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CV axle recommendations


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I have a torn boot on my drivers side, and am planning on replacing the half axle when I lift my truck in two weeks. I have seen  some bad things on here regarding the rockauto cv replacement options. What is the best option for a cv replacement, and where can I get it?

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I've been running a pair from Rockauto (Cardone brand) for at least 6y now. No issues yet.

 

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21 minutes ago, dogla said:

I've been running a pair from Rockauto (Cardone brand) for at least 6y now. No issues yet.

 

 

 

 

So you're running both sides Cardone? Only one of my boots is torn, is it wise to replace both halfs, or can I keep the other side OEM.

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They weren't expensive so I just replaced both. Didn't want to go swap out just one and after a while have to do the other too. If 1 axle is bad, best to change both. But if the boot has been torn recently, chances are your axle might still be good so you could just change the boot and not the whole axle.
I'm no expert on this but I guess it's an option.

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I have a torn boot on my drivers side, and am planning on replacing the half axle when I lift my truck in two weeks. I have seen  some bad things on here regarding the rockauto cv replacement options. What is the best option for a cv replacement, and where can I get it?

Best option is to reboot OEM axle.


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If you reboot, somewhere there’s a thread about the Rockford boots. I know[mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention] has been using a pair of aftermarket CVs for years without a problem. They were from a local auto parts store & have a lifetime warranty. Recently, it was discovered that some of the aftermarket CVs do not have as large of a range of motion as the OEMs so read that thread. If you replace, I’d do both & keep your good one around as an emergency spare. You could also harvest an OEM from junkyard -@TowndawgR50 & I split a set for just that purpose on one of our R50 strips.

 

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Exactly what I did. I still have both OEM axles stored and can swap them anytime I need to. The axles were stll good, I just replaced both when one of them got it's boot torn. And since I have manual lockers now the current axles will stay in the same condition even longer.

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10 hours ago, dogla said:

Exactly what I did. I still have both OEM axles stored and can swap them anytime I need to. The axles were stll good, I just replaced both when one of them got it's boot torn. And since I have manual lockers now the current axles will stay in the same condition even longer.

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Not necessarily. For those with the auto mode dial on the dash, the CVs will continue to spin from residual drag in the case and the boot wear will be the same even with the manual hubs. But if you have the part time transfer case with the short stick for 4WD, the manual hubs will stop the CVs from spinning. This pissed me off when I found out so I’ve been trying to spread the word everywhere I can. 
 

My passenger side CV boots are torn but I have the OEM shafts with the best range of motion so I want to keep them as long as possible. When I do the rebooting I’m going to place an order with Rockford to make sure I get the high quality thermoplastic ones, and then I plan to leave the hubs unlocked and have my front drive shaft in the cargo compartment, only putting it back on for wheeling/snow driving to save the boots. I don’t mind tightening 8 bolts a handful of times a year to save myself from constantly buying new CVs. The thermoplastic boots will last much longer but they will still eventually split if I leave the front drive shaft installed

 

 

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Not necessarily. For those with the auto mode dial on the dash, the CVs will continue to spin from residual drag in the case and the boot wear will be the same even with the manual hubs. But if you have the part time transfer case with the short stick for 4WD, the manual hubs will stop the CVs from spinning. This pissed me off when I found out so I’ve been trying to spread the word everywhere I can. 
 
My passenger side CV boots are torn but I have the OEM shafts with the best range of motion so I want to keep them as long as possible. When I do the rebooting I’m going to place an order with Rockford to make sure I get the high quality thermoplastic ones, and then I plan to leave the hubs unlocked and have my front drive shaft in the cargo compartment, only putting it back on for wheeling/snow driving to save the boots. I don’t mind tightening 8 bolts a handful of times a year to save myself from constantly buying new CVs. The thermoplastic boots will last much longer but they will still eventually split if I leave the front drive shaft installed
 
 

The shafts do not spin at the same rate as locked while unlocked. The drag is simply from the transfer case (clutches). The wear on the boots is minimal even with this drag, so the wear is not the same. Replacing cv boots is a very simple process and would not have to be done often. Please reconsider the information you’re trying to spread. It is not completely accurate and qualifies as misinformation.
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5 hours ago, R50JR said:


The shafts do not spin at the same rate as locked while unlocked. The drag is simply from the transfer case (clutches). The wear on the boots is minimal even with this drag, so the wear is not the same. Replacing cv boots is a very simple process and would not have to be done often. Please reconsider the information you’re trying to spread. It is not completely accurate and qualifies as misinformation.

