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Old 04-16-2016, 08:16 PM   #1
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2001 Boxster S Axle boots and some odd findings.

New to me, 2001 Boxster S. 110k Bought the car for a song with a pile of service history from same dealership from 2001 till 12/2015.

Upon driving the car more spiritedly than the previous owner, I realized that the front motor mount was shot. Purchased the sleeved insert from pelican and Tuesday I went to a friends to use his lift. Once I had the car in the air I was very surprised to see that all 4 axle boots were cracked and shot. This wasn't expected so I did the front mount and upon completion, I've taken the car back home and parked it. AGAIN.....

I started looking for ideas on what to do and quickly realized that something is amiss with my understanding of these axles.

First I went to pelican to just replace both axles, boots and all. But at over $1700 for both, it seemed insanely expensive and I sought other options. Took the car back to friends lift and had another friend give the axles an inspection. He said the axles look fine with no play etc so he said I should just order all boots and prepare for a long weekend.

Today I was searching for these kits when I just happened to search google and found the axles on the Advance Autoparts website for $69 ea. I thought this was either a typo or the worst chinese axles made but since they're not in stock, I opted to post here before buying anything.

So, my thinking is that it may just be easier for me to buy cheap axles just so that I can get my axles removed and rebuilt without the time crunch of getting it done in a weekend.

Not really sure what else to say, I'm not racing the car and I'm not really planning to drive it daily. Would like to go through the car system by system and get it back to spec. Prices are all over the place on these axles, parts etc so I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. I'm an engineer so I'm comfortable doing the work, but just don't have the experience under my belt to know the in's and out's of the S model 6 speed boxster H6.

Thanks for any help.

Chaiyz
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:44 PM   #2
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Chaiyz - the S version of the Boxster are quite hard on the drive shafts and boots because of the angle of the stub axle / gearbox mounting. Its not uncommon to have to replace the boots every 50,000 miles or less - preferably all 4 of them.
Don't go near the el-cheapo drive shafts - use the search function to get some idea of how long they last - which is not very long.
If the bearings / universals are still OK and haven't been driven dry, you can just get the axle boots & grease etc. in a kit from Pelican Parts - part #101P-986-P041C or just buy the boots & grease only for just a few $$'s, which is what I did.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Steve. Looking at the kit from Pelican, I'm seeing grease, 4 boots, 8 retainers and 2 slip rings. I'm not sure if I've found the right axle bolts but the ones I found were over $6 each and I didn't find the 32mm nut replacement.

I've been reading about the S model and the shortened life of the boots, I'm hoping to get a summer out of the car before I do a clutch/IMS. My local dealer told me that my car has been driven over 100k without a failure so he says I should sleep at night. But I'm more concerned with all the other potential bombs in the top end of the 3.2. Also, it doesn't make much sense to me why a well maintained car with service records from a respected porsche dealer every 3 months from 2001 would need either a motor mount or even a single boot, lest all 4. It's not gotten me down, but it is disappointing when you can't trust such paperwork.
Well, at any rate... The noise I hear from 4-6k makes me happy to have finally gotten an S model. My 2001S is arctic silver/metropole blue interior and top with glass option and my previous boxster was a 99tip arctic silver/light grey interior and the ugliest light grey top I'd ever seen. It was the handling that I really loved, but I have to admit, the 3.2 is a completely different animal than the 2.5 tip.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:50 PM   #4
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Hello Chaiyz,

agree with Steve Tinker, don't get the cheap axle boots. The OEM ones are from GÖLDO and are the same as in the 928. Also don't put too much grease in - they then burst if you're driving fast. Also check that there is absolutely no grease between the axle and the axle boot when assembling. I paid 30 euros at Porsche for each axle boot. The OEM clamps are special - you need a special crimp tool. Search the forum for additional infos.

Pic shows part number for a 2003 S.

Regards, Markus
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Last edited by Smallblock454; 04-17-2016 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:28 PM   #5
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Regarding the axle bolts, I didn't replace mine - just very carefully cleaned the originals and torqued to the correct specification.
With 110k miles on your car, you must expect all the usual 986 / 996 foibles to rear their ugly head(s). Your suspension is probably @ 50% efficiency (struts, top bearings, drop links, coffin arms etc), the coolant, expansion tank & water pump are ready to bite you too and little niggles like ignition switch, accessory belt rollers and window micro switches come to mind.....
Its all good fun, especially if you "got it for a song" as you put it.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:04 AM   #6
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Do NOT buy the cheap axles. When I purchase my boxster, it came with a spare axle. It was one of the $100 units you see on ebay. After two days on the track the boots were both cracked and the grease was oozing out of the vent hole on the outside end of the shaft. Buy a pair of good used axles or if you are a masocist, rebuild them yourself. This is a nasty pain in the ass job however so have lots of rags, multiple pairs of nitrile gloves, and possibly an attitude adjusting beverage or two handy.
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:58 AM   #7
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Pelican sell the correct clamps for the CV joints.They are Oetiker clamps a.k.a. crimp clamps. In theory you need a special pair of pliers to crimp them tight. I used an old pair of blunt pincers.
Fitting common worm-drive hose clamps is not recommended.
AS Markus hinted, if you don't get all the grease off the lip of the boot and the mating part of the CV joint - you'll be repeating the entire job soon.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:43 AM   #8
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Here is one more vote to resist the urge to buy the cheap axles. In the past I had always replaced just the boots when they failed, but decided to try a new $60 axle with a "lifetime warranty" on a previous car. These axles lasted maybe 10k miles before getting loose and vibrating. After the second warranty replacement, I bought a boot kit for the original axle, which I am VERY glad that I kept, and reinstalled it. No more axle problems...

The clamp tools are not expensive, and easy to find. I have one like this. These allow you to put a breaker bar/rachet/etc. on them to get the clamp adequately tight. VW uses plastic boots on some of their cars that need to be crimped super tight to stay sealed, and this type of tool is the only I found that is up to the job.
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:40 PM   #9
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Its a decent bit of work to remove the axles so the plan to remove yours and rebuild why you have cheepos installed will result in you getting to do this job twice.

Although rebooting is very messy and not much fun, it doesn't take a ton of time to do. If you have a good buddy to help, maybe once you get one axle off, one of you can reboot while the other works on getting the other axle out.

I did mine one at a time....did drivers side one day, recovered for a month and then tackled the other side. The parking brake assembly is not a lot of fun.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:31 AM   #10
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When I did mine a few years ago the Boots were still good so I just cleaned out the old grease and repacked it with the recommended Swepco molly grease.
I went to the local Princess Auto (Harbour Freight equivalent) and for $1.99 bought a pair of wire snips and filed the jaw sides flat as well as the snip face. You only need about 1/4 inch flat on each side of center for the snip face. This was my special tool and it worked fine. In the photo the surface rust areas are the spots I filed to flat, you can't see the snip face so well.

The clamps I used are in the photo. I can't remember if they are the Porsche ones or are the after market from a local supplier. I do remember they were both a PITA but the photo ones worked the best. You wrap them around the boot as tight as possible by hand (and then so more) then crimp the square piece with the special tool.

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