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CV Boot/Joint Replacement


The outer constant velocity joint (CV joint) boots commonly fail on the B5 Passat and A4 (seems more often than most makes). The rubber boot is responsible for keeping the CV joint surrounded by grease - a tear in the boot will permit grease to fly out of the boot when the wheel is in motion, leaving tell-tale residue around the inner perimeter of the wheel (for the outer boot). Left like this, dirt will enter the joint, turning the bearings of the CV joint into grinders and destroying the CV joint. If you hear a clicking noise when in motion and while turning the car, the CV joints will need to be replaced. If a CV joint needs to be replaced, it's often less expensive to simply purchase a rebuilt driveshaft, as from Raxles. This also makes for easier replacement.


June 25, 2005 - Thanks go out to a B5er who caught an omission of the inner CV joint gasket present only on '98-01 1.8t manual models, corrected. Updated boot kit part numbers for current models.

Part Information & Sources:

Note - always confirm part numbers by looking at the actual part mounted in the car! Mistakes will happen sometime, somewhere.

Part numbers:

Outer CV Boot Kit
AEB, ATW, AUG engines 3B0 498 203 A
AHA, ATQ engines 441 498 203 A
AWM, ATQ 2WD, ATQ 4WD (manual), BDP    441 498 203 A
ATQ 4WD (automatic) 4A0 498 203 C
pre VIN 3D-3E312500 or 3B-3-402000
441 498 203 A
AWM 2WD, ATQ, BDP (manual)
post VIN 3B-3E312501 or 3B-3-402001
3B0 498 203 D
AWM 4WD, BDP (automatic) 3B0 498 203 D
ATQ 4WD 4A0 498 203 C

Inner CV joint gasket
'98-01 AEB, ATW, AUG (manual) 8D0 407 309 A

OEM Pricing: ~$25-$35
Adirondack Auto Brokers: $16-$26

Tools Required:

  • 14mm socketed hex driver (17mm for V6 engines) finally updated!
  • 6mm allen key or socketed hex driver
  • 10mm 12-point star (triple square) driver
  • 10mm combination wrench
  • 10mm socket
  • CV boot clamp tool

Note - if you're in the US, AutoZone carries the large hex drivers, 12-point drivers, and boot clamp tool. A cheap boot clamp tool is available ($8) - used for this job as I wasn't planning on doing this more than a few times.

Driveaxle removal:

While the CV boot can be replaced with the driveaxle in the car, it's easy enough to remove the axle and work on the CV joints comfortably.

  1. With the car on the ground, start by loosening the wheel lug nuts.
  2. Loosen the driveaxle bolt with the 14mm hex driver (17mm for the V6). The driveaxle bolt, by necessity, is highly torqued - you'll need to use quite a bit of force to loosen the bolt. The force necessary for tightening highly stresses the bolt, and is the reason why a replacement bolt is provided in the boot kit.
  3. Raise the front of the vehicle (use jackstands, of course).
  4. Not necessary, but you can improve access to the driveaxle by removing the brake disc rotor and hanging the brake calipers. (illustration)
  5. Follow the driveaxle to the inner CV joint/transmission mating bolts. You'll need a 10mm 12-point star driver to remove the 6 bolts. If you're working on the passenger side of the vehicle, you'll need to rotate the shaft to access all of the bolts, or remove the protective overhanging plate (held in place by three 6mm allen bolts). On models with a gasket on the inner CV joint (see parts list), remove the gasket and clean the mating surfaces. (illustration)
  6. Haynes recommends hanging the driveshaft to keep the outer CV joint from overflexing - rope, string, etc.
  7. At the wheel hub, pull out the wheel speed sensor, located near the brake calipers - this step is often overlooked at auto shops. On these cars, pulling out the driveaxle with the wheel speed sensor in place will destroy the sensor and require replacement. (illustration)
  8. Now to removing the upper control arms from the steering knuckle. Start by removing the 10mm bolt and nut clamping the the upper control arms in the steering knuckle with the 10mm socket wrench and socket.
  9. The really fun part - pull the upper control arms from the steering knuckle. On my car, the control arms didn't want to leave their home in the knuckle. About a half hour of tender, loving care (read: small sledgehammer and brass point) later, the control arms popped out. I used a blunt tool to push the end of the control arm joints upwards through the steering knuckle. It's tempting to pry open the steering knuckle cavity at the visible slots - resist this. Deforming the fit between the control arms and steering knuckle is a good way to create a wobbly drive. Also, take care not to damage the balljoint boots - standard balljoint pry bars will likely destroy destroy the boots, necessitating control arm replacement (gripe - this is a needlessly expensive way of replacing balljoints! Terrible design choice to keep the balljoint a permanent part of the control arm).
  10. Completely remove the driveaxle bolt.
  11. With the upper control arms removed, the steering knuckle will freely move around - move the assembly away from the car and you'll be able to pull the driveaxle from the wheel hub. Gently tapping the driveaxle from the outside of the wheel hub can help with removal.
  12. The driveaxle has now been removed from the car. (illustration)
    Note - If you'll simply be replacing the driveaxle, skip down to installation.

CV boot replacement:

  1. With the driveaxle removed, clamp it in place with a vise, or other means of holding the driveaxle securely. Use rubber grips or cloths when clamping to keep from deforming the shaft. (illustration)
  2. Pry the two boot clamps open and cut off the old boot. This will expose the CV joint. (illustration)
  3. Time for some fun - the CV joint needs to be driven from the driveaxle shaft. One method is to use a hammer to drive off the joint - use a soft metal piece (brass works well) to direct the hammer's force at the innermost portion of the CV joint.
  4. Note the installation and orientation of the thrust washer, dished washer, and circlip - these will need to be reinstalled in the same order later. Take care with the thrust washer, as a replacement is not supplied in the boot kit.
  5. With the joint removed, clean off as much grease as possible, and mark the alignment of the inner race, bearing cage, and joint housing.
  6. The bearing cage can be moved around to expose each bearing for removal - push down on one edge of the cage to bring the opposing bearing out of its races.
  7. The inner race can then be removed from the bearing cage - twist the inner race in the cage and you'll be able to remove the race.
  8. Clean off all parts. (illustration)
  9. Examine for joint damage. Both outer joints of my B5 had some damage, due to dirt entry. One simple solution for two slightly damaged outer joints is to swap the joints - the damage is typically restricted to one edge of the joint where the individual bearings place the highest load. Swapping the joints will place the bearings to work against the undamaged sections of the joint surfaces. (illustration)
  10. Coat all surfaces with fresh CV joint grease.
  11. Reassemble the joint, and fill with as much grease as possible. Completely packing the joint is important.
  12. Use tape (duct, electrical, masking, etc) to cover the driveaxle splines.
  13. Slide the small boot clamp onto the drive axle, followed by the new boot.
  14. Remove the tape, and slide on the dished washer and thrust washer. Install the replacement circlip.
  15. Add the remainder of the grease to the empty boot.
  16. Tap the joint onto the driveshaft, until engaged by the circlip.
  17. Slide the boot onto the joint, using the boot clamp tool to secure the small and large clamps.

Driveaxle installation:

  1. If your inner joint had a gasket, ensure the mating surfaces are clean and apply the new gasket.
  2. Insert the driveaxle outer end into the steering knuckle, using the new bolt provided to tighten the joint just enough to move the joint into place.
  3. Reinstall the upper control arms, tightening the clamping nut to 30 ft-lbs / 40 Nm.
  4. Reattach the inner end of the driveaxle to the transmission housing, tightening the bolts to 59 ft-lbs / 80 Nm, working in a star pattern to tighten the joint equally.
  5. Reinstall the brake rotor and calipers if removed previously.
  6. Reinstall the wheel, tightening the lug nuts by hand.
  7. Lower the car.
  8. If the replacement driveaxle/hub bolt is a 14mm hex, tighten to 85 ft-lbs / 115 Nm with a torque wrench. Then switch to a breaker bar (ratchetless socket wrench with a cheater bar, etc) to tighten the bolt an additional 1/2 turn. Note that the final tightening is not something you want to subject to a ratcheting mechanism. A 17mm hex bolt should be tightened to 140 ft-lbs / 190 Nm + 1/2 turn.
  9. Tighten the lug nuts to 89 ft-lbs / 120 Nm, working in a star pattern.


Additional resources:


  • I have two (2) - 2003 5.5 1.8T VW Passat Wagons each with over 100,000m and thanks to VW have changed the half axles many times. After continuous failures with aftermarket rebuilt units (China and Mexico) I only use rebuilt units from Raxles in FL-USA .... can get free but returnable tools, life-time warranty, reasonable prices, quality units, but must return an OE core with OE label on it or pay a bunch extra. OE units are disappearing from the market place - junk yards here can't find them.

    I do not disassembled any steering linkage, brake parts and do not even remove the tires/wheels. For the drivers side I turn the wheel hard right, and on the passenger side I turn the wheel hard left. That's it. Be patient and wiggle the units into place.
    Dan - USA - Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:04 pm
  • Hi I am in England & all 4 of my 1.9TDI Passats 3 B5's & 1 Bb.5 have the larger from what I see is a 17mm internal HEXAGON tool needed the years are 2002, 2000 & 2 1999's I purchased the wrong size & yes I am a Passat estate/station wagon hoarder life is incomplete without.
    John Smith England - Sep 26, 2015 @ 11:48 am
  • To remove the CV joint from the driveshaft most folk recommend a brass drift. I didn't have one to hand so used a scrap brass gate valve. It's short so will to give your hammer some clearance (since the driveshaft will likely be in a vice) and holding the tap handle gets your fingers out the way of the hammer.

    BTW - Take the rear undertray off before you begin!
    Mike, Shropshire UK - Sep 9, 2015 @ 10:15 am
  • Great write-up, and works very well with the video at myturbodiesel First try on a 1.8L 2002 AWM driver-side axle went smoothly in 3hrs. Since ABS sensor was siezed in, I left it and there were no problems as I was very careful with outer end removal and re-install. Prior mechanic work replacing same joint 5 yrs ago had swopped out two of the star nuts for regular 14mm-head hex bolts. 27mm hex bolt specs at 85 ft lbs, meant the axle bolt was easy - didn't need a breaker-bar extension.
    Tony, Pennsylvania USA - Sep 21, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

  • One thing I found that makes it much easier to remove the axle once it is unbolted is to turn the wheel to the left, jack up the suspension which allows the transmission end of the shaft to slide below the transmission with a slight tilt of the rear joint. Then there is no need to remove all the steering and control arm parts. Reverse the order for re-assembly.
    Mark, TEXAS, USA - Dec 28, 2013 @ 7:18 pm
  • Changed axles on a 2002 passat and front exhaust pipe. Used parts geek parts. Bad decision. Chinese parts. The exhaust pipe had to be modified witha 2 lb hammer to clear the floor pan. The exhaust clamp was fine, european issue The left axle crunches as the car is backed up at left lock. Informed the company to no avail. They said to send the defective parts back for more of the same. So I should take the customers car out of service for two weeks and sup,.ply free labor? I asked for a new left axle and a return ticket to ship the bad axle back. Not possible, they said. The lesson learned, no more Chinese parts from the parts geek. All you do is irritate your customers.
    James, Carbondale Il - Aug 19, 2013 @ 7:24 pm
  • Guys do NOT MAKE THE same mistake I did.
    you DO NOT need to remove any control arms at all!!
    Just the centre axle bolt, the heat shield over the inner cv joint on right side and tye 6 bolts holding the drive shaft/axle to the transmission.
    I have finished changing the cv boot yesterday and until today 4pm im still trying to replace the long bolt holding the upper ball joints in the control arms!!!
    sam in London - Aug 13, 2013 @ 4:03 am
  • I replaced it first with O'reilly axle, it vibrated like crazy! Replaced with raxle one, worked great but now a year later I looked at it and the boots are already cracking! They haven't split open yet but the fact that they are cracking 15,000 miles later and the oem lasted 140k is just piss poor!
    Ryan - Jun 23, 2013 @ 8:58 am
  • Cant afford to have a vw specialist to do the job of replacing my right hand outer cv joint boot so what tools do I need to do the job on my 1999 v6 passat auto sedan
    Louis Western Australia - Apr 24, 2013 @ 4:43 am
  • I rebooted my '02 passat CV joints with GKN boots and am doing it again 5 years and 50k miles later with Rein boots. The original joints are still in great shape but just needed to be re-packed and rebooted.

    Does anybody know of other boots that last longer? Can we buy superior quality boots anywhere?
    Tom - Apr 17, 2013 @ 6:29 am
  • Thanks for the write up, keep coming back to his one.
    Ref the later design of axle bolts. The V6 has the 27mm Hex bolt that came with the Melye kit. ECS tuning says to use the same torque procedure that you would use for the 17mm Hex socket.
    Steve R USA - Mar 26, 2013 @ 10:23 am
  • 2002 passat 4cyl 1.6 GLS
    Guys you can do this without Removing any suspension parts. I had a car lift. With wheels on ground take cap out of center of wheel and insert 17 mm hex into bolt use a cheater pipe over hex and break it loose. Jack up car and remove the wheel. Take out abs sensor I used a pair of pliers and wiggled out. Use a 6 mm Allen on a socket and remove the 3 bolts holding the heat shield in order to remove it. Use a 10 mm triple hex socket to remove the 6 bolts holding. You can then wiggle out the entire shaft. I ordered the 10 mm triple hex socket on e-bay for 18.50 which included shipping. Got 17 mm Allen hex wrench and 6 mm hex on a socket at local parts store. Lowed driver side down on wheel to keep shaft from turning as I broke free the the triple hex bolts. Raised with jack to spin to align bolt and the lowered drivers side wheel. Repeated process until all bolts were loosened. Completed job in 1 1/2 hour. Just make sure you have the above listed too.s prior to starting. Good luck.
    Patrick Nichols - Jan 13, 2013 @ 7:59 pm
  • Did both sides about 50K or 3 yrs ago and now had to replace the driver side again. Luckily, I had a lifetime warranty on them. Driver side in and out in about 45 minutes including tool clean up. Tip for all those out there, when removing and replacing the 6 star bolts, put the car in Neutral, and stick a screw driver in the rotor webbing. It will stop at caliper and you can pull the screw driver in out and while rotating the rotor to remove all bolts.
    Jon - Dec 1, 2012 @ 3:36 pm
  • Great information, I wish I had read all of the comments first. Did the passenger side of my 2002 VW Passat. The big thing is: after loosing everything, put a floor jack under the wheel and raise it up to pass the other end of the shaft over the frame and under the transmission. looking back, i don't think I would have remove the 3 dust cover bolts either. It took longer to get them back in & tightened, and the tire back on than it did to install the new shaft.
    Rich/ idaho - Oct 24, 2012 @ 12:16 am
  • Heck yeah this is excalty what I needed.
    Mamadou - Jun 16, 2012 @ 2:54 am
  • 2003 v6, fwd, manual
    drivers side required only removal of the heat shield over the inner joint
    pass side required removal of heat shield to remove; installation required removal of rear lower balljoint.
    definitely use the brakes to hold the drive shaft while loosening the flange bolts.
    on one side I didn't remove the speed sensor, and got an EPC light on the first turn on, but on the second start it went out.
    axle options:
    GKN are the oem axles (hollow shafts) $$$$
    empi, FEQ are new Chinese (solid shafts) $
    Cardone Select are new chinese, Cardone A1 are reman, but they have solid axles.

