Front axle cv joints, change.



~ 280.000 km. and thought that the time has come to change the front, four, cv joints.

The best candidates to make the replacement, thought, that are the LOBRO/GNK, joints.

But, finally this was never going to happen...

The work programmed in three phases: #1 change the right inner, which seem to make cling noises when in a right turn, #2 change the left inner and, finally #3, change the two outer, the last three not making noises with the exception of suspension's extension limits, since the car has a 5 cm lift kit.

So the first change done but the LOBRO cv joint was not happy at all! The reason why is that my technician, didn't know that there is a specific way for the installation, that the cv joint has a front and a rear side and that there may be a need for clocking!

The joint became noisy, at the limits especially.

It was time to inject knowledge coming from our best friend, the internet.

LOBRO says:

In the mean time, a second one LOBRO cv joint arrived, for the left side, which was locked, right from the shelf!

But how this can be, what is the meaning of a locked cv joint, especially of a brand new cv joint?

(The above are my original, inner, front, cv joints, with two distinct characteristics: they have a very tiny vw-audi logo, (and nothing else), and they do not have circumferential lines, as the Lobro do).

The wrong one, the locked, very easily can be clocked. The inners must be rearanged and nothing more. It is not a construction fault, may be just an assembly fault. But the locked one cannot be used as it is, it is really locked, does not move a bit.

Here you can see some photos of the used, ~ 280.000 km , vw/audi logo, original cv's:

I cannot have any objections about them, their condition is as expected, more or less.

Now the question is what can be done by a terified technician.

He decided to send back both the cv joints. But, then, what else can be a substitute?

Trying to avoid a Chinese solution decide for the new kid on the block, (for cv joints), the SKF.


After some changes to the initial  schedule, the two outer came first. 

SKF made in Italy, installed as they are, greased by the factory, but added half a dose per each, (a little bit difficult to check the inside for these), no objections, no questions, time will show... 

Some months after, the two inner arrived:

What a surprise! They are made in China! Now what can be done? Send a second set back to the spare parts dealer? 

Trying to observe some hard evidences:

Nice package.

Well protected.


Time for some quantitative, and possibly, qualitative measurements:

This is one of the original vw cv joints weighted.

This is the one of the SKF cv joint weighted.

This is the second SKF cv joint weighted.

As we can see, there is a difference in weights between the SKFs, as well as, between the SKFs and the original cv joints.

The two, used, original cv joints weight exactly the same, there is not even 1 gram deviation between them.

Is there any quality control matter for the SKF? As it was expected, they said "no" when asked.

The outer parts of the two SKFs have exactly the same weight, the original being  lighter, (both equal):

The SKF star, (both equal):

The original star, (both equal):

SKF basket #1

SKF basket #2

Original basket, (both equal).

 The balls of all the four cv joints are weighted equally. 

Not qualified to make comment on this new Chinese SKF part:

Outer, comments:

#1 The beginning of their use characterized by vibrations, especially when climbing. It seems that they have very tight tolerances, (not bad at all).

#2 6.000 km after, they are working smoothly with one exception: when the inclinations are stiff and curvy, there is a clicking noise. But this is rather a matter of the lifting kit, (of 5 cm), I used and not a matter of the cv's. The strange think is that they are certified to be used to a t4 under a 22°-24° axle inclination, a limit which my system does not overcome, (still not absolutely sure about that). 

Inner, comments:

3.000 km after, they are working  nicely. 

But, as a matter of my lift kit (?), the right cv join boot is finished. A FEBI one took it's position, having proved  stamina.

SKF cv joint boot.


The left inner cv joint boot is finished, too, with no more than 4000 km..

An original 1J0 407283 M PLPYO, plastic, used, from my previous maintenance for the original cv joints, having 25.000 km., will be the successor. 25.000 km. but looks perfect.

So, up to now, the two destroyed SKF cv joint boots are those from the inner front cv joints, which are a Chinese edition. 


Here you can see the broken Chinese SKF, left front inner broken cv boot, (~ 4.000 km., on the car still):

And here is the original, 25.000 km. after, READY:


Mr. Chatzigrigoriou from the SKF HELLAS, told me that the seller has to communicate with them in order to settle the matter with the early premature of the cv boots. I told him that I have no claims against SKF for the boots and I, just, inform them for the problem which is published into my blog.

He told me that he have to inform his superiors. (He was polite).

I answered that I will publish our discussion. 

Here are a couple of   pictures of the left destroyed boot, (~ 4.000 km):

19 July 2020

The right front outer cv boot is off at 9000 km.. This is from the Italian SKF. More asap.

22 July 2020

Here is the broken cv boot:

  A  Febi boot is back, after a run of 25000km., at exactly the same point. It looks as a brand new: