Steering Shaft Knuckle boot | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Steering Shaft Knuckle boot


Active Member
March 30, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT, 4x4
I have recently done the 2" body lift on my 2000 explorer. I didnt install the steering shaft extension because i had read that you didnt really need it.
I got back from 4wding this week and noticed that this rubber boot that goes around what looks to be the steering shaft knuckle has a large crack in it.
Ive searched all the forums and cant seem to find anything about it?
Is it easy to fix? Or should i take it to the mechanic.. i did the whole body lift on my own, in 1 day with no help and i think i can do it. Any help is greatly appreicated!

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One guy just filled the gap with grease:

I'm just starting the research for a new boot for my '95 Sport with worn/torn boots on either end. The photo I found of a 2000 intermediate shaft shows a long boot covering the whole pivot assembly, not just the socket ends like my 1995!

steering shaft boot replacement

Over the past years there have been a couple of threads regarding a replacement boot for the steering shaft U joint. As I recall, there were no sources ever found and posted. My boot is in bad shape and I would like to repair or replace it now.

I have removed several things in the way to modify my alternater charge cable wiring harness.

Rather than unbolt anything, I would prefer to just cut the old boot off and install a two piece repair kit similar to the kits used on constant velocity joints. The one shown below is by Raybestos (PN 8161037) and fits a lot of models including a 2000 Toyota Corolla.

The equivalent one by Dorman (PN 614632) has a large end ID expandable from 3.19" (81mm) to 3.76" (97mm); small end ID expandable from .8" (21mm) to 1.2" (31mm). My shaft measures .732 inches but the large end is only about 1.5 inch. However, if I can't find a boot repair kit with a better fit I could attach the big end to the outer lower section of the stock boot.

Has anyone tried something similar?

Mine has had a torn boot for a few years, looks just like the pic above, and other than an occasional rock getting in there, it hasn’t caused any issues.

boot kit

I was unable to find a Ford replacement part online. However, I found a General Motors boot kit that has possibilities:

There are two halves fastened at each end and the middle with clamps. It's used on 2007-2012 Escalade, Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra, and Yukon. Does anyone own one of the above to measure for comparison? I'm tempted to purchase one ($35+S&H) just in case it might fit.

different joint design

The GM universal joint has a center section with no movement allowing the center band to fasten to it. The photo below posted by albi1cnobi1 shows the design of a replacement joint for the Explorer.

In order to use the GM boot I would have to find a narrow width metal cylinder of the correct diameter to install for the boot center band to tighten against. Also, the end diameter of the lower section of the GM boot is a smaller diameter than that of the Ford boot. I could only use the upper half of the GM boot.

Ford part

I asked Tasca parts about the steering knuckle boot. The only way to get one from Ford is to purchase the entire lower coupling (PN 8L5Z*3B676*B) for $220. I'll check my knuckle for play and if it's still good I'll continue to try to find an alternative.