Mercedes-Benz Ponton
Split Rear Axle Boot Installation

by Ron van Seventer /

View the Split Rear Axle Boot Overview page

  1. The best position for the axle is about level. If you have a friendly shop or gas station that will let you use a rack (with ramps!) then great. If not, back the car onto portable ramps and crawl! (Or, if you don't feel comfortable doing this, jack up one side at a time, placing the floor jack under the trailing arms, and sliding the ramps under the tires.) I suggest not using the floor jack or jack stands at all in the job of changing the boot.
  2. Drain most of the gear oil.
  3. Remove the old boot.
  4. Prepare the new boot: rough up the mating surfaces of the splice so that the glue will adhere. I use a file.
  5. Position the boot so that the bulky part of the bellows is on top. (I think this puts the split facing the rear, right?) Try to keep the mating surfaces free of dirt and oil.
  6. Glue the mating surfaces, just at each end near where the clamps are. I use Permatex brand blue RTV in the big tube.
  7. Install the clamps. I think I've positioned the tightening clamps on top, away from the splice so that the mating surfaces will not crawl and bind while tightening.
  8. Glue the rest of the mating surfaces, and install the staples. They go at each of the outermost ridges ("peaks" as you say) of the bellows. I don't think we stapled the "valleys." It might be because it may be too hard. Also, it might not be considered a good idea because the inside "valley" staples might cause abrasions in the boot. Who knows?

Created July 25, 1997

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