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Hey guys, I have to replace my front CV axles as one has a hole and the other is old. The one with a hole the shop said is throwing grease and on the other side the output shaft seal is leaking. I’m going to install the CV axles myself as it doesn’t seem to hard. What fluids will I need to replace when I install new parts as I know fluid will fall. Do you need to grease the CV axles after installation, or do you just refill the ( I can’t find the name, is it differential or transfer case; the big axle)? And with what fluid do I need to refill these parts? Thanks Sam
 

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Depending on how much you value your time and what you plan to do with the axle, a new-in-box, completely-built CV axle from Rock Auto shouldn't run more than $80. It'll probably cost more than that for most shops to rebuild the axles for you, and the process of actually rebuilding - taking it apart, cleaning it out and checking it, putting it back together with new grease & boots - is moderately time-consuming so really unless you
  1. have time to spare but not cash to spare
  2. want to "save" an actual OEM-from-Toyota axle
  3. just like working with CV axles
It may not make sense to fix up a CV axle.

I have 3 spares now. I am never rebuilding nor rebooting nor having one rebuilt again; I'll just buy a new, assembled shaft (if I somehow burn through these three...).

That said, if you want to do it yourself, PureFJ has boot grease kits for 2007-2009 and 2010+. They've also got a bunch of CV axle kits with boots and hardware, depending on what you need. Regarding the crimp bands on the boots... I found that I couldn't get the perfectly-sized, slim, elegant crimp bands to work, so I just used regular "worm gear" hose clamps and haven't had a problem with them. Your mileage may vary.
 

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If you have a lift more the the OME those axles from the chain stores sometimes don't articulate at enough angle on full drop and thus chatter a lot. If it is a OEM rebuilt your good but that is not always the case you will get one of those. I think they are great spares to throw behind the seat or if you have a street ride they are great for the price. If you use a sway bar I think your safe with the 80 buck chain store axle and they typically are lifetime warranty most the time.
 

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Firedog pretty much nailed it. I switch back and forth between OEM and the Cardone axles. I've been getting about 2 years out of the inner boots before they start getting holes. I am going to rebuild my OEMs here shortly with the CVJ long boots this time to see if they last any longer. BOOT R08 - CVJ Axles

You will lose some oil from the diff when you pull the axles. It's 75W85 GL-5 gear oil, last time I swapped I only lost 1/2 quart.
 

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You can easily change an axle with out loosing a drop. Do it all the time out on the trail. Jack up the side you are working on higher than the fill hole. Oil shifts over to the opposite side of the clam shell.
 

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Do it all the time? Why so much anger on the fast pedal? Do you want to talk about it? I'm here for ya buddy. :)
 

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Regarding half shaft quality, I got something like 150k miles out of my stock ones, and then put in "trusted aftermarket", only to have them each fail within about the next 50k miles (no other change to the suspension, lift or anything). Each time one of them failed it required paying for a tow home + shop time + another half shaft purchase price.

My lesson I learned: the "cost savings" of using aftermarket half shafts I can't afford anymore and will from now on only use OEM.

Additional lesson learned: keep an eye on the boots, and when it just starts to crack (inspect carefully during tire rotation time) take it out and replace the boot (with an OEM one), right away, and that half shaft ought to last a lot longer (torn boots I missed is the only reason why I replaced the originals in the first place).

Norm

Aftermarket Failure #1 was internal splines stripped (total loss of drive on that axle)
Aftermarket Failure #2 was the CV joint came apart when the cap screws came out (and then the flailing shaft tore up things around it, which then had to be bent back into place as part of the repair).
 

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I just realized that none of us has answered Sam's original question: what grease to use in a CV joint?

Sam, the auto parts store will sell you a special CV joint grease designed just for this purpose. Be sure not to use anything but CV joint grease. The contents of one packet will be the correct quantity for one joint.

The above only applies if you open/remove the flex boot over the CV joint. If you simply pull out the old half shaft and stick in a new one, then what the others have already said applies: a small amount of differential fluid will leak out the open hole while you swap the half shaft unless you tip the vehicle.
 
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