Extensive wear and damage to driveline systems are often the result of torn or leaky boots, GKN has reported.
A GKN spokesperson said: “Modern sideshaft joints are complex, high-tech components.
“Intelligent designs and state-of-the-art alloys ensure that high levels of torque can be transmitted with very low friction losses over many years and kilometres.
“They are protected by what may appear on first sight to be a simple rubber boot.
“However, these protective shells are subjected to a vast array of stresses and strains.”
Rubber boots rotate at high speeds beneath the vehicle floor and must be utterly and permanently impervious to all weather conditions.
Added to that are the mechanical and chemical loads exerted by stone impact and road grit.
The movements of the vehicle suspension and the steered wheels bring further dynamic loads into the mix.
Plus, the high power output of many modern vehicles means driveline components are subjected to higher temperatures.
The spokesperson added: “A variety of materials and designs have already been developed that improve the reliability of sealing boots, with fit and material quality specifically adapted to the individual joint.
“This is particularly true for plunging joints, which, in addition to axial movement of up to 60 mm, enable an articulation angle of as much as 31 degrees – and with complete reliability at temperatures ranging from -40 to 100 degrees Celsius.
“If a damaged boot is identified, the joint must be closely inspected to ensure it is functioning flawlessly.
“Only once this has been established is it sufficient to replace the boot.
“One important factor is to ensure that the workshop also examines the material used.
“If the original part is made from thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), the replacement part must also be a TPE boot. Almost all modern driveline systems use TPE as it is by far the best material for the job.
“For all other applications, universal boots can provide a fast solution in the event the specific GKN OEM-quality boot is unavailable. GKN offers ten of these FlexBoots, which are exactly the right fit for more than 1,800 different vehicles.”
Be it a FlexBoot or dedicated TPE boot, GKN consistently delivers complete repair solutions including the necessary grease and tightening straps to OEM quality.
Instructions for the correct installation of driveshaft boots can be downloaded here.