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My IRS rear axle boots are leaking pretty badly and need a fix. Again, I have no idea what year car they are from. Is there a way to id the rear end similar to how Wolf easily id'd the front end ? 

I have researched the problem a bit and think I see some opinions that it's preferable to replace the entire axles as a kit rather than just the offending boots themselves. 

Any and all help appreciated....the car is up on the hoist now. Thanks. 

David Stroud

 '92 IM Roadster D 2.3 L Air Cooled

Ottawa, Canada

 

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Hello David, pick your poison on this one. I elected to replace the boots on mine as my axles are original German believe or not so I went the boot route. If you buy the whole axle complete with joints it will take less time as your just releasing the axle as an assembly and swapping it out.

If you order axles or just the boot kits also order a couple of the bolts for the CV joints as they can strip and removal involves a pair a vice grips and you'll need a replacement bolt, the correct hex drive bit is a must if you don't have one on hand.

I also tape the joint at the joint seam to keep it from flopping around and prevent the joint from locking up or spitting a ball out. (see pic). The rest is just putting the assembly on the bench with plenty of shop towels to clean out the grease so that you can access the snap ring that holds the joint to the axle whereas only one comes off to replace both boots at the same time.

If you go the whole axle route just by the best you can get as Ive heard bad reviews about some of the Empi units.

Michael

 

 

 

 

 

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MikelB posted:

Hello David, pick your poison on this one. I elected to replace the boots on mine as my axles are original German believe or not so I went the boot route. If you buy the whole axle complete with joints it will take less time as your just releasing the axle as an assembly and swapping it out.

If you order axles or just the boot kits also order a couple of the bolts for the CV joints as they can strip and removal involves a pair a vice grips and you'll need a replacement bolt, the correct hex drive bit is a must if you don't have one on hand.

I also tape the joint at the joint seam to keep it from flopping around and prevent the joint from locking up or spitting a ball out. (see pic). The rest is just putting the assembly on the bench with plenty of shop towels to clean out the grease so that you can access the snap ring that holds the joint to the axle whereas only one comes off to replace both boots at the same time.

If you go the whole axle route just by the best you can get as Ive heard bad reviews about some of the Empi units.

Michael

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Michael. Are there any transmission to axle oil seals we need to be concerned with while the axles are out ? The Muir book says trannys won't leak there as far as I can read. I've no experience with IRS and I likely won't be able to find out from IM if the axles are genuine VW parts. I'll dig deeper tonight. Regards...

Torn boots are part of the IM deal.  They tear a lot more frequently than other cars, due to the forward placement of the engine (which "butterflies" the CV joints and boots). The CV joints themselves don't have an issue, but nobody's been able to find a decent boot.

The CV joints you've got are very likely German, but not original VW. Henry uses Lobro CV joints on VW transaxles, unless yours have been replaced (which I doubt).

You'll want to take everything apart to clean and grease it, and you'll see the stamping for the brand when you do. DO NOT REPLACE THEM WITH EMPI! I doubt you'll need to change them, but if you do, the German joints are still available- I wouldn't use anything else. Go ahead and use Empi for the boots. It won't matter anyhow, as everything tears after 20 k miles or so regardless.

Last edited by Stan Galat

How many miles on the car?

If this is an IM with the engine/transaxle moved 2” forward, as many of them are, and it has significant mileage on it, then two new complete drive axles at $75 USD each (at NAPA) might make more sense than just replacing the boots (easier, too).

If it does have the engine/transaxle moved forward, then the boots (and joints) are going to wear out faster than straighter axle angles (it just makes sense as they have to flex more).

IRS is so much easier to work on compared to Swing arm.  As Mike mentioned, you’ll need a 9-point Torx bit to remove/replace the bolts.  Removing the entire axle is pretty easy.  If you have lockwashers under the bolt heads they are all re-useable.  If the bolt heads are serrated with no lockwashers, they should NOT be reused and you’ll need new bolts (or you can add lockwashers).  

When re-installing, don’t forget the stabilizing plates, line up two opposite bolts on each end to get things lined up and then just install everything finger tight.  Then, check your VW manual for the torque settings for the torx bolts, tighten everything up and do not over-tighten.  

Once out and on the bench, use lots of rags to clean it up (if you go the boot only route) and follow Mike’s suggestions.  

Oh, and the axles are attached to the transaxle drive collars, and those have their own set of seals.  When you remove the axles nothing leaks on the transaxle end.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

The problem with the bolts is the insert where the socket fits gets filled with a combo of grit mixed with grease/oil.  If possible pressure wash the holes before trying to insert the tool or a pick or wire brush.  Ones I've seen have the wavy wshers or one with little knotches as a lock washer.  Didn't FeartheYorkie use off road or 914 boots?

Image result for 8mm 12 point star bit Image result for vw rear cv axle bolts

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Oil appears to be coming out of the torn boots so likely those drive collars will need to come off and the tranny gets new seals. 

IM will be able to provide more info tomorrow on what parts I may have in there...Robert has been pretty good at digging out info. 

There appears to be 48,000 km on the car ( about 29,000 miles ) ,  about 6,000 km of the 48 by me since the previous owner had the car " refurbished " by IM in 1992.  That's about 27 years ago. It would appear that some of these maintenance items may have been ignored over the years or it's just time for a good going over right now. This was likely reflected in the low price that I paid for the car and I understand that but I need to make this thing ready to travel. 

We'll know more tomorrow. Thanks for the quick help, Guys. 

The new shafts don't have German CVs for $75 each, Gordon, since the Lobro CV joints are more than that for one (without shaft, or boots).