I disagree. I’ve been through three sets of CVs since I put on the manual hubs and the boots always split within a couple of months. On one set of Cardone CVs, the boots gave out after just 3 weeks. Changing the shafts themselves has been easier for me than doing just the boots, so I have yet to give that a go and can’t comment on the difficulty of doing so.

 

Even if the shafts are spinning at a slower rate they are still spinning constantly, which certainly wears the boots faster than not spinning at all. The exact rate of wear is going to depend on the angles of the joints and the material of the boots.
 

I don’t see how my personal experience with manual hubs and boot wear qualifies as “misinformation”, so I’ll continue spreading it so that others have as much info as possible. That’s the point of this forum, isn’t it? We already have few enough active members sharing their pathfinder experiences, I think every bit of info we can get out there is going to be helpful for others who are looking to build up their R50s

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The problem I see is that many of us with the ATX14A transmission have not put manual hubs on & therefore our CVs are never disengaged; yet actual CV boot failure occurrences are low. I’d say you’ve experienced more boot failure on your one truck than a bunch of us combined, literally 100s of thousands of miles. Your boots are giving out at an exponentially faster rate than is typical. I suspect there is something else plaguing your system.

 

 

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I disagree. I’ve been through three sets of CVs since I put on the manual hubs and the boots always split within a couple of months. On one set of Cardone CVs, the boots gave out after just 3 weeks. Changing the shafts themselves has been easier for me than doing just the boots, so I have yet to give that a go and can’t comment on the difficulty of doing so.
 
Even if the shafts are spinning at a slower rate they are still spinning constantly, which certainly wears the boots faster than not spinning at all. The exact rate of wear is going to depend on the angles of the joints and the material of the boots.
 
I don’t see how my personal experience with manual hubs and boot wear qualifies as “misinformation”, so I’ll continue spreading it so that others have as much info as possible. That’s the point of this forum, isn’t it? We already have few enough active members sharing their pathfinder experiences, I think every bit of info we can get out there is going to be helpful for others who are looking to build up their R50s

“Not necessarily. For those with the auto mode dial on the dash, the CVs will continue to spin from residual drag in the case and the boot wear will be the same even with the manual hubs. “

That is the misinformation. It isn’t completely true. As RainGoat mentioned, there are many of us with the atx transfer and boot failure is low. Saying that you’re trying to spread the word of that isn’t right. I think you definitely need to figure out what is wrong with your truck before putting blame on other components.


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17 hours ago, PathyGig12 said:

Not necessarily. For those with the auto mode dial on the dash, the CVs will continue to spin from residual drag in the case and the boot wear will be the same even with the manual hubs. But if you have the part time transfer case with the short stick for 4WD, the manual hubs will stop the CVs from spinning. This pissed me off when I found out so I’ve been trying to spread the word everywhere I can. 
 

My passenger side CV boots are torn but I have the OEM shafts with the best range of motion so I want to keep them as long as possible. When I do the rebooting I’m going to place an order with Rockford to make sure I get the high quality thermoplastic ones, and then I plan to leave the hubs unlocked and have my front drive shaft in the cargo compartment, only putting it back on for wheeling/snow driving to save the boots. I don’t mind tightening 8 bolts a handful of times a year to save myself from constantly buying new CVs. The thermoplastic boots will last much longer but they will still eventually split if I leave the front drive shaft installed

 

9 hours ago, PathyGig12 said:

I disagree. I’ve been through three sets of CVs since I put on the manual hubs and the boots always split within a couple of months. On one set of Cardone CVs, the boots gave out after just 3 weeks. Changing the shafts themselves has been easier for me than doing just the boots, so I have yet to give that a go and can’t comment on the difficulty of doing so.

 

Even if the shafts are spinning at a slower rate they are still spinning constantly, which certainly wears the boots faster than not spinning at all. The exact rate of wear is going to depend on the angles of the joints and the material of the boots.
 

I don’t see how my personal experience with manual hubs and boot wear qualifies as “misinformation”, so I’ll continue spreading it so that others have as much info as possible. That’s the point of this forum, isn’t it? We already have few enough active members sharing their pathfinder experiences, I think every bit of info we can get out there is going to be helpful for others who are looking to build up their R50s

 

What's there to be pissed about?  The point of hubs is to prevent the front drivetrain from creating load via the front wheels.  The driveshaft spinning from residual drag from the t-case?  The ATX uses clutches that don't fully disengage...it seems expected to me and is probably negligible overall.  Keeping the driveshaft removed seems asinine to me because it's not the problem.

 

Your boots are splitting because your AC springs are maxing out the suspension and causing the boots to always be stretched.  This is also bad for the CV because of a significantly higher amount of oscillations than if it were flatter.  Guys that have less/no lift or an SFD will always see less boot wear because their boots aren't constantly stretching out.  The problem is the AC springs and nothing else.

