How To Repair, Replace, And Protect Your Honda UTV’s CV Joints and Boots
Mar 14th 2021
Instead of changing damaged CV joints, CV shafts, and CV boots on the Honda Pioneer or Honda Talon, many riders choose to simply get a complete CV axle assembly. But if you want to change a single component on your Honda Talon or Honda Pioneer CV joint / axle, it can be done. And instead of installing new CV boots when the originals get punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, a better option is to use things like CV protectors. Whatever the case may be and regardless of whether you own a Honda Pioneer 500 or a Honda Talon 1000r, keep reading to learn more about repairing, replacing, and protecting your Honda UTV’s CV joints and CV boots!
Changing Your Honda Pioneer CV Boots
If you’re looking to save a few bucks and want to replace a CV boot on your Honda Pioneer instead of getting an entirely new stock-style or aftermarket axle, you might have gotten stuck when removing the knuckle from the upper and lower a-arms. You don’t have to remove the lower a-arm from the frame to get the angle right for the bolt to pass through, nor must you remove the ball joint with a specialized ball joint breaking tool (also known as a fork).
While you can apply a little heat to the knuckle and use a ball joint fork to make it pop right out, the best way to change the CV boots on a Honda Pioneer is to simply unbolt the a-arm nut from the splined axle and pull the shaft out of the knuckle. In this way, you don’t have to knock off the ball joints with a hammer, nor do must you cut them with a pickle fork. You can also unbolt the shock and rotate the knuckle upward, or add a little downward pressure on the a-arm to make more room for the shaft to slide out. Furthermore, some Honda Pioneer models have snap rings on the ball joints, which must be removed before you can do anything.
Replacing CV Boots & CV Joints Vs. Replacing The Entire Axle
Deciding whether to get a new CV joint / CV boot or to just replace the entire CV axle with an aftermarket version by Caiman, East Lake, or 4XPro will depend on several things. If you’ve got the money, replacing the axle is a simpler and quicker job to undertake. But if you don’t mind getting down and dirty, you can replace just the CV joint or CV boot. Alternatively, Honda Talon and Honda Pioneer CV joint rebuild kits are also available for those who want to go that route.
As far as Honda Pioneer and Honda Talon CV boots are concerned, most replacements you’ll find out there are universal and one-size-fits-all. Aftermarket inner and outer CV boots for Honda UTVs normally come oversized so that they can fit any axle. Once you clamp the boot in place, you can then cut the excess material off. Although almost every Honda Pioneer CV boot replacement will stretch, there are some that are a few millimeters bigger or smaller. Some Honda Pioneer 1000 CV boots, for example, come with boot clamps that are 78mm, while others use 82mm boot clamps. Get one that is too small for your axle and you’ll fight for hours with no success trying to get it on. Moral of the story, don’t be shy and ask for help from a place like Everything Honda Offroad before buying parts for your side-by-side!
Aside from stock-style CV boots which are known to tear easily, many riders have found success with aftermarket Honda Pioneer / Honda Talon CV boots. Companies like All Balls Racing make amazing aftermarket CV boots for Honda UTVs, and you can get a whole Rhino CVS by SuperATV for cheap if you’d rather just replace your whole axle assembly.
With CV boot repair kits like the EZ Trail kit by All Balls Racing, you don’t need to remove the axle at all, nor do you need a press. Simply use the included cone to stretch the boot over and onto the shaft. Kits such as these also come with clamps, grease, and everything else you need for a successful CV boot repair job!
Protecting Your Honda Talon And Honda Pioneer CV Joints / CV Boots
Why replace the CV boots on your Honda Pioneer or get new Honda Talon CV joints when you can prevent damaged altogether from the start? While traditional a-arm guards do help a bit to protect the CV joints, they aren’t designed to safeguard the CV boots. Plus, if you've installed high-clearance a-arms, some aftermarket a-arm guard options for the Honda Talon and Pioneer aren’t compatible with specific a-arm styles. So if you want to prevent sticks and such from coming through and putting holes in your CV boots, CV boot guards, Seal Savers, and Stick Stoppers are a must! And on top of blocking sharp branches and rocky projectiles, CV boot guards for the Honda Pioneer and Talon also stop built-up debris from getting stuck around the CV boots and gradually wearing holes in them.
Although the CV shafts on the Talon and Pioneer rarely break, they do bend. And as such, many Honda UTV owners choose to bring spare axles and CV shafts along during rides -- just in case. The only caveat with this is that the splines are apt to get dirty. So if you pack a spare CV shaft or axle on long multi-day rides, you can spray the ends with Cosmoline and apply shrink wrap to the splines to keep them and the CV seals clean.
Whatever you choose to do with your vehicle’s CV joints, CV boots, and CV shafts, know that thoroughly cleaning everything when making repairs is crucial. Greasing up your CV joints is also important, and by ensuring that your CVs are always lubricated with the right grease, you can extend their longevity. Whatever happens, know that you’re not in this alone. With a community of riders, mechanics, and experts behind us, we here at Everything Honda Offroad can help you through any issue you may have regarding the constant velocity joints, shafts, and boots on your Talon or Pioneer!