Inner CV joint, gasket to be replaced?

Hi, About to attempt my first CV boot replacement on the outer passenger side. Will follow directions in Bentley plus the tips in this newsgroup
on the job.
Question 1. Bently mentions when reinstalling the 1/2 axle to stick a new self-adhesive gasket to the end of the inner CV joint before re-attaching to drive shaft flange. But the fellow at the independent parts shop (am using genuine VW parts) says most folks don't worry about the gasket and I don't have a replacement gasket.
Shall I just try to keep things clean and re-use whatever gasket remains? What is this gasket sealing exactly?
Question 2. Related to question 1 above, In reading the posts on CV joints, some people refer to replacing seals and to be careful of scratching the flange face as this could lead to tranny fluid leaks. I'm unclear if removing the 6 triple-square bolts and then removing the 1/2 axle exposes inner workings of the transmission? Bently doesn't mention any thing about seals here. It would be great if someone could clarify if removing the 1/2 axle just exposes dry surfaces, or is there risk of losing tranny fluid?
OK, I've got all the tools assembled: 30 mm socket, breaker bar, 8 mm 3-square bit, several extensions adding up to about 20" length, CV boot kit (and a CV joint kit in case the joint is shot), large vise, dead blow rubber hammer, latex gloves, grocery bags and rubber bands, paper towels, jack stands, wheel chocks, jack, radio, Bently, and 250 ft-lb torque wrench for tightening up the 30 mm nut as the finale.
Happy New Year and thanks for any advice, -Tony
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Tony writing here, found the answer in a 5 year old posting. New gasket isn't necessary. (Really, I searched the postings before asking my question!!)
-T