 

 

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+1 on AC springs. I had them on a previous build (heavy duty set all around) which gave the truck somewhat 3" of lift supposedly. I measured before and after but of course the springs and shocks were still new and maybe still needed to "settle". When I had that set my shocks always bottomed out (or topped out ) when going a bit aggresive over (speed)bumps and my boots were tearing within a few months. Also at some point my front drive shaft developed some play and really vibrated the truck violently at certain speeds and the shocks compress. Removed and sold the springs and went back to stock ride hight (put in a set of A1 Cardones) and never had a torn boot since. That was at least 6y ago. Also have manual lockers on for about a year now.

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4 hours ago, hawairish said:

 

 

What's there to be pissed about?  The point of hubs is to prevent the front drivetrain from creating load via the front wheels.  The driveshaft spinning from residual drag from the t-case?  The ATX uses clutches that don't fully disengage...it seems expected to me and is probably negligible overall.  Keeping the driveshaft removed seems asinine to me because it's not the problem.

 

Your boots are splitting because your AC springs are maxing out the suspension and causing the boots to always be stretched.  This is also bad for the CV because of a significantly higher amount of oscillations than if it were flatter.  Guys that have less/no lift or an SFD will always see less boot wear because their boots aren't constantly stretching out.  The problem is the AC springs and nothing else.

 

 

Yes I know that the AC springs are maxing the suspension and that this is the cause of the boot failure. My point is that people who use the AC springs up front need to be aware of the fact that the auto mode TCase still spins the front even with manual hubs. This info is important so that people don’t expect the hubs to save them from boot wear. We are in total agreement that with any other springs the boot wear would be a lot less, but with the AC springs specifically, the only way to stop the excessive boot wear is to either change springs or make sure the front isn’t spinning most of the time. And this isn’t being accomplished by manual hubs when you have the auto mode Tcase. That’s my entire point.

 

When I said that I was “pissed” about the TCase still spinning, it was due to the fact that this information was not common knowledge when I went to buy the hubs. Everyone was listing heavily reduced boot wear as a benefit of the hubs, which turned out to not be completely true for this set up. That’s why I was annoyed and why I want to continue letting others know. 

 

Many of us cannot afford to do a SFD, or it is too intense of an operation for our skill level. People naturally still want maximum lift, and often choose to run the AC coils for this reason, so it’s a piece of info that I believe is important for them to consider. 
 

As far as my personal boot wear experience being abnormal, I don’t believe anything else is wrong with the truck. Like you said, it’s from the AC springs and nothing else. Since I don’t want to change to different springs, I’m leaving the front shaft off for most of my driving. Very easy to put it back on for wheeling trips.

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4 hours ago, dogla said:

+1 on AC springs. I had them on a previous build (heavy duty set all around) which gave the truck somewhat 3" of lift supposedly. I measured before and after but of course the springs and shocks were still new and maybe still needed to "settle". When I had that set my shocks always bottomed out (or topped out emoji2369.png) when going a bit aggresive over (speed)bumps and my boots were tearing within a few months. Also at some point my front drive shaft developed some play and really vibrated the truck violently at certain speeds and the shocks compress. Removed and sold the springs and went back to stock ride hight (put in a set of A1 Cardones) and never had a torn boot since. That was at least 6y ago. Also have manual lockers on for about a year now.

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Exactly

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10 minutes ago, RainGoat said:

The boot wears from the stretch of the lift, not the revolution of the CV. The spinning of the CV is essentially inconsequential to boot wear, it would primarily effect the mechanics of the CV - and reduction if wear has always been theoretical. Probably some mpgs saved but there has always been a significant group of owners who find this improvement marginal. The ONLY reason I personally would put them in for myself is to aid in CV replacement - although my risk for needing that is very low. The primary ways to avoid CV failure are prudent driving & minimizing lift. THIS IS NOTHING NEW & something present in the forum for more than a handful of years.

 

Lift is fun but as someone who took a largely stock rig over most of the CO passes except Black Bear, it’s mostly about how you drive. Expecting it to behave as a hard core rock crawler comes with lots if caveats & probably best left to those who are both experienced drivers & mechanics. Getting to that point is going to have sacrifices & it looks like boot destruction & possibly reconfiguring the suspension may be one of those costs to be paid. That said, I know of a handful of owners who haven’t had your experience. It’s an outlier for sure & I would take the opportunity for a little introspection. Honestly, if you find yourself arguing with people like hawairish, it’s probably time to take stock of your own presumptions.

