12/22/17 5:21 p.m.

After struggling for over an hour trying to stretch a generic (too small) rubber boot onto a steering rack with little space to work, I came up with this trick.

Find a bottle or other cylinder a little larger in diameter than the rack end, preferably with a taper (I used a plastic coke bottle).

Slide the boot onto the bottle (this is where the taper comes in handy) and put it in a freezer for an hour or so.

Take the boot out of the freezer, keeping it on the bottle, and get it to your car quickly (it needs to stay cold).

Acting even more quickly, remove the boot from the bottle and install it before it has a chance to shrink back to its normal size - the cold temperature will slow down dramatically how fast this happens.

This trick worked the first time I tried it and I was giddy at how easy it made this frustrating type of task.

Brian UltraDork
12/23/17 2:07 p.m.

one could always spend a little more and buy ones that actually fit too :-p

Knurled. MegaDork
12/25/17 11:14 a.m.

In reply to Brian :

Not all cars give you that option.  And a lot of replacement parts are poorly made.


Should have seen how fun it was to get a BMW 2002 cv boot on...

dean1484 MegaDork
12/26/17 9:24 p.m.

I did kind of the opposite kind of thing years ago. I took a funnel and cut it down. Then lubed it up and flipped the boot inside out and used it to slide the boot over the cv joint. Then inverted the boot that is now on the shaft and pulled the big end back over the cv joint. The truck was to get the boot warm so it was very ply able. I was amazed how much the boot will stretch.  

Pete_H New Reader
12/28/17 12:17 p.m.

In the eyes of just about any non-dealer source for these things, the ones they sell do fit. You don't realize until they arrive that as long as they can be stretched to get on there, that meets their criterion (good luck finding dimensions to check against). In truth these parts will work fine once you get them installed, so I think they serve a useful purpose in this community.


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