    the auto shop says they sell lots of chinese empi and cardone and the only ones that come back are from kids who launch their cars frequently, specifically mentioned honda civics.
    geoff, usa - Mar 18, 2012 @ 1:45 pm
  • Just changed the drivers side on my 04 B5 wagon w/ 4motion. Very easy thanks to this post. Used a new Cardone axle from rockauto.com ($46 + S&H), fit perfect and drove like new, and lifetime warranty. Only difference in it from the original was in the axle nut, instead of using the 17mm nut, they use a standard bolt head, 1 1/16". Took about 1 1/2 hours being extra careful to not miss something. I was able to get the ABS sensor out by gently twisting it back an forth.
    Mike, USA - Feb 26, 2012 @ 8:33 pm
  • Just did the passenger side on 2005 1.8t manual. Super easy without having to remove any suspension parts. I had a hoist but i just put a jack under the ball joint and raised the suspension, turned the wheel to the left and was able to drop the inside joint of the shaft straight down and pull the shaft out the bottom.
    bwolfgti - Jan 30, 2012 @ 2:36 pm
  • Other reliable web sourses recommend avoid solid axles as they are thinner, heavier and often more likely to result in vibration. OEM or equal axles are hollow, larger diameter, lighter weight, have tapper ends where boots attach, and not likely to contribute to vibration. Also, avoid CV joint cups that have been rebuilt/reconditioned by grinding the surfaces of the cups, thereby removing the hardened bearing surface.
    Daniel USA - Jan 5, 2012 @ 8:21 pm
  • Just finished installing both driveshafts and this was a huge help. I have a 2003 W8 and it has the 17mm hex bolt, but the replacement bolts were the bigger 26 mm bolt. I didn't take the brake calipers off or mess with any of the steering/suspension components. Just take off the shield that goes above the inner end of the drive axle and turn the steering wheel all the way to the inside. Worked out pretty well. Wish I had read the comment about someone holding the breaks to get the 6 inner bolts off/on before starting this.
    Matt (Germany) - Jan 4, 2012 @ 6:36 pm
  • One hell of a sight, found this website whilst searching for help with my water pump last summer and now I am stuck doing my CV's. Thank you very much
    Anwar A. - Dec 28, 2011 @ 10:26 pm
  • 2003 Passat Wagon 1.8T Manual B5.5 Driver's Side Half-Axle: Tools needed differed from this article. Driveaxle bolt (existing and new) has a 27mm or 1-1/16" hex socket head rather than a 14mm or 17mm hex driver, and the six bolts on the transmission flange coupling requires a "10mm (12 pt) Serrated Wrench" NAPA part 2305 available only at NAPA outlet in my region (not available in my area at Autozone, American Auto Parts, Sears or Tractor Supply where my inquiriery brought a cross-eyed reaction from the staff when asked about a 10mm 12 Pt Star [triple-sq] driver). QUESTION IS: Same torque on this 27mm headed bolt as a 17mm ??? Anyone ???
    Daniel USA - Dec 23, 2011 @ 12:45 pm
  • 2003 VW Passat Wagon 1.8T with plain Manual - the axle bolt is neither 14mm or 17mm. It is 26mm on OEM and replacement shaft kit. What gives with that !
    Dan USA - Dec 22, 2011 @ 4:16 pm
  • 2002 1.8T Automatic used 17mm hex on the axle bolt, and pulled the drivers side axleout without turning my wheel. Just side it over towards the rear of the car and then towards the engine. I tried turning my wheel first and spent 15 mins screwing with it never to get it out. . DON"T BUY AXLE FROM O'REILLYS!!! I was cheap and thought, "it should be okay", so I did and the car vibrated terrible on acceleration, so, I broke down and bought from Raxles and the vibration went away. The raxles one cost $209 shipped. I took the crapy O'reilly's axle back and got my $75 back.
    Ryan, USA - Dec 10, 2011 @ 9:06 pm
  • Decided to replace both drive axles on my US spec 2003 Passat Variant (1.8T manual). Ordered GKN/Loebrow replacements from GermanAutoparts.com (Adirondack Auto Brokers - very good service) However, when they arrived, the right side came with a hollow axle and matches what's on the car, but the left has a solid axle and is not a direct match. The markings on the joints are also different, but look to be the same. On other sites, I see reference to 'new style' axles. Does anyone know if the new style axle is supposed to be solid? GermanAutoparts has been able to verify that I have the correct past numbers, but not solid vs hollow. Part numbers are: 8D0407272DT (solid) 8D0407271DT (hollow). Thanks to anyone that has advice or information.

    Kyle APO (Italy) - Dec 4, 2011 @ 5:27 am
  • 2003 3B6 1.9 TDi, 100 BHP/74kW, motorcode AVB, LHD
    - no problem finding the tools on Amazone UK, including long 10 mm Spline (or triple square, or XZN) bits and 14 mm hex. E-bay also good source.
    - GKN Boot (gaitor) kits from Europarts UK came with all clips, washers and grease. GKN has a website with a perfect bootkit/driveaxle catalogue for every Passat, including OEM partnumbers
    - I hired a bay in a DIY garage in London, they had the standard tools.
    - Jacking the car on stands took me a while, had no jack pads which would have been a help.
    - Took the advice from the many writers and did not remove break calipers and/or upper arms; indeed, by jacking up the hub you can, with some effort, remove the axles on both sides. Took some advice from the mechanics and did not remove the axle on the transmission end, this worked fine. Tapped of the CV joint with a brass hammer and a 7 cm hex bit held closely to the axle against the inner race, with the old axle bolt in (and a 5 cm socket as a filler) putting pressure on the joint.
    - Foolishly I did not mark the parts of the joint. After taking it apart for cleaning, found that the bearing cage has different sides (so does the inner race, but that is clearly visible), something I missed when the grease was on. With your fingernails you can feel a small angle and some very fine grooves on the inside of the cage on the side facing you. As has been written, the cage can be turned 180 degrees in the housing, so don't let this fool you. Luckely I had the other joint to check the correct orientation.
    - After torqueing the axle bolts to 115 Nm, could only angle-torque the bolt 90 degrees further, in stead of 180, even when putting my full weight on the breaker bar.
    - As an office boy normally shifting paper, it took me 7 hours to do the job. Drank a bottle of wine on the victory. Thank you very much for your cristal-clear inspirational write-up.
    Raggy, 26 nov 2011, London.
    Raggy, England - Nov 27, 2011 @ 4:57 pm
  • Changed driver side CV axle on 2001 FWD 2.8L with Manual. Relatively simple job; about 2 hours incl. clean up. Did not have to remove ANYTHING other than wheel, ABS speed sensor and CV Axle. Once upper is unbolted, it can be moved toward front of vehicle. With wheels turned hard over to the right, the axle assembly can be easily removed. ABS speed sensor does not lock in; slightly twist back and forth while pulling to remove. Also, pulling grommet that holds ABS and break sensor wires gives a little more slack to work with. Installation is opposite of removal. Having a helper to move the wheel while lining up the spline in the hub makes life easier.
    Kris (Plant City, Florida. USA) - Nov 2, 2011 @ 10:55 am
  • did u know boys that you can change cv joints without taking wheels off and have no abs light come on and besides that some of the info on this thread was useful !
    england - Oct 12, 2011 @ 10:03 am
  • Thank you for a great site with EXCELLENT photos and careful explanation of procedures, and also tribulations. Thanks for making this available!
    Daemon USA, Oregon, Portland - Sep 9, 2011 @ 4:12 pm
  • Fantastic. Thanks for all the info, it was a great help. I was able to replace passenger side without dismanteling either the break or the suspension on my 2003 passat. My biggest problem... The wheel was frozen on the hub.
    Martin, Mpls USA - Sep 2, 2011 @ 7:38 pm
  • Great web site. Very informative. I have a 1995, 2.0L A6 that was recently purchased out of company used vehicle auction. It had AT fluid ingress into cooling water circulation & need to pull down the gearbox to fix the leaky problem. This site has helped me in tackling the drive shaft area. Many thanks.
    Nik Hassan, Malaysia - Aug 31, 2011 @ 10:16 am
  • Replaced passenger side CV axle today on my ’98 Passat 1.8 Auto. It all went really smooth up to the point of removing the wheel speed sensor. The 14 mm hex nut bolt came off fairly easily, as did 6mm heat shield bolts and 10 mm 12 point star bolts. As somebody previously mentioned, I spent more time hunting for the tools than actually doing the work. I bought a new axle at Advance Auto Parts as it cost only $80, whereas a new dust boot kit cost $25. I kept the original axle, and will rebuild it if needed. As for the tools, I bought them all at AutoZone (yes, even the 12 point star driver set- $12)
    I did not remove the bolt keeping the upper set of arms in the steering knuckle, at least not on the passenger side. I did have to replace the lower front control arm, so I took that out which improved the access dramatically. However, I think it’s very possible to pull the axle out without removing any control arms.
    As for the ABS speed sensor – if it does not come out easily (or with a slight pulling force), I would strongly recommend you take your chances and not touch it. I tried everything to pull it out, and it would not give in. In the process, I twisted the black plastic cap at the end of it and I think that’s what broke it. Then, I decided to pull the axle out without removing the sensor, as it was impossible to take the sensor out. Once I put my new axle in, I turned the car on and ABS light came on. Now, I’m not a 100% sure what wrecked the sensor: me twisting the plastic end cap or replacing the axle. I would say that twisting the cap did it because once I pulled the sensor out, the cap was turning on the actual sensor. To remove the destroyed sensor, I took the new axle out and tapped it out with a small punch.
    Now, some info for those who need to remove the upper control arms steering knuckle bolt – I pulled it out today on the driver side, and it took me good 4 hours. My God, I was ready to take my car to a junkyard. After a lot of hammering at it with various punches and hammers (I even used a 10 pound sledgehammer as my dad was holding a punch on the bolt with vicegrips), I gave a try to an air hammer. Well, guess what – the air hammer did not cut it either. Then I used a small metal bit and drilled through it, then went with bigger bits up to 5/16. Finally I tried to turn the bolt, and it snapped in half, so 2/3rds came out. The one third that was left came out with a 3/8 metal drill bit. I hope nobody goes through what I went through today with that stupid bolt. To remove the upper control arms from the knuckle, I then used a small metal chisel to separate upper control arm knuckle holes a bit.
    Good luck to any DIYers,

    Adnan, USA - Aug 29, 2011 @ 9:08 pm
  • Replaced passenger side CV axle today on my ’98 Passat 1.8 Auto. It all went really smooth up to the point of removing the wheel speed sensor. The 14 mm hex nut bolt came off fairly easily, as did 6mm heat shield bolts and 10 mm 12 point star bolts. As somebody previously mentioned, I spent more time hunting for the tools than actually doing the work. I bought a new axle at Advance Auto Parts as it cost only $80, whereas a new dust boot kit cost $25. I kept the original axle, and will rebuild it if needed. As for the tools, I bought them all at AutoZone (yes, even the 12 point star driver set- $12)
    I did not remove the bolt keeping the upper set of arms in the steering knuckle, at least not on the passenger side. I did have to replace the lower front control arm, so I took that out which improved the access dramatically. However, I think it’s very possible to pull the axle out without removing any control arms.
    As for the ABS speed sensor – if it does not come out easily (or with a slight pulling force), I would strongly recommend you take your chances and not touch it. I tried everything to pull it out, and it would not give in. In the process, I twisted the black plastic cap at the end of it and I think that’s what broke it. Then, I decided to pull the axle out without removing the sensor, as it was impossible to take the sensor out. Once I put my new axle in, I turned the car on and ABS light came on. Now, I’m not a 100% sure what wrecked the sensor: me twisting the plastic end cap or replacing the axle. I would say that twisting the cap did it because once I pulled the sensor out, the cap was turning on the actual sensor. To remove the destroyed sensor, I took the new axle out and tapped it out with a small punch.
    Now, some info for those who need to remove the upper control arms steering knuckle bolt – I pulled it out today on the driver side, and it took me good 4 hours. My God, I was ready to take my car to a junkyard. After a lot of hammering at it with various punches and hammers (I even used a 10 pound sledgehammer as my dad was holding a punch on the bolt with vicegrips), I gave a try to an air hammer. Well, guess what – the air hammer did not cut it either. Then I used a small metal bit and drilled through it, then went with bigger bits up to 5/16. Finally I tried to turn the bolt, and it snapped in half, so 2/3rds came out. The one third that was left came out with a 3/8 metal drill bit. I hope nobody goes through what I went through today with that stupid bolt. To remove the upper control arms from the knuckle, I then used a small metal chisel to separate upper control arm knuckle holes a bit.
    Good luck to any DIYers,

    Adnan, USA - Aug 29, 2011 @ 9:08 pm
  • Replaced drivers side axle on my 2001.5 passat wagon. It took about two hours. I got a re-manufactured cv axle and Lisle 10mm triple point tool at Advance Auto Parts. Only needed to remove the six star bolts and the 17mm hex wheel nut. It went really smooth, I did the thing where you put it in neutral and spin it a little for easier access to each nut. Be careful with jack stand placement and chock your wheels. Good luck.
    smoky - Aug 20, 2011 @ 5:27 pm
  • '04 1.8T Fourmotion....Nice site, Thanks for the tips. A couple things to share. The 4 cyl. FourMotion needs a 17mm driver for axle bolt. Don't call around looking for 10mm 12 point driver- all places I visited have a small set of "triple square" drivers in stock, in the suspension section, $5-$10 at different stores for same brand. It's true, no need to remove any control arms, just turn steering and contort cv joint, and slide it in. Buddy and I did both axles in 2.5 hrs.
    Craig - Aug 5, 2011 @ 8:43 am
  • Awesome information here. I replaced both axles on a 2003 Passat GL 1.8T Manual. I also viewed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yakgyl4Tht8 and bought a cheap impact wrench ($29 Amazon or Home Depot). The impact wrench was not powerful enough to loosen my wheel lugs or the axle-hub bolt and one of the axle-transmission bolts. I had to use a breaker bar with pipe extension. On my first attempt I got one old axle out and realized that my replacement axle was the wrong length. It turned out to be for an automatic, and manual is not the same size.

    On the second try, passenger side, I struggled with the heat shield bolts (6mm Allen x 1/2in socket socket was too big to fit on the socket side, screwdriver bit extender sheared off). I finally got them with skinnier socket extensions. I could not get the old axle out by turning the steering wheel left or right. I jacked up the suspension and it dropped out under the transmission with the wheel straight.

    Driver side was easy - no jacking or steering turning.

    Overall I saved $200 over repair shop quotes, including the tools that might me useful again. I spent 5 hours total and learned some stuff. It would probably take 3 hours if I did it again.
    Peter, USA - Jul 9, 2011 @ 12:22 pm
  • Working alone, I replaced the passenger side axle on my 2004 Passat V6 manual transmission today in 3.5 hours. Axle from Raxles.com. All went very smoothly. I did remove the heat shield, but may not have been necessary. I did not remove the speed sensor or disassemble any suspension or brake parts. I did put a jack under the steering knuckle using a block of wood to protect the bolt and raised the suspension almost as high as it would go. Steering turned left. The transmission end of the axle (the 6 bolts previously removed, of course) slips under the transmission and the spline end almost removes itself. No ABS warnings yet. Thanks to everyone.
    Wayne, MN, USA - Jun 15, 2011 @ 4:23 pm
  • 2003 1.8T with manual went smoothly. My pointers:

    1. no suspension removal is needed on either side. On driver's side, axle just fell out when I pull it away from hub. On passenger side, as suggested in other comments, I unbolted caliper and turned wheel all the way to the right, and placed a jack under the hub, lifted it, and the axle pulled easily away.

    2. The 2003 1.8T has a 17mm outer bolt. Advance Auto did not have the 17mm hex nut; I found the 17mm hex nut at Sears, but it was part of a four piece set for $40. I bought it and returned it, after using it with no wear. Despite the warning here, the nut came off very easily using a breaker bar and a three foot metal pipe extension slipped over the breaker bar . I just bought black iron 3/4" plumbing pipe at Home Depot for $8.00. I did spray PB Blaster on the nut before I removed it; maybe that helped. The breaker bar and pipe also had no problem turning the nut 180 degrees after torquing the nut to 145lbs.

    3. I bought new (not remanufactured) Cardone axles for $62 each. Despite some horror stories you read about non-oem or non-Raxle axles, these went in smoothly and are quiet and balanced and seemed to be working perfectly. If they don't last as long as OEMs, I kept the VW axles I removed so I can rebuild them down the road at my convenience if needed.

    4. Removing the inner bolts was easy. I just picked the spot at the 1:00 position, and used a breaker bar with multiple extensions with a 10mm triple square on the end. I rested the extension on top of the rotor, loosened each bolt, then put the tranny back in neutral, spun the axle by hand until the next bolt was in the 1:00 position, and put it the tranny back into gear. Do this six times and you are done - no need to remove the shield on the passenger side using this method.

