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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Jul-24-2017, 11:49:47 PM   #1
nitro3421
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Default Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

I'm in the middle of an oil pan gasket replacement and noticed this lovely sight:

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/attac...1&d=1500936551

I did a search and haven't been able to find a good DIY for the boot replacement - can anyone please point me in the right direction?
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Old Tue, Jul-25-2017, 12:27:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitro3421 View Post
I'm in the middle of an oil pan gasket replacement and noticed this lovely sight:

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/attac...1&d=1500936551

I did a search and haven't been able to find a good DIY for the boot replacement - can anyone please point me in the right direction?
Generally speaking, as soon as the boot tears you need the replace the whole unit. Any grit in there will fail the joint even if you reboot it. Schnorr washers are a good upgrade on the bolts attaching it to the diff when you put in the new one.
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Old Tue, Jul-25-2017, 02:25:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

In my experience, it's very much worth tearing them down and seeing what you've got. I refuse to pay full whack for half shafts, so I maintain a stock of disassembled CVs. I just pick up used shafts on eBay/car-part. I've generally had good luck, but if they're bad you'll know it:



They're not that hard to disassemble, but it's pretty tedious because it's a complete mess. You'll want a good vise, a hammer, a medium flat head screw driver, circlip pliers, and lots of nitrile gloves and paper towels. For the inner joint, just bang off the outer cover plate by hitting the edge of it with a screwdriver in a few places (comes off easily). Then remove the smaller boot clamp. Finally, pop the circlip (may be hidden by grease) on top of the joint and slide the whole thing off.

The boots and plates for the inners are cheap on ECS or FCP because they carry generic GKN kits. Not the case for the outers - $80 for those since all I can find is OE. I reuse outer boots/covers/orings if they look good. If anybody else has a source for the GKN outer kit, I'd love to hear about it.

The outers are a little trickier to get apart. I put them in a vise and use a screw driver under the edge of the inner cap, working my way around the edge until I've done a full 360*. You really need to bend the lip up to get it over an o-ring, so this step can be time consuming before you've got it figured out. I attack it with about a 45* angle to start, and then increase the angle once I've got it going. Once you get the inner cap loose, remove the small boot clamp and slide the boot down the axle. Then you can flex the CV joint to its maximum angle and the balls will fall out the back, eventually releasing the CV housing (with the spline to the hub on the outside) and letting you release the circlip.



You can find replacement Oetiker clamps on McMaster. The ones that came in my GKN kit were just slightly too small. Don't bother with the stuff you get at AutoZone.

Last edited by ethan; Tue, Jul-25-2017 at 02:40:48 PM.
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Old Tue, Jul-25-2017, 03:01:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

I rebuilt mine on my last M due to this. If its not clicking and binding, you should be good. The new boot kits come with the snap rings, boot, grease and cap. So when its torn down, you can decontaminate everything in brake fluid and then dry and rebuild to spec. Repack it and seal it up you'll be good to go.

Once aspect I recalled from the rebuild was the bearing cage orientation. One side has a slightly raised lip. Note where it is when you take the snap ring out.

Remanned unis are honed out and the bearing size is increased by the hone... that is only necessary if the dry running and contamination has scored / marred the bore.
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Old Tue, Jul-25-2017, 09:16:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan View Post
In my experience, it's very much worth tearing them down and seeing what you've got. I refuse to pay full whack for half shafts, so I maintain a stock of disassembled CVs. I just pick up used shafts on eBay/car-part. I've generally had good luck, but if they're bad you'll know it:



They're not that hard to disassemble, but it's pretty tedious because it's a complete mess. You'll want a good vise, a hammer, a medium flat head screw driver, circlip pliers, and lots of nitrile gloves and paper towels. For the inner joint, just bang off the outer cover plate by hitting the edge of it with a screwdriver in a few places (comes off easily). Then remove the smaller boot clamp. Finally, pop the circlip (may be hidden by grease) on top of the joint and slide the whole thing off.

The boots and plates for the inners are cheap on ECS or FCP because they carry generic GKN kits. Not the case for the outers - $80 for those since all I can find is OE. I reuse outer boots/covers/orings if they look good. If anybody else has a source for the GKN outer kit, I'd love to hear about it.

The outers are a little trickier to get apart. I put them in a vise and use a screw driver under the edge of the inner cap, working my way around the edge until I've done a full 360*. You really need to bend the lip up to get it over an o-ring, so this step can be time consuming before you've got it figured out. I attack it with about a 45* angle to start, and then increase the angle once I've got it going. Once you get the inner cap loose, remove the small boot clamp and slide the boot down the axle. Then you can flex the CV joint to its maximum angle and the balls will fall out the back, eventually releasing the CV housing (with the spline to the hub on the outside) and letting you release the circlip.



You can find replacement Oetiker clamps on McMaster. The ones that came in my GKN kit were just slightly too small. Don't bother with the stuff you get at AutoZone.

Thanks for the info! I started piecing together the parts and realized it's probably cheaper to buy a completely new unit for $63/side. Seems pretty reasonable.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-gsp-nort...iABEgIPCPD_BwE

Any other parts I would need along with right/left sides?
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Old Tue, Jul-25-2017, 10:01:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

I repacked my Driveshaft CV Joint after symptoms of a groan on hard accel. in 2nd gear low revs btw 2-3500rpm. Took forever to diagnose, and after seeing the grease everywhere i took everything apart and found the paper gasket had come apart. Then the search began and I found a few youtube videos detailing it perfectly. From what i remember, you need to use "moly" grease, which i found at napa. probably better get 2 or 3 bags in case you pack it and it doesnt seat right. It has to go exactly as its assembled, and it "fits both ways but one way is smoother than the other. If you get it wrong, its do it nice or do it twice.
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Old Wed, Jul-26-2017, 12:31:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitro3421 View Post
Thanks for the info! I started piecing together the parts and realized it's probably cheaper to buy a completely new unit for $63/side. Seems pretty reasonable.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-gsp-nort...iABEgIPCPD_BwE

Any other parts I would need along with right/left sides?
I've never used aftermarket axles, but I'll be interested to hear your experience once you've had time to evaluate them. That's extremely cheap - I'd be surprised if the quality is on par with the OE gear, but you never know. Anybody else used these before?
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Old Wed, Jul-26-2017, 02:25:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan View Post
I've never used aftermarket axles, but I'll be interested to hear your experience once you've had time to evaluate them. That's extremely cheap - I'd be surprised if the quality is on par with the OE gear, but you never know. Anybody else used these before?
Ya I wanted to ask the same. The brand GSP North America could be good or could sell stuff made in China for all I know.
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Old Wed, Jul-26-2017, 03:19:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

I've never seen any aftermarket axles worth a damn, let alone $63 ones. Seems like an absolutely terrible purchase.
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Old Wed, Jul-26-2017, 05:40:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan View Post
I've never used aftermarket axles, but I'll be interested to hear your experience once you've had time to evaluate them. That's extremely cheap - I'd be surprised if the quality is on par with the OE gear, but you never know. Anybody else used these before?
On second thought, I'm going to try rebuilding my existing with new inner boots on both sides.
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Last edited by nitro3421; Wed, Jul-26-2017 at 06:07:47 PM.
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Discussing Rear diff half shaft boot replacement DIY? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)