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Old 06-30-2012, 12:07 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Replacing XJ Shock Boots

In the course of rebuilding my XJ project, I had one item that was giving me a bit of a fit, the rear shocks. Mechanically they were fine; no leaks, everything worked freely, etc. Needed help with cosmetics (repolishing) but no big deal. But the protective boots were in sad shape....



Both were torn beyond repair. Not even shown as a replaceable part, what to do? I asked/searched here, but no one had apparently dealt with this. Ok, we're off on another quest. The problem is the size needed at the shock body, 2.5". Looking at the various 'fork boots/gaiters' that are available, I couldn't find anything that big on one end, and most were too long. I didn't want to spend $30 or more just to 'see' if a part will work. Then I ran into this eBay listing...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=110902697664

Still rather small, but the seller claims they'll stretch to fit. And for $20, worth a try.



Dimensionally, these are about 1.75" at the big end, 1.25" at the small end, 1.75'' internally, and about 10" long. Too long to use as-is, but let's give it a shot...



New boot next to the shock. They'll compress far enough to fit, but will be almost fully compressed so that's no good. I'll shorten 'em...



Well, they will stretch... I had to use a small screwdriver to 'work' the lip around/onto the shock, but once I got it started it went right into place.



I cut about half of the boot off...



... and checked internal clearance. Not clear in the pic, but about 1/16", should be enough for free movement.



I used a good tywrap to retain the bottom; get the type with the metal clip, don't bother with the all-plastic style. I positioned the tywrap at the knurled spot on the shock and cinched it up tight with pliers. Hide the end on the inward-facing side of the shock. A tip: instead of cutting the excess off, twist it off; put your pliers right against the clip end. It will break off flush and not leave any sharp edge to cut you later (an old electricians tip..).



Carefully trim the excess with scissors leaving a small lip...



... and you're done!



Not quite OEM, but definitely functional. I'm happy!!
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'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
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