Thursday, 4 October 2012

Stiff Joints

One who does not know what is enough will never have enough.
Lao Tzu

While I was mucking about fitting new studs under the engine I noticed that one of the rubber boots was damaged and split. This is a protective cover for the c.v. joint* and is crucial for keeping grease in and dust out. I also noticed a huge wasp nest right next to my cheek, just an instant before I flinched violently and bashed my head! Sorry wasps, you'll have to go.

It's a fairly simple job to remove the 6 bolts on each end of the driveshaft/sideshaft and take out the entire assembly as one piece. First we just had to clear decades of solidified gunk from the hollow ends of the Allen-head bolts.

I've clamped it in the vice and removed the retaining circlip and other clamps so that I can remove the protective rubber boot. I'll properly be able to check out the condition of the joint and it's bearings and housings in good daylight, but the grease inside is fairly solid, shrunken and dried out so I reckon I'll have to remove them all and check thoroughly. Hopefully there will be no permanent damage and I can just clean 'em, grease 'em and replace 'em.

*Constant velocity joint, similar to a universal joint that allows a drive shaft to transmit power through a variable angle, at constant rotational speed, without an appreciable increase in friction or play. There is a lovely, moving graphic showing how it works at Wikipedia. Also known as a homokinetic joint (stop sniggering at the back).

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