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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have undertaken a re-gear project. I have a 2005 S 4x4 (with 3.13 gearing) and I am upgrading it to 3.69 gearing. I have swapped the rear axle and that was easy-peasy. I'm about to start the front diff. In addition to acquiring a 3.69 geared R180 diff, I have also sourced all the parts to R&R much of the front suspension and steering since the X has 233K miles on it, I figured it was time. (per this thread: https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/271886-how-restore-new-truck-ride.html).

My question is regarding the Front Axle Shafts. The rubber boots are still intact, but they are 14 years old. At a minimum, I'd like to replace the boots so I don't have one split on me right after I do all this work to pull everything apart and put it back together again. Do you think I should just replace the boots and re-grease everything or should I just replace the whole axle on both sides. Depending on your opinion, could you also provide input (website links) on where a good place would be to source the parts from?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Since nobody else has replied yet (and you linked my thread) I'll give it a shot.

I put those linked Cardone axles and National seals in a pathfinder R180 about 5 or 6 months ago. Now it's been about 8k miles and they haven't been a problem, seals haven't leaked. I don't have any longer term view on quality than that though.

For my own truck I'd have liked to get OEM axles, but at $375 vs $60 it's more of a decision made for me by the budget. They may not last 10 years like the originals (there's 2-3mm off axis play in the telescoping joints now) but they should get me safely to the point when the budget recovers. And they are sitting in the barn right now waiting to go on, except the X is in the body shop right now getting the T-bone mod undone by people way better at painting than me.

The OEM boot kits on nissanpartsdeal.com are ~$50/ea so a full set is $200. The rock auto $60 axles come with boots. My opinion is pretty much always get the best parts you can and avoid doing the job twice, but your budget is yours to deal with.

I do plan to save my oem axles and see about replacing/rebuilding the CV joints. Not sure how much that will cost though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. I think we share a similar philosophy. Basically, I like the quality of OEM, but don't like the price. After-market shafts can be found all over the place, but quality is not a given and I am hesitant to replace good with junk. Since I think the only thing that needs updating is the boots, I was thinking just do the work to replace the boots. The question then became, where to get the boots. I didn't know there was an OEM boot kit. That's good info. @29erClan, do you have the part numbers for the OEM boot kits? Also, I was wondering if there were any possible after-market upgrades on the boots, like even better material than OEM. (although OEM is still holding up after 14 years, so maybe OEM is a great choice)
 

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When I look up my 09 the inner kit is # 39741-EA025 and the outer kit is # 39241-EA025. Looks like they come with new clips and clamps.

The part numbers are often the same between years but I don't really know. It ought to be fairly easy to plug in your year and model on there to check.
 

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I’m also considering OEM or better boots if the cv joints are still fine, at 130k now. By the way once the boots are off, does it make it easier to inspect for play and condition visually? What’s the best way to check anyway, turning the axle slowly? If the joints are still tight, no contamination from the elements, I’d say to keep them going.

Best aftermarket boots?
 
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