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That's interesting as I never saw any gaskets when I pulled the old shafts off and the new shafts didn't come with gaskets either.
The transaxle side of the inboard CV joint is plugged with a plastic plug to keep the trans fluid in the trans, so there should be absolutely no leakage issues removing the 6 3-square bolts or installing the shafts without gaskets. Don't bump, scrape, or otherwise touch those plugs though.
A couple words of advice on those CV joint bolts though. Spray 'em down with penetrating oil a little while before you do the job, then clean out the bolt heads with a paper clip if they're full of grime. What I usually do is insert the 3-square bit and then give it a good whack with a ball peen hammer before trying to unscrew it. Never had any trouble with this method, but new bolts aren't very expensive if you do manage to mess a few up.
Once you get the CV bolts and axle nut off, sometimes the the shaft won't want to come loose from the wheel hub. If you're careful, you can use your *rubber* hammer to encourage it to come out. Just don't bugger up the axle nut threads as you do so. I use a tiny bit of grease on the shaft splines upon reassembly, so the next time you do the job it won't be stuck.
You probably already know this, but you're supposed to replace the axle nut with new so it torques properly. Also, do not lower the road wheel onto the ground without a driveshaft installed in the hub. If you do, you will destroy the wheel bearings... or so I've been told.
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Hi, Thanks for the advice, much appreciated! Thanks for the tip re: encouraging the shaft to come out of the wheel hub. I gave it a gentle tap with a ball peen hammer and the shaft slid easily. The 6 three-square bolts came out nicely too, always amazed at how easily things disassemble on the VW.
Yes, good tip on tapping the 3-square tool in. I pressed in in by hand and thought it bottomed out, then I tapped it with a hammer and was surprised it went in some more. By hand, it only went in 1/2 way. Definitely a must-do to seat the tool all the way.
I'm just coming in for a glass of water and checking postings on the newsgroup. I finished getting the 1/2 axle out (passenger side). I found the bellows of the inner CV joint boot interfered a bit with the 6 bolts and I didn't want to be too rough on the boot as the inner boot otherwise looks fine. So it took a bit of time to wiggle the bolts out.
My first time at this, and the longest period was staring at the ball joint and figuring out how to minimize any added work. Bently says remove 2 nuts, but on the '85 Golf, it's a nut and bolt holding the shaft of the ball joint inside the steering assembly, so that didn't match. I wanted to preserve the alignment too and I couldn't see how pulling the ball joint shaft out of the steering assembly was going to affect the alignment?? Anyways, I took a deep breath and undid the 17 mm nut, removed the bolt and pulled the shaft out of the steering assembly to lower the control arm. Any thoughts on whether I need an alignment afterwards?
Now to go back out and see what is the conditon of the outer CV joint. The boot kit has a new axle shaft nut, so I should be okay.
thanks & regards, -Tony
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The ball joint should not affect alignment as long as you don't rotate the steering tie rod end (which adjusts toe).
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OK thanks, the alignment should be fine then.
The job is done. I intended to replace the outer boot, but the outer CV joint was pitted so I ende up installing a new outer CV joint. I did the front brakes at the same time.
The one thing I'd do differently next time is buy another long socket extension. I had one 16" extension plus another 4 assorted shorter ones so I could use the socket wrench, and later the torque wrench, from outside the wheel well. All those extension joints made for lots of slop and not much feedback on how the 3-square bolts were doing (moving, stripping, or otherwise). Having fewer joints would also make getting the 3-square bit on the each of 6 bolts easier.
I learned something today and earned some new tools to boot (250 ft-lb torque wrench, cv boot clamp crimper, and 3 square bit).
Thanks everyone for all the current and past postings re: cv joints and boots.
-Tony
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I should answer the question I originally posted.
a) No gasket on face of inner cv joint needed.
b) The inner cv joint separated from the transmission dry, no liquid present. As Tyle... mentioned, I did see the oil seal on the transaxle once the inner cv joint is separated from the transaxle. I made sure to steer clear of that seal.
-T
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The classic way to do it but you can get aftermarket split boots for a fix though I do not use them. If there were some technical objections to using a split boot I would not care as I would replacing the axle later anyway. My take that this must have some wear being old enough to deteriate a boot.
If the axle is old enough to have a deteriated boot perhaps the axle might be considered to be replaced with a rebuilt one with all this work. They are ridiculously cheap now that use to be in the 200 dollar range but now in the 60 plus dollar range due to it being a several billion dollar industry and many companies competing to sell rebuilt axles.
In my cars I don't mess with boots. If the boot is that old that it is deteriated unless it is from a low mileage unique situation - I just replace the whole axle considering the work necessary and get another 60,000 miles or more. In fact both axles. Cheap enough.
To each his own - but with me any problem with an axle that requires removing it a rebuilt one is put back on.
Harry
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Hi, Thanks, will price out a rebuilt axle as an option. Agreed, replacing a joint is messy and the prospect of working with lead based grease isn't appealing.
cheers, -Tony
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It is prudent to replace the whole half shaft, if one boot or CV is bad. I've known a few people replaced the CVs or boot and had to go back in in a few months to a year and do the other half. My opinion is its easier to do a whole half shaft, then mess with one or the other CV, and risk doing the other one soon, again. For most cars the rebuilt half shafts are cheaper assembled, greased and ready to install,with a great warranty. Then if the parts are bought seperate, and you still have to do the labor yourself , and mess with the grease, then wonder how long the other one will last.

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Absolutely correct, Even the discount parts outlets usually have a lifetime guarantee on a shaft and chances are a shaft with only one replaced CV joint - it will be revisited to replace the *other* CV joint - as they are only made to last 60K plus miles though some report longer use. Putting it on is also a no-brainer as it is completely assembled and greased. I think I paid 55 bucks for a half shaft last time completely rebuilt from a parts discount outlet with lifetime guarantee (save you receipt)
Harry
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Thanks for the advice re: replacing the whole 1/2 axle. Curious if the lifetime warranty covers the CV joints or just the shaft? At $55 for the complete rebuilt axle that sounds like a good deal. I paid $83 Canadian (about $72 US) for the outer CV joint alone.
If the manufacturer is offering a warranty on the rebuilt 1/2 axle, I'm assuming they use brand new CV joints and not reconditioned?
cheers, -Tony
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Looking again, it was 59 dollars. The complete axle is guaranteed including both CV joints. The company I bought them from was Advanced Auto Parts since my local discount dealer closed shop. *NEW* half shafts were selling at 64 dollars with 2 CV joints at the same place but were special order and guaranteed the same (life) as the 59 dollar rebuilt shafts.
They have a website so you can verify my prices - though it was a couple months ago. I put them on a friends Ford also (same price) and were perfect, beautifully rebuilt and she is saving the lifetime guarantee receipt.
As I said, the prices have come WAY down because of multi companies competing for business. Obviously, these prices require a core to be traded back.
Harry
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The Axles are not new or reconditioned. They are rebuilt or remanufactured. They all have a lifetime warranty , are a great deal, and you take back the whole shaft for warranty replacement, not part of it. The most important process of rebuilding a half shaft consists of machining the worn out bearing slots in the center ring and housing to accept new oversize ball bearings so there's no slop. They are the same CVs just machined oversize. .
wrote in

