I 'thought' I needed to change the inner driveshaft boot on my very recently aquired cinq' 899, as the gearchange had been a bit clunky and there seemed to be some gearbox oil leaking from it.
As it turned out it was probably not necessary, but I got peace of mind!
I was still waiting for a cheap haynes manual to turn up on ebay, so I did this with the help of my Dad and advice gleaned on this forum.

That doesn't mean we did it in the most efficient way possible, but I think I'd pretty much do it the same.

I had intended to take really detailed, step-by-step pictures, but as my Dad was helping it was kind of awkward to ask him to stop for a second whilst I got my camera (so you can work out who did the most of it, shameful as I'm 34!)

Tools we used

Probably not a comprehensive list but I will try.


New boot (obviously) and 2xclips. (interestingly they supplied one the wrong size!)

New Hub Nut.

I also asked for a new nylock nut as I had read I would need one for the ball joint to lower suspension strut, but as it turns out it wasn't a nylock anyway (on the car or the replacement that I got).

3x Litres of appropriate Gear Oil.

Now I am aware of other threads here that state that only 1.5litres are required, maybe I got muxed dip and they refer to the the larger engine, but either way buy three litres- you will need two and a bit.
I suspect it's the 2.4 quoted in haynes, but I don't know yet as I only bought 2 litres and to my surprise they both went in so I need to buy another litre and top it up; so trust me on the 889cc buy three.

Receptacle for old oil (washing up bucket or old roller paint tray)

12mm allen key

19mm & 17mm box spanners

32mm socket & breaker bar

and I used a 'punch' for removing the stakes on the hub nut, but I am told you can just use massive brut force to overcome them.

Jack, Axle stands.

two large hammers,

piece of sturdy, flexible plastic (more on that later)


Flat Circlip Plyers (curved will work too).


Cups of tea!

Things we didn't use but will make the job easier:

Ball Joint Pullers.

Three Legged Puller.

Getting Started.

Right then,

First task with the car still on the ground, in gear handbrake on was to remove the hub nut.

You'll see it's been 'staked' to prevent it coming off at speed (which would be bad).

I chose to use a hammer and sharp punch to bend the stakes back out on the hub nut to some degree; don't bother trying to remove them all the way, that would be difficult.

Then using a sturdy breaker bar to increase leverage and remove the hub nut.
Don't underestimate how tight this may be, use physics! a nice long bar; slip a piece of metal pipe or scaffolding over it if you need to and then stand on it- it will come off.

If you thought you could save a few quid by re-staking the old hub nut (shame on you!) then take a look at it now it's off and realise you should have got one whilst you were in FIAT! and yes I did get one beforehand.

Untighten each of your wheel nuts

Now chock the back wheel well (particularly if your handbrake is poor)
put into neutral and jack her up.

Remove the wheel.

Place on axle stands, - work safely.

There's anothe guide here that describes how to change (and therefore remove which is what we want now) the gearbox oil.

Refer to that, but basically you want your 12mm allen key and undo the nut at the back of the gearbox.

Now then, when I did this job I thought (being a pessimist) that my inner driveshaft boot was so wet with oil, that clearly it had leaked it all out of the gearbox and there wouldn't be much in there.

(Unlike most cars this boot acts as the gearbox oil seal)

So I placed my oil tray more or less underneath the hole as I removed the plug.

THEN, the pressure of 2 and whatever litres of stinking EP gear oil that in fact hadn't left the car; exiting a hole on the side of the gearbox pushed the gear oil out in a lovely geometric arc that terminated about 8 inches away from the farthest side of my 'oil catcher'.:bang:
Remember this sentence and learn from my experience, unless of course you are changing an obviously split boot and you definately HAVE lost most of your oil.

At this point it really was apparrent that the boot probably didn't need to be changed, but we decided to press on all the same!

You should now be at this stage


Unbolting suspension components.

I have read that this whole job is possible leaving the driveshaft attached to the car at the hub end.

I'm not sure if it's easier on the larger engine but all I can say is I'm glad we decided to remove the driveshaft from the car and that's what I'll describe now.

Firstly undo the two 19mm bolts securing the bottom of the shock absorber.


I was lucky in that my shock had only just been replaced so they were easy. WD40 or equivalent may be a good idea here.

then remove the nut securing the lower suspension arm to it's balljoint.
Shown here already removed


This is a 17mm nut and you'll need an open ended spanner and a bit of patience as it's awkward to get to.
What you don't want is the balljoint beginning to spin round (check to see if the threads are moving as you undo)

I was lucky removing but unlucky replacing. If I hadn't had the assistance of good ol' Dad I would have been at a loss as to what to do.
If it does start to turn, you need to place a jack underneath the lower suspension arm right by the ball joint, to compress it and hopefully stop it turning.
If it doesn't work the first time, keep trying at different angles and persevere!

With that nut removed (was yours a nylock??? mine wasn't) you need to separate the suspension arm from the balljoint without damaging the balljoint.

I expect this is where you can be all smug if you have ball joint pullers! - heres how you can tackle the job withou them.

First you need to 'shock' them to have a chance, like any stuck nut or screw. so hit each side of the part that the bolt goes through on the hub simultaneously with a hammer on both sides.

Not easy and take great care not to hit the rubber on the balljoint!

After a few clean strikes, try to hit the suspension arm downwards or pry it away from the hub (you moved the jack from the suspension arm earlier didn't you?)

It will come, be patient- if it's troublesome have a brew and think about that ball joint puller you didn't buy!

When you have separated the lower suspension arm from the hub carrier you need to remove the hub from the driveshaft, its on a spline and will need a few whacks with a hammer on the driveshaft to push it in whilst holding the hub and pulling out.

Now you need to remove the driveshaft from the gearbox, if you still have a clip secuing the inner boot at the inner end then support the driveshaft whilst you either remove the clip (easy for me as cable ties were used)
or cut the boot and remove the clip with the driveshaft on the bench.

Removing the tripod joint & fitting the new boot.

Ok so, Driveshaft in the vice, we need to remove the tripod joint from the end in order for our new boot to to on.

It's held in place by a circlip, remove that and remove the tripod joint - ours came off pretty easily but you may require the three legged pullers here.

NOTE which way it came off, and replace it the same way.
Not sure why, but that's what I was told- so I did it.

So here it is removed.


Now, you will see that unlike most cars- this boot is stationary on the car as there is a bearing on the driveshaft that the old boot goes over.

The hard part is refitting the new boot OVER this bearing, and is the reason why I am glad we removed the driveshaft.

Now it may be possible to remove and refit the bearing, we didn't really try as we thought it probably would require removing the outer CV joint from the other side of the driveshaft and be a pain in the bottom.

Either way, it's not necessary.

What we did was to fabricate a tapered tube from some plastic (actually we cut a rectangle out of the top of an old plastic dulux paint pot and bent it into shape)

One end needs to be big enough to go over the bearing, t'other end to go inside the new boot, then (simply) slide the boot along the tapered tube you've made and it will easily go into place.


You need to attach the small clip to secure the boot to the bearing.
It took us a while to figure out how they are tightened, have a look at one near your air filter box to see, basically you squeeze the edges of the bit that sticks up together. (sorry no pics)

I would presume the best thing to do would be to put your new clip over the boot and slide it into place once you have refitted, but as fiat gave us the wrong size clip we had to make do with a very large and wide cable tie (grr).

Re-Assembly really is the reverse of disassembly, don't forget to put your car back on the level before refilling your gearbox.

Hope this helps someone unfamiliar with these tasks, for the rest of you sorry to be so long-winded!