulip cover. This could prevent you from being able to seal the boot to the stub later and will damage the o-ring. Cutting on the axle side should be OK, but I chose to cut in the middle. Wherever you decide to cut, be cautious not to go deeply into the ring underneath. Minor scarring in this area should not be an issue.






Once you’ve made your cut be ready to catch the old grease. My cut was more of a dotted line and held things in place until I was ready.






Now wipe the old grease off the end of the axle and remove the c-clip. Discard the clip as the new boots should include them.





This pic indicates the white or yellow dot on the tripod. Note that the dot is on the circlip side and will help you locate the outside of the tripod later. You can usually slip the tripod right off the shaft.




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Here’s the easy way to get the tulip cover off without damage. Three good whacks gets it moving and the 2x4 prevents damage to the stub. Once the cover is removed you can gently tap the sealing ring (the part you left score marks on) off of the tulip.





Once you have it all apart you should be left with these. Ready for cleanup!

The other end of the axle is pretty self explanatory. Disassemble and clean everything.





Replacement is the reverse of removal. Be sure to lubricate the inner o-ring and the inside of the tulip cover. Be gentle as the cover bends easily. Once the cover is in place, replace the sealing ring. When the sealing ring is almost in place, replace the outer o-ring. I then give it one whack on a 2x4 against the sealing ring/tulip face. That seats the ring, o-ring, and tulip cover without bending anything. The sealing ring should be flush with the base of the tulip, not inset.

Insert the axle into the rubber boot, then install the tripod and circlip. The paint dot should be visible on the tripod. Grease liberally with the supplied grease. Do your best to pack the bearings in the tripod with grease.






Place the tulip on the tripod. Note that in this picture the metal step of the boot is just resting in the vise. Don’t clamp down on it as you will be turning it regularly in the next steps.



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With the tulip in place, peen the perimeter of the lip at the point that it meets the tulip. You want to begin folding the lip over. Take your time from here on out as you will be shrinking and stretching the metal with each consecutive blow of the hammer. At this point we just want to head it in the right direction; towards the stub. Once you have started the crease around the lip where it meets the tulip, grab your cold chisel.





Begin by creasing the lip down with the cold chisel using an alternating pattern; 12, 6, 3, then 9 on the clock. You want the chisel to create a creased line here as that line will be the point that the metal shrinks into in the last steps. Don’t beat the snot out of it, just bend it over.

When you have 4 creases, do 4 more. It should begin looking like a bottle cap.





Go around one more time using the same technique.





Now that you have what looks like a bottle cap with 16 creases, it’s time to grab your flat-nose round chisel. You will want to fold the raised areas over one at a time. As you do so you will be shrinking the metal into the creases from the cold chisel. Try to follow the lip over with the chisel to keep the metal from stretching more than it has to.



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Here’s what I mean by following the lip over. This keeps it seated tightly against the ring instead of buckling further.





Here you see half of the flats done. Looking good! Taking every other one over prevents you from making an oval instead of the nice round, tight fold that you want.





There you go! See, that wasn’t that difficult. It takes a little while, but the results are worth it, I think. Assembly of the other end is straightforward. Be sure to put the boot on first, then the mounting flange. Grease the flange and pack the tripod bearings, then replace the tripod and circlip. The mounting flange will not fit over the tripod if you install the tripod first.





Two axles ready to go back onto the car! Note one appears much longer than the other; reinstallation of the base cap and spring forces both outer joints to expand making them appear closer in length. I have not replaced those parts in this picture as I am making 6 to 4 bolt adapters a’la those in the downloads section.



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