    Thanks for the great writeup and the helpful comments. This was not a bad job - I think I spent more time digging for tools then actually doing the removal, which went smoothly.
    Mark - Jun 6, 2011 @ 10:24 am
  • I changed both shafts on my 2004 Passat today (6/4/2011) in less than 2 hours after i found the 17mm allen socket for the axle nut. 1 hour seaching for that and an hour drive to get it. only $9.00 though. I just wanted to let everyone know that you do not have to take off the control arms. Also just jack one side up at a time to prevent the shafts from spinning while doing to axle nut and the flange bolts.
    Troy USA - Jun 4, 2011 @ 11:40 pm
  • Just finished replacing full axle assembly on 03 wagon. 1.8 litre. Ran into a snag removing bolt that clamps upper control arms to stearing knuckle. Twisted both ends off bolt even after PB blaster soak overnight. Took hours to drill it out. VW parts guy said that it wasn't designed to be removed when I purchased the new bolt. The worst part is that it did not have to be removed! I was able to remove axle without disconnecting the control arms.
    Ted, USA Wisconsin - May 23, 2011 @ 10:54 pm
  • Great write up.. Bolt on top was froze. Broke the head off and ended up pulling it out by adding washers and tighting the nut, and a gallon of WD-40. The 10mm 12 point was found in a kit at Oriellys for $4.00.. Used a 5/8 allen instead of the 17mm(little loose, but worked). Clamped the axle in the vise with wood 1X4's for protection and hit it with a 5 pound lead hammer and a machine wedge. Came off with the first hit..The CV joint removal into little pieces and cleaning was a little time consuming(Used acetone and a roll of papaer towels).. Only concern was the orientation of the bearing keeper/spacer (Pictured answered the question, skinny end was visiable in the picture) 50$ for a boot kit at the dealer and 4$ for the 6,8,10 and 12 mm 12 point socket set. 3$ for a new bolt..Total time of about 6 hours.. oh, the two swing arms on top were not very pleasing to reassemble...

    Kevin- Indiana - May 8, 2011 @ 7:26 pm
  • This write up saved me a ton of money today, have 2004 1.8T 4Motion wagon that had VW drive shafts put in aboiu 15K miles ago and the CV boot went out on driver's side that I caught before it was too late. $50 for CV boot kit at dealership because they were only place in town that had one in stock and i really wanted to keep the fairly new VW OEM drive shaft on the car.
    One thing I would like to add, when trying to hammer cv joint off the shaft put bolt back into cv joint that holds it in the hub and tighten down just enough to put load on the c-clip, with one good smack of the hammer it came right off. Before doing this I was getting nowhere just smacking with hammer.
    Also talked to two VW mechanics at dealership about torque spec for drive shaft to hub bolt and they said torque to 85 Ft lbs and then 90 degree more or 1/4 turn is what their tech manuals say.
    Bob-Rochester, NY - Apr 23, 2011 @ 7:17 pm
  • I just did both sides of my 2003 passat, passenger's side was more difficult than the driver's side I didnt need to remove any suspension parts, on the passenger side just have to place the jack under the tie rod bolt an lift it, but i had to remove the caliper and turn the wheel all the way to the left . On the drivers side just unbolt the axle at the transmission and with the wheel straight removed it in less than 10 mins.
    Xavier Velastegui nj usa - Mar 20, 2011 @ 7:29 pm
  • 2003 1.8T Passat
    the axle nut requires 17mm hex driver
    Xavier Velastegui - Mar 19, 2011 @ 11:20 pm
  • i tackled this pony vw passat 2005 model tonight, got cv out the hub easy enough had difficulty getting the cv off the shaft, eventully made a 12mm bolt 50mm long and used the axle bolt to push the cv ubit off the shaft, its easy when you have done once, great website thanks for your help. alex
    alex scotland - Mar 8, 2011 @ 2:25 pm
  • Great information about the CV joint axle replacement! Thanks to Ryan in Cleavland for saving me time finding the the right tools. Just finished changing the drivers side on a 04 Passat. I followed the directions and I didn't have to remove the suspension parts. Thank you for your time for writing it out.
    Dave USA - Feb 25, 2011 @ 5:41 pm
  • 2005 VW Passat 1.8T. Drivers side CV clattering bad. I bought the axle from Raxles and was glad I did - beautiful quality and great service. ($208 total). It came with the 10 mm 12 point bit and 17 mm driver plus new axle nut and return UPS label and box for core return. All I needed was a box end 17 mm to hold the bit and loosen the axle nut, and ratchet/extensions to get the 6 inner bolts. I loosened the axle nut while on the ground because it takes a lot of force. I need a long lever to break it loose - I "borrowed" one from Lowes, i.e., I bought a 6 foot piece of heavy 1.25" galvanized pipe, used it to loosen and tighten the axle nut, and took it back for a refund. It fit over the handle of my box end wrench holding the 17 mm driver. I did the thing where I removed the axle nut and the 6 inner bolts, turned the wheel hard right and pulled the inner end up and rearward then the front came right out. Reversed for putting in the new one - couldn't have been easier. No suspension to remove. Hardest part is getting the 6 inner bolts loose. Needed to put two extensions together and a short cheater bar on the ratchet handle to break them loose. I did the thing where I found a good spot and removed the bolt, put in neutral and rotated to next bolt, put in park and so on to get them all out. I put Loctite threadlocker on all the bolts, too. Great forum! helps me a lot - thanks!
    Jim - Buffalo, NY (US) - Feb 19, 2011 @ 8:08 pm
  • Very helpfull site.Bought axle and special tools all from Autozone.Everything also comes with Lifetime warranty.I removed no front end components.1 hour tops to finish. Quickest money I ever made.
    Glenn USA/NC - Feb 14, 2011 @ 8:35 am
  • 2004 1.8 liter. Axle bolt was 17mm hex. No need to drop the suspension on the driver side, just take all the bolts out and turn the wheel hard right.
    On the passenger side I dropped the shock from inside the engine compartment. That was easier than breaking the knuckle loose.
    Driver side half shaft purchased at AutoZone for $59.99 (US) in October 2008. They have a very generous lifetime warranty. I'm going back now (2 years later) and they are giving me a new half shaft for free after the boot failed yet again.
    It's worth the initial expense to buy the whole part. Easier than replacing the boot and I only had to pay for it once.

    Ned - Dec 16, 2010 @ 4:01 pm
  • Thank you for a great site. After reading all your comments, I was able to replace a complete driveaxle, driver\'s side, on 2000 Passat, Auto, V6, GLX Vagon in 2.5 hours, including cleaning.

    - 17mm hex socketed driver from AutoZone ($11),
    - 10mm tripple square (12 point) from AutoZone ($10), also Advance Auto Parts
    store had this wrench, (some store clerks might be confused, bring a picture)
    - 6mm hex socketed driver from AutoZone (inner joint shield), ($6)
    - Cardon Select Axle from Auto Parts Geek $59 (came with a regular bolt, not hex)
    - Didn\'t have to remove the upper Control Arms
    - Removed the ABS sensor by pulling it by hand
    - Removed the inner CV joint shield (3 bolts) for easier access
    - The axle bolt and inner CV joint (6 bolts) were easy to remove
    - Used a string to support the axle when all inner CV joint bolts were removed
    - Turned the stearing wheel all the way to the RIGHT
    - It took some effort to remove the old axle since there is very little room
    on VW Passat with Auto Transmission, the trick is to move the inner CV joint up
    and then push it towards the rear while bending the outer CV Joint.
    - To install the new axle, the stearing wheel must be turned only slightly to the
    right since there is more room for the inner axle towards the front of the car.
    Also bending of the outer CV joint is a must if the upper Control Arms are not
    - Access to 6 (12 point) bolts on the inner CV joint is somewhat restricted. These
    bolts (2 at a time) can be removed by changing the gear from Park to Neutral
    spinning the axle and then moving gear back to Park.
    Good Luck to all Weekend Warriors!
    Marko, PA, USA, November 12, 2010 - Nov 12, 2010 @ 10:52 pm
  • 2004 Passat 1.8T Automatic. Thanks a lot for this site and very easy to follow, replaced my driver side front axle ( the whole piece) in less than 2 hours. I didn't remove the speed sensor because it is stuck there( tried 10 minutes); so when removing the axle out of the hub, just be careful and put it straight; you should be fine. To have someone to help you to step on the brake will be a big help for unscrewing and putting on the 6 screws for inner joint. Again great site.
    Harry - Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:06 am
  • 2004 Passat 1.8T manual shift. Replaced CV axle on passenger side due to outer CV boot failure. In my case the steering knuckle did have to be separated from the control rods in order for the axle to be exchanged. Biggest problem was removing the 10mm (16mm drive) clamping bolt that secures the upper two control arms. After removing the 16mm nut I used PB Blaster lubricant in combination with a sledge hammer to drive the bolt back and the use of a punch bit to drive the bolt all the way out of the dual clamp housing. Don’t worry about damaging the bolt; it needs to be replaced anyway. Before you start this task pick up a new bolt and nut for $4.50 at your local dealer so you won’t be stuck and need to get a lift from your girlfriend to the local dealer as happened to me. After the pinching bolt was hammered out of the way I then used the same hammer and punch bit to drive the upper two control arms out of their sockets, always hammering the ball joints from below. Removing the two ball joint bearings required much less hammering than removing the 10mm pinching bolt but still took me 20minutes of medium-strength tapping with my 3 pound drilling hammer. Once the steering knuckle as been freed of the upper two control arms the old axle was easily removed and the new axle inserted by swinging the steering column all the way to the right.
    Johann, USA - Sep 29, 2010 @ 7:46 am
  • Thanks for the great info. It took me about 45 minutes to get the passenger side assembly out. I did not want to have to go through the trouble of taking the steering knuckle apart and followed the advice about turning the steering to a hard left. To get the part out I did not have to remove the heat shield but it did take some persuasion. On trying to get the new part in it became apparent that the shield would need to be removed. I had a 6mm hex key but the bolts were on too well for this to work. A trip to two different parts store and I had a socketed driver. The first two bolts came out with no problems unfortunately the third got stripped in the process. It took a good couple of hours to cut the bolt out as there is not a lot of room to work with the tight space where these bolts are located. With the heat shield removed the new drive train popped right in to place. What should have been a 2 hour job at the most turned into almost 6 with running around to get tools and the right cutoff wheels for my grinder. I do think now that I should be able to do the drives side in an hour or two at the most.

    I ordered my replacements from Raxels as I wanted to only have to do this once. I had read about a lot of problems with the less expensive replacements and did not what to deal with bad parts. The tools they supply are a big help. Take your time read all the responses and the job can be done easily....just don\'t strip any of the bolts.....Oh and my dealer wanted close to $600 a side to do the job.....

    David - Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:17 am
  • Just completed drive CV boot replacement - 03 Passat, offside drive shaft. As stated I did not have to remove any of the suspension or brake parts. I used a flexible CV boot which slips over a cone placed on the drive shaft (Ebay £12), We\'l see how long it lasts. I got soaked in the weather! Thank you for the information, it was very useful.
    Charlie UK - Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:14 am
  • Greate website here!! Thanks for all the great info and detailed pictures descriptions and comments. Just replaced both axles on my 2001 passat and it went as smooth as can be. This is an easy straightforward job with the right tools and a little know, from this site. both cv boots were leaking so I bought 2 new replaceemtn axles from Raxles.com( another great resources, highly recommended). replaced both sides in about 3 hours with no need to remove rotors, or steeering arm etc. Driver side popped right out, passenger side had to turn the wheel and remove the heat shield. With Raxles he sends you the exact tools you need to install the axles, saved at least $20-30 there. Thanks for the great inline resouces and the heads up on the ABS sensors, that would have never been known. Thanks again.

    Scott (Tampa, Florida) - Aug 1, 2010 @ 9:17 pm
  • outer joint can be removed on hollow axle cars using the joint bolt method, messed me around at first till i realised it had hollow axles (its a 98 V6 auto) but screw it in with the joint on a slight angle to the shaft so that the bolt presses against the outer rim of the axle shaft and it pops it right off.
    mike hardy - Jul 29, 2010 @ 9:04 am
  • You have done a very nice job maintaining this website.

    I have an AUDI A4 had a problem with my CV joint and replacing it would have cost me almost $400.00 at cheapest repair shop.

    But I took courage and wanted to do it by myself. In order to educate myself for the job, I grabbed every information available online.

    In this case, your website helped me very much on this as the AUdI\'s basic framework being the VW Passat.

    Thanks again.!
    Andy, California USA - Jul 11, 2010 @ 2:24 pm
  • After extensive inspection I\'ve confirmed I have a modest leak for the last few thousand miles (no clicking; but LOSING grease!): NOT a tear on my driver\'s Outer CV Boot. So I\'ve got the replacement kit and the necessary tools.

    Was thinking of these approaches:
    1)merely cutting the clamp; refilling and installing new clamp.
    2)Syringing in CV Grease vs 1)

    3)Can I do this as described above withOUT taking the whole CV Joint out of the hub?

    Would appreciate inputs to those three options as the most viable.

    Andy - Jul 4, 2010 @ 11:39 am
  • Very good information here.
    Be careful with one thing when working on the left side of the car.
    When wrestling the driveshaft back into place after repair I suddenly heard something crack. The oil dripped on my forehead - or more correctly - hydraulic fluid. Turns out I had broken the slave cylinder at the clutch. It is made of plastic.
    martin - Jun 7, 2010 @ 4:54 am
  • Hey, awesome job. This post makes the job easy. For those who may be nervous about doing this themselves, if you have the mechanical abilty to change the brake pads, you can do this. I didn\'t bother with repacking the boots. I just bought new half-shafts. You do need the right tools. On my \'04 Passat V6, I didn\'t even have to go through all the business of taking loose the suspension or turning the wheel. I took the shield off the transmission, took the bolts loose and just slid the shaft forward until I could get it out. No big deal. The same thing with putting it back in. And the same on both sides. When torquing up the bolts on the transmission mount, I snapped the head of one of them off. I did some investigating about the torque specs and found they were right. This was a bad bolt to begin with. I ended up replacing all 6 of them, just to be safe. I did take the caliper off. I just gives you more room. It\'s probably not necessary.

    I do have a question. The seal on the wheel side of the outer boot has ooze grease. Not a lot, but enough that I took the wheel off to see what was going on. I think the bearing was over-packed and turning the wheel just squeezed some out. Does that sound reasonable?
    Greg Wilkerson - USA - Jun 5, 2010 @ 1:54 pm
  • just to say i\'ve done my passenger side CV joint boot today and to be honest it was a bloody nightmare. first error was finding out my driveshafts were hollow and not the solid ones where you can just screw in the hub bolt to pop the joint off, cue the hammer. my mechanic said a good way is to hold the drive shaft with one hand and hit the back of the joint with the other, periodically rotating the the driveshaft annd joint to put equal pressure for it to \"pop\" off the driveshaft.
    one thing i have noticed is there seemed to be an extra circlip on my driveshaft after removingthe joint, first circlip, spacer washer and concave/convex washer. the looked to be needed to stop the concave/convex washer from slipping up the driveshaft itself????, any who after much banging, unbolting, lining up the ball joints and a few swear words along the way i got it done. HOOORAR! think i\'ll pay my mechanic £40 next time to do it though!!!
    Paul (Worcester, England) - May 24, 2010 @ 5:34 pm
  • how do i get sensors off when replacing axel on 2000 Passat 4wd? I\'ve read every comment, but have not found answer to this question. Am leaving now to buy a 17mm hex tool. Please advise ASAP
    Bob, USA - May 22, 2010 @ 2:41 pm
  • I live in Cleveland, OH -- and auto part stores are not few and far between. I was having a hard time finding the triple-square bit, and called about 20 different parts stores -- local and chains. I even visited about 8 different stores and was assured by the counter clerk that they do not carry such a tool. I even went to 2 AutoZone stores, since that is where it was mentioned to be available.

    I finally decided to try a Sears store, only to arrive to find out they were not open yet. I passed another AutoZone on the way home and decided to give it a shot. Walked right in and found the tools --- turns out they were also available at the very first store I visited the day before.