I don’t find myself arguing with anyone at the moment. I’m honestly a bit confused why this is so controversial. I was simply giving my experience with boot wear and warning those who didn’t know about the behavior of the auto mode Tcase with manual hubs. In fact, since I found this out I have been in agreement with you that the manual hubs are mostly a waste of money with this set up. I haven't gotten any better mileage either, and I don’t wheel recklessly enough to need to change half shafts on the trail.


It’s interesting that you mention that the boot wear is due to the excessive stretching of the boots from the amount of lift alone, and not related at all to the rotation of the axles. So what you’re saying is if I took a brand new CV and left it on my desk with the angle stretched to maximum, the boots should be expected to spontaneously tear after a few months of sitting like that? 
 

I’m no expert but something elastic doesn’t typically break from being held at a constant, normally it’s from being stretched and compressed repeatedly, which is what happens with the boots while the CVs are spinning at extreme angles. Again, I don’t have any research to back this up, it just makes the most sense in my mind from a physics standpoint. I’ll make sure to keep an eye on my boots while the front shaft is removed to see if they still split when completely stationary, but I have my doubts. It’s possible it’ll happen eventually due to environmental factors like the rubber drying out, being affected by road grime and salt, but that sort of thing will likely take a lot longer to happen

 

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Rode stock suspension for one year without bad boots. Then lifted with ac coils and warn hubs. Drove one month and split a boot. Half month later the other boot split. 

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Stretching means the compression & stretch from your suspension going up & down, not static stretch. I expect just turning stretches it as well. The more lifted a truck is, the greater the pretension on the boot & the more likely that you’ll get material fatigue. The CV joint spinning inside doesn’t come into it. Even if the CV were disengaged - the boot would be going through all the same motions.

 

I actually deleted my earlier post as, upon contemplation, I realized it was pointless to comment after [mention=36148]hawairish[/mention] had weighed in. That guy has forgotten more about every part of these trucks than I’ve ever known. I was just drinking my morning coffee & let boredom get the best of me.

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5 minutes ago, RainGoat said:

Stretching means the compression & stretch from your suspension going up & down, not static stretch. I expect just turning stretches it as well. The more lifted a truck is, the greater the pretension on the boot & the more likely that you’ll get material fatigue. The CV joint spinning inside doesn’t come into it. Even if the CV were disengaged - the boot would be going through all the same motions.

 

I actually deleted my earlier post as, upon contemplation, I realized it was pointless to comment after@hawairish had weighed in. That guy has forgotten more about every part of these trucks than I’ve ever known.

 

See now at least that makes sense. The turning and suspension travel definitely causes the stretching as well, I hadn’t even considered those.

 

But it doesn’t mean that the boot wear isn’t also caused by spinning. When you turn a CV  and watch the boot, one side is compressed while the other is stretched. At an extreme angle, this means a lot of stretching and compressing of each part of the boot as you drive. Whether this wears on it more than the other motions you mentioned, I don’t know.

 

Regardless, it does make me wonder whether there are boots that might give more room for this stretching and last longer. I know they make high angle boots for Toyota’s but I don’t think anything exists for our trucks. It would probably have to be something designed for a larger and longer CV joint and then adapted to still clamp to the R50 CVs

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The Rockfords are the only notable variant I’ve heard of. Undoubtedly more hardy but I don’t know if they’re sized differently. There’s a thread somewhere I read years ago, I’d search that up.

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16 minutes ago, RainGoat said:

The Rockfords are the only notable variant I’ve heard of. Undoubtedly more hardy but I don’t know if they’re sized differently. There’s a thread somewhere I read years ago, I’d search that up.

Yeah I’ll be placing an order for them some time this week. Even in the best case scenario of no CV rotation with the shaft removed, you’re right that the stretching will still exist so I want the best boots available. I wonder if anyone who has installed them could weigh in on their longevity? I can’t remember who has them

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On 3/28/2021 at 6:31 AM, RainGoat said:

If you reboot, somewhere there’s a thread about the Rockford boots. I know[mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention] has been using a pair of aftermarket CVs for years without a problem. They were from a local auto parts store & have a lifetime warranty. Recently, it was discovered that some of the aftermarket CVs do not have as large of a range of motion as the OEMs so read that thread. If you replace, I’d do both & keep your good one around as an emergency spare. You could also harvest an OEM from junkyard -@TowndawgR50 & I split a set for just that purpose on one of our R50 strips.

 

 

I read this post last week and found the website (looks like it's made in 1999). Tried calling them and couldn't get thru. Do they still exist? I'd prefer to reboot with these but as far as I can tell they don't exist anymore. Here's the website I found in the link, I'll try to post the thread here as well if I can find it. http://www.rockfordcv.com/

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