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How To Diagnose A Bad Cv Joint


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Russ90Daytona

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Posted January 24, 2009 at 05:54 pm

As some of you already know, I'm trying to diagnose a grinding sound I believe in the right front wheel area on 89 Sundance.

I have replaced both front wheel bearings, no improvement.

No brake problems, and noise occurs whether I am on brakes or not, and whether or not trans is in gear. I ONLY hear the noise when turning the wheel to the right. Even a slight turn to the right brings on the noise. Every now and then I hear the noise going straight ahead, but when this occurs, frequency of the noise depends on speed. Noise stops when motion stops.

Just two months ago, I replaced both cv axles with new (not reman) ones from Advance Auto. Boots are perfect.

I put car up on stands and ran it in gear, and I did not hear the noise from under the car or from the driver's seat.

Standing outside the car with someone driving it beside me, I cannot hear the noise.

I have read all the search results in the world on how to diagnose bad cv axles, but all they talk about is clicking and popping noises, and I hear none of those.

Any help is appreciated! Allparians, I need you!

#2 ImperialCrown

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Posted January 24, 2009 at 08:16 pm

The outer joint will likely 'click-click-click' or 'clatter' on turns (when the joint is being articulated) especially under low-speed load(acceleration) when it fails. Usually contaminated grease from a loose or split boot. The inner joint will likely create a 'shudder' that is load (acceleration) and speed dependent. A bent axle may also cause a 'shudder'. I have never heard an axle joint growl and the joint load doesn't really change on turns. However I've had motor mounts bottom out on turns (left or right) to transmit engine noise into the body, this can sound like a wheel bearing growling/grinding on turns. The fix is to loosen the mounts and slide the eng/trans over a bit in the 'inboard' direction of whichever turning direction it happens in. If your boot clamps are tight and secure the grease and the joint inside should be OK. If you suspect a joint problem and have a spare axle boot clamp, you could snip the old one and pull back the boot to look for 'muddy' grease or joint wear without removing the axle from the car.

Edited by ImperialCrown, January 24, 2009 at 08:22 pm.


#3 rampage

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Posted January 24, 2009 at 08:57 pm

Check the inside of the wheel rims for shiny spots, rub marks. Sloppy lower balljoints might be your problem.

#4 Russ90Daytona

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Posted January 24, 2009 at 09:08 pm

I have checked the inside of wheels, no rub marks, etc, and ball joints are good and tight and lubed.

All boots and clamps are perfect, and the entire axle, both sides is only 2 mos old. I'll check out the passenger side engine mount deal, but I don't think that's going to be it either.

#5 bguy

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Posted January 24, 2009 at 09:25 pm

Is your caliper moving? My initial thought as I read your post, however, makes me think it could be diff trouble? OTOH you may have a defective wheel bearing. Are you sure the noise is front?

#6 Russ90Daytona

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Posted January 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm

yep, it is a noise in the front, for sure. The noise is exactly the same with the new bearings as it was with the prevous, good bearings that I changed for no apparent reason.

#7 bguy

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Posted January 25, 2009 at 07:43 am

What size tires does the car call for, and what size are you actually using? I have used 75 series snow tires on my van that calls for 70 series. Sometimes the tire would touch the plastic fender liner at the back of the wheelwell. Mostly in reverse, but it would also happen in drive.

#8 Russ90Daytona

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Posted January 25, 2009 at 05:39 pm

tried the 185/75/r14's off my Spirit on the front and no change. I still have the same noise.

I really can't think of anything else this could be besides the axle.

#9 Bob Hohn

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Posted January 25, 2009 at 07:08 pm

I will add my .02 and say you should really measure the driveshafts and make sure the engine assembly is in fact centered. Also, carefully inspect the pass side mount to make sure it hasn't collapsed. Such a strong chance of the the trans mount and the pass side mount being bad because they probably have never been replaced. I had a problem with a 92 Spirit making a similar noise.

#10 Russ90Daytona

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Posted January 25, 2009 at 10:16 pm

thanks for the ideas, and I will check for centering. I agree, there is no way the mounts have ever been changed, because nothing had ever been changed on this car until I got it last summer. I am scared to change the mounts, though, because of the expense of dealer mounts, and the poor quality of aftermarket ones.

#11 Doug in Florida

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Posted January 27, 2009 at 07:35 am

thanks for the ideas, and I will check for centering. I agree, there is no way the mounts have ever been changed, because nothing had ever been changed on this car until I got it last summer. I am scared to change the mounts, though, because of the expense of dealer mounts, and the poor quality of aftermarket ones.


I just had a similar problem on my 04 PT Cruiser (131,000 miles). This past weekend, I changed the passenger side half shaft, and also both lower control arms. The car is like new now. The inner joint on the half shaft did have some play (which I could see by turning the shaft clockwise and counterclockwise and trying to move it forwards and back), but I did not have any vibration during acceleration or deceleration. However, the control arm bushings were shot. On the passenger side, the bushings were so bad, there was metal to metal contact between the control arm and the car's frame. I'm sure that transmitted quite a bit of sound into the car.

In any case, I'm not sure exactly what the source of the sound was, and it could have been a combination. I would pursue changing the half shaft, but be sure to take a look at the control arm bushings. Granted, the PT is known for a bad lower control arm design, but I'm not sure what the Sundance has there.

Hope this helps.

Doug

Edited by Doug in Florida, January 27, 2009 at 07:36 am.


#12 Russ90Daytona

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Posted January 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

yep, I'll check that as well. I'll get into it again this weekend.


Doug, my wife is from Clermont, and her parents and sister live there now...nice area...

#13 Doug in Florida

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Posted January 30, 2009 at 07:14 am

yep, I'll check that as well. I'll get into it again this weekend.


Doug, my wife is from Clermont, and her parents and sister live there now...nice area...


Small World! I really like Clermont. Just wish they had the food that I used to get growing up in the Southern NJ/Philadelphia area! :lol:

Your wife would probably know where I'm talking about, but we live in the sticks off of Rt 33 south of Groveland. Not in Clermont itself, but it is our mailing address.

Good luck with your car.

#14 Russ90Daytona

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Posted February 6, 2009 at 11:07 pm

UPDATE....

I changed the passenger side cv axle tonight, and no change or improvement at all. Noise is the same. I'll try to look into the engine mount idea tomorrow...

This thing is really starting to bug me....

#15 rampage

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Posted February 7, 2009 at 01:45 pm

One more thing you could check is the left side CV shaft for sloppiness at the differential. I had to replace the differential bearings on my sons 87 Daytona. That was fun.


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