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Old 09-16-2009, 02:36 PM   #1
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Question re torn axle boots

My problem: I was doing my first brake flush job (surprisingly easy) when I discovered this, times 3 out of 4 boots:




My son swears we can do the repair, and I think I’d be inclined to try except for the fact that I just don’t have a lot of time on my hands at the moment AND the weather’s definitely top-down conducive, so I want it fixed ASAP.

My questions: I called the local stealership and he quoted me upwards of $1K to fix both sides, saying “there’s almost $500 in parts alone”, which I’m pretty sure is BS. I called an independent mechanic, one recommended by “ohioboxster”, a long-timer on this forum who said this shop was good and helped him when he got stumped working on his Boxster. (In case you don’t know, this is the guy who on his own installed a roots supercharger in his Boxster---which he has since sold---so I figured if he turned to them for help, they must be pretty good. He doesn’t post here too often anymore, but he is the one with the nice looking red Targa in his signature.) Anyway, they quoted me a figure of $525 to replace all four axle boots. In the alternative, he said they’d replace both axles for $400. Seemed like a no-brainer, so I said do the axles. My question is two-fold: (1) This quote ($400, which included labor) seems too good to be true. Is it?? (2) Is it typically smarter (ie is there any downside to doing this?) to replace axles rather than just doing the boots?

The other question I had is based on the fact that it’s going to take a few days for the parts to come in, specifically: (3) Is it a bad idea to drive the car in the meantime? For all I know, they've been torn for the last 1000 miles. The mechanic, after asking if the car was making any noise (which presumably would indicate the grease in the gearing was drying out), to which I replied “No”, then told me it wouldn’t be a problem to drive it. I haven’t driven it in the 2 days since I made the discovery. Should I not worry about it and go ahead and drive it? (I probably still would not be driving it daily, but there is a local car show this weekend about 25 miles away that I had planned on going to, and hoped to take the Boxster.) What do you think?

I just thought of a fourth question: I've heard people recommend spraying the boots with silicone from time to time. Does that prolong their lifespan?

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Old 09-16-2009, 06:06 PM   #2
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What?! NOBODY has an opinion on this??

Tool Pants, Lil bastard, Paul, JFP in PA, JAKE...Where are you in my time of need??
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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CV boot

Check out the DIY forum on this site. A fellow owner explains how he replaced his boots. AZ******************************** has replacement boot kits on sale for less than for around $11.00 each. The kits contain a new boot, 2 boot clamps, a spring clip, and a spacer plate. It takes 4 kits to do both axles. You will need a cv joint clamp pliers, and a large socket to remove the axle nuts. Unfortunately it will be cold and snowy soon. Winter is a good time to do a project like this, since there is no pressure to take the box for a drive in the snow.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:15 AM   #4
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to clarify, you are actually just getting the torn boots replaced, not the CV axles. the parts costs are relatively minimal, i.e. less than a $100.00. however, it's a somewhat labor intensive process for a DIYer w/o a lift. in short, $400.00 to replace all your boots, if I read correctly, is a very good price.

finally, I would not drive w/torn boots. once you start hearing noise from the axle, I think you've likely hit the point of no return, so I wouldn't rely upon that. the purpose of the boot is to keep debris, i.e. dirt, from entering into the axle.

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Old 09-17-2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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Replace the axles for $400?!?!??!

Seems fishy to me. The axles from Porsche are $700 each from Pelican Parts:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/986M/POR_986M_SUSaxl_pg1.htm

Your shop must be putting used parts in there from a salvage yard, that's the only way I can figure they would get that price so low. How long are those CV boots going to last then???

If you check out the Pelican Parts page above you'll also see that boots are pretty cheap. The $1,000 that the dealership quoted you is totally crazy and their claim that it's $500 in parts is a bold faced lie. You can do it yourself. It's relatively easy wrenching, but it does take some time and is a PITA. You'll also need some way to re-torque the axle bolts. The torque wrench is around $500 itself, so make sure you know someone who has one!

Don't drive the car. It sounds like you don't really need to. You just WANT to when going to a car show. Maybe you want to show off a little bit. That's okay, it's natural. But why do something that you know is not good for your car? Just let it sit for a bit until you get the CV boots replaced. Be kind to your Porsche.

Kirk
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:25 PM   #6
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Called the guy back just to make sure he was talking about $400 for the total quote, or did he mean $400 per side. Nope, he said it was for the whole shebang. Axles were something like $170 apiece.

I asked him if they were new, rebuilt, salvage yard, whatever. He assured me that they were new. Procured by a company named "FEQ". Anybody ever heard of them? Said there's like 5 of them in California, also some in PA, GA, OH and elsewhere.

Am I ill-advised to put "FEQ" axles in my Boxster?

He said he's put quite a few into Porsches, has had good luck with 'em.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo
Am I ill-advised to put "FEQ" axles in my Boxster?

He said he's put quite a few into Porsches, has had good luck with 'em.

Google of feq axles returns a number of complaints about quality being hit or miss across a wide range of vehicles. I certainly would not want an axle breaking under load in a high speed corner!
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:49 PM   #8
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His math doesn't add up.

$400 for two new axles, installed.
$170 each for the axles x 2 = $340
That leaves $60 for labor. ???

$525 for four new boots on your axles.
Let's say $100 for boots
That leaves $425 for labor.

Pulling and re-installing the axles is 90% of the job, and you have to do that for both options.
Disassembling the axles, cleaning the CV joints, and re-assembling with new boots may take an additional 1 - 1.5 hours. (I've done it, I did the DIY writeup)
This guy must really hate cleaning CV joints, or is getting the new axles for free.

Having said all that, $525 for the boot job isn't really that bad. If you won't, or can't, do it yourself, that's what I'd do.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:31 PM   #9
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Quote: "His math doesn't add up."

Posted by JackG.


Yeah, I thought of that.

I hate to sound cynical, but do you suppose he's planning on keeping the OEM axles, repacking them and then reselling them??
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo
Quote: "His math doesn't add up."

Posted by JackG.


Yeah, I thought of that.

I hate to sound cynical, but do you suppose he's planning on keeping the OEM axles, repacking them and then reselling them??

Yeah, I'm doing the same math and coming up with the same questions. Like I said, something seems a little fishy. I checked out Vertex Auto last night and the rebuilt axles were somewhere around $200 each. $400 just doesn't make sense as there is some labor involved in this job. I think the old rule that applies here is "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is".

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Old 09-18-2009, 03:29 PM   #11
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the numbers you've quoted are about what i've encountered. $1100 @ the stealership, $575 at an independent porsche shop, $380 at a non-porsche shop. except for the stealership the other two quotes were if i supplied the parts, since i already purchased them. $15 per boot kit.

$400 to replace the axles is just not right.

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