    To make it easier on anyone else who is looking for them without having to order them, or rely on spotty minimum-wage employee knowledge, I am posting the tool information.


    Brand: GreatNeck/OEM
    Part#: 25015
    Product Description: Great Neck / 4 pcs. metric internal wrench set


    RYAN - CLEVELAND, OH, USA - May 16, 2010 @ 9:09 am
  • thank you so much that was realy helpfull i have Golf II t it\'s the same thing almost thanx bro
    haytham - Apr 22, 2010 @ 11:57 am
  • A big thanks.... your webpage gave me the evidence I needed to challenge a local garage.
    Keeping it brief.. I am not ambitious enough to do this myself so I left it to a garage. Ive not had a warning light on my car in five years. Low and behold after replacing the cv boot the ABS warning light plus the park it up now triangle were illuminated on the dash.
    The garage blagged the wife when she picked it up saying it would go out in time \'once it settles down\'. Needless to say I was a touch annoyed and armed with your guide stating how easily the wheel speed sensor could be damaged they replaced it free of charge with a request that I pay half as a gesture of good will.
    The good will ended when he made some veiled threat. He wont be getting his money. Thanks again. Marko
    Marko.. England - Apr 13, 2010 @ 11:20 am
  • Just a note that my 2005 passat with 1.8t (2wd) also has a 17mm axle nut.
    chris U.S.A - Mar 30, 2010 @ 9:46 am
  • Great writeup, helpful comments.

    Just did the passenger side outer boot on V6 AT, 2001.5 4 motion. there is not a lot of room to work with on this model as others have mentioned in these comments, but it\'s just barely possible to remove drive shaft without touching suspension.

    Shaft Removal: I turned wheel one full turn to the left, no jacking of suspension required. remove inner joint and position at 2 o\'clock (towards front of car and up). You should be able to push out outer cv at this time, but still requires a little force cause joint is bent rather sharp.

    CV removal: Screwing the axle bolt back in popped the joint right off, no damage to threads.

    ABS Sensor: I destroyed this by twisting the plastic part with vice grips while trying to remove. I sheared the wires inside and caused abs light to illuminate. With the axle removed I was able to work from inside and outside of hub to remove the busted sensor. I had to drill out the guts and carefully chisel out stainless sleeve from metal brass colored sensor holder. It doesn\'t look like sensor would necessarily have been damaged on removal of drive shaft as it sits flush with inside of hub. Maybe if you scraped it?

    Hope this helps someone.
    Jonathan - Mar 10, 2010 @ 4:37 pm
  • Great write up replace both half-shafts in about an hour and only had to remove the inner shield to get them out. 2002 Passat V6
    Ryan, USA - Feb 20, 2010 @ 7:34 pm
  • Did left and right axles on a 2004 Passat V6-- piece of cake-- no need to touch suspension. Got the axles from Raxles-- nice quality- great guy
    dan - Jan 22, 2010 @ 7:55 pm
  • Thanks for the writeup. My 2002 Passat V6 CV Boot $14.95 with grease from Adirondack Auto. Get the clamp pliers too, $15 for these is a great price.

    I had a hell of a time getting the CV off the hollow axle. What finally worked was to clamp the axle vertically in the vise, duct tape a stout pipe to the axle resting against the CV joint and sticking several inches above the other axle end. One blow with an 8# sledge did the trick.
    Vern - Park City Utah - Dec 28, 2009 @ 2:00 pm
  • This website is great! VW dealershipship wanted $300+ to replace the left outer CVJ boot only on my 2000 VW Passat GLX w/ manual gearbox. As is turns out, following the procedure here listed, I replaced the left drive axle for $65 (purchased a rebuilt axle from O\'Reilly\'s). For that price, why on earth would you repack the CVJ boot. Once done, I returned my used axle to O\'Reilly\'s who then refunded a $75 core charge (which keeps the parts from the landfill). As many indicated, did not have to remove the protective plate in Step 5, and skipped Steps 8 & 9, Instead, I turned the steering all the way to the right and jacked the lower control arm up to create space to maneuver the old drive axle off, and the new drixe axle in. Other clues 1) to loosen the inner CVJ flange bolts, I trained my 11 year old to shift from 1st and into neutral so that I could remove these six bolts while in gear, and move onto the next bolt while in neutral. This made the loosening and later tightening of the six flange bolts a breeze. Finally 2) be very careful of aftermarket drive axles. On this car, the inner CVJ is supposed to not only rotate around (lieke a shoulder socket), but is also telescopic (has axial movement). Some replacement axles being offer do not have this telescopic motion. I suspect installing one without it places youe very expensive gearbox at risk! Happy trails!
    Steady Eddie - Dec 25, 2009 @ 6:33 pm
  • Great writeup! I felt really prepared going into changing the CV joint on my 2003 1.8t passat wagon after reading it. I did the driver\'s side (ripped boot, clicking). Next time I\'ll bite the bullet and take the whole axle out from the start. I was stubborn, and decided to try and get the joint lose w/o removing it. After realizing that it wasn\'t going to happen, I spent considerable time trying to find the 10mm stardriver locally since I couldn\'t afford the downtime. After that, the axle came out quickly, and the repair was a snap in my padded vice. Getting the axle in and out was done (after reading others\' comments) w/o touching the suspension. Jacking did it, though putting the axle back in with the new cv joint was tough. I\'ll probably do the passenger side in a few months. Thanks!
    Jack, USA - Dec 18, 2009 @ 9:35 pm
  • Hey there, not to sound stupid, but maybe I am. How do the Clamp pliers work, do they just squeeze the \"ear\" of the clamp. As there are only 3 holes and 3 teeth it doesn\'t look like the clamp slides or ratchets.
    Dan - Dec 9, 2009 @ 8:10 am
  • I wrote a few weeks ago, and shortly after the passenger side went out. The ABS sensor was really stuck on this side and was damaged when removing it. A new one on ebay was $36 shipped. The part number is in the comments. Brakes worked fine but no ABS until the new sensor was put in. Also the axle from Carquest (remanufactured) was the wrong length, glad I checked before trying to stick it in there. They swapped it out no problem, but it was overnight on the jack without having use of the car.
    Ken - Michigan - Dec 6, 2009 @ 2:35 pm
  • Just done the offside on a 2000 Passat Estate. BEFORE I realised it could be done without removing the upper knuckle bolt, started trying to drift it out but it would not budge. Eventually splayed the nut and had to cut it off with an angle grinder. Even after copious quantities of WD40, the damn thing will still not move and my skinned knuckles are proof! It\'ll have to be drilled out. Also, inboard 12 point bolts securing inner joint to transmission pretty hard to undo - more skinned knuckles. Replacing the CV joint though was fairly straight forward - screwing the old hub bolt back in worked like a charm for me when removing the old joint. Replacement kit came with everything - joint, circlip, dished washer, thrust washer, hub bolt, boot, grease and clips. Just that horrible, corroded knuckle bolt; my advice is to remove and lubricate it periodically.
    Mark B - Scotland - Nov 13, 2009 @ 1:59 pm
  • •\"you also do not need to remove the heatshield. just put the car in neutral, rotate the axle to access the next bolt, put it in first, remove the bolt, and repeat. kind of annoying get back and forth from under the car, but not too bad.\"
    jh_on_the_cape - Oct 16, 2009 @ 1:19 pm Don\'t try this with the 4Motion W8 (all wheel drive) unless you want to put the entire vehicle on jack stands (front and rear). It is much easier and safer to remove the sheild alone.
    Paul - Fort Worth Texas - Nov 13, 2009 @ 11:11 am
  • Read all the comments! Very worthwhile. Did the drivers side, did not have to touch the suspension on a 2002 1.8 manual wagon. After reading all the posts, I was surprized to need a 17mm driver for the bolt. I got a remanufactured axle unit that fit perfect, but be sure to get a nut too as it did not come with one. Took about three hours, although almost one hour was figuring out jackstand points - I am a bit paranoid being under cars. I popped the cap off of the wheel and remounted and lowered it to hold the car while starting to loosen the bolt - plan on a breaker bar with a four foot cheater to get this baby to go! I felt a little movement and put a dot on the bolt at 12:00 to be sure it was the thing turning and not the driver bit, the feel was a little vague using a long lever like this.
    Ken - Michigan - Oct 29, 2009 @ 7:26 pm
  • I used your website as a guide and I thank you for this vital info.
    Now I am a pro and will never do this car again. NEVER!
    Thank you very much and of course, I am kidding.
    NOTES:It wasn\'t entirely clear about the upper ball joints, yes, after I did remove the bolt the ball joints just about dropped out. Please revise the part about the bolt, it must be removed to dislodge both ball joints.
    Also, if anyone had difficulty removing or loosening the center main bolt that connects to the drive shaft please keep in mind that it will require an 800 lb. impact gun to remove and if you don\'t have access to one, I went to a Jiffy Lube down the street and they were happy to break the bolt loose for me.
    Thanks again!
    Also, please wear safety glasses.
    Peter/Lovely U.S.A - Oct 17, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
  • I used your website as a guide and I thank you for this vital info.
    Now I am a pro and will never do this car again. NEVER!
    Thank you very much and of course, I am kidding.
    NOTES:It wasn\'t entirely clear about the upper ball joints, yes, after I did remove the bolt the ball joints just about dropped out. Please revise the part about the bolt, it must be removed to dislodge both ball joints.
    Also, if anyone had difficulty removing or loosening the center main bolt that connects to the drive shaft please keep in mind that it will require an 800 lb. impact gun to remove and if you don\'t have access to one, I went to a Jiffy Lube down the street and they were happy to break the bolt loose for me.
    Thanks again!
    Also, please wear safety glasses.
    Peter/Lovely U.S.A - Oct 17, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
  • I used your website as a guide and I thank you for this vital info.
    Now I am a pro and will never do this car again. NEVER!
    Thank you very much and of course, I am kidding.
    NOTES:It wasn\'t entirely clear about the upper ball joints, yes, after I did remove the bolt the ball joints just about dropped out. Please revise the part about the bolt, it must be removed to dislodge both ball joints.
    Also, if anyone had difficulty removing or loosening the center main bolt that connects to the drive shaft please keep in mind that it will require an 800 lb. impact gun to remove and if you don\'t have access to one, I went to a Jiffy Lube down the street and they were happy to break the bolt loose for me.
    Thanks again!
    Also, please wear safety glasses.
    Peter/Lovely U.S.A - Oct 17, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
  • you also do not need to remove the heatshield. just put the car in neutral, rotate the axle to access the next bolt, put it in first, remove the bolt, and repeat. kind of annoying get back and forth from under the car, but not too bad.
    jh_on_the_cape - Oct 16, 2009 @ 12:19 pm
  • Just did my passenger side CV on my 2003 1.8T manual trans. I am NOT a mechanic and this took me 2 hours from starting to gather tools to being totally cleaned up. You do NOT need to remove the knuckle, as other suggested just jack up the suspension and the axle sort of falls out under the car. I used a raxles axle and i saved time and money. they loan the tools you need (3 tools, the big socket for the axle nut, the star 12 pt thingy, and a big 17mm allen to remove the axle nut). they also include a new axle nut. so it costs a bit more, but i did not have to buy those tools, so it was better and easier in the end.
    jh_on_the_cape - Oct 16, 2009 @ 12:15 pm
  • Just as Paul from Fort Worth mentioned, by removing the C-shaped cover over the inner CV joint you can remove the entire axle without having to remove the steering knuckle from the upper control arms....nice.
    I couldn\'t get the CV jopint off the axle, no matter how hard I hit it with a hammer..!! Gave up ion the end and hard a local shop remove it for me, had them re-fit the CV joint and new boot at the same time. I will buy a complete axle next time, even if this does seem overkill and wasteful.
    BTW....my 2004 1.8T needed the 17mm hex bit, not the 14mm mentioned in this article.
    Dave N (Chicago, IL USA) - Oct 12, 2009 @ 5:20 pm
  • Great instruction. Needed right front outer CV Boot on 2004 W8 4 Motion (310.00 + tax at dealershipn for the boot only). Bought a new complete half shaft from O\'Reily for 69.00 with lifetime warranty. Purchased 17mm socketed hex driver in a combo set for 9.99 and 10mm 12-point star (triple square) driver 12.99, also a combo set both from AutoZone. I was able to leave the uper control assembly intact. I did remove the \"c\" shaped metal shield from the transmission housing which protects the inner boot area. This made access to the inner fasteners a snap. Turned the steering 3/4 to the left and wiggled out the old and the same for the new in reverse. 1.75 hours total with clean up of all grease and dirt below. Thanks for the directive.
    Paul - Fort Worth Texas - Sep 28, 2009 @ 10:25 am
  • Yes, pull the ABS sensors before doing the work. I skipped this step and now the ABS engages sporadically for no reason. Another 120 bucks to add to the job because of my laziness.....
    Thomas - Sep 21, 2009 @ 9:10 am
  • Thanks for the info. Just replaced my 05 Passat Wagon boots. Didn\'t have to remove the shafts or suspension, just jacked up the suspension at wheel and popped out the back side. I tried to run the bolt back in but damaged the threads when in all the way. The trick is you can\'t be exactly centered. The inner shaft has a hole in it and the bolt will force into this hole damaging the threads. It was tough getting back out. What I did was stuck a 1/8 drive 3\" extension fat end first then ran the bolt in. Popped both joints off really easy that way.
    Jason - Sep 12, 2009 @ 1:29 pm
  • Thanks for the info! I found you don\'t have to undo the control arms at all on the drivers side. If you undo the 6 12 point bolts slip the plate above the output plate of the diff and compress the cv and it practically falls out. It goes back in just as easy.
    Brian - Sep 8, 2009 @ 4:06 pm
  • Nice, job finished.except for abs light.....
    Brett Thorp - Aug 22, 2009 @ 8:52 pm
  • thanks buddy for the post! will be fixing mine tommorrow hoping for the best!
    evans texas usa - Aug 20, 2009 @ 4:27 pm
  • ive been a big fan of your site ive done so many stuff that you posted in your website.its great,save me a lot of money.But as of now my awm engine 1.8t passat is not starting.ive change the fuel pump relay 372 and also change my fuel filter,after 10 years of driving.any idea my friend...
    thank you very much.
    john sfo - Aug 9, 2009 @ 11:33 pm (website)
  • Thanks for suggestiions, Ben in Ramona. DO NOT DISCONNECT UPPER ARM FROM KNUCKLE.IT IS NOT NECESSARY. Here is how I got the Upper arm and Knucle back together FYI I raised the lower assembly using my floorjack so that the knucklet came up to the upper arms, used dsome wd40 and placed a 5\"C clamp on the upper arm and knuckle and slowly tightened the clamp, forcing the stud into the knuckle. Will not do that again. Hope it saves someone else the hasle. Thanks for all the advice on this site.
    Andrew Thorne San Diego USA - Jul 23, 2009 @ 10:07 am
  • Andrew,
    I too had some issues getting it back in the knuckle. This is what worked for me. Mine had some rust and gunk build up in the knuckle and the shaft. First I used some wd40 and clean it up really good. Next grab one of the arms (inside, hole that is closest to the engine) and push down far as you can with your hand (since it is tight, it won’t be much but should be enough to let it go and not spring back up). Find a large socket (short as possible) to cover the ball joint or one that will not damage the joint. While keeping slight downward force on the arm, I lightly tapped on the socket with a hammer (turn side ways). Once you get the inside arm in completely. Partially insert the tightening bolt to keep it there while you get the other one in. Good luck!

    Ben Ramona Ca USA - Jul 22, 2009 @ 12:59 pm
  • removed upper control arm from the steering knuckle, but am having a problem getting them back in. Any suggestions please. 2003 Passat 1.8t
    Andrew San Diego USA - Jul 21, 2009 @ 8:58 pm
  • My 2003 1.8T wagon had torn outer cv boots and making noise on turns. I replaced both drive shafts with EMPI’s. Yes I was lazy! Plus it was cheap! But I wasted more of my precious time. Used sections of these great instructions to remove and install both drive shafts in couple of hours. Unfortunately during the test drive I noticed horrible vibrations under load/acceleration and idle in D or R felt like a diesel engine. Inspected everything I touched during the installation/install and nothing was loose or misaligned. Decided it had to be the EMPI drive shafts. Ordered outer cv boot kit for the original shafts online. The kit took 5 days to arrive by mail.