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Hi, Curious about the re-machined cv joints. Others who have posted mentioned concerns that the heat treating on the bearing races is only surficial and machining out the worn surfaces exposes metal that is not hardened through heat treating. The concern is the joints will wear out faster than the original joints. Are the re-machined cv joints then re-heat treated?
Regarding the lifetime warranty, what is covered? Any failure including normal wear and tear, or specified failures? Are people able to get a lifetime supply of 1/2 axles? I did one time on shocks at LordCo, just kept bringing in the worn out shocks and they kept giving me brand new ones. Gave up though as I was replacing them every 2 years. Bought OEM ones and am getting much better life, no warranty but am saving on the work to replace frequently.
Will inquire about availability of rebuilt 1/2 axles here in British Columbia. Thanks, -Tony
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As I recall, you are correct. Removing an old heat treated surface requires that the newly exposed surface be heat treated as well - if durability is a concern.
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It does not matter because they are lifetime warranted anyway. I have never seen a report of rebuilt axles failing in mass *materially* with low miles other than a lemmon axle.
I also wrote that companies like Advance Auto special order a "new" axle for about 5 dollars more. If they are not new then the company is in violation of misrepresenting the product. This was for my car 64 dollars compared to 59. One is characterized as "rebuilt" the other "new".

Any failure is covered other than obvious collision or misuse usually. When I took one in for a free axle once I brought out an employee and turned the car in the parking lot showing the clicking. Sometimes they will just say bring it back as anyone sane is not going to do the work of removing a good axle and the axle has identification marks. They simply take out a newly rebuilt axle and put your bad one in the same box and it is free and send it back to the factory or distributor.
Harry
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Yea, if you keep the receipt, you get a lifetime of axles. If you wear it out. I did take one back for a torn boot, and it was covered. Even the auto parts store knows a torn boot axle is doomed..I have not heard any reports at all about any problems with heat treating axles, except when they first started rebuilding them 20 years ago. I will say that the last rebuilt axle I bought last summer came with new CVs on it, The auto parts store said it was because they ran out of cores. I ordered a rebuilt CV. They delivered as promised. The price was the same. I know a little about heat treating , and I guess the answer is , If they are originally surface hardened only, maybe you are taking some off, However if the whole CV is heat treated, and the steel has nickel in it, it will be hard all the way through. Then machining enough to get a bigger bearing in shouldn't matter. One things for sure , a few thousands in a CV is enough to shake your car. The bearing can be gone in u joints and you may not know it..The clearances are real tight in CVs. So maybe it only take a few thousands of machining to get them back in shape. Maybe the bearings are oversized .003- 005 or .010. I dont think thats enough to cut the heat treating out unless the heat treating was poor to start with. I guess for me, I've put a lot of axles in and my 86 golf has two, I put in 2000. My 85 had one rebuilt one ,replaced for a boot torn due to a bad alignment. I put in in last summer. My geo got two last summer, because the original was wiped out real bad from a torn boot I drove on for a year. In the case of Advance Auto offering a new axle , for 5 bucks more, if the CVs are new or the whole axle is new is a mute point. For 5 bucks more that was a great deal too.
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