JBugs Video Series

VW Beetle Swing Axle Boot Replacement:

Video Overview:

If you notice oil leaking from your swing axles or see cracks in your axle boots, it may be time to replace them. Follow along as we show you all the steps needed to replace your swing axle boots. Keep in mind that having your transmission out of the vehicle is not necessary to replace the boots although it makes it much easier.

Video Tips:

Tools you will need:

Flat Head Screwdriver
Pocket Knife
Socket Driver
8mm Socket (x2)
3/8" Drive Ratchet or Impact Driver

Chemicals Used:

Carburetor Cleaner
RTV Silicone

Video Transcript:

Hello, Sam here with JBugs.com. Now that our transmission is cleaned up a bit, we will prep it for install with new swing axle boots to replace the torn ones before installing the transmission back in our 1963 Resto Custom Beetle.


We start [by] removing the old swing axle boot by removing both clamps and cutting along the seam to avoid having to unbolt all the original hardware. The new boots come with hardware so we aren't concerned with saving the old clamps, bolts, washers or nuts.


With the boot removed, the axle tubes and flanges in the transmission are cleaned up and degreased with some carburetor cleaner and wiped down with a clean rag. We will be installing EMPI's deluxe swing axle boots. Since we have red shock absorbers and a few red urethane components going on in the chassis below, we are going to keep with the theme and install red boots.


A thin coat of RTV is spread across the seam flange before the boot is spread open and placed on the axle tube.


The bolts for the tube are installed and hand tightened at either end to keep the seam together. The remaining bolts are installed in the boot and all bolts but the ones nearest the transmission are tightened down. We align the boot facing up and point them backwards just a bit towards the rear of the car. The loose bolt at the transmission side is temporarily removed so a bit of RTV can be squeezed into the split at the boot and up into the seam. The bolt is threaded back into the boot and tightened down.


The large end clamp is placed around the boot and transmission flange and loosely secured. The boot is squeezed together at the transmission and another set of hands can be helpful so that the hose clamp can be tightened down while the boot is squeezed together. At the small end of the boot, the clamp is loosely attached, the boot is squeezed together and the hose clamp is tightened down temporarily. The installation is the same for the opposite side and with the boots installed the transmission can be installed back into the car.


The angle of the seams at the axle tube will be clocked once the axles are attached to the spring plates. That will be in our next video, until then set your browser to JBugs.com for all your vintage Volkswagen parts and accessories.