How Do You Replace CV Joint Boots?

I need to renew the rubber boots on the CV joints on the rear axle of my 1982 300 TDT. Do I have to completely remove the rear axle?
If not, is there a way to do it leaving the coil springs and struts in
place?
Thanks.
Paul
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Paul, last time I did it on my VW, all I had to do was cut off the old boot replace with a new one that was cut open lenthways.... a bunch of little bolts close the boot up again once its on the axle... hope this makes sense to you
cheers, guenter

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MB does not make a split boot. They only supply a boot rebuild kit that includes new 'cans'. You need 2 expensive tools to replace them, a 'can' cutter and a 'can' sealer. At the dealership, it runs close to 6 hours just for the labor.
You can buy NEW axles from EMPI for $100 each!
But if you do not have the flanges, add more $$.
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Another couple of questions -
What do I risk damaging driving with a duct tape boot like I am now? It sounds like whatever it is, I have to replace it anyway unless I want to get those can tools. How far do you think I can go with a duct tape boot?
What are the "flanges?"
Thanks.
Paul

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There are 2 types of axles: Homokinetic and angular. Homokenetic axles have a splined shaft on each end. Angular has a spline on the outer joint and a flat face on the inner. Go here: http://www.detali.ru/cat/oem_mb2.asp?TP=1&F 3130&Ma7%2E912&GAr2%2E118405&GMq6%2E005++++++++++++++717%2E400&CT=F&cat"2&SID5&SGR0&SGN
Axle #5 is angular. The shaft above it with no number is homokenetic.
If you have flanges, the #5 shaft bolts on to it using 6 bolts and 2 half moons. Pictured below the axle on the left end.
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