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Replacement swing arm boot CX500 and CX650 Turbo

1079 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  jlbutler81
I replaced my CX500 Turbo drive boot with an Empi 86-1144-K for $10 w/ free shipping. The 650 turbo uses the same boot.

The 1144K is snug enough it won't require a clamp on the swing arm, so I prefer that one over the 1155, and cutting the opening on the engine side is easier, cut along the outside of the opening. The 1155 puts less tension on the outer oil seal lip of the rear case if that's a concern, but would maybe require a clamp on the swing arm.

Be aware the letters matter for dimensions...typically. I ordered an 86-1144-D and was sent an 86-1144-K and just now realized it. Dimensions seem to be the same on these.

Here's a bunch of stuff you probably don't need to read:

The 1144 came from the same vehicle as @Sidecar Bob used but is the inner front left axle boot instead of the outer right that he used on his CX650E. His swing arm has an oval opening and needs a bit bigger opening than the CX500 Turbo swingarm, which has a round opening. The 1144 has a nice snug fit on the CX500 Turbo swingarm, requiring no clamp but is easy to get on and off and the engine side is easily cut bigger to fit as all you have to do is cut right up against the outer part of the lip:

Rectangle Font Slope Parallel Diagram

You can see where I cut at the base:

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The turbo swing arm joint at the frame is right there after the opening lip and causes the boot to have a slight bump forward to it, but this boot seals very well to the swing arm regardless. If you did want the metal cv clamp on it, it still fits on there, as the swing arm lip is still far enough forward you can still clamp down. I guess if this bump forward bothered someone they could trim the last 1/8 off the boot.

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There is slight backwards tension against the final shaft seal lip on the engine side but not anything I feel concerned with. The 1144 boot can be pulled off that lip without the seal possibly pulling out, this is me rotating the case forward and the seal didn't come off but the boot eventually pops off the engine side.

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These things are nice and stretchy ^

I also tried the EMPI 86-1155D Front Outer boot, but it is loose enough around the swing arm to require a clamp, I can spin it around by hand. But I did like how it was a smidge longer than the 1144 boot once cut (the last bellow is angled outward on the 1155, flat on the 1144) and it pushes towards the engine side a smidge more than the 1144 boot, resulting in less rearward tension on the final seal lip.

The reason I tried the 1155 is because it belongs to a whole lot of Jeep models from the mids 80s Cherokees through a 2001 Grand Cherokee. The 1144 belongs to much fewer 80s Hondas so the 1155 may become easier to find in the future.

The 1155 boot dimensions:

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Drawing

If the 1155 boot is used, you cut at the bottom of the radius, a tiny bit more outward than this photo shows. It's harder to get a good circle on this one but not terrible, I suggest cutting into the rubber a bit all the way around, and then going through. Again, this is the 1155 boot:

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I will say that these boots cut like they are on the engine side are never going to be super water tight. I feel confident they'd survive most rain and gentle washes but they don't seal as tight on that end as the OEM one, and I'd be wary of pressure washing around it. @Sidecar Bob has had many problem free years (decades?) using a boot like these.
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Might work in a pinch, but I would not want this setup on my bike long-term. In any application, it is my understanding that a torn or ripped boot is considered a failed boot, Just my opinion.

Not cutting down the work you did. Thx for going to the trouble to check these out. Hopefully a sealed boot can be found to replace the OEM. For right now, decent OEM ones can still be found, but I understand that these wont be around and wont last forever.
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I can't say 100% sure for the turbo but on my CX650E/GL500 frankenbike the engine side of the boot is pushed against the back of the engine firmly enough that in 15 years and somewhere between 90,000 and 100,000 Km of mostly winter commuting in all weather (including a lot of rain, slush & snow and a lot of time on unpaved roads and roads that are salted & sanded) I've never seen any sign of moisture or dirt inside the boot.
the boot is pushed against the back of the engine firmly enough

That's what I was aiming for, but the boots I chose here ended up being shorter once the end was snipped off than I thought they'd be. Hard to find one that's just right. Like the stock boot, theses are against that metal lip and I think you'd have to be offroading it to get anything up past that.

Be nice if EMPI would list their boots by diameter somewhere like they do seals.
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