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01/10/2004 17:22:28   James Ayres   Hi there, although my 96 passed it's MOT they warned of cracked CV Boots so I booked it in for the garage to do. My garage is normaly very good and trustworthy! However, on picking up the car he said it was a nightmare of a job and the suspension had to be stripped down. Does anyone know about doing this job? Also he said he would send me the bill in the post as he had not yet prepared it. How much should I be expecting to pay for parts and labour?

01/10/2004 20:04:07   john wyatt   Hi James, although there is a fair bit involved, and a while since I have done one I would not imagine it taking a professional mechanic any more than two hours labour, parts wise a CV gaiter should set you back maybe a tenner so unless other bits have required replacement the bill should not be too horrendous.

02/10/2004 17:38:51   Senor Burt   It doesn't involve any disassembly of the suspension at all really. Only the top and bottom balljoints need to be undone.
It's a fairly simple job that should take a decent mechanic an hour to do both sides.  
03/10/2004 16:02:06   simon   "should take a decent mechanic an hour to do both sides".

In 1972 maybee Burt.
In writing; has anyone else noticed the speeding up of time? Mechanically, as well as biologically - difficult to guage, I know, being within time and thus part of the observed system. But hey maybee I'm just getting old and slowing down :(

Or is Burt just being a little keeeeen on his estimates here? If not, I'm gonna enlist his mechanic :)  
04/10/2004 07:23:13   bill rawles   If I was doing it myself I would reckon on an hour each side. More importantly, where did your garage get the gaitors from!  
04/10/2004 08:00:05   Richard   It will take a lot longer than that. Have a look what is involved getting the gaitor on to the shaft and assume things wont come apart that easy as its old. A garage still has to do it the same way as anyone else.  
04/10/2004 08:19:27   mel   Everybody seems to have forgotten one important thing here! DO NOT remove the top ball joint bolts unless you have the spring securely in a GOOD spring compressor or you might just take that preddy little head off!!!!
BTW we work on an hour per side and thats with a wheel free ramp and the proper tools.  
04/10/2004 10:25:12   Senor Burt   OK fair enough, maybe 2 hours is more realistic. But there's still no way you would describe the job as 'a nightmare' that 'the suspension has to be stripped down' for.
The bolts are all big and easily accessible, so there's usually no major issue getting stuff undone. The only awkward bit is getting the spring clip to re-engage into the CV joint. A decent mechanic should be able to handle this no trouble though.
Mel - I know you do this stuff every day, but I've done this job a good few times and never needed to compress the spring. Haynes doesn't say anything about it either. (P 103 - Centre & Outer Driveshaft assemblies - removal and refitting).
04/10/2004 12:28:37   Alistair   I've never compressed the spring to replace top ball joints either, I used to shove an old worn brake pad between the top wishbone & the inner wing to limit travel that way. Would say you could whip the driveshaft off in under 30 mins assuming none of the bolts were too seized and the balljoints split OK. Refitting in about 10-15, leaving about 15-20 to swap the boot.

How would you do the CV boot swap? I'm pretty sure when I've done it I have fitted the new one from the inner driveshaft end to avoid splitting the shaft, removing the inner d/s boot & bearing races first. Is that what everyone else would expect?

Last pair I bought came from a local factors in Alfreton, but it was a day or two ago though...  
04/10/2004 12:36:10   Alistair   Here's a thing. Just read on in the Haynes book and on p. 108 it does show the spring compressed for removal of the top ball joint and lower spring seat, the context being removal of the upper wishbone. What I hadn't realised is that there is nothing else holding the spring seat to the upper wishbone than friction and the balljoint bolts. I'd always figured they were welded or summat! That said, I've never seen one move...  
04/10/2004 12:55:25   Richard   I think when I last did this I unclamped the upper ball joint shank dropping the lower winsbone down on a jack, then removed the lower ball joint to avoid the spring mount having to be unbolted from the wishbone.  
06/10/2004 10:59:48   Senor Burt   I was looking at my 95 in the drive. As it has no engine at the moment, the front springs are fairly uncompressed. The bottom of the top wishbone rests nicely on the inner wing preventing any further movement. Meaning you don't need to compress the spring to remove the upper ball joint.
Alastair's brake pad thing is how you deal with it on 900's. Can't see it would do any harm though.
I usually split the driveshaft to change a CV joint. Getting that clip to go back in can be a nightmare though. Copious swearing usually helps.  
06/10/2004 12:26:04   Richard   If you remove the balljoint via the bolts you release the spring seat and even though the winsbone is resting on the droop stops the spring could force the seat of sideways. Should be good for killing yourself if it hits you in the head.
Thw way I do it I dont need to remove the bolts.  
07/10/2004 13:50:41   Senor Burt   Don't remove the balljoints via the bolts would seem to be the solution then.
Thinking about it, I've always removed the hub from the balljoints leaving them in place, so the spring seat goes nowhere. Therefore, you definitely don't need spring compressors to replace a CV boot.
That's exactly what it says in Haynes.  
07/10/2004 13:55:35   simon   Maybee that is why you recon'ed an hour for the job Bert?
As it usualy takes me about an hour to safely compress/and or remove the front springs.  
07/10/2004 21:57:43   James Ayres   Good news, the garage charged me 2 hours labour! So well done all on your estimates. He charges £30 an hour so the bill was acceptable and the job's a good un...  

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