Worst advice ever?

Was today’s recommendation, to pack CV grease into the open CV joint or to use a zip boot, instead of simply replacing the half shaft with a $70.00 rebuilt unit, the worst advice ever? Replacing the shaft should only take an amateur half an hour…much less time (and less pollution) than the solutions mentioned.

“Replacing the shaft should only take an amateur half an hour…much less time (and less pollution) than the solutions mentioned.”

THIS statement is some of the worst advice ever given…Most amateurs can’t get their cars positioned on jack-stands in half an hour, let alone remove a half-shaft without destroying the hub and spindle in the process…

paul, you need to get a few half-shaft replacements under your belt before you get them done in half an hour. It is true on some cars ,in a shop atmosphere and when everything goes just right the shaft can come out and maybe get unpacked in half an hour, but it is not a half-hour jobe in 99% of the cases.

Did we just get trolled?

Someone may get away with packing grease into a joint and using a zip boot IF there are no symptoms and if the boot problem is caught quickly.

Half an hour for an amateur? Let an amateur try this on an old Subaru without the special tools to get around that godawful tight halfshaft/hub bearing fit.

That’s not to mention any wrestling that may be needed to separate tie rod ends, lower ball joints, etc. along with the possible destruction of dust boots on those parts.

Maybe the half hour was after: getting car positioned on level, stable surface; pulling out jack & stands; pulling out all other tools; wheel blocking/jacking/jack stands; wheel removal; axle nut removal (depending on circumstances that alone could take a DIY’er 1/2 a day); removal of whichever parts need to go to remove axle from hub; prying of axle out of side case.

Or, in other words maybe its 1/2 hour just to put the new halfshaft into the differential & hub once everything is done?

(Then you have to ignore the next hour of reaasembly, topping off of transmission, removal from jack stands, test drive, etc. Then of course you need to ignore the trip back to the parts store to get an axle isn’t bad right out of the box - at which point everything will go faster the second time around when you redo it all).

OK, you guys got me. Things generally take me about twice as long as I figure, and I had not counted getting and returning the part/core. Yes, I have a good number under my belt and may not correctly identify with those who don’t, but I used to ALWAYS beat the flat-rate books while learning, and give others the benefit of the doubt. Remember, this was on a ninety something Corolla, which is a pretty straight forward job.

I can do them in less than .5 an hour also but an amateur doing it in this length of time is debateable. That all depends on the amateur and how much mechanical inclination he or she has.

Regarding the older Subarus, I’ve seen examples towed into the shop where someone has spent half a day on one axle and created some very major problems; often due to trying to pound a serrated DOJ pin into place while having the joint 180 degrees out. In some cases this trashed the stub axles and spider gears in the transaxle.
That 100 dollar halfshaft job has now turned into a 4 figure transmission repair.

'89 Corolla, if I remember correctly.

I’m not a professional mechanic, but I like to do the things I think I’m capable of on my cars. I’ve replaced several timing belts, and I used to be really good at pulling the engine out of my VW Bus. I rebuilt it in my kitchen, way back when.

I’ve read through the procedure for replacing CV joints and/or drive axles on several of the cars I’ve owned, and I always decided to pay someone else to do it.

A half hour? No way. Not at home, in a standard garage, which is where most DIY people operate. It would take me a half hour just to get the car up on jack stands.

Having said all that, if I knew the CV joint boot was bad, I’d just pay someone to replace the axle and be done with it.

Who wants to be crawling under the car and hand-packing grease into a CV joint? This would take more than a half hour each time if done safely.

I think it would be foolish for anyone to bet more than they could afford to lose on the proposition that they could R&R any given CV axle in less than .50 hours.

I am a professional mechanic in this business for 30 years. I’d love to watch an amateur get an axle done in half an hour. That’s funny! It’s also better to replace a boot on an oem undamaged joint than to throw a cheap Chinese axle on it. And I don’t mean a speedy boot.

Does the DIY have the axle nut socket? Does he have air? Does he have a lift? I haven’t seen anyone reboot a good joint with the axle still in the car. The time to replace a worn boot is when it has weathered or when it is developing cracks, not when it is split wide open. NEAPCO boots do not fit right either, use OEM if you do attempt to save a joint, but nothing is funnier than someone doing a boot and it clicks afterward the same or even worse as it did when it was split.

Just my opinion but I’ve done many halfshaft replacements in under a .5 hour with some in about 15 minutes. There are a few that can be a bit more stubborn than others but it’s doable.
Maybe it’s the pressure of doing them on Subarus for .2 hours warranty or .7 customer pay.
In a word, incentive. :slight_smile:

.2 hours is about right! You have to remember how they (the manufacturers) calculalte flat rath. They with the car on the hoist, wheels off. The clock starts when the tech first pick up the tool. 15 min to r
a halfshaft?! soes that includs getting the car and driving it into stall? There is so much people dont know about SUBIES. Changing oil and filter without having to raise the car and without dripping oil onto the floor or any engine parts! COOL!

Worst Advice Ever ? Not Even Close !

Just listen to some of the loser advice exposed during certain “Stump The Chumps” revisits.

How about getting car advice from a “mechanic” who spins a flaming Gaming Wheel and tells you that your engine misfire is caused by a “loose heat shield” ??

Just like the TV meteorologists who are wrong (in fact sometimes so wrong the opposite of what is forecasted occurs: sunny - rains, clear - 10" snow) more than 50% of the time, there is NO accountability. You just continue smiling into the camera and making one wrong forecast after the next. Some of the 5 day predictions hold up only until after lunch.

I think the old tried and true Pie-In-The-Face should be used on both Car Talk and TV Weather shows for disseminating bogus information / advice. Let’s get some accountability in there !

Worst Advice Ever ? Not Even Close !


First cars that I worked on that had CV joints were VW’s (with IRS suspensions0. It was a common practice at 30,000 mile intervals to remove the axels and re-pack the CV joints. All that was required too remove these axels was lossening twelve bolts (with a poor head design). Besides being a job that usually got grease everywhere it was a bit time consuming if you really packed those joints good. So there was such a time that re-packing CV joints was a standard maintence job.

No its NOT the Worst Advice ever. The guy doesnt need the car much longer and has a short daily commute. Good Advice. Case closed. Next…

That Was Back In 68. I Worked For VW And We Sold A Lot Of CV Joints For The Cars That Didn’t Get Re-Packed, Too. Not As Many As King And Link Pin & Bushing Kits For The Older Front-Ends, Though


Mr. Paul:

A Zip boot should not be called “Worst advice ever” but instead, a “less than optimal solution to a problem” that could be useful at times.

Regarding a new half shaft, I installed a brand new Chinese half shaft on my VW three years and about 30,000 miles ago and it is doing well at this time. I need at least a Saturday morning to install one of these and more likely a weekend with breaks as it is not an enjoyable task.

Your half hour to change a half shaft can be classified as the “Worst time estimate ever” in my Saturday morning garage!

I worked for a guy that spent quite a bit of time in the Air Force. When I explained a paticular way we repaired a parking brake system was not the right way he replied "Yes I know but it is “field expiedient”.

Often people access options according their own situations. I think you are asking about advice given by the brothers to a college student as to how to extend the life of CV joint at the least cost possible. The caller indicated that he just needed to get through the end of the school year. the first recommendation was the temporary zip boot, by the way, the second was that the student try to pack the joint with new grease to displace the older, dirtier grease and so get another year or so out of the joint.
It seems to me that a short term solution was all that the caller was asking for and that was provided.