    Once again I followed rest of the instructions to remove/clean/grease the outer cv joint. (Step 15: I was not able to find soft piece of metal in my garage but was able to fine this in my garage. I used a small piece of 2x4 wood and a large hammer, worked well for me) I also tried to use Chris Herman method but did not work on mine. The axel bolt just bottomed out. This time it took about an hour to replace both drive shafts. Test drove and no VIBRATIONS what so ever.

    I think the culprit may have been the passenger side of EMPI drive shaft. I measured lengths of VW and EMPI drive shafts and EMPI was about half 3/8 inch longer. These were measured totally compressed or short as it will allow. Anyhow my unscientific theory is that when installed with the EPMI drive shaft it pushed the engine to one side by 3/8 on an inch and making the engine mounts useless. By the way the driver side measurement was the same size.

    I hope this saves some of you guys some time/effort/money.

    Ben Ramona Ca USA - Jul 21, 2009 @ 11:36 am
  • Great help on this site. Changed a passenger side CV joint on 05 Passat Wagon TDI. Had to remove heat shield to get it out, Tried like hell for a long time trying to get the new piece back in. Decided to call the auto parts place to confirm the part and they had given me the drivers side. Turns out the Left is about 2 inches longer than the right. It almost went in though.

    Thanks for the information.

    Jason, USA - Jul 14, 2009 @ 2:23 pm
  • Special tools update - Could not find the 10mm start tool at Harbor Freight, Sears or AutoZone. Sears does have it on their web site-- mail order only They call it a Triple Square Bit Socket (Item #: 00992616000). The local store can order it and save you shipping, but with ground shipping it was about $15. The 17mm hex key (regular L-shaped type, not a socketed type) is in stock at Sears for about $8. RockAuto.com had the drive shaft for $55.89, and came to $62.59 with shipping. Why this chronic problem with the rubber boots? Other cars CV boots last for 12 or more years, I got less than 5 from my 2004 GLX.
    Tom - Jul 11, 2009 @ 7:39 am
  • Great write up, and the comments section was very helpful. Didn\'t have to remove the Upper Control Arms. Both outer CV boots were torn and throwing grease everywhere. With 100k miles on our 04 V6 wagon, decided just to replace both axles with replacements from Raxles...no land speed records were set here, but it\'s done. Thanks!
    Warren, Yorktown, VA (USA) - Jun 21, 2009 @ 4:26 pm
  • I followed these instructions. Great write-up. I didn\'t have to pull the UCA\'s in order to get the halfshaft out. Our\'s is a 1999 V6 German-spec.
    Herman, MKE,WI - Jun 3, 2009 @ 4:36 pm
  • Both outer boots were torn and the CVs on their way out on my girlfriend’s 1999 Passat. I purchase new axels from O’Relliy Auto for $69. The drivers side went smooth, but I can’t the 17mm hex bolt out of the passenger side. I snapped my ½” drive breaker bar in the process. I have to give up for now. Any ideas on how to break that loose? I tried WD-40 over night and heat.


    Phillip OToole - May 16, 2009 @ 8:10 pm
  • Just replaced both driver and passenger axles on my 2002 1.8T 5sp Passat today. With the help of this site, took under 3 hours from start to finish (including cleaning up and a 10 minute break in the middle). Would have been quicker, but I had some trouble getting the first axle out and had to go re-read some of the posts to get the best solution. Ended up jacking the suspension up at the lower control arms and it gave me enough space to wriggle the axles in (didn\'t need to take off the upper control arms or any heat shields).
    Michael, NJ - May 9, 2009 @ 8:51 pm
  • SirWired (USA) and everyone else,

    1. NO NEED FOR A NEW AXLE. DON\'T USE A HAMMER TO REMOVE THE JOINT FROM THE AXLE. See below from \"Chris Herman (pass-variant)\" :

    \"An easier alternative to using a hammer to remove the CV joint from the shaft is to use the 17mm internal hex bolt.

    Once CV has been removed from the wheel-bearing assembly, simply hold the CV joint so it is parallel with the shaft and screw the bolt back into the CV. The end of the bolt will contact the shaft end, and gently pop off the CV assembly. This also makes it very easy to replace the boot without removing the shaft from the car, if desired. \"

    2. If your CV joint is worn and you don\'t want to swap left and right, Blauparts.com sells CV joint without the axle.

    3. Like most said, you don\'t need to remove the upper control arms to slide out the shaft. But if you still can\'t, it\'s easier to remove the tie rod assembly from the wheel bearing housing (written above as the steering knuckle). This would allow the wheel bearing housing to pivot out further. Just be careful not to mess with the inner/outer tie rod adjustment screws (they should tight anyway) and you won\'t lose any alignment.
    Lost in The Beltway (Washington DC) - May 9, 2009 @ 3:36 pm
  • Just replaced the passanger side on V6 without having to fool with the steering knuckle. Just remove heat shield, turn wheel 3/4 turn left, lift axle flange up, and pull out. When replacing, it was easier to turn the wheel straight once the spline was in the wheeel hub to align it in the slots.
    Dave P - Apr 25, 2009 @ 6:06 am
  • 03 Passat V6 FWD, Left front drivers had a tear in the boot, bought the drive axle from Advance Auto parts for 70, then bought all the misc. metric tools which totaled about 50, so I got 120 in it, they wanted after tax about 300 at the shop, so yeah I saved, started by loosening the lugs, then popped off the vw center cap, NOW leave the tire on the ground when you break lose the axle bolt, used 17mm driver to break the OEM axle bolt, then jacked up, pulled tire off, there was a shield over the inner 6 joint bolts, you could leave it on but I took it off(three 6mm bolts) to open my work area on the 6 bolts, took the 6 bolts out then the inner joint came off, pulled the axle bolt all the way out, moved the inner joint to the left to make room to pull the outter joint out, she slide out very nice, didnt have to move anything, getting the new one in was a tad bit tricky cause it was so stiff and new, but take your time the new one does flex a bit, dont over flex it though and jam the hell out of it may not work once you get everything back together, anyhow, nuff said, thanks for the passat community on the forums with valuable info and the procedure on here, I was recently laid off with are present economy so any way to save some extra dollars, now Im ready for a cold one :-)
    Joe, United States - Apr 23, 2009 @ 5:59 pm
  • ***Update to post directly below****
    Dave USA San Diego CA - Apr 12, 2009 @ 11:58 am
  • 1999 Passat Wagon GLS 1.8L, V4, Turbo, Auto: Replaced Passenger Side Axle. This job was a snap and I am a very basic gear head. After I was quoted at $550 I decided to do the job myself.

    1. Cardon Select Axle from Kragen $110
    2. Jack Stands Sears $20
    3. 14mm socketed hex came in a set Sears $40
    4. 10mm 12 Point Star came in a set Kragen $20

    *Time to do the job was only 1.5 hours. On this make and model I didn’t have to remove anything aside from the sensor and tire!!! Super Simple.
    **The only very strange thing is that Kragen sold me a Cardon Axle that would not fit on the outer end with the teeth. I noticed that the diameter was visually larger than my stock axle. When I brought it back they said it was the correct part number but this time I had my stock axle in hand to show them the problem. After about 30 minutes they found another Cardon Axle with the same part number but was the correct fit. They said that the one with the larger diameter was a newer model Cardon was rolling out and that the one with the correct diameter was being phased out. So just be very careful if you’re buying a Cardon axle for this make and model!!! dk

    Dave USA San Diego CA - Apr 12, 2009 @ 11:32 am
  • I could not remove the CV joint from the shaft once I got it out of the car. If you experience the same thing, try taking the driveshaft and boot kit to the dealer or repair shop and see if they\'ll do the rest for you and you can reinstall it. If you already bought the boot kit, it\'s cheaper than buying a new axle and much quicker turn around if you didn\'t plan on buying whole new axles. Otherwise, thanks for the write up!
    Eddie - Apr 6, 2009 @ 11:44 pm
  • Two new axles: $210
    Father with a shop & lift at his house: Free
    Total time to do both sides: One hour and thirty seven minutes
    Not having to pay the VW dealership $510 just to replace the boots: PRICELESS!

    *Note: My father already had all the needed tools, a home lift, and has changed over fifty sets of axles before......but he did say that these were by far the easiest yet.
    Carl Frak, USA - Apr 4, 2009 @ 10:00 pm
  • Great info. It took me longer to find a parts store with a 17mm Hex (Found at Sears) and 10mm 12 point star (found at O\'Reilly Auto Parts) than changing the axle in the 03 Passat with V6. I only had to remove one of the two upper control arms to get the shaft out. I tapped the pin from the bottom with punch after removing the 16mm bolt holding the upper control arms in place. The new shaft went in pretty easy. It was a lot harder geting the one uppper control arm to go back to its home. After convincing it to go back, it was easy getting the bolt back in. With parts and new tools for the collection, it ended up being about $100 for the repair.
    Kevin - Texas USA - Mar 31, 2009 @ 8:47 am
  • WARNING!!!

    I have just had a nightmare of a time on my 03\'. Having decided to replace the whole shaft rather than the cv, thinking that was the cleanest, most home mechanic friendly solution, I went to my local retailer FCP and picked up a replacement axle. I had the old shaft out in no time, less than a half hour. The new shaft is a different matter, when I laid them side by side the OEM was ~2\" shorter than the replacement because it telescopes and the replacement does not. The result is a replacement that cannot be placed as the OEM was removed, and since I lack the time or patience, now with the front of the new shaft in, and no way the back can be moved into place, I have to wrestle the new shaft back out, drop the old one in, and either pony up for an oem part or take it to the mechanic, and pay someone to do a job that should have taken less than an hour because of a non-identical replacement. After years of vintage Volvo ownership and repair, this seemed like a cakewalk- I\'m not sure whether I should be mad at myself or FCP,...

    Lesson is, the replacement in this case could not be installed without disconnecting the upper control arm and steering arm, a laborious and non amateur mechanic friendly repair.

    Also, on my 03\' 1.8 the Hex Driver required was a 17mm, and I was disappointed that after purchasing that size for this project, the replacement bolt was not the same.
    Tom - Mar 22, 2009 @ 3:33 pm
  • On my US spec \'04 1.8T M/T, I was able to remove both axles without messing with the UCA\'s. I didn\'t even have to remove the heat shield on the right side (which is good, because I stripped one of the cheap-ass Aluminum bolts trying.) Have a helper hold the wheel all the way to the left, and then use your jack to push up the suspension pretty high. It needed a little wrestling, but it came out.

    However, after all that, I was unable to get the joint off the shaft. I tried a drift and mallet, regular hammer, and a slide hammer. Didn\'t budge a single mm. raxles for me now, with my car on stands while I wait... sigh.
    SirWired (USA) - Mar 17, 2009 @ 8:08 am
  • Thanks for this great info. My g/f\'s Passat has 125k on the clock and the passenger side out cv joint has a broken boot. She\'s getting the familiar clicking sound while driving and occasional clunking and whirring while slowing down or braking. These directions should be a BIG help when I finally do the job.
    Chris New Jersey, USA - Mar 7, 2009 @ 2:46 pm
  • i could not get the bolt out of control arms on my vw passat20 v ,it was welded tight, so after much sobbing i had a brain storm . i looked up to top of suspension and saw the light ,three bolts. i opened the bonnet, thats the front of the car in england to you lot over the pond, i undid these 3 bolts , my helper stood on brake disc forceing down the suspension i tugged and out this give you room to move the cv in and out , to get it back just reverse the procedure jigajing the suspensoin back in place very eay. try it it works these 3 bolts never sieze up
    N JAMES england - Mar 5, 2009 @ 10:06 am
  • Love this how-to. I saved over $300 doing it myself! The pictures were extremely helpful.
    But does anyone know where to get replacement 10mm triple square bolts?
    Joey, San Diego, CA, USA - Jan 23, 2009 @ 3:00 am
  • On the 1.9 130bhp 2003 B5 the axle nut requires a 17mm socketed hex driver
    Steve Scotland UK - Jan 20, 2009 @ 9:40 am
  • On the 2005 TDI, you need to remove the upper control arm which was impossible to remove...found a german auto mech that can replace the boot for one hour labor, so it is his.

    Ed - Jan 16, 2009 @ 2:57 pm
  • Just changed both left and right half shafts in a 2001.5 Passat 1.8 (AWM). The outer bolt was a 17mm that I ordered online from Sears, the same with the 10 mm triple square. I did not have to disassemble anything in the suspension as there is room in both sides to pull the outer splines once the bolts holding the inners to the transmission. Get help on the site as I would not have even attempted this without knowing what I was getting into. Two hours and I was done. The dealer wanted $400 each. I spent $200 total. This site is great and more important accurate.

    Chris - Katy Texas - Jan 7, 2009 @ 8:25 pm
  • Passenger side, 01 Passat VR6. Great site! After spending 2+ hours trying to put the new shaft in I re-read about jacking up the suspension. Worked like a charm. No need to remove caliper or any suspension
    Canton,MA - Nov 22, 2008 @ 8:56 am
  • I went to my VW dealership for my 60k maintenance on my 03\' Passat 1.8t Wagon and they noticed that both my driver\'s side and passenger\'s side outer boots were torn and quoted my $500 to replace just the boots. Decided to check around and decided on raxles.com and damn am I happy. The kit was complete with new drivers and passenger side axle nuts, 10mm 12 Point Star driver, 17mm* hex driver for the axle nut and it went off pretty smooth. Used an impact gun and extensions and life was made much easier, just turned the wheel to the left, spun the hub and got all the CV bolts (spun right slightly for the driver\'s side). On my 03\' the (passenger-side) protective plate had to be removed and then after a little finagling the axle came out without having to touch any suspension parts (took about an hour). The driver\'s side was much easier and took just about 20 min. (Impact gun and mechanic cousin FTW!) To both my surprise and relief both of the boots were cut and were pretty bad (there was greese all over my Wellington wheels) and the raxles were filled with Amsoil and the shaft was just a little bit bigger and felt more solid and heavier. Thanks to this guide and comments of others saved myself some money and definitely some time and didn\'t need a wheel alignment after.
    Andre (North Hampton, NH) - Nov 22, 2008 @ 8:28 am
  • Hey guys, I have a 04 VW passat 1.8T sedan , CV boot was damaged and all the grease leaked out. I had two options 1- pulling ou the driveshatf and replacing the cv boot but u need a vise to do so or as it was mentioned on here you can do it while the shaft is in place 2 - replacing the driveshaft completely which i went with easy and clean , the job took me 45 mintues without touching the suspension. Brand new Driveshaft from car quest for $170+ taxe is a better deal than thoes rebuilt ones. EMPI offeres these shafts way cheaper than parts source or any parts retailer. any questions email me anytime.
    Tamer Demian Ontario, Canada - Oct 9, 2008 @ 3:36 pm
  • I have just replaced pasenger side axle on 2003 Passat 1.8T auto without disconnecting any suspension, without any problems. Thanks to the guys above, turn steering wheel to left, push inner CV toward front and push the outer end out of the wheel hub. Didn\'t have to raise suspension as some suggested. Removed ABS sensor by twisting and puling, no problems either. The biggest difficulty - to have enough wrench extensions to use torque wrench for inner CV bolts.
    Thanks to all for their comments
    Les, Chicago, IL - Sep 22, 2008 @ 11:08 am
  • 01 new passat gls 1.8t good job guys. cake, with all the help. bolts were 17mm not 14 got the triple square at murrays.
    Jim crown point, IN. - Sep 20, 2008 @ 5:13 pm
  • Has anyone had experience with the half-shafts available from local parts stores (Autozone, Advance Auto, O\'Reilly, etc.)? These are $59 as opposed to RAxles $200 (with shipping). Will I be unhappy with the cheap one?
    Paul US - Sep 5, 2008 @ 7:49 pm
  • Just did it on an 05 2.0 TDI. It uses the 17mm hex. One little tip is to put a couple of lug nuts on to hold the disk in place - then you can put a screw driver down the disk ventilator to stop the axle turning. Id recomend getting a couple of new plastic plugs for the self tapping screw that hold the sound proof dust cover in place. Also I think quite important for the newbies is to spell out that you must clean the brake disk with degreaser before putting the wheel back on - esp if the boots are severed there is grease flying about as was the case with mine. Could also use a tourque seting for the bolt that goes down into the Tie Rod End - I guessed 25 and also put some locking fluid on this bolt. Thank you so much this was a great help.
    James Riley - Aug 28, 2008 @ 11:04 am
  • Printed this off and used to replace both CV boots on a right-hand drive (B5) 2001 Audi A4 2.5 TDi (V6) Quattro Sport Avant.

