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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As these are (or should be!) packed with a good quantity of grey moly grease, it's difficult to find out what's where if you are doing this for the first time. I recently removed the driveshafts from the car, stripped and cleaned them, so I thought I would take some pics and compile a guide to dismantling and re-assembling these.
It is a good idea to keep all parts for each particular CV joint together and not mix components.
IMG_1846.JPG
This applies to a 1999 CF2 2 litre Spider, and the two driveshafts are identical left and right. There are two CV joints per driveshaft, referred to as wheel end and transmission end.

Wheel end joint.
The CV joint is contained within the heavy steel cup which has the splined wheel hub spigot coming out of it and the ABS signal generator teeth around the widest part.

Removal
First remove the two fastening clips holding the flexible bellows with a screwdriver and discard the clips. Cut off the boot with a knife and discard also.
This joint is held onto the driveshaft by a circlip at the inner end of the joint, and is probably hidden in the grease. It has plain wire “ears” that should be spread open with circlip pliers to release the joint which should easily pull of the driveshaft. Opening the circlip with a large screwdriver never seems to get it quite wide enough to release it, it has to be spread to the full limits of the cutout on the central cog, so circlip pliers are the best for the job. When it is wide enough to clear the groove in the driveshaft, the whole joint slides off easily. If it doesn't then the circlip isn't open enough.
IMG_1848.JPG
Once the joint is removed, it can be disassembled by rocking the inner cog at such an angle that one ball at a time can be removed from the outside of the containing cage. This is a messy job and all components will need cleaning for inspection.
The drive surfaces will show any wear as being slightly shiny, and any sign of serious wear, cracks or scratches should indicate a complete replacement joint is needed.

Assembly
Apply a load of moly grease to the inner face of the joint. The Alfa Romeo manual recommends 120g of grease for each joint, however Febi Bilstein supply 90g of grease in a squeeze tube with their CV boot kits, and I found this amount was more than enough to completely encapsulate the joint with loads to spare dolloped on each side for good measure.
IMG_1875.JPG
Place the inner cog inside the cage by turning it at 90 degrees and wiggling intelligently. Insert the circlip into the groove inside the inner cog. This will face the incoming driveshaft and should be visible as you assemble the joint. Tilt the cog and cage enough to allow a ball to be inserted from the edge, and repeat this process for each of the six ball bearings until they are seated.
IMG_1858.JPG
Apply the rest of the moly grease to the joint, taking care to pack it into every corner and void, then pile up the remainder on top and inside the joint.
IMG_1877.JPG
Assemble the new boot and two new clips to the driveshaft. Apply some grease to the driveshaft splines, and insert the shaft into the joint until the clip seats into the groove in the shaft. Some gentle force may be needed to start with as the shaft has to open up the clip. Check for correct seating of the clip by pulling the joint backwards, there should be no movement.
IMG_1860.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Transmission end joint
This is contained between two removable pressed steel cups, one of which acts as a collar for the flexible boot, and is held together by six bolts which connect it to the transmission drive.
IMG_1870.JPG

Removal
With the six bolts and washer plates removed, prise off the thin steel cap from the end with the six holes in it. This is awkward because a rubber sealing ring underneath tends to hold it in place. I use a piece of aluminium as a drift and carefully wallop it, taking care not to damage the rim of the cap. Similarly remove the steel cap on the other side which connects to the flexible CV boot.
The end of the driveshaft has a circlip (a regular type with holes for pliers) in a groove, which needs expanding to remove. The joint then slides easily off the shaft.
IMG_1869.JPG
Removal of the ball bearings is similar to the other CV joint, and the same cleaning and inspection can be carried out. In addition there are two annular rubber sealing rings around the outside of the main joint that can be removed for cleaning.
IMG_1862.JPG

