sell individual CV joints or complete FWD driveshafts
Should I sell individual CV joints or complete FWD
Many professional installers prefer to change the complete
FWD driveshaft assembly rather than to rebuild or replace
individual CV joints. It eliminates the hassle of getting
the old joint off the shaft, tearing it apart (if the joint
is to be rebuilt), installing the new or rebuilt joint back
on the shaft, and installing a new boot (which often
requires special tools to do the job right). A new shaft
also includes a new boot for the inner joint, which should
probably be changed anyway while the shaft is out of the
On some vehicles, there is no choice as to whether the joint
or entire driveshaft assembly can be replaced. On FWD
vehicles that use tripod outer joints (Toyota Tercel, Nissan
Stanza and AMC/Renault Alliance), individual replacement
joints are not available (though repair kits for tripod
outer joints are available).
Those who prefer to change or rebuild individual CV joints
with repair kits rather than to replace the entire shaft say
it is more profitable to charge for the extra labor
involved. Some consider replacing the entire driveshaft
assembly to be an unnecessary expense if only one of the
joints is bad.
Complete shaft assemblies are available at prices
competitive with those of brand new CV joints. The most
price competitive ones generally have rebuilt inner and
outer CV joints which are little more than used joints that
have been cleaned up, inspected and found to be within
acceptable tolerances. Most shaft assemblies with rebuilt
joints, however, have reconditioned joints with new cage and
Some shaft rebuilders actually remanufacture their outer CV
joints by regrinding housings, races and cages. Oversized
balls are then installed to restore the joint to like-new
There are trade-offs to consider when installing a shaft
that has used, rebuilt or remanufactured CV joints. On the
plus side, such shafts are less expensive, appealing to
customers on a limited budget.
On the other hand, some installers question the longevity
and reliability of a shaft that has used or rebuilt joints.
For that reason, some prefer a shaft assembly with a new CV
joint. These shafts generally cost a little more, but most
also come with a limited lifetime warranty.
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