    O/S was a dream - plenty clearance with driveshaft disengaged from transmission. N/S was trickier. Had to jack-up suspension and turn the wheel hard-lock to the right. Invaluable reference guide - you\'ve saved me a massive bill.
    Richard (Scotland) - Jun 30, 2008 @ 6:33 pm
  • This provided me great insight. Went for the brass ring and replaced the drive axles. Ran into a problem at the parts store. Gave me the wrong size for 2002 Passat GLS. Passenger side is shorter than drivers side. Did the replacement without removing anything. Used the technique of turning the wheel left when replacing the right side, turning the wheel right when replacing the left side. Save me about $800. Thanks
    Chas US - Jun 3, 2008 @ 8:58 pm
  • Just finished up replacing both axles on my 2000 V6 Manual. Whole job took about 5 hours, longer than expected.

    Drivers side was relatively easy. It would have went faster if I had been smart enough to put the lug bolts back into the hub (which keeps the hub locked to the brake disc) and use a screwdriver to hold it in place while loosening the inner joint bolts. On the V6, there is a heat shield on the driver side as well, but I found that I did not have to remove it. I was able to get the axle out without removing the Upper control arms on the driver side.

    Passenger side, not so easy. The bolts on the heat shield are very difficult to remove, especially if you only have a 6mm allen key. I highly recommend getting a socketed version and make sure you have some long extensions and possibly a swivel joint. I probably spent 30-45 minutes just trying to get the heat shield off.

    Also, I found that I could not get the passenger side axle out without removing the upper control arms. Luckily, being a Georgia car, the bolt came off with little effort and the arms came out of the knuckle with just a few light taps of a center punch. Getting the control arms back in place was actually much harder. Oil everything up, clean it out, oil it again, return the steering to center, use a jack to raise the lower suspension up, and the arms will go back in with out too much difficulty.

    The quality of the product from RAxles was very nice, loaner tools included, new axle bolts included. I\'d recomend them if you are looking for full axle replacement.
    Bill, ATL, Georgia - May 30, 2008 @ 12:23 am
  • 99 Passat with 1.8T MT. Replaced both axles without dealing with the pinch bolt or removing the UCA ball joints. Lots of good advice here in the comments. On the driver\'s side, just turning the wheel back and forth was enough to make space to remove and replace the axle. On the passenger side, space is tighter. I had to remove the heat shield above the inner joint (use a 6 mm allen head socket, not an L-key). I also followed the advice from here about jacking the suspension at the LCA ball joint. I jacked it a lot, and that really helped, also wheels turned to the left. The ABS sensor is a big mystery to me. I had no success removing them, but no ABS light.
    Jeff (USA) - May 25, 2008 @ 8:44 pm
  • Your excellent write up gave me the confidence to replace the driver\'s side driveshaft on my 1.8T APU Passat. The 10mm star socket is known here as an \"M10 splined socket\" and of course I needed the 14mm Bi-Hex socket to undo the hub bolt - so learned my lesson - get all the parts first. I had to keep the car in gear to stop the driveshaft turning as I did / undid the driveshaft-to-transmisison bolts. Overall, as a newbie, this job took me 2 days - including half a day getting the sockets. Thanks again.
    Kevin - UK - May 2, 2008 @ 8:00 am
  • Just finished doing both sides axle replacement on my 2004 1.8T auto. Didn\'t have to do anything but take the wheels off!. Took me four hours with lunch break. For the driver\'s side just move the axle to the back of the car while turning the steering wheel to the right for enough clearance to pull the axle out. The passenger side was a little tighter, but turning the wheel to the left and moving the axle to the front of the car worked for me. Putting the new axles in is the reverse of pulling them out.

    Thanks for the great write up and tool list!

    Bill, USA - Apr 14, 2008 @ 1:58 pm
  • Question:I have 1998 passat,V6.One of the high pressure hoses leaking near steering rack area(power steering),can not get to it from neither side through wheel arches.Does the gear box has to come out?
    Thank you..
    Alex from Melbourne - Mar 30, 2008 @ 6:24 am
  • 2003 Passat 1.8T
    Changed both complete axles in about three hours. Drivers side no problem, no need for steps 7 and 8, left disc and rotor as well. Passenger side no problem as well. Able to remove axle without removing control arm, disc rotor etc. Jacking up the lower control arm allows the axle to slide out below the transmission. My axles had a 17mm hex bolt, not 14mm. A three foot piece of black pipe took care of the bolts and the 1/2 turn after torque.
    Ron, Concord MA - Mar 22, 2008 @ 10:06 pm
  • 2007 VW Passat MT FWD 1.8T
    Driver side driveshaft can be pulled out without dissassembly of control arm (steps 8 and 9): just move shaft towards rear or engine, and pull out of wheel hub. Real easy!!
    Fred, USA - Mar 11, 2008 @ 8:54 pm
  • As with everyone else the guide was appreciated. I have just done the drivers side front shaft of a 4Motion without splitting the suspension. Lifting the lower arm with a jack enabled me to get enough space to withdraw. I\'m surprised that nobody has mentioned how hard it is to get the joint off the shaft end. Not knowing which of the two circlips which came with the kit was hidden inside the joint I was dubious about applying so much pressure. If it has been the hardened c clip I don\'t know what would have broken first but thankfully it was the wire type clip. The joint ends up cutting \"teeth\" into this wire as the joint is removed. It is horrible - but it comes off eventually. Unfortunately it means you cannot just replace the boot as you then have to strip and clean to get all the swarf out. I used the method suggested by another which was to put a piece of 12mm bar into the joint from outside then wind the hub bolt back in. It takes tremendous torque and a few smacks from a drift and hammer to get it going but it eventually moves. Not sure the joint is designed to take these \"jacking\" stresses, but I don\'t think that drifting would have done it by itself. Now I know what to expect the passenger side should be easier. Do yourself a favour and read the additional resources of Toms VW pages - CV Joint servicing before you start. Clean and mark everything before dissassembly. The tightening of the 17mm bolt to 140 ft/lbs is one thing, the extra half turn something else but with the right tools and some brute force and ignorance it will go. Good luck all!
    Dave Brannigan UK Passat B5.5 4Motion - Feb 18, 2008 @ 10:15 am
  • I would never have tried this without your write up! It saved me tons of cash. I was hesitant to replace the entire axle as my joints were not clicking and there was still a decent amount of grease inside the torn boots. I also found that it was very easy to pull the CV joints off with the axle on the car, clean them and repack. I bought a set of three brass punches from Northern Tool actually to drive the upper control arms out. The largest of the three is about 9 inches long and 3/8 in diameter. After working the outer joint out of the hub spline I found the punch fit perfectly into the drive axle bolt hole in the CV joint. By pulling the joint toward me and giving a good whack on the punch at the same time the CV joint popped right off the axle with little effort. I took it apart, cleaned it up and packed it with new grease. After getting it started on the axle spline I gave it a few good whacks with a rubber hammer and it went right back on very easily.
    texmln (Texas) - Feb 12, 2008 @ 10:29 pm
  • Thanks for this great write-up. Instructions and comments made replacing my front axles a breeze. I have a 2002 Passat manual FWD V6. I found the 12pt bits at Autozone (OEM brand, Internal Wrench Set, 12-point metric) and all of the socketed hex drivers except 6mm. I was able to remove the axles on both sides without disconnecting the upper control arms (step 8&9). A “wobble” socket, with extensions to get the wrench outside the car body, made it easier to get to the inner CV joint bolts without the need to remove the rotor or caliper (step 4), or rotate the axle or remove the inner CV shields (step 5). As others have said, it was very easy to remove the driver side axle by turning the steering full to the right. I had to rotate the inner joint while moving it toward the front of the car to get the “ears” past the shield. On the passenger side, with the steering turned full left, the inner CV joint cannot be moved forward (as on the driver side) due to the protrusion of the transmission. I used another jack to raise the lower control arm up as high as it would go and removed the axle by pushing the inner joint down below the transmission. When removing/replacing the axle, the inner CV had to be pulled onto the shaft to clear the transmission. The speed sensor is cylindrical shape and press fit into a spring-metal insert in the hole. Twisting it slightly back-and-forth while pulling it got it out. I forgot to remove one of them and it appears they can be left in if care is taken not to hit them with the axle shaft on removal. Based upon other write-ups, I reused the axle bolts. Again, thanks for a tremendous site and the informative feedback!
    Jim - Dayton,OH (USA) - Jan 30, 2008 @ 11:00 am
  • This web-site is a life saver. I just changed both CV joint assemblies, and what I thought was going to be an all day job, turned out to be a breeze. Took less than an hour to do both sides. Also thanks for the heads up on the 12 point star wrenches (Autozone had a 4 pack for under $15). In fact, it took longer to replace the serpentine belts than it did to do the CV Joint assemblies. You guys ROCK!
    Rob Bruns - Jan 12, 2008 @ 8:52 pm
  • Thanks for the write-up as you inspired me to do this myself. I have a 2001.5 1.8t and I did not have to remove the upper control arms on either side. All you have to do for when you are doing the drivers side is turn the wheel to the extreme right and the alxle will pull right out and on the passengers side turn the wheel to the left. Marty at Raxles was super and supplied all the specialty tools for the job.
    Tim Atlanta GA - Dec 14, 2007 @ 2:20 pm
  • Just did this for my \'02 sedan 1.8T manual, and found I didn\'t have to remove the upper control arms from the steering nuckle on either side and the job was a breeze ( a very messy, greasy breeze). I did the job with a helper who guided the axle out of the hub while I was under the car manuevering the inside of the axle around to get the angle right. We got the clearance we needed to get the passenger side axle in and out by turning the wheels to the left. I was not able to find the 10mm 12-point triple star at my AutoZone. I had to go to a more specialty parts shop, but I got a 4-piece set (6/8/10/12mm) for under $20.
    Dave - Dec 9, 2007 @ 7:25 pm
  • Thank you so much for the advice posted here. I used every bit of it and was thrilled to see this info posted for free and written so well. I am slightly annoyed with all of the work that my wife\'s Passat has taken over the life of the car. I had the boots replaced a few months ago at the dealership that I bought the car from and sure enough, the joints went bad within the last month. The dealership wanted to charge close to $1000 to replace the outer cv joints. I called NAPA and they had the entire shaft assembly, inner and outer cv joints and the 17 mm socket head screw for $100 per side. I purchased them and then reasearched the work on the internet so that I could be slightly more prepared than other jobs in the past. Who knew that I needed another rollaround full of vw specific tools to try and save so far allmost what the car is worth in repair bills. I like the car, but I have thousands in tools and every repair that needs to be done requires a half day of driving around looking for tools that no one has heard of. This info had me at least prepared for the tools ahead of time. However, if you really want to avoid a possible trip in the middle of this job, find the 12 point driver from a more reputable source than autozone. The closest store to me in upstate NY is 30 min away and they were the only store in the area to have the 12 point driver. I brought the set home and it removed four bolts and totally fell apart in the fifth. this prompted the driving around for half the day only to wind up with the same set again from autozone. I very carefully removed the rest of them and had the job complete in only 3 hours start to cleanup. Remeber that when the cheaper tool gets you only part way through the job, it realy wasn\'t that cheap. Thanks to the author for all the help that I wish I had seen before, I would have done the joint replacement before, and I would have saved the $240 per side for that job. That was more than what I spent doing this myself. I\'ll keep my eye out more often
    Rich - NY - US - Nov 25, 2007 @ 9:13 pm
  • \'02 Passat wgn 1.8t. Drive side easy. Pssgr side had to abort. couldn\'t get upper control arm bolt out, marred threads badly enough attempting to sledge it out that I had to cut ~3mm off to rethread nut back on. Overnight liquid wrench didn\'t help. Seems to be nasty rust seizure, or I am missing something? Maybe six cyl cars don\'t need to remove susp, but I\'m convinced we 1.8t owners are stuck on the pssgr side.
    Chris - Nov 20, 2007 @ 9:03 am
  • Thanks for the great instructions. I just finished replacing the boots on both sides of my 02 1.8t with automatic transmission. I found the 17mm allen wrench in a set at Harbor Freight for $12, and a 25 inch breaker bar that worked great for $10. I bought the triple square from Autozone for $12 and they lent me the boot clamp tool for free. I ordered the GKN boot kit from ECS tuning and they shipped it very fast. Beware, though that the GKN kit uses a 27mm axle bolt which requires a different socket than the 17mm allen. I bought a 27mm socket at PepBoys for $8. I did the passenger side first and it took 5 hours (I learned a lot and cleaned up very thoroughly.) Then the driver\'s side only took an hour. Overall I spent $108 on parts and tools the indy shops wanted over $375 for the same work. Cleaning and repacking the joint was not too bad, just messy.

    Oh, and I did *not* have to remove any suspension bolts on th 02 1.8t with auto. There was enough clearance to remove the axles with just turning the wheels.
    Tom, USA - Nov 18, 2007 @ 7:10 pm
  • Greatly appreciated this write up-even being a diesel fitter its nice to be able to go into a job like this with some confidence and better still the right tools, Havent done this job on my V6 A4 just yet but the 2 new cv joints are sitting in the garage ready to be tackled some night this week, $55 each on ebay Australia.
    Diy all the way to hell with dealer charges. Thumbs up!
    Rory- Ireland/Brisbane - Nov 11, 2007 @ 6:02 am
  • Lifesaver at least!! Thanks for posting all the info. i like the Passat. I do not like allllllllll the maintanance. When I tackle new area, I will return the favor. thanks again.

    Scott Texas - Nov 4, 2007 @ 6:51 pm
  • Just did this on my 1999 Passat GLX V6 30V this weekend. Directions were spot on! Did not need to do step 4 though. For step 5, did not also have to remove the protective plate or heat shield and there was no gasket. For step 7, I had no speed sensor to remove. You\'ll need 16mm tools though to get the pinch bolt from the steering knuckle. Step 29, I had no gasket to replace.
    Got both my axles from Raxles.com, they loaned all the tools needed. The whole procedure took less than two hours all together, partly because I just got done replacing all front end suspension parts a couple months before, so bolts were nice and easy to get loose still, not all rusted in as the first time I had to take them apart, now THAT was a chore!
    I definitely would recommend to anyone to do this themselves and save tons of money.
    John USA - Oct 14, 2007 @ 9:01 pm
  • You are a life saver!!! If not for all of the helpful hints and awesome directions on this page, I\'d be walking instead of driving my 2003 Passat. Thanks a million! Vickie
    VICKIE FROM THE U.S.A. - Oct 10, 2007 @ 12:19 am
  • Thanks for the writeup! I\'ve got a 2001 (old body style) V6 2.8L manual. I\'ve done both sides. I used Raxles and everything fit great.
    I didn\'t remove the control arms for either. As someone mentioned earlier, the secret to getting the shaft free on the passenger side is to jack up the suspension to where it sits normally. Turn the wheel all the way to the left. Hold the outer joint (using disposible gloves!), push in and disengage the shaft from the hub. Then, to get it out of the knuckle, bend the outer joint so it points toward the front of the car, then guide it out the top.
    Matt - Oct 6, 2007 @ 12:04 pm
  • On a 2001.5 1.8T Passat it is not necessary to disconnect any of the suspension pieces on the driver\'s side - there\'s plenty of room to get the axle out. Also - Murray\'s Discount AutoParts stores carry brand new axles for about $95 with no core charge - and they come complete with the hub bolt. Destroyed my ABS sensor in the process - it just would not come out however hard I tried. New ones are available on Ebay for $55+shipping - just search for \"8D0 927 803D\"
    Andre, USA - Oct 1, 2007 @ 8:21 am
  • Just finished with replacing the driver\'s side axle on my \'98 1.8T passat. Overall an easy job, considering that so far any maintenance has been a pain in the neck (who has ever seen a car in which the entire front bumper/radiator assembly has to be moved forward to replace a simple V belt?) Hardest (i.e. messiest) part was packing the grease on the engine side boot. Wish the car had the tripod style CV joint. Had no need to remove CA. Plenty of room just by steering to the left. Next, the boot on the passenger side...
    Thanks again for the nice write up.

