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front end clunking noise high speed shaking!?!


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18 replies to this topic

#1 jesterx

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 10:49 AM

A little background on myself:

I have always bought used cars cheap and used a good Chilton’s or Haynes to do my own repairs and my own maintenance. Keep in mind I am no grease monkey just a weekend warrior repair as I need it type guy.



I bought this car last Saturday from a nice guy for $450.00 he was really strait up but not much of a mechanic (he mentioned that he had never even preformed an oil change by himself). He explained the various issues with it most of which I have been able to fix with little or no problems. The last thing he mentioned is one or both of the CV joints needed to be replaced (I wonder how he came to that conclusion after he had told me that he was no mechanic, maybe a fried told him… who knows). Any ways I don’t really know what exactly CV joints are or what there purpose is but I think they have something to do with the front axle and how they connect to the wheel base?



The initial symptoms were that in 1st, 2nd, and a little in 3rd gear there is a moderate to severe clicking noise coming from the front end it seems to subside as I was slowing down or breaking as well.



At first it was not too much of a problem until I tried to do a freeway driving test. I got the car up to about 70 or so with out much effort but at that speeds it was shaking from the front end pretty heavily.



Ever since that experience the clicking shaking on the front end is louder and extends even into 4th gear as well.



Does this sound like CV joints? If so what parts will I need to buy to do a complete job of replacing them. If Not. Can someone give me their prognosis?



Thanks in advance.

#2 Syonyk

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 11:36 AM

Does it get worse in corners?

The CV (constant velocity) joints are on the front axles (and rear if you have 4WD). They allow the wheels to turn & flex up/down without breaking anything. They do tend to go bad, especially if the boots protecting them get ripped & allow dirt into the joint.

Replacing them is most easily done by replacing the front axle(s). IIRC I paid $80 for a reman axle. It took a few hours to do, and was not *easy*, but it's not difficult either. The biggest trick is pulling the new axle through the hub. You just have to use a lot of washer shims and keep at it. There are "axle puller" tools you can get that make life easy, but most of us don't have them.

-=Russ=-

#3 jesterx

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 12:07 PM

Does it get worse in corners?



-=Russ=-


This is really odd?



After just reading your post I took the car out for a lil test drive.. The shaking has gone away completely and I think I would define the clicking as more of a clunking. The sound seems to be coming from just in front of and below the center of the dash (transmission?) It does not increase when turning and in fact disappears completely when I depress the clutch.



For the record this is a 5speed FWD 1983 DL wagon 1800. (pic in sig)



The sound is most apparent in 1st and 2nd gear. I did not take it back on the freeway but what I am experiencing now is just as it was when I first bought it before my freeway test.



SO I guess what I’m wondering now is:



What could the clunking/clicking noise be that only occurs when I’m engaged in 1st 2nd and 3rd gear?



-and-



What would cause the car to vibrate/shake at high speeds 60-70+ and continue to vibrate and shake from the front end until I let it cool off over night?

#4 azsubaru

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 12:31 PM

(the sound) does not increase when turning and in fact disappears completely when I depress the clutch.


Sounds like a transmission problem, since it goes away when you disengage it.

#5 Ross

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 04:17 PM

Sounds to me like an inner CV joint (ie the one closest to the transmission).

#6 azsubaru

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 05:57 PM

Sounds to me like an inner CV joint (ie the one closest to the transmission).


Wouldn't disagree with that, either.

#7 Bobby_boucher

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 09:34 PM

I would deffinatly say its a cv first the clicking...i've had them go out and make zero noise one second and then sound like the fricking wheel is going to fly off the next, and 90% of the time clicking/clunking on the front of a suby is either cv joints or bearings..but bearings dont click. The Vibration is either tires are out of balance...or....CV when a cv starts to get worn they cause vibration.(mostly in the steering wheel) always at high speed vibration is one of the two my best guess would be a CV axle which seem to commonly go out in front wheel drive subies.. I'm not a mechanic.. just a secretary at a shop...

#8 jeffast

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 09:55 PM

large amounts of vibration atr high speed usually means that your tires are out of balance

#9 NewDenverKid

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 10:03 PM

Just currios, but what year did subaru start using cv joints. I'm no expert but I didn't think they had them in the 84s yet??

#10 Ross

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 11:04 PM

All cars with front wheel drive must have cv joints, due to unequal joint angles.

#11 jesterx

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:48 AM

Hrmm..

The thing is the front end never ever makes a noise with the clutch in and the tranny disengaged.

No clicking or clunking at all when moving forward or turning unless I’m in gear.

And when it does make a noise 1st-3rd gear. It reminds me a lot of the sound of a diesel engine?

I have yet to take a second freeway test,

Does that help the diagnosis any?

#12 Adam N.D.J.

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:30 AM

Have you checked the transmission fluid? (The little loop dipstick on the passenger side of the tranny, about halfway down, just behing the bellhousing)
If the tranny is low or out, then the front diff can be trashed, which will cause a clunking in gear, especially if the gears are actually toasted.
But first check the fluid, also take note of what it looks like (nice amber clear, dark brown, black with metal specs, AWOL)

#13 Ross

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 03:34 AM

The thing is the front end never ever makes a noise with the clutch in and the tranny disengaged.


so the noise is present when in gear with the clutch disengaged?

#14 jesterx

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 11:16 AM

so the noise is present when in gear with the clutch disengaged?


nope..

the noise goes away when the clutch is engaged. IE. between shifting gears etc.

#15 Bobby_boucher

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:01 PM

Hrmm..

The thing is the front end never ever makes a noise with the clutch in and the tranny disengaged.

No clicking or clunking at all when moving forward or turning unless I’m in gear.

And when it does make a noise 1st-3rd gear. It reminds me a lot of the sound of a diesel engine?

I have yet to take a second freeway test,

Does that help the diagnosis any?


CV react diffrently when UNDER LOAD!!!! thats why it stop when you compress the clutch you remove the load from the axle!! The diesel sound is either your engine is "Pinging" also known as deisling, or your valves need adjustment.

#16 azsubaru

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:24 PM

Jack it up the entire front end, put it in neutral, and spin the wheels a few times in both directions. You should hear or feel some clunking or roughness if it's the CV joint.

#17 Ross

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:26 PM

Jack it up the entire front end, put it in neutral, and spin the wheels a few times in both directions. You should hear or feel some clunking or roughness if it's the CV joint.


This is a good start, but just because you don't feel/hear anything doesn't mean its not cvs. They can be tricky things.
Also feel for any torsional play in the cvs, thats a good indicator that its bad.

#18 jesterx

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 12:53 PM

This is a good start, but just because you don't feel/hear anything doesn't mean its not cvs. They can be tricky things.
Also feel for any torsional play in the cvs, thats a good indicator that its bad.


ermm.............. what is "torsional play" in laymans terms? and what exactly do the cvs lok like?

#19 Ross

