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Weird Vibration - Bad DOJ?
Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:25 PM
I have had a few problems with the passenger side axle, first finding a replacement that fit, then it lost a lot of grease due to a missing heat shield on the cat. So I figured it might be the DOJ going west due to a lack of grease. However, when I checked it, it was just as tight as the driver side, and just as hot, too.
The vibration went away, but I don't trust it. I have another long trip coming up, so I don't want to risk it.
Can bad DOJ's act this way, with the vibration coming and going? Any good way to tell it is bad without waiting for it to fail completely?
Vehicle is a 1993 5sp 4WD Loyale.
Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:08 PM
Jack up the car and turn the wheel, then turn the steering wheel and do it again. Listen and feel for any wierd noises, Shek the axle and see if there is any play.
Can also be tie rod ends.
Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:39 PM
Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:19 PM
I ended up diagnosing it through elimination...it was obviously coming from one corner, everything else seemed fine....had to be that. When we got back to the campground, I pulled the axle, pulled out a maul and broke the outer joint, slipped the spindle back through the bearings and drove home in RWD smooth as could be.
Now, there was no noticeable play in the axle, nor a torn boot in that case. BUT, that was on a car with about 5" of lift (4" kit, plus adjustable front struts for another inch), which put about 2" of strain on the front axles. I think similar failure would be very unlikely at stock ride height, but still possible.
Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:58 PM
yes, easily could be the DOJ. if it's low on grease then that's probably what it is.
This one has been abused. It is low on grease.
i had both inner axle boots (new MWE axles) break on a 4,000 mile road trip out west. they had sat a couple years and were dry rotted. they vibrated madly for thousands of miles, coming and going, and would shut up when i stuffed grease in the joint by hand at gas stops.
made it home - cleaned, regreased, and rebooted those same abused axles 2 years ago and they're now working perfectly in my 2" lifted XT6.
Posted 04 October 2011 - 11:32 PM
Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:36 AM
Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:24 AM
When it vibrates (currently, it is OK), it is only on the throttle that it happens: accelerating, or steady state at highway speed. It goes away with my foot off the gas.
There were no apparent problems with the axle when the car was jacked up and everything shaken and moved, as Nipper suggested. Tie rod ends seem OK.
I guess I will have to peel back the boot and fill it with grease, then replace the clamp. Messy job!
Any tips on installing a better heat shield? The cat is a used one, installed back in the spring when a rock ripped out the old one, along with mangling the tranny crossmember. The entire front half of the exhaust system was replaced, from the exhaust ports to the flange downstream of the cat, but it didn't come with the shield. Right now, I have some sheet metal jammed between the cat and the frame, but it doesn't seem to work very well. There is a good air gap between the cat and the metal, so I don't see why it doesn't work. Maybe I should use something shinier.
Posted 05 October 2011 - 05:53 PM
As to a solution. I had "macguyvered" a solution on my old brat. I had taken an old license plate and strapped it around the cat with a huge hose clamp. I had made a spacer so that I had a 1/2" pathway between the cat and the license plate. I also arranged it so that the front portion would act as a scoop to guide more air around the cat for cooling purposes so the heat from the cat wouldn't cause the DOJ boot to fail on that side. A little hard to do since there were some potential clearance issues for my "heat shield." I'd take a picture but I sold that brat a few years ago.
However, the other half of the solution was to adjust the fuel mixture properly. If the mixture is too rich, raw unburned fuel gets to the cat and will burn there running up the cat temperature significantly and causing premature boot failure.
Posted 07 October 2011 - 11:04 AM
I clipped the clamp, pulled back the boot, filled the joint with moly grease, and put on a new, no-tool type clamp. It still seems a bit loose to me, so I am keeping a gear-type hose clamp handy in case it starts to spew grease again. It seems like the boot won't fit into the groove in the joint, so it moves around on the joint and may not seal well.
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