How to Rebuild a CV Axle

If you’re looking to rebuild a CV axle you’re looking to revive a bit of a lost art.  As we mentioned in the video above rebuilding CV axles yourself is usually not very cost-effective as already rebuilt axles are probably available for your vehicle at a very reasonable price.  If you love the idea of getting grease, are really trying to pinch pennies, or can’t find an axle for your vehicle then you’ve come to the right place!

Unless your axle boot is completely torn and you’ve been driving in extremely harsh environments, chances are pretty good that your bearings will be in good shape once you get things apart.  If this is the case, all you will need to rebuild your axle is some new boots and clamps to secure them.  Sometimes you an find direct fit boots specifically made for your vehicle’s axle, but other times you may need to simply measure the axle diameter and the diameter of the outside of the CV housing and find a boot that will fit.  Besides the boot, you’ll want some new grease and new snap rings to hold everything together.

The trickiest part of getting most CV axles apart, whether it’s the transmission side like we pictured in this video or the hub side (they look very different on the inside), is finding the snap rings holding everything together.  The best practice we’ve found is to cut the old boot off then start cleaning out as much grease as you can before you start yanking or pulling anything apart.  Once you’ve got the old grease removed you’ll be able to easily see the snap rings holding things together and can disassembly the axle without breaking anything.

Tricks for on how to rebuild a CV axle:

  • Expect it to be dirty.  have plenty of paper towels and hand cleaner standing by and we highly recommend wearing gloves while you’re cleaning out the old grease and installing the new grease.  Here, we don’t recommend using shop rags because you’ll never get all the grease out of them.
  • Remember how things came apart.  Especially on the hub side, it can be easy to just let the ball bearings drop out of the cage and forget what went which way.  Take pictures, make notes, or scribe marks to help you get things back together the same way.
  • Replacing any snap rings can save you lots of trouble later on.  If a snap ring fails while you’re driving it can allow your axle to shimmy out of the hub or transmission and really cause some problems.
  • Use hose clamps to hold the new boots on.  The factor crimp style clamps work great if they are exactly the right size and you’ve got the tool to crimp them but for a DIY rebuilder, hose clamps are cheap and easy!

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