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CV Boots or Remanufactured Axle

I have a 1992 Honda Accord with 45,000 miles and last week when I took the car to a friend to have the transmission fluid and coolant changed, he noticed that the driver’s side outer cv boot was torn and leaking oil onto the inside of the tire. The car doesn’t make a clicking sound when turning. The last time the car was at the shop for an oil change was 1,000 miles ago and nothing was mentioned then so I assume it’s ok then and was just recently torn?

I’ve done about an hour’s research on the net about remanufactured axles and it’s enough to make my head spin. People generally agree that it’s more cost effective to replace the entire axle or in my case the half shaft because a half shaft will come with new boots. However, some people think the remanufactured and even the new axles they sell at popular auto parts stores aren’t the best quality, even with a limited lifetime warranty. I’m wondering how can an auto parts store sell a remanufactured or even a new half shaft for $70 when a genuine new Honda one is triple the cost? Do they take a used axle or halfshaft then repair it and sell it as remanufactured or new for $70? If so then I’m assuming it has more then 45,000 miles on it. Going to the junkyard isn’t an option since you can’t judge how many miles the axle has on it.

I can get a Dorman outer CV boot for $20 and would prefer to keep the genuine Honda axle if at all possible. Is it possible to properly repair/replace the boot and and be ok? If not, then should I take my chances on a $70 halfshaft?

I know that when you hear a clicking sound, it’s too late, but I’m not at that point yet.

I can tell you why a half shaft from a car parts store is only $70. Made in China, that’s why. I am running an experiment with my VW. I installed a Chinese half shaft and it cost only about $50. It’s been in use for only about 15,000 miles so far but is still working OK.

If you want Honda parts and will not replace the boot clean the joint if needed or replace the joint yourself, then I’d go with the judgement of a mechanic who can see if the old cv grease is dirty or gone to decide if a boot, a new joint assembly or a new half shaft is appropriate considering part plus labor cost total.

Are you going to do this work, or are you having it done for you? Just buy a re-manufactured complete half shaft assembly. By the time you buy the parts needed to rebuild it yourself, and the time to do it, you’re no better off. Just get the reman and forget about it. And no, do not just slap a new boot on with some fresh grease, you’d be asking for a headache.

Made in China. Now I’m a little more worried.

I’ve had boots replaced on joints that were still OK, and I’ve had axles replaced when the joints were damaged. Never had a problem either way. My Subaru currently has nearly 50,000 on a pair of remanufactured front drive axles.

You can pay your mechanic the labor to replace the boot if you wish. That way you’ll still have the original Honda parts on the car. The mechanic can tell if the joint is OK when he takes it apart for cleaning and repacking. If it needs a new joint, that is available also. You have more than just two options.

I seriously doubt that all remanufactured axles come from China. This is a claim without substantiation.

I’m going to have a friend do this for me who owns the same kind of car.

That sounds like a reasonable and good suggestion.

In fact, the actual axle part of a new axle is probably more likely to be made in China than a remanufactured one. A remanufactured one will be new bearings and boots on an original Honda-made circa early-1990’s axle. Honda themselves don’t make the bearings or the boots, so really there’s nothing especially “Honda” about this whole situation.

Heavy outsourcing of metallurgical work to China didn’t really start until this decade, and everyone does it quite possibly even Honda, so there’s probably a good chance a new authentic Honda axle will at least be partially made in China. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, from a product quality standpoint anyways.

The real reason why they’re cheaper is just that some person (probably in Mexico, but some things are still rebuilt in the US) spends all day rebuilding similar CV axles over and over again and so they get really good at it and can do hundreds of them a day. Since the parts cost of a couple of boots and some ball bearings isn’t that much, they can keep costs pretty low. I’ve never had a problem with a regular 50-70 dollar range rebuilt axle before and I’ve racked up hundreds of thousands of miles on them.

If you have the way to do a boot replacement cheaply, you do that. It’s just so much easier to replace the entire shaft.

Old discussion, but should say: A new half-axle requires precision manufacturing and inspection of metal parts, bearings, grease, boots, etc. A remanufactured half-axle does not require manufacturing of the metal parts.


The NEW axles sold for the price of rebuilts are questionable quality Chinese. In fact the entire line of NEW parts of Chinese origin seem to be a real crap shoot to me.

As for replacing the boots, I have pulled and cleaned many CV joints in an effort to replace a broken boot and found that more often than not there was damage or wear requiring replacement and my effort to clean the joint was wasted. For that reason I recommended replacing the axle when a boot was split and if a good rebuilt wasn’t available a local shop could rebuild the original in a few hours.

I’m of the opinion it’s best to replace the shaft instead of rebooting it with one exception. That would be VWs. For some reason those seem to work well when it comes to rebooting. I’ve done a bunch of them with never an issue later.

I rebooted both outer CV joints on my Corolla, and didn’t even have to remove the half shafts from the transmission. Popped that side of the axle out of the hub of course. At that point the outer cv joint can be completely removed from the shaft by undoing a circ-clip, and a new boot installed. Good time to clean the cv joint’s ball bearings and renew the grease.

Note that this job may not be so simple on newer vehicles. Starting around the early 90’s, the outer cv joints often cannot be removed from the shaft. No circ-clip in other words. Technically you can, but it destroys the cv joint. In that case you can still renew the outer boot, but you have to remove the entire half shaft from the transmission, remove the inner cv joint, and slip the outer boot on from the other end apparently.

For this reason the common way to handle this is to replace the entire half shaft. Poster @db4690 has spoken of certain brands of aftermarket half shafts which he has had good luck with. If you go that route OP, make sure to carefully compare the lengths and design of the replacement parts to the old ones. Some posters here have complained of getting the wrong size half shafts and latter experiencing severe vibration and steering problems.


Also true.

You’ve found the truth.

See your statement above.

I’ve never seen any data on that point, but I’d bet money that you’re right.

The problem is that you can’t properly clean the CV joint out before relubing it.
My recommendation in this case is to add some lube and use a “split CV boot”. I’ve added a link to get you headed in the “split boot” direction. Lots of people will probably argue with this approach, but in this case and on a vehicle of this age I think it’s the prudent way to go. If the joint starts to get noisy, you can always “drop back five and punt” (change the half-shaft) at that time.

Sincere good luck.

SJGUY99 has not been here for a long time, at least 6 years.

It’s Rod’s fault!
Rod, you’re busted!! :rofl:
Welcome to the club!

[quote=“GeorgeSanJose, post:14, topic:29197”]
Starting around the early 90’s, the outer cv joints often cannot be removed from the shaft. No circ-clip in other words. Technically you can, but it destroys the cv joint. In that case you can still renew the outer boot, but you have to remove the entire half shaft from the transmission, remove the inner cv joint, and slip the outer boot on from the other end apparently.

That’s the way I do it, because if your axleshaft has one leaking boot, you may as well do both

I don’t subscribe to this train of thought, at least with my personal vehicles. If my factory axleshaft is not noisey, doesn’t have any play, but merely has a leaking boot, why on earth would I turn in that core, and get a new axleshaft of questionable quality in exchange

You can buy 2 good quality boot kits for less than the cost of a quality axleshaft

Occasionally, we use rather cheap axleshafts at work . . . and I can attest to the low quality and short lifespan.