I teach High School Automotives and while replacing a clutch (and most everything else we came across!) in a faculty member's car, we found the tie rod end boots were completely torn off. I didn't want to send the car down the road without any protection, and the faculty member (being a teacher) had no extra funds for any more replacement parts...
...so I came up with a cheap to keep idea!
This should work with any ball joint, or tie rod end type of joint.
Step 1: Tools and supplies
- A piece of heater hose (we used 3/4")
- A means to cut the heater hose
- - Band saw (use power tools whenever possible!)
- - Utility knife (Razor type knife)
- - Diagonal cutters (Dykes)
Step 2: Identify and prep
Find all instances of deteriorated boots and remove any left over rubber from around the joint. This joint had no boot at all left!
Step 3: Measure twice, cut once!
Then measure the length of hose you will need. It should have a small amount of compression when the joint is reinstalled. Shoot for about 1/16" of crush after it's installed.
(Make the length of the hose 1/16" longer than the space into which it will fit)
Step 4: Cut new boot to length
Step 5: Quality assurance
What a superb job you have done!
Step 6: Install your new boot!
Don't forget to properly torque the fastener and install a new cotter pin!