    Alberto Scotti, USA - Sep 19, 2007 @ 4:13 pm
  • people under medical care may be a virtue (as in patients), not sure...patience is the one I ment ;))
    Mike (sp addendum) - Sep 14, 2007 @ 4:18 pm
  • Just finished replacing 2000 GLX V6 AT drivers side axel purchased from
    GermanAutoParts including 10mm triple-square and 17mm allen. The new axel was $102 plus $17 shipping to west coast. No core to send back like Raxels. Remove and hang brake caliper, and remove inner heat shield = lots more room. Without removing the heatshield I don\'t think there would have been enough room. No need to remove upper CA. Pulling back and up on outer joint, and manuvering the inboard CV joint towards the front, gives you adequate room. Axel nut came off with 18 inch 1/2 breaker bar. An Audi tech friend said Axel nut can be reused, just don\'t over tighten. A little dicey torqueing inner CV joint with 6 inch long triple-square adapter connected to a 12 inch extension. Those bolts are critical, so torque them correctly in star pattern. Patients is a virtue. If over 50, prepare for three days of soreness. Dealer wanted $975. Thanks ClubB5 and Taligentx
    Mike, USA - Sep 13, 2007 @ 5:47 pm
  • This information was great along with the knowledge contributed by others. I have a 2002 V6 30V 5sp manual with 66,500 miles on it and it was just in for the P9 recall. I was informed the outer passenger boot was torn. I searched for info on the web and found this site. It was perfect. It took me longer to find the right tools. I must have stopped at 15 places in total, but the 17mm hex drive was finally found at Grainger 2 miles from home! I removed the axle bolt with a 1/2\" breaker bar along with a 4 foot steel pipe extender. It only took a 1/4 turn to loosen. The innner races were clean - no pitting and the grease was not contaminated. I thought I caught it right away as there was lonly a ittle grease in the wheel well. On assembly, I torqued the axle bolt to 140ft-lbs and then turned a quarter turn. I noticed that the axle hub has a series of small rectangles going around the outer surface aboput 3/8\" wide. There was grease in some of mine which I took the time to clean well. I did this because of the comments about the speed sensor and the ABS light coming on for a few miles. I know the speed sensor reads these marks. I had no ABS warnings at all. I would not have been successfuly or would not have tried this repair if it were not for this web site and the excellent feedback.
    Ed USA - Sep 9, 2007 @ 12:11 pm
  • Let me add my name to the chorus of people who greatly appreciated this write-up. I just finished replacing the driver\'s side driveaxle on my \'98 Passat. By far the hardest part was getting the drive-bolt out - I broke a couple of ratchets, then proceeded to completely strip the drivebolt when I upgraded to a two-foot prybar. I spent the next 3 hours drilling out the bolt, but once I got that out, everything went (mostly) smoothly. I couldn\'t get the driveaxle out of the car without taking about the steering knuckle, but it wasn\'t that to disassemble: a few taps of the hammer on the arm joints and they popped right out! Now getting them back together, *that* was another story.

    Thanks again!
    Herb - Aug 28, 2007 @ 12:29 am
  • Found off-side boot split on my 2000 A4 when getting new tyres before MOT. Grease spread all around inside of wheel. Advised garage repair would be needed before MOT test alteady booked. No idea how long boot split other than since service in February so was prepared to joint needing replacement. Fortunately joint OK so just boot kit (£20+VAT) and fitting (£40+VAT). However when I collected car told ABS (and hence traction control) light now on, but was off after test drive but before they washed to remove grease. Hence said probably water in connector and would clear but I had my doubts. I know really should have gone back for garage to rectify but due to time & hassle decided to have a look. Speed sensor in position. Pulled out and housing all dry and clean. End look well sealed and not sure how cable comes off - or is it integral? so left well alone. However noticed connector on cable to brake caliper loose. Part to caliper is held in a bracket to rear of bearing / CV assembly. The housing on the free part was not latching. I guess mechanic had trouble seperating, or could have been some previous time as plastic distored. I guess being caked in CV grease would not help either!! Initially I couldn\'t persuade connetor to lock. Then carefully squared up edges on both parts with scapel. Connector locked and I pushed latch fully down. Hopefully will now stay in place. If not new connector needed. Initially ABS light still on but went off after driving perhaps 20 metres. So if you have ABS light on check caliper connector before condeming speed sensor or anything else expensive!!
    David (UK) - Aug 12, 2007 @ 10:45 am
  • for 2002 passat 1.8T Manual have to use 17mm hex to unbolt CV bolts, I still in progress of replacing boots because of frozen upper control arms (will be using a sledgehummer with some tool) and some parts are still not deliveried. Looks like a common problem for Passat (I have 2) at about 70-90K miles CV boots dies and have to be replaced. Both my passat has same troubles. AutoZone has set of tools to unbolt inner CVJ as well as set of hex drives to unbolt CVJ bolts, much chiper then at GermanAutoParts. Thanks to author for a great story. Even with Bently manual handy it still very helpful.
    Igor - Aug 11, 2007 @ 4:08 pm
  • 2002 Passat 1.8T took just around an hour. Didn\'t have remove any thing except the shroud around the inboard end of the shaft on the passenger side. Turn the steering left all the way then back about half a turn the push the inboard end up and fwd and pull the shaft right out of the hub. Seemed to simple. The dealer wanted $350 for this job. Parts and tools came to about $100. Thanks for the info, everything went great! (easy).
    Brent USA! - Aug 8, 2007 @ 6:57 pm
  • This writeup was very helpful in doing the driver\'s side on my 2000 V6. In case anyone needs it, the PN for the axle/transmission bolts is +N 904 411 02. The garage who did an earlier CV boot had mangled these bolts pretty well...

    mungo socal - Aug 6, 2007 @ 9:15 pm
  • I am trying to replace my outer CV boots for my Passat V630V AT 2001. I have had the axle removed successfully. But so far I have no luck in driving the inner race off the axle. There is a circlip inside the CV joint blocking the inner race from coming out. You can\'t even see the circlip but the boot kit has it. The inner race is actually loose on the axle. But it is blocked by the circlip. How hard do you have to drive it with a punch and a hammer? I have tried the axle bolt. But it won\'t come out still. Any suggestions?
    David, California, USA - Aug 4, 2007 @ 6:57 pm
  • ello
    My name is john and am from john and sons and am interested in purchasing the 14mm VW Style Lug Bolt w from your company to be shipped to west Africa and i will really appreciate if you send me an email with the price and it availability.and also your terms of payment.thank you and waiting to hear from you soon

    johl - Jul 28, 2007 @ 5:23 pm (website)
  • hi i am having trouble with getting cv joint off car on drivers side i have vw passat on v plate its 1.9 tdi i have tried tapping it and with no avail can anyone help

    marty - Jul 14, 2007 @ 11:45 am
  • I don\'t see how anyone can get the axle out without removing some suspension components. I\'ve tried turning the wheel left, right, and all varying degrees inbetween. The axle simply doesn\'t compress enough, and there is no where to put the differential side, such that you can get it out of the car. Maybe this was possible on the pre 2001.5 model, but if you have a 2001.5 and later V6, forget it. Just remove the upper control arms, unless you like to waste a lot of time trying the impossible.
    Sandman333, USA - Jun 5, 2007 @ 11:30 am
  • Never mind, I got it after letting it sit a day. Strange combination of forcing inner joint forward and outer joint up and to the rear did the trick, touching the suspension. Clicking noise is gone in turns, but now I feel vibrations through the steering wheel under hard acceleration. Could the replacement be bad? Or did I damage something? Any ideas?
    Eric, Michigan, USA - May 23, 2007 @ 10:50 pm
  • Replacing the drivers side axle on my 01 GLX V6 Manual (B5) and I can\'t get the damn axle out. I\'ve managed to get the inner joint loose, and after much forcing, turning the wheels full right, got the outer joint free of the splines, but it won\'t go the extra 1 inch or so inboard to free itself of the wheel hub.

    I have not been able to unbolt the upper control arms--close to breaking the bolt already. People say that is not necessary any way. I do not know how it is possible without unfastening the arms.

    Some say to remove the wheel speed sensor so the axle won\'t damage it coming out, but I can\'t get it to budge--also afraid of breaking it if I force it too much more.

    Any help?

    Also, everywhere I look online tries to sell me 16mm axle bolts for my model. The original is a 17mm. Any idea where I can get a replacement (the new axle I bought did not come with axle bolts)?
    Eric, Kalamazoo, MI (USA) - May 22, 2007 @ 11:04 am
  • This was a very helpful page. I changed the drivers side without undoing any steering links. I\'ll be back when I do the timing belt
    Mark USA - May 15, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

  • Mark USA - May 15, 2007 @ 9:37 pm
  • Great stuff. I replaced drivers side fron axle on a 2001 Passat v6 5speed 2wd. It took about 1.5 hours. I did not undo the control arms or calipers. I turned the wheel al the way to the right and was able to remove the axle fairly easy. This is much less complicated than the way Haynes would have you do it.
    David-USA - May 9, 2007 @ 10:32 am
  • I have just bought a CV boot kit from the dealer for £28.25, it\'s for a 2000 plate Passat TDi with an ATJ engine, and the kit is part number 441 498 203 A. The kit came with the boot, a replacement retaining bolt, clips, grease and thrust washer.

    It didn\'t come with a gasket for the inner joint and the system didn\'t seem to think that I needed one, so let\'s hope that I don\'t!
    Andy (UK) - Apr 30, 2007 @ 6:49 am
  • 17mm Hex works well when mated to very sturdy 4 foot extender bar! Driver-side needed extreme effort. Thanks for all your tips. Still very relevant in 2007.
    Greg (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) - Apr 25, 2007 @ 4:11 pm
  • Great info, I found it looking for torque specs. I also was having a hard time finding a 17mm so I borrowed one from a friend and later found one at the local Schucks, it\'s a socket for BMW transmission plugs. Not sure it\'s hard enough to take 140ft-lbs or not but an FYI for anyone who reads it.
    I got the new, not rebuilt, drivers side shaft for $81 at Napa and they even had it in stock!
    Steve M. Everett WA USA - Apr 8, 2007 @ 9:53 am (website)
  • I replaced both axles on my 2000 Passat GLS wagon in a few hours. The whole axle was cheaper than the replacement CV, so why go through the hassle of taking apart the CV joint? I got Cardone replacements through PartsPlus for $64 each (I think they\'re rebuilts, but they looked new). I removed the heatshields and maneuvered both axles out without undoing any steering links. I really thought it was quite easy technically. It was no fun sitting on the floor for a few hours however! I\'m sore today!

    It helps to have lots of ratchet wrench extensions, adapters, etc. to help you get to the various bolts. Get a couple pairs of the blue nitrile rubber gloves. They\'re comfortable and save your hands not only from the grease but also minor scrapes and such. If you\'ve tried latex gloves and hate them, try nitrile! Way better.

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial! It saved me almost $500 over the quote I had.
    Tim, Whitney Pt, NY - Mar 26, 2007 @ 9:38 am
  • Replaced CV boots on both sides of my 2001 Passat GLS-V6 (manual) last weekend. Did the whole job in a parking lot (I don\'t have a garage). I did not undo any of the suspension, and the driver side axle came out easily, but the one on the passenger side was very difficult to get out. Removing the heat shields was not necessary. My 12-point driver was about 6 inches long, and it was not possible to get the wrench handle in there because the lower control arem was in the way. I had to buy an extra 1/2 inch extension. The hardest part was pushing the CV joins off the axle. Do not try this unless you have access to a large vice and a sledge hammer. Next time I will definitley buy whole rebuilt axles. Playing with the CV joints is fun but not really worth the aggravation. I did pull out the wheel speed sensors as suggested, but still ABS warning light came on during the test drive. It went away after a few miles.
    Pavel - USA - Mar 19, 2007 @ 5:14 pm
  • To use the axle hub bolt to remove the joint, insert a piece of bar stock or soft threaded stock into the bore of the axle and then use the axle bolt to remove the joint. Tighten down and if it doesn\'t pop loose, help it off with a little tap, as shown above. On my 2003 1.8t with auto, both axles came out and went back in easily without removing control arms. EMPI replacement axles are available at German Auto Parts for $104.00
    Kip, USA - Mar 5, 2007 @ 6:51 pm
  • Hey, I did the right side today without removing any suspension parts and it only took 1.25 hours to r&r with boot replacement !! This write up has been a great help. I didn\'t use the hub bolt to separate the cv joint this time and am glad I didn\'t as the right axle is center drill too and would have ruined the bolt like the left side. Everything went really smooth. Thanks again...on to the rear brakes and then the trans fluid change !
    Mitch, Minnesota, USA - Jan 10, 2007 @ 3:07 pm
  • I followed these instructions today to do the left side of my 2001.5 V6 ...DO NOT...I REPEAT...DO NOT USE THE HUB BOLT TO PUSH OFF THE OUTER HUB FROM THE JOINT !!!!! The shaft on mine is center drilled and only accomplished destroying the first 4 threads on the bolt....then I couldn\'t get it back out !!!! Only by working it back and forth numerous times with an impact gun was I able to get it out. I then had to grind off 1/2 inch of the threads on a bench grider and use a thread file to reshape the rest of the threads that were damaged by the, now, screwed up threads in the hub. Fortunately, the hub is harder than the bolt and is still OK. I did reuse the bolt for now without any problem, but I will be getting a new one to put in soon.
    On a more positive note, this site and particular thread gave me the courage to take this on. I had initially figured it would need to be a dealer job....not so. The advice on buying the needed tools at Auto Zone proved right on the money, as no were else I called or went had them. I will be replacing the outer cv boot on the right side tomorrow, BUT I WON\'T BE SCREWING UP THE HUB BOLT THIS TIME !!!!
    Thanks for the site, now if someone can tell me how to remove the plastic pieces over the drivers (left) side seat belt to lube or replace it, I will appreciate that as well. Mitch
    Mitch, Minnesota, USA - Jan 9, 2007 @ 6:08 pm
  • Instead of driving the outer joint of with a drift and hammer, I just pressed off the joint with the old bolt. the bolt is long enough to reach the end of the shaft and pop the joint from the circlip. This worked on my 98 AEB/manual and 2000 ATW manual.
    Prevents damage to the plastic thrust washer from missed hammer blows
    Stan Gray FL US - Jan 6, 2007 @ 5:57 am
  • Brilliant most helpful article that I found just in time!! I\'ve now left the seized pinch bolt for another day and took the left hand (passenger side in the UK) shaft out in double quick time to replace the outer cv boot. I wasn\'t looking forward to doing this, but these tips have made a hassle job a lot easier. Thanks all.

    Only thing is that my local dealer didn\'t have the shaft circlip, so I\'ve re-used the old one - is this a big no-no or just a \'nice to do\'? I can\'t quite see what it really does - it\'s not man enough to hold the shaft in place, so why?

    Ian, UK - Jan 2, 2007 @ 10:24 am (website)

    By following the hints / additions to the steps listed above, I was able to replace both outer boots in around 4 hours without taking apart any suspension components or breaking anything (which I often do figuring things out). I probably spent more time trying to find the tools (10mm 12 pt and 17mm allen) then it actually took to r&r the shafts.

    Anyway, this was an excellent article - THANK YOU.

    G. Allen Pearson
    G. Allen Pearson - Dec 17, 2006 @ 12:54 pm
  • 02 1.8t required 17mm socketed hex driver, not 14 mm.

