If your pre '69
VW is starting to mark its spot with little puddles of grease you may
have an axle boot that has finally dried up and started to crack or tear.
We're going to show you how to replace that boot and repack the grease.
Once this starts they
go fast so it is a good idea to replace it ASAP. The boots are the
first line of defense between the large differential carrier bearings
and the great outdoors. The
original boots were installed at the factory before the axle tube
was put together and have no seam.
Fortunately the replacements
have a seam that is held together by a series of small screws, washers
and nuts so that they can be wrapped around the axle without disassembling
anything else. There are a couple of styles and some even come in
colors. They often come in pairs and it is probably a good idea to
replace them both while we are at it.
The area around a leaking
boot can be pretty grungy so you may want to spray on some degreaser
and hose it off before you start. Unless
you are very thin and like to work in tight places you are going to
have to raise the rear of the car to access the boot. If you are supporting
the car on jack stands you will need to put a 13mm bolt under the
torsion plate to act as a stop. Otherwise the axle will pinch the
boot against the frame
If the boot has been replaced
in the past you may be able to unscrew the old clamps. If they are
stuck or you are removing the original style clamps you can cut them
with a sharp chisel. Be careful not to hammer so hard as to deform
the flange next to the transmission.
With the clamps off the
boot can be slid down the tube and cut the rest of the way off with
the screws in one half of the new boot and wrap it around the axle
and fasten together with the nuts and washers on the other side. Don't
over tighten. Now you can push the boot over the flange. The seam
should be placed off center at near the 10:00 or 2:00 o'clock position
so as not to be over-stressed by the axles movement.
Now you can install the
clamps. When the outer clamp is installed the boot should be pushed
in a little to allow it to stretch when the axle is in its extreme
The new boots should be
good for several years.
Since the old boot was
leaking and you may have gotten some water in the transmission now
would be a good time to change the grease. On the older transmissions
there are two drain plugs on the bottom and one filler on the side.
These take a 17mm Allen head hex wrench to remove.
The car should be level
when the grease is drained. The plugs have magnets to catch small
metal shavings which are normal. Don't be concerned unless you see
big solid pieces.
grease is drained, clean off the plugs and replace them. Then refill
the transmission with 5 pints of 90wt gear grease unless your area
calls for something different. Check with the local aircooled VW
mechanics if possible. I suggest pumping the grease in. Slow and
Replace the filler plug,
set the car down and pat yourself on the back for one more job well
done. You can see this done in detail in our Vol.5 Transmission swap
repair video available from Bug Me Video.