If I had a torn CV boot I don't think I'd keep driving it. The grease will just continue to spin out, and eventually the joint will heat up and fail. I have done a trail repair on a CV where we packed it with grease and wrapped a leather chamois cloth around it with some good zip ties. It got us about an hour's drive home, but after that it was time to replace it.
Most 2-inch suspension lifts do not require new halfshafts. Having the boots fail after 119,000 miles doesn't seem too incredible to me, as that rubber boot is constantly spinning and can build up heat and degrade over time. Some suspension systems, such as the Total Chaos long travel kit for 4Runners, offer longer A-arms and require using longer Tundra axleshafts. RCV Performance (www.rcvperformance.com) also offers a replacement axleshaft that it claims offers more CV angle and is stronger than stock.
I asked a good friend of mine about CV shafts and boots. Chaplain Steve Hanson attends many desert races and rockcrawling events representing Racers for Christ (www.teamrfc.org) in his '96 Toyota 4Runner. He logs many thousands of miles in the dirt off road and had this to say:
"When it comes to CV boots I would be happy if I got 12,000 miles on a boot. It seems like I am going through a boot every trip out lately, and it gets old and messy changing them out. Total Chaos says I have more trouble with boots than any of their customers. That could be something I'm doing or it could be the fact that I use my 4runner off road more than any of their daily driver customers.
"I have used both Bates and Empi Porsche 930 high-angle boots. Right now I'm
back to using genuine Toyota boots and have had no problems so far. However, I only have one real trip on them, but then again that trip was the SCORE Baja 1000. Kartec (www.kartek.com) has a kit that contains a 930 rubber boot that fits inside of a leather boot for perfection. I have thought of going this rout but they are costly.
"Here are three tricks I have learned/picked up from the pits/buggy guys: (1) Keep the boots clean, but keep cleaning products away from them, such as grease cleaner and car wash stuff. (2) I stopped using a hose clamp on the boot/shaft connection. This limits the boot's ability to slip up and down the shaft as the suspension travels, and under severe travel the boot rips. (3) The rubber boots seem to seal better than the Toyota ones, so to keep a good seal I use a zip tie instead of the hose clamp when I have to."
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