    I forgot to undo the ABS sensor, but no damage done fortunately.
    John - Nov 14, 2006 @ 12:56 pm
  • For those with Passat V6 AT, (mine is a 2001.5) when doing the passenger side, you HAVE to undo some of the suspension. Top or bottom, makes no difference. Removal was simple in my case because the boot was completely torn and the joint moved freely. There is NO WAY to maneuver a new axle into place. I spent 3 hours trying every which way to do it. Not possible. Driver\'s side is a breeze though - 1/2 to 1 hour job at most. ***When tightening the nut onto the bolt on the balljoint housing, be very careful because it is very easy to overtighten and snap the bolt.***
    Rick - Nov 10, 2006 @ 1:19 pm
  • How does the ABs sensor come off ? The car is a 95 RHD 1.8. Previous threads suggest a twist and pull. How far do you twist ? How hard do you pull ? I\'ve tried 90 degrees ? Does it need to be prised ? I\'ve tried twisting, pulling and prising and now the ABS light is constantly on AND the sensor is still attached and I\'ve yet to start the job !!!
    Excellent site by the the way.
    Graham UK - Oct 14, 2006 @ 9:50 am
  • An easier alternative to using a hammer to remove the CV joint from the shaft is to use the 17mm internal hex bolt.

    Once CV has been removed from the wheel-bearing assembly, simply hold the CV joint so it is parallel with the shaft and screw the bolt back into the CV. The end of the bolt will contact the shaft end, and gently pop off the CV assembly. This also makes it very easy to replace the boot without removing the shaft from the car, if desired.

    Best Regards,

    Chris Herman (pass-variant) - Oct 11, 2006 @ 3:46 pm (website)
  • Great Site! I am gonna do my timing belt soon!
    Neils Shortcut worked great for me on drivers side axle. I did not even have to tap it. It slid right out. While I was in there I changed the rotors and put in new brake pads as well (on both sides of cours) as well as changing the brake fluid.
    The brake caliper bolt for getting to the rotor for this car (B5) is a 7mm hex wrench. Not a standard size in small metric hex sets. I got a set of two from Sears for $0.97 cents and saved buying a large set of metric hex wrenches and an extra trip to the parts store. Also torqued the axle bolt 85 ft lbs and was only able to turn it a little more than 1/4 turn. It wouldnt move any more!

    Elmar - Sep 21, 2006 @ 9:15 am (website)
  • Great write up! Took me 30 minutes and the car runs like new!
    Jeff (Atlanta, GA) - Aug 28, 2006 @ 1:13 pm
  • Great advice! Not to beat a dead horse, but as previously mentioned you do NOT have to disconnect control arms or even remove caliper! For drivers side turn steering wheel to right, pull shaft up and to the rear. For passenger side, remove heat shield (3 6mm hex bolts), turn steering to left, and pull up and to the front. A few words of caution: 1) take note of the author's and readers' comments regarding tools. Before you start make sure you have everything you need: for '02 passat, 14mm hex wrench for hub bolt (if you can find a socket great, just use breaker bar and a length of pipe to break if free, and a torque wrench will ensure proper torque when installing. If all you can get is an "elbow" wrench, just slip long piece of pipe over it. If using elbow wrench to install hub bolt make sure you are putting proper torque on bolt-I used 12 inch pipe, I weigh about 190 lbs., just stood on pipe, voila 190 ft. lbs. of torque! 2) 6mm 12 point bit for flange bolts (also known technically as "serrated bit") DO NOT try to use 6 point torx bit, I tried and nearly stripped the teeth in the head of the bolt. All was not lost however, after getting the correct 12 point bit I simply lined it up in the stripped head and tapped it with a hammer, bit was seated firmly and bolt head was good as new. 3) 6mm hex bit for heat shield, I only had an elbow wrench, and it was a real pain to get leverage using that little thing. AGAIN-just make sure you have the proper tools BEFORE you begin, save yourself a lot of headaches, one final note to ensure you have the proper size hex bolt or hex bit for the hub bolt, just match it up to the new one before you leave the parts store!
    Dennis USA - Aug 15, 2006 @ 5:59 pm
  • Great source for info, thanks. Did the drivers side of the wife\'s A4 2 months ago and was a pain in the ass. Disconnected everything, etc.., now, did the passenger side last weekend and found if you disconnect the lower end of the shock to move it, you can disconnect the inner end six bolts and pull the shaft forward enough to get it out past the turbo and related components, took 2.5 hours, start to finish!
    Kevin Carlson...USA - Jul 24, 2006 @ 1:24 pm
  • Thanks for the tips. I just finished replacing both axles on my 2000 passat v6 automatic. I did not have to remove the upper control arms on either side of the car. Turning the steering wheel is the trick to getting them out and the new ones back in. Also the shields need to be removed. I highly recomend raxles.com for fast shipping and pre-paid postage on cores. Also new bolts came with the axles.
    Justin - United States - Jul 15, 2006 @ 12:39 am
  • Great resource! Very well organized and concise.
    * I want to especially thank Steve (Mar 30, 2006, comment) for his tips to avoid pulling suspension apart. Saved tons of time on my 1999 A4 Avant 1.8 MT.
    ** I broke driver side ABS sensor. Unfortunately, I think the advice should be to leave it be. The sleeve was rusted and sensor body being plastic broke trying to free it. The ring on CV is not stepped, so as long as you pull the joint straight out, it should not even contact the ABS sensor. $100+aggravation, not worth it!!!
    Greg, USA - Jul 10, 2006 @ 9:19 am
  • How the heck do I pull out the wheel speed sensor? I\'ve tried gently levering with a screwdriver but I\'m afraid of breaking it.

    Any hints?

    Looks like a very useful webpage ..... now all I have to do is get those speed sensors out and find a shop that sells the 17mm and 10mm drivers - Canadian Tire don\'t stock them.

    Thanks, Duncan
    Duncan, Canada - Jul 5, 2006 @ 2:57 pm
  • Just an update to my post below for Audi A4 (B5) owners:
    On the drivers side i did have to undo the upper control arms to get the driveshaft out :( Even with the heat shield removed there wasn\'t enough room to maneuver it out otherwise. Releasing the control arms turned out to be a matter of just tapping the ball-joints \'stubs\' from below, once the pinch-bolt was removed :) Aligning and re-inserting them into the steering knuckle proved a small bit trickier, but again light tapping (with a small sledge!) was enough to send them home!
    Tom (Galway, Ireland) - Jun 6, 2006 @ 9:07 am
  • Brilliant instructions! Thank you for your attention to detail. For Audi A4 owners, I was able to remove the drive shaft on the passenger-side (of my 1997 1.6L A4), using the excelent instructions above, skipping steps 8 & 9, as has been suggested. Also, there was no need to jack up the suspension or remove the brake caliper, in my case. With both front wheels off the ground, have the steering wheel turned full-lock to the left, remove the inner joint from the transmission, to the right and upward. Then have the steering turned full-lock to the right, it is now possible to remove the driveshaft from the wheel hub.
    A couple of other notes;
    - Being a novice, i found loosening the driveaxle bolt the most difficult part! I used a home grown 4 ft lever in the end!
    - On the A4, there was a gasket on the inner joint, even though the VW-Audi parts-store guy insisted otherwise beforehand!

    I have yet to do the drivers side, will post again if it is any different. Thanks again, top notch.
    Tom (Galway, Ireland) - May 29, 2006 @ 9:31 am
  • Very helpful website. I managed to remove the CV hub from the driveshaft by leaving the inboard end attached. I inserted a piece of 12mm reinforcing bar with a small central hole drilled, flush with the end of the splined hub inside the hub bolt hole. I assembled a 3 legged puller and carefully wound in the bolt with a socket bar until BANG! it was free. This worked well for me on my 02 TDI Passat.
    Chris from Hampshire, UK - May 7, 2006 @ 2:19 pm
  • Great write-up - gave me the confidence to do it myself. For my 2000 GLS V6 MT FWD, I was able to remove axles from both sides w/o separating the upper control arms from the steering knuckles. On driver\'s side, jack up the car and remove the wheel. Remove the shield above the axle that\'s bolted to the trans case. Turn the steering all the way to the right. The axle can now be maneuvered out. Same thing on passenger side with steering turned all the way left, except on this side you must raise the suspension up to its normal position using a jack at the lower ball joint. I don\'t know if this works on other engine/trans combos.
    Steve, Kansas City MO (USA) - Mar 30, 2006 @ 12:28 pm
  • Thanks for taking the time to do the writeup. It really helps, those of us that do it for the first time. Once I got the specialty tools it really was a breeze. Only problem I ran into was that the ABS warning was on after the job, and I broke the speed sensor trying to get it out. $130 for a replacement from German Auto Parts. The only question is how far in does the new one go??
    BobZ (Boston) - Mar 10, 2006 @ 12:05 pm
  • Great instructions!! I used this and as well as my Haynes book. Unfortunately it took much longer than expected because finding a 17mm socketed hex driver was very difficult. I finished one this weekend and will start the other the next weekend.
    Thanks for taking the time to detail your step by step instructions, they were perfect!!
    Ian (Georgia, U.S.) - Jan 29, 2006 @ 4:19 pm
  • Great writeup.
    I performed this procedure on 1999 V6.
    Answers to some questions;
    Removing the sensor on the steering knuckle, twist and pull, just a friction fit.
    Don\'t pull on the wire.
    Removing the frozen upper control arm cap screw. I drilled it out. Replacement $4.00.
    Removing the CirClip. I didn\'t. I drove the CV Joint off the axle.
    Greg - Oct 11, 2005 @ 12:20 pm
  • Caught torn boot early, ordered part and tool from GermanAutoParts.com. Steps 8,9 not necessary on V6. Needed 17 mm wrench to remove caliper bolts for easier access. Found a good brass drift set at Sears (Mayhew #61360 14.99) and a 3LB Hand Drilling hammer, the joint flew off on the second shot. Using a 5 and 10 inch ext with a universal makes it easier to work. This site is tremendous help God Bless You for your generosity and hard work.
    Dan,USA - Sep 13, 2005 @ 9:03 am
  • Great write-up. Don\'t use the axle bolt to remove the joint. You will risk compressing the threads and damage the joint housing backing the bolt out. Take an extra 20 mins to remove the axle. It will save an hour of trying to remove a damged axle nut.
    Jason80 - Sep 8, 2005 @ 9:32 am
  • Thank you for the guidance - it was a big help, nice website! Just replaced both of my outer CV joints on a 98 Passat V6 Auto (53K ml). I purchased 1 $12 ea. 12 point triple-square bit from www.GermanAutoParts.com. - nice sturdy long tool (6\" & knurled) tool for 1/2\" drive. Found a 17mm hex drain plug wrench at Sears $8, with a a length of black iron pipe was a breeze. I was able to remove both axles without steps 8, 9. After removing the the protective overhanging plate(s) (held in place by three 6mm allen bolts). I was able to maneuver the axle assemble(s) out and away, and back in again. Hardest part was driving the inner race off the shaft with a hammer and brass bar stock. Outer cv\'s were $198 ea. at www.autopartswarehouse.com w/free shipping. Schucks auto parts had the band clamp tool for $8.
    Keep up the great work everyone, and thanks.
    John, USA - Aug 13, 2005 @ 4:56 pm
  • Thank you for the guidance - it was a big help. To reiterate some of the earlier comments - I could not remove the single bolt locking the upper control arms, so I removed the lower control arms. Also, despite your warning, I didn\'t remove the wheel sensors - I didn\'t know how. And the axle came out real easly, but sure enough I have ABS warning lights. Guess I\'ll have to figure out how to remove them.
    Mike - Aug 1, 2005 @ 11:11 am
  • I\'m doing this right now on my 00 V6 GLX, driver\'s side. This writeup is fantastic, it\'s really helped me out. One thing to note- my steering knuckle has a single 16mm bolt and nut clamping the upper control arms. It is a different design of knuckle than the one shown in the drawing. I was able to get the nut off, but I can\'t for the life of me budge the bolt. I\'ll post again when I figure out how to get the bolt out.
    Peter, USA - Jul 31, 2005 @ 2:10 pm
  • Thanks for the write up!
    Niel is right, on my 98 b5 passat Tdi, the left hand side driveshaft can be removed by just undoing the hub nut, then jack and support the car.then undo the six 10mm 12 point inner bolts. the shaft can then be moved in and up at the gearbox end, and wiggled out through the front suspension arms. you dont even need to take the wheel off!!
    Dermot Ireland - Jul 13, 2005 @ 10:30 am
  • A great resource, I have used your post twice now for boot repairs.
    A tip for other users: I managed to strip the teeth from the inside face of the bolts holding the inner cv to the transmission.
    Panicked a little then took a 1/4 inch drill and drilled about 1/4 inch into the bolt. then used a 6 mm allen socket to remove the bolt from the CV joint.
    Picked up a new bolt from the local stealership for $4...
    Talk about being relived.
    Good site, keep it up.
    Steve - Jul 8, 2005 @ 7:52 am
  • Awesome documentation, amigo. I\'ve found new driveshafts for just under $540, shipped from bimmerparts.com (plug!) to slip into my \'99 B5. The Haynes and the Bentley describe the removal, but it\'s a tremendous help to have your pics. You\'re a scholar and a gentleman, sir!
    Sco - Jun 6, 2005 @ 3:10 pm
  • Thanks for the write-up. This was a big help as I needed some confirmation regarding dimantling the CV joint. You were also right.... I found the 12 point 10 mm drive at Autozone(for the inner CV joint bolts). Note that I popped the lower arm ball joints instead of the upper(I was concerned about possible alignment issues...real or not). This made things a little difficult as you have to juggle the forward lower arm ball joint insertion and the spline insertion of the outer CV into the hub because of space limitations but it worked. Just be sure to install the rear arm ball joint last.
    Mike - May 24, 2005 @ 8:49 am
  • For step 17 I recommend using an inexpensive carbide scribe to mark the alignment of the components. Make corresponding scratch marks on the edge of the inner race, cage, and outer housing. I\'ve seen advice recommending permanent markers and punch marks; if you use brake cleaner, the permanent marker will be lost, and putting punch marks on precision components is my idea of risky. Once you\'ve marked the components, its very easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble the joint. Also, don\'t try to use the axle bolt to separate the joint from the axle on an 01.5 - the axle is hollow, and the bolt will just wedge inside of it.
    Kevin - May 22, 2005 @ 2:19 pm
  • Totally Awesome! thanks so much, here are some more tips: (2001.5 V6)
    Definitely use a 6mm allen socket style, using the 90 wrench added more than an hour to the job.
    17mm hex for 2001.5 V6.
    Above shortcut WORKS!
    Get a friend to help apply brakes when removing/installing 6mm hex bolts (for manual trans). or do it while tires on the ground.

    Vath - May 14, 2005 @ 10:50 pm
  • V6 uses 17mm hex (not 16 as stated). Also 12point star also called a Serrated Wrench.
    Rick - May 14, 2005 @ 12:40 pm
  • one little problem with these instructions. how in gods name do you remove the cirle clip inside the CV housing. Unless, yours was already aftermarket.
    Paul - Apr 15, 2005 @ 1:39 pm
  • Happen to have the partnumber for the bolt that needs to be replaced, i.e. the bolt which came in your kit?
    Thanks for the write up.
    - Jan 14, 2005 @ 8:36 pm
  • Great writeup! I discovered a shortcut!
    On the drivers side of a B5, step 9 is NOT Necessary! After you take out the 6 cap bolts from the inner end, pry the inner end free from tne trans and go up and in with it; then do step 10, and tap the hub inward. There\'s enough room goin up & in toward the transmission to free the outer end, saving lots of swearing and potential steering knuckle damage. Took 1/2 hour to replace the axle!
    Note: this doesn\'t work on passenger side, the turbo and cat are in the way.
    Neil aka nebiedubber vortex, Passat+miata cb5 - Jan 10, 2005 @ 8:51 am
  • Thanks for the great resource!

    On my 01.5 V6, the axle nut requires a 17mm socketed hex driver instead of a 16mm.
    Tyler - Nov 16, 2004 @ 9:05 pm

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