Tech Features

Here's what it looks like when a professional CV boot clamp is installed on an off-road vehicle. The clamp is a metal band that is stretched in place over the end of the boot and locked down with tabs.

Installing CV Boot Clamps

Instructions on how to properly install them using professional clamps and a specialty tool
By Mike Lyon | April 5, 2014

Photos by Mike Lyon


A properly secured CV boot is a critical step when assembling your vehicle’s CV joints and axles. CV boots are intended to keep sand and debris out of the CV assembly while keeping the grease in. We have used both safety wire and narrow hose clamps to secure the boot with great success. In some cases, safety wire may not be secure enough, and there may not be enough clearance between the CV and the trailing arm to use a hose clamp. The VW style CV boot bands, or clamps, offer a very secure and strong clamping solution.
To properly install CV boot bands, or clamps, you will need this EMPI tool. It's use will create a strong and secure clamp.
The EMPI brand tool that is required can be purchased from most VW parts stores. It costs about $30 and the bands are only a few dollars each. The following information is a step-by-step process on how the procedure is done.
There are seven steps to creating a better, more secure CV boot clamp. It's really not as difficult as it looks, and this method sure does beat using safety wire or inexpensive hose clamps which oftentimes do not provide enough clamping strength to keep the grease inside the boot, and the sand and debris out. The following captions explain in more detail how it works. First, after making sure the flanges and boot are grease-free, install the metal band around the area to be clamped.
STEP 1: Ensure the CV flange and boot are as grease-free as possible. Depending on which style CV boot you are using, slide the boot over the flange or the CV housing.

STEP 2: Install the metal band around the area to be clamped, similar to the way you would install a common zip-tie.

STEP 3: Insert the free end of the metal clamp through the slot in the nose of the EMPI tool, as well as through the slot in the cutoff lever. Pull the free end until the clamp is snug around the CV boot and the nose of the tool is closed, or touching the metal clamp clasp.
Insert the free end of the clamp through the slot in the nose of the EMPI too, as well as through the slot in the cutoff lever.
STEP 4: Hold the tool handle with one hand and, with the other hand, ratchet the attached ratchet wrench until the clamp is tight around the boot.

STEP 5: Push the lever down to secure the ratchet from unwinding and rotate the entire EMPI tool upward to fold the free end of the metal clamp into the clasp.

STEP 6: Pull the cutoff lever to trim the excess metal clamp and remove the tool.

STEP 7: Tap the trimmed end of the metal clamp so it lays flat into the clasp. We found a screwdriver and hammer work well.

STEP 8: Fold the clasp “fingers” over onto the trimmed end.
Hold the tool in one hand and turn the ratchet end with your other hand until the clamp is tight around the boot.
Push the lever down to secure the ratchet, keeping it from rotating.
Pull the cutoff lever to trim the excess metal clamp material, and remove the tool.
Tap the end of the clamp down so it lays flat in the clasp.
Fold the clasp "fingers" over the trimmed end to secure it in place.

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