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Old 06-27-2018, 08:38 AM   #1
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CV Joint Seal Failure

My new-to-me 2001 S is in pretty decent overall shape. I "rescued" it from a life in an unheated parking garage in Minneapolis where it spent many, if not all, of its 48k miles. In late May, early June, I left the car with a dealer after the PPI and had them do some work on it to make sure it would make it 1500 miles home. I flew in on June 6th and got home late the next day.

The car pretty much ran flawlessly. After getting home, I had a local indie shop change the transmission oil and re-balance the wheels. But last week when I pulled the driver's side rear wheel to install new drop links, I discovered grease everywhere. And the same thing on the passenger side.

So as I sit here pondering what to do -Porsche brand axles, or risk fate and use one of the cheap alternatives- I have been thinking about what could cause both axles to puke at about the same time. I will be generous and assume the joint seals were in good shape up through the wheel balancing 2 weeks ago.

Could the change from a much more mild summer climate to the heat and humidity of eastern VA cause the CV joint failures? What else could cause the seals to let go?

Would appreciate hearing your ideas.

2004 996 40th Anniversary
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:49 AM   #2
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Kinda like tires. Let them sit long enough with low air pressure they will dry out and take a "set". You can air them up and they may still tear themselves to pieces if you run them.
Your CV boots most likely dried out and aged with one area stretched and the other compressed (due to axle angles) and failed from use.
Since the boots recently failed, you can probably just have them replaced and the axles will be fine.

PS check the date code on those tires, If more than 4 years old consider replacing no matter the tread depth.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:37 AM   #3
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I had a similar issue. When I had the oil changed before putting the car into winter storage last October, the indie (not a Porsche specialist) told me the cv boots were cracked and I needed to replace them and the axles, gave me a quote of $1200. When I got the car out of storage I took it to a VW / Audi dealer that has a tech that works on Porsches and was quoted $1600 then I took it to a Porsche specialist and got a quote of $2400. By now the first quote was starting to look pretty good.

Then a boxster owner (Thanks Jake!) suggested a Porsche specialist (Kurt's German Autowerks in Homer Glen, IL (western suburb of Chicago) who only works on Porsches and Audis) who inspected the car and told me I didn't need axles and quoted $650 to change the boots. He said that he visually inspected it and inquired whether I had hears any clicking noises (I didn't) and said, if you had heard clicking that's the warning sign. So he did the work a month ago and so far, everything seems fine.

It's a 2000S with 33k miles, always garaged, never driven in winter, always maintained by the book. Just thought I'd add this story into the discussion.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:10 PM   #4
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If the boots look OK and are not cracked then to cured the problem replace the boot clamps that are certainly too loose. You can back off the boots while there and repack with some grease.

Look at this thread : Axle boot clamp question

An explanation of the sudden leak is probably due to the sustained heat from a long 1500 miles drive. I bet it's been a while since the car was used so long and intensively ?

Last edited by pomerlo; 06-27-2018 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:20 PM   #5
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This is a common issue for the S model since the axles on the 6 speed are a bit more contorted than axles on a base car.
Mine failed a couple of years back.
The CV’s weren’t noisy as if the bearings were failing from dirt contamination, so the axles were pulled, CV’s regreased and new boots installed.
Problem free ever since.

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