A month or so ago, I replaced the springs on a 2007 Camry 3.5 SE. While the strut was out, the weight of the hub/brake assembly on the front driver's side caused it to lean out, away from the motor, pulling the axle with it. The axle did not pull out from the transmission housing (as far as I can tell), but the inner boot of the CV joint did stretch out (accordion style). The inner boot did not tear or come loose. Simply pushing the hub/brake assembly back wouldn't allow whatever parts within the inner boot-end of the axle to mesh. I had to spin the axle slightly to get the parts within the inner end of the axle to marry in order for everything to go back in place as it was. Everything seemed fine, but upon replacing my brakes, I see a thin ring of thick lube on all the surfaces around the CV joint, where it has "spun" out (centrifugal force) from the inner most edge of the inner boot. The boot has no tears or damage that I can see, and it still looks to be correctly in place. Running my fingers along the inner edge of the boot, it feels like the inner boot may have some flanges along the inner surface of its larger (motor/transmission side) end that perhaps fit over the metal portion of the assembly that keep it from pulling apart, but I'm not positive, never having seen this assembly taken apart. I've included a pic with red arrows pointing at part of the "ring of lube"? What happened inside the CV boot while it was stretched out, to cause this? Can I removed the metal strap and pull the boot towards the hub/brake assembly to inspect whatever is under it without removing the axle/CV joint?
Looks like grease leaked out of the boot for reason. Your best bet would be to replace the boot with a split boot or replace the whole axle your choice Whole axles are pretty cheap these days.
June, 13, 2012 AT 11:36 PM
I realize it's leaking for some reason. If the boot is in Place and intact, y is it leaking? I'm guessing I dislodged the grease from inside the actual joint, which caused it to migrate towards the boot and eventually spin out. Could the outward movement cause damage to the joint excluding the boot? R u familiar with the design of the boot on this model car, in so far as can it be pulled back so I can visually inspect the joint?
June, 13, 2012 AT 11:52 PM
There is only really two types of boot materials one is rubber and one is hard plastic. What is it you wish to see pulling the boot back?You really arent going to see excessive wear etc the joints really dont wear out so to speak. The main reason for replacing a joint or axle is from a torn or leaking boot then the joint failing from lack of grease. Heres my rule of thumb if the boot leaks for any reason I replace the boot or axle which is ever more cost effective. Sure you can pull the boot back but your going to have to undo the two clamps and replace the clamps. Just replace the boot you can probably get a split boot so you wont have to remove the axle.
June, 13, 2012 AT 11:55 PM
The reason it probably leaked was because you pulled the axle back out of the joint pretty far. Then when it went back in the grease got pumped and built up pressure causing the grease to leak from the boot.
June, 14, 2012 AT 12:04 AM
Yea. Dislodged grease from joint into boot was my uneducated guess. I was curious if if I could pull the flexible rubber boot back off the joint, pack more grease in there and re-strap it secure. I REALLY don't wanna replace anything unless absolutely necessary. Thanks
June, 14, 2012 AT 12:19 AM
If the boot isnt damaged you could do that but probably betime you buy the grease and clamps that could buy you a boot kit. Price it out.
June, 14, 2012 AT 12:27 AM
If there is lube getting thrown around the boot is leaking from some where. If it just happened reboot it or new axle. Split boots never seal well. The quicker you fix this the better. If you let it go to long you will need an axle and or a joint.
June, 14, 2012 AT 12:54 AM
Hypothetically speaking, if a boot isn't cut or loose, how would the grease get out? Is the seal loose enough for hot/thinned/displaced lube to spin out? I'm curious how long its been there. I've read there could be a vacuum in the boot if sealed really tight. Could pushing the axle back in, force the grease out due to the internal air pressure?
I could replace the boot, but I REALLY don't wanna do all that labor unless absolutely necessary. I'd like to make the repair "in place" if at all possible.
I'd never use a split boot
June, 14, 2012 AT 12:55 AM
Meant to say. Could pushing the CV joint back together inside the boot, force the grease out due to the internal air pressure?
June, 14, 2012 AT 1:01 AM
I already went over this yes you can pump grease out like you were saying.I didnt know if the grease was there before stretching the axle out.I have also seen the axle grease thin and leak with no visable damage to the boots.I would just replace if in doubt of the cause of the leak.