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Really Struggling With Split Boots

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:51 pm
by IndyPinzy
Hi folks,

I bought a set of split boots from one of the forum sponsors and am really struggling and failing to get even the first boot installed.

Old ones came off fine and I've got the first new boot bolted and glued loose on the axle. That all seem to go very well. But no matter how much I slide the small end towards or away from the differential case, I can't get the large end stretched onto the differential boot flange. Spent two hours this past Saturday trying different ways of stretching it on from the top down, stretching it on from the bottom up, trying to rotate it as I stretch it on and getting nowhere. It doesn't even seem to be close to getting onto the flange at the top.

Am I missing something, or doing something wrong here?

Thanks for any help or advice.
Ninev

Re: Really Struggling With Split Boots

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:59 pm
by undysworld
Hi Ninev,
It's been a while, but from memory, I don't recall them being hard to get over the lip. I was going to ask whether you'd gotten cheap versions, but from a vendor I'd assume they are quality boots.
I guess I'd try two things (in case you haven't already). First, I'd use some lubricant to help them slide, such as the goop you use for changing tires. Secondly, perhaps some heat to soften the boot somewhat.
Hope it helps, and good luck.
Paul

Re: Really Struggling With Split Boots

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:43 am
by IndyPinzy
Hi Paul,

Thanks for the suggestions there. Yeah these are definitely pricey boot kits from a forum sponsor. Not cheap off brand.

I may have to try aiming a warm air fan at them to see if I can limber them up some.

I spent nearly two hours struggling to stretch one on. Can't believe it's that hard.

Re: Really Struggling With Split Boots

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:02 pm
by TechMOGogy
"bolted and glued loose on the axle"?

Why?
You install them and then glue and bolt or am I not understanding what you meant?

Re: Really Struggling With Split Boots

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:44 pm
by undysworld
TechMOGogy wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:02 pm
"bolted and glued loose on the axle"?

Why?
You install them and then glue and bolt or am I not understanding what you meant?
From my experience, it was much easier to glue the seams together properly before they were stretched over the axle & lip. But then, I never had trouble sliding them into place after gluing the seam.

Re: Really Struggling With Split Boots

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:37 pm
by IndyPinzy
Yeah, what I've read says that you should bolt and glue the seams together in an unstressed state so that the glued seam stays together. Then, once the glue joint is dry, you can put them in the position on the axle housing and flange and clamp them in place.

Follow-up status: I did the other three axles and they were pretty easy and straightforward. Then I took your suggestion and used a hair dryer to slightly warm the difficult one. I was able to get it put into place and clamp it. It's still wanted to back back off of the differential flange but I was able to capture it and clamp it.

Clearly there is some degree of variability in thickness or durometer even in these reputable boots.

Back in business now!

Re: Really Struggling With Split Boots

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:19 am
by acurtis
Going through this same process with the rear axles- I found if i weighed down the back (compressing the springs- so she squatted a little - the axle would be closer to level entering the differential that the boot would not need to stretch as much to fit over the flange. May help the next guy!?!