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Front end clunking noise


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11 replies to this topic

#1 exister99

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:52 AM

Hello again fellow Soobers,

I just drove the '84 wagon to Texas and she did fine the whole way. I have been here a week and this morning on the way to work my current problem started.

Basically when I am in gear and driving there is a loud cyclic clunking noise coming from the right front end. If I push in the clutch, put the car in neutral and coast there is no noise at all.

Any ideas? I figure it can't be the wheel bearing since they would make noise any time you are rolling on them. It must be a driven component of the drive train. The half shafts are only about a years old, though the one on the right side above the cat has been spitting a little grease. Could it possibly be the transmission innards? Also there is no change in the noise if I put the car in 4WD.

Thanks for any help.

#2 mdjdc

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 11:13 AM

It's the axle. Probably the inner CV. I have the same noise and I have replaced the axles twice to get rid of the noise. Now The boot ripped grease lost and the noise is back. Like yours it is only ther under a load. REst assured it is not the tranny

Good luck.




Hello again fellow Soobers,

I just drove the '84 wagon to Texas and she did fine the whole way. I have been here a week and this morning on the way to work my current problem started.

Basically when I am in gear and driving there is a loud cyclic clunking noise coming from the right front end. If I push in the clutch, put the car in neutral and coast there is no noise at all.

Any ideas? I figure it can't be the wheel bearing since they would make noise any time you are rolling on them. It must be a driven component of the drive train. The half shafts are only about a years old, though the one on the right side above the cat has been spitting a little grease. Could it possibly be the transmission innards? Also there is no change in the noise if I put the car in 4WD.

Thanks for any help.



#3 MilesFox

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 01:13 PM

sounds like the inner end of the axle, the DOJ. generally the noise comes and goes depending on the torque load, (gas vs. coasting)

the good thing about this is the inner side is rebuildable, if you had a parts axle around you can change the race or the balls if you had to.

if you take it apart and clean it up good, you could put a new boot and grease and get more life out of that axle. a likely candidate for a parts axle would be one that is broken on the cv end, but good on the doj end.
do you feel any wobbling or jerking of the steering wheel? as the inner side will do that as it starts to get too bad

as far as the cat goes, it generates a lot of heat that wears out the boot. the cat has a metal casing around it. but you can take a piece of sheetmatal, say leftover construction aluminum, and make a shield and atatch it with self tapping scres. this will go a long way for the inner boot on that side.

#4 RavenTBK

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 01:23 PM

Posted Image Yep. Been there. Done that. Its an easy one beer swap if you have another axle to pop in. :drunk:

#5 exister99

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 03:24 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.

I got these half-shafts about a year ago from the CVO website, which comes highly recommended by many on usmb.net. Do you all have any ideas about what could be causing them to fail so quickly. I don't think the inner DOJ joint's boot is actually open yet. Could the cat heat have just cooked the grease inside the DOJ? I would rather implement a solution that will allow my axles to last more than a few thousand miles.

#6 Ross

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 03:50 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.

I got these half-shafts about a year ago from the CVO website, which comes highly recommended by many on usmb.net. Do you all have any ideas about what could be causing them to fail so quickly. I don't think the inner DOJ joint's boot is actually open yet. Could the cat heat have just cooked the grease inside the DOJ? I would rather implement a solution that will allow my axles to last more than a few thousand miles.


Could be excessive joint angle (Are your front struts in the fully lifted position?), or possibly insufficient lubrication. I always clean out all grease that comes in new joints or bearings and re pack them myself. Often stores will use the cheapest grease available, and the absolute minimum amount.
More likely is that most of the grease has leaked out of hte boot over time. If the boot is not ripped, then the straps thet hold it on the axle are too loose.

#7 exister99

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 04:02 PM

Could be excessive joint angle (Are your front struts in the fully lifted position?), or possibly insufficient lubrication. I always clean out all grease that comes in new joints or bearings and re pack them myself. Often stores will use the cheapest grease available, and the absolute minimum amount.
More likely is that most of the grease has leaked out of hte boot over time. If the boot is not ripped, then the straps thet hold it on the axle are too loose.


I recently changed the front struts. They are not of the adjustable variety, just straight shocks inside of big springs. Everything looks lined up good, and I had the front end aligned at a shop.

I think I will be beefing up the heat shield on the cat and contacting OCV about giving me a new half-shaft since this one they sold me failed so quick. Anyone done that?

#8 BobBrumby

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 04:19 PM

i have got the same problem but mine hppened after i put a new boot on the doj. You could sortof hear this sound brfore but was allot quieter. Did i just not pack enough grease into the joint or has some damage been done to the joint?

#9 exister99

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 04:44 PM

i have got the same problem but mine hppened after i put a new boot on the doj. You could sortof hear this sound brfore but was allot quieter. Did i just not pack enough grease into the joint or has some damage been done to the joint?


Mine actually started as a quiet vibration several days ago. I would say there are worse noises to come from your joint.

I guess I'll throw in one of my salvaged spares until I get this bad joint sorted out.

#10 BobBrumby

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 04:54 PM

yeh i cant understand cause last time i rebuilt this doj it work great just a reallly faint version of the same noise i got now. Should the bearings fall out of the race pretty easily, cause mine do? I remember when I was puttin it back together the first time they kept on dropping out. But this time only I only dropped one and I was doing it without any help, hows your hand/leg coordination?. Yeh I did rebuild this one like before, on the car, so I didnot have to take the pins out of the cups on the axle stubs and then buy new pins. Whack somemore grease in, or try a new joint?

#11 Alaskan_Sub

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 12:43 AM

surely its the axle. changing it your self isnt hard. the best trickis dont take the brakes apart. pull the brakes off together and hang them up with a coat hanger so you dont mess up the brake lines. unlike chevy and fords thes a pin that holds the axles on that has to be driven out with a punch. thats probably the hardest thing.

#12 exister99

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Posted 01 March 2005 - 04:09 PM

For the record.

Both of the DOJs suffered clamp failure and lost all of their grease. The guys at CV of Ocala were really gracious though and sent me a fresh pair of axles free of charge! I highly recommend them as a supplier.




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