Assembly
Fit the inner cog inside the bearing cage, taking care to ensure the machined inner end of the splines faces the driveshaft. This ensures the joint slides fully onto the shaft and allows the circlip on the end to seat in its groove. The other way round doesn't work!
IMG_1878.JPG
When viewed from the circlip end, the inner cog has large and small distances between adjacent balls. The outer housing also has large and small distances between adjacent balls. Align the two parts so that the larger space on the inner cog aligns with the smaller space on the outer housing. Tilt the cog and cage to allow insertion of ball bearings in a similar fashion to the other CV joint, and fill the six spaces.
As this is a dual sided joint, there is a distinct possibility of dropping a previously inserted ball diametrically opposite to the newly inserted ball when the inner cog and cage are tilted upwards. To avoid this hold the joint in your palm for the whole procedure.
IMG_1865.JPG
Fit the new flexible boot with the steel connecting cap and new clips onto the drive shaft, slap some moly grease on the drive shaft side of the CV joint and the splines, then slide the CV joint onto the shaft, checking that it goes down fully and that the groove on the end of the shaft is visible. Fit the annular rubber sealing rings to the grooves in the outer edge of the CV joint.
Don't forget to refit the circlip and check that it is fully seated. Apply the remainder of the grease to both sides of the joint, packing it into every crevice. Slide the boot and steel fitting up to the CV joint, aligning the holes with a couple of bolt, then fit the steel end cap over the bolts and press the two halves together.

IMG_1883.JPG
Compress all four of the flexible boot clips.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
If anyone can tell me how to get the photos in the text I'd be grateful!
It's ok I've worked it out, there's two ways of adding pics, the drag and drop is the bad one.
Go Advanced followed by Manage attachments is the better way.
 

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Great write up... many thanks Rod. I’ve got a front wheel bearing that needs changing and will be attempting this while the hub is removed and the drive shaft is easy to get to. Worst case and there are signs of wear; any ideas where to get replacement CV joints and any recommendations on which make to go for? I’ve had a quick look on line and there’s a load for sale at vastly differing prices, all makes I’ve never heard of. Likewise are all CV boots the same or do you get what you pay for with some being better than others?
 

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Great write up... many thanks Rod. I’ve got a front wheel bearing that needs changing and will be attempting this while the hub is removed and the drive shaft is easy to get to. Worst case and there are signs of wear; any ideas where to get replacement CV joints and any recommendations on which make to go for? I’ve had a quick look on line and there’s a load for sale at vastly differing prices, all makes I’ve never heard of. Likewise are all CV boots the same or do you get what you pay for with some being better than others?
Recently gone through this exercise to replace outer cv joints on 2ltr p3 jts. I think they are the same for twinnies but check that just in case. We tried some from a well known general motor parts supplier and there was an issue with the fitting whereby the teeth would not locate properly with the teeth on drive shaft which meant they were no good. Eventually ordered some from another supplier and all good. The cv joints came with boots etc, but I had purchased red silicone boots for the job, which are supposed to be more durable. Providing everything comes apart cleanly not a difficult job. Need to realign tracking etc... The parts supplier said they are the same parts as used on various fiat products so are easily available. The parts that didn't fit were £12 per item, the ones that did fit are £30 per item.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great write up... many thanks Rod. I’ve got a front wheel bearing that needs changing and will be attempting this while the hub is removed and the drive shaft is easy to get to. Worst case and there are signs of wear; any ideas where to get replacement CV joints and any recommendations on which make to go for? I’ve had a quick look on line and there’s a load for sale at vastly differing prices, all makes I’ve never heard of. Likewise are all CV boots the same or do you get what you pay for with some being better than others?
Not had to replace the CV joints but after a previous bad experience with unbranded front wishbones I now go for the better known brands such as Mapco, Moog, TRW, Metelli etc that are large enough to have a good QA system.
The boots should have the built in metal shroud that goes around the drive stub, watch out as many dealers advertise as "compatible" without any real involvement and you may get the ones without.
 

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Recently gone through this exercise to replace outer cv joints on 2ltr p3 jts. I think they are the same for twinnies but check that just in case. We tried some from a well known general motor parts supplier and there was an issue with the fitting whereby the teeth would not locate properly with the teeth on drive shaft which meant they were no good. Eventually ordered some from another supplier and all good. The cv joints came with boots etc, but I had purchased red silicone boots for the job, which are supposed to be more durable. Providing everything comes apart cleanly not a difficult job. Need to realign tracking etc... The parts supplier said they are the same parts as used on various fiat products so are easily available. The parts that didn't fit were £12 per item, the ones that did fit are £30 per item.
Many thanks... where did you get the £30 ones from? I’ve been looking and on the websites I’ve looked at they list parts for twinnies by power so class phase 1s and later phase 2 as the same ie 150 bhp and earlier phase 2 as different at 155 bhp which doesn’t help trying to get the right parts. I didn’t even realise that coloured boots were a thing. Where did you get them and are they more durable? A bit of colour underneath is quite appealing.

