Boot kits vs. remanufactured axles


Putting in the rear Spec suspension I found the CV boots are going, going, gone. ~$60 for the boot kits from Pelican vs. ~$60 for the whole axle from AutoStoned. I’ve rebuilt/rebooted enough axles to last me a lifetime so would prefer not to, but I’ve read that the OEM axles are damned near bulletproof. On the other hand the remans ought to be using the same starting point, but maybe lower quality bearings.


If you get remanufactured half shafts, take a hard look at the boots once they are installed with an eye towards them abrading on something. We bought cheap reman halfshafts for our Lemons car a while back and the boots needed to be “stretched” more on the shafts. Because the fastening points of the boot were too close together, the boot was too “thick”. As a result it abraded on shock or spring, I don’t recall which. Wouldn’t take much of that and the new half shafts would be ruined.

We sold the car before I got around to fixing this, but I think I could have just unfastened one side of the boots, stretched them a little more along the shaft, and then refastened.


i paid a pretty penny to replace the cracked boots on my oem axles rather than get remans and haven’t regretted it.


I haven’t been able to find this autostoned place you speak of or axles for 60 a piece. For that price I don’t see how you could go wrong. I’ve replaced the boots twice now. Last time I made the mistake of buying some ecofriendly low VOC solvent to clean them out with. I waited three days for it to evaporate so I could pack the bearing before I went and bought some old fashion high VOC solvent.



Core charge may be a deal breaker. If you have 2 known bad shafts to give them then go for it.


My understanding has been that the main reason the remans suck is that the splines are often not perfect or have burrs that make sliding them in VERY difficult. I know there was a thread about the Cardone ones on e30-tech. Does anyone know of a DIY guide for replacing the boots on our axles?


Pics plus a clear, simple explanation:


No DIY is even needed. Pull of the innermost steel stamping. Push the inner side off. Remove the clip and yank it off. Be careful not to rotate the joint very far or the bearings will fall out. If the balls fall out then you need to solve the puzzle of getting it back together. It wasn’t that easy my first time. Slosh it around in a bucket of solvent to clean the grease out. The outer joint I pulled the boot and washed it out with solvent. Pull it in and out and rotate it around to get everything out. Any kind of conventional solvent should work. Some alcohols can promote corrosion. Acetone is a guaranteed winner of solvents. I think in the Army aviation world we were supposed to use isopropyl and not denatured but we had both and we never left anything sit without washing it in engine oil anyway so it didn’t matter. The grease with the boot kits comes in plastic packs. You cut the corner off and squeeze it in. On the outer bearing you can push some in with your fingers. Once you get some in you can use the vacuum from pulling it out to suck in more grease. Rotate it around and add grease. Pull it out to try to get it to suck more in. I think the grease will barely be over the lip where the boot seats when you’re done. I think some of the clamps they sent me were wrong so I used zip ties. The tubes of blue wax are for sealing between the boots and steel parts and between the the inner stamping and outer race of the inner bearing(I think since instructions were in German). For the inner CV joint if I recall corectly you slide on the inner boot. Then you stack the grease up on the inner side of the CV joint and inside the inner boot. Elongate the inner boot slightly so by the time the CV joint has seated grease has been pushed through the bearing and then install the innermost stamping. Don’t forget the blue goo where the stampings meet the out CV race.


Rotate the inner CV joint around plenty of times by hand before installing it to make sure the grease covers the bearing since you were careful about pushing to much out when installing the inner stamping.


New to the site and forum, so not familiar with local customs, but perhaps a n additional view, might be helpful. I have experience with re booting the front axles for IX’s. I sent the cores out to a shop in Schenectady NY and they clean them re boot them even paint them for approx 50-60/shaft. Its a big savings over new, and no muss no fuss, and close to the cost of the boot kits.


Shop contact info please?
<—has no interest in doing that himself after watching Kyle & Sean do a set


Same here. I would love a shop that just redoes my OEM shafts for me.


[quote=“jlucas” post=62938]Shop contact info please?
<—has no interest in doing that himself after watching Kyle & Sean do a set[/quote]



I am seeing that there are 2 different length half shafts on the market - 22 7/16 and 22 11/16 - that is only a 1/4 inch difference, but it could matter - any idea what length goes where ro for what reason?

I am just getting into the build up from a stripped car, and so all the parts are coming from various sources, and different year cars. TIA


Not sure about length, but there is indeed two very different outside diameters.

If the rear subframe was on a non-abs car, then the abs axles WILL NOT FIT. Spent a good long weekend trying to figure that one out. Ended up having to go to two different places to find the correct axle (even though most places list the different years as interchangable…)

Just another fun “More you know” moment since starting with an early E30 chassis.


Thanks, don’t think that is going to be an issue. Its an 89, ABS car.
What I am starting to get sorted on this is ABS axles are the shorter ones and non-ABS axles are the longer ones. We’ll see how it goes this weekend.

The plan this weekend is bring down the rear subframe and put in all Condor parts for the trailing arms and the subframe, and hang the diff and install the axles.


The longer axles are for the small diff case cars (318i 318is) the shorter axles are for the medium diff cars (325i/e)

I ran a small case diff with much success for 4 years in my 325i ITS car with the shorter axles “stretched” before cracking all the teeth off a pinion gear.

I never had an issue with the axles however.

The late model 325 ABS/Non-ABS axles are interchangeable with the med. case diff.


This is a very common miss. And most “experts” state the same. There are early NON-ABS hubs that the later ABS axles WILL NOT FIT IN. Even with the ABS reluctor ring removed, THEY WILL NOT FIT.

Feel like I should state it again, because people will still refute it…


After spending three days earlier this year when I had a joint fail, we tried multiple used and reman axle shafts. My chassis is a very early-85, non-ABS car, and the none of the late model shafts would work. The spline count was the same, but once you tried getting them seated, they hit the housing and would never fully engage (let alone allow the axle to turn.)

It was only when we found a reman that had the earlier, smaller shouldered CV that it went together smoothly and rotated freely. And yes, this was a medium case car originally.


That’s why I said late model axles are interchangeable.