With the increased strain on the joints from the "butterflied" shafts, I'd never use Chinese CVs. I'd greatly prefer almost worn out German to brand-spankin' new Chinese.

There are places I don't care about EMPI "value engineering" (the boots, for example). This is not one of them. 

Yeah, Stan....   Those from NAPA are probably el Cheapos, now that I think about it.  Didn't see any "German" versions at Bug City, either.

My current axles came from Raxles in Florida at about $140 each (in 2004).  I told them what the ends were (stock VW IRS) and how much torque the engine was capable of and they built them and shipped them to me, ready to bolt in.  I just looked and didn't see any separate boots listed on their site so that doesn't help, either.

Raxles builds axles for a lot of racers.  We used them for the axles on the LeMons "FrankenHonda" we raced in Beaufort.  Too bad the engine blew up instead.....   

Well David, your wise to go through all the systems in that car to make sure they are dependable.  Brake Fluid change, all the brakes etc etc.   I wonder sometiimes if we remember when the last time that fluid was changed on our cars ... I mean who gets it done by the book.. Just saying. 

FYI, I just bought, the other day, my two fuel filters to change out before the driving season starts. 

After reading about all of this axle boot stuff, I got under my car today and lo and behold, one of my inner boots is leaking.  I have an IRS rear so there is a boot at each CV joint.  It wasn't torn, just pulled out of the mounting ring where it was crimped between two parts - not adequately, I guess.  There wasn't a whole lot of grease thrown about so I think it must have happened when I took the car out a couple of weeks ago.  Lucky I caught it early and it looked like a pucker about an inch long.

When I bought my axles I bought an extra complete drive axle as a spare so the spare got swapped in.  Quick call to a local driveshaft rebuilder and they've got two new pairs of mounted boots and can swap them while I wait for $30 bucks.

Everything's back to normal and I'll have another spare axle tomorrow.  Then I'll get back to wire brushing and painting whatever looks rusty under there, which is what I thought I was gonna be doing today....   Can't wait to see what needs attention when I get to the front of the car!

1748ce7044cc0b7ed51c90bfe27a8ffe--cottage-hobbs

 

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

So I get everything back together and got the car down off the lifts and found a puddle of hydraulic fluid from those el-cheapo quik-disconnect hose fittings on the lift.  So I decided to push the car outside and then spread the Speedy Dry to clean things up.  

I hand-pushed the car out onto the driveway when all of a sudden I hear this huge THUD!

I look at my next-door neighbor's house and his 70' tall Willow in the back yard had broken in half in the high winds today and had fallen right where he parks his enclosed trailer with his two racing motorcycles in it.  I run over there, setting a land-speed record in the process, and there is no trailer there and no cars in the driveway.  Turns out he is at the track for the weekend with his bikes and his wife was visiting her Dad in a neighboring town.  Talk about luck.  If the trailer had been there it, and the bikes, would have been crushed.

Gonna be a busy morning with the roar of chainsaws cutting that mother up.

 

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So the HEIC format is eventually going to replace JPG as a 4K+ version of photos.  Lots of Apps are going to the new format, but Windows hasn't caught up yet (they're working on it).  Macs should handle them fine right now.

Anyway, I found a file converter and here is my neighbor's tree, which fell exactly on top of where he parks his enclosed track trailer with his race bikes in it.  He was at the track when the tree fell - talk about luck!  I was out there early AM and got 90% of it cut up into manageable bits before the rain hit.

IMG_0034

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Gordon Nichols posted:

So the HEIC format is eventually going to replace JPG as a 4K+ version of photos.  Lots of Apps are going to the new format, but Windows hasn't caught up yet (they're working on it).  Macs should handle them fine right now.

Anyway, I found a file converter and here is my neighbor's tree, which fell exactly on top of where he parks his enclosed track trailer with his race bikes in it.  He was at the track when the tree fell - talk about luck!  I was out there early AM and got 90% of it cut up into manageable bits before the rain hit.

IMG_0034

I want you as my neighbor.  You cut up the guy's tree for him?

That's for sure......   Hard to light, then all you get is a lot of ash and very little heat.

But, Wow!  Does it ever cut like Buttah!

Yeah, Todd....I'm the guy with the tools.

 He's like my second son and the only guy in the neighborhood with access to my garage and tools.  I heated exclusively with wood for 25 years (over 50 years if you count my growing up) so cutting up his Willow wasn't really a big deal.  Getting my cranky, 40-year-old Pioneer chainsaw to run and not screw up was harder than doing the cutting.  Had it almost all done in 30 minutes or so (once I got the darn thing running) but then a downpour started so I left the thickest 10 - 15 feet of it for later.  Too dangerous to wallow around amongst wet, slippery limbs and branches carrying a tool that can cut off your leg, right?  Been off and on downpours all day.

Back when my Dad, brother and I all heated with wood, we had a home-built log splitter that could handle a 50” X 16” log and split it into 4 pieces at once.  It was a 2-person splitter.  We also had a tractor mounted cordwood saw (36” diameter blade) that made quick work of cutting to stove or fireplace lengths (also 2-person), but it was getting pretty old toward the last years of my using it - I cannot remember not having it and I was born in 1950!  I think my Dad and Grandfather built it in the 1940’s.  

Mostly, I cut “Swamp Maples” and red Oak on the farm for heat, but also cut some cherry and apple for fireplaces because they smell so nice.  Now my indoor fireplace is gas but we have an outdoor fireplace that gets the cherry and apple.  Always brings back memories of when I was a kid.

Down South, my neighbors burned Hickory leaves in the fall and it ALWAYS smells like BBQ!

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