Not had to replace the CV joints but after a previous bad experience with unbranded front wishbones I now go for the better known brands such as Mapco, Moog, TRW, Metelli etc that are large enough to have a good QA system.
The boots should have the built in metal shroud that goes around the drive stub, watch out as many dealers advertise as "compatible" without any real involvement and you may get the ones without.
Again thanks for the reply... I’ve learned my lesson with cheap parts in the past and generally go for named brands or recommended manufacturers if possible.
 

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Many thanks... where did you get the £30 ones from? I’ve been looking and on the websites I’ve looked at they list parts for twinnies by power so class phase 1s and later phase 2 as the same ie 150 bhp and earlier phase 2 as different at 155 bhp which doesn’t help trying to get the right parts. I didn’t even realise that coloured boots were a thing. Where did you get them and are they more durable? A bit of colour underneath is quite appealing.



Again thanks for the reply... I’ve learned my lesson with cheap parts in the past and generally go for named brands or recommended manufacturers if possible.
Outer cv manufactured by shaftec I bought from spartan motor factors but they are sold on ebay too. But check they are for your vehicle as mine is a jts. The red silicone boots were also on ebay... Titan are the manufacturer.....i hope the shaft isn't rusted in the hub as that will give you all the trouble you need......
 

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Outer cv manufactured by shaftec I bought from spartan motor factors but they are sold on ebay too. But check they are for your vehicle as mine is a jts. The red silicone boots were also on ebay... Titan are the manufacturer.....i hope the shaft isn't rusted in the hub as that will give you all the trouble you need......
Thanks again... I’ve got a couple of hubs and driveshafts coming from a reputable Alfa breakers so I can take my time with the refurb/rebuild then swap them over. Do you have a link for the boots? I could only find some dodgy looking blue ones from China at £10 for 4... not sure of the quality and not too sure about the “I’ve just run over a smurf” look.
 

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Thanks again... I’ve got a couple of hubs and driveshafts coming from a reputable Alfa breakers so I can take my time with the refurb/rebuild then swap them over. Do you have a link for the boots? I could only find some dodgy looking blue ones from China at £10 for 4... not sure of the quality and not too sure about the “I’ve just run over a smurf” look.
Will take a look for thd link
 

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Yes they look like the ones. Just check they are whole and not the ones that you need to glue together - Those are the ones you can fit in situ, which are handy to replace damaged boot without taking cv joint out first. Good luck🍀
Again many thanks... and apologies to Rod for hijacking his thread.
 

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I’ve started stripping down my spare drive shafts following Rod’s instructions... I never would have found the circlips in all that grease. Still a bit to do when I get some circlip pliers. They certainly aren’t going to clean up like Rod’s and there is surface rust on exposed external surfaces. Do I clean them up, wire brush the outside and slap on a coat of POR15 at a cost of about a tenner each for new boots or bite the bullet and spend £30 per CV on new ones? Thoughts please.
 

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I’ve started stripping down my spare drive shafts following Rod’s instructions... I never would have found the circlips in all that grease. Still a bit to do when I get some circlip pliers. They certainly aren’t going to clean up like Rod’s and there is surface rust on exposed external surfaces. Do I clean them up, wire brush the outside and slap on a coat of POR15 at a cost of about a tenner each for new boots or bite the bullet and spend £30 per CV on new ones? Thoughts please.
It would be good to keep originals but if high mileage then maybe just fir new. Cv joints to take a lot of wear. If fit new ones then could keep the old ones and refurb at leisure. But then £60 is a tank of fuel..... Personally I would fit new and keep the originals and reburb. At least then you go peace of mind.?but if the missus is pulling in the purse strings on alfa spend then best fix up the old ones 😇
 

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It would be good to keep originals but if high mileage then maybe just fir new. Cv joints to take a lot of wear. If fit new ones then could keep the old ones and refurb at leisure. But then £60 is a tank of fuel..... Personally I would fit new and keep the originals and reburb. At least then you go peace of mind.?but if the missus is pulling in the purse strings on alfa spend then best fix up the old ones 😇
I think I’m experiencing what is known as ‘mission creep’... I’ve got a front wheel bearing that needs replacing which means taking the hub off and while that’s off it’s worth looking at the drive shaft and if you’re doing one side you have to do the other so I’ve got a couple of spare hubs and drive shafts and new wheel bearings plus the usual rust treatments, paint etc. so I’m not sure of the history of the CV joints that I’ve got. I think maybe I should get the CV joints fully stripped down and cleaned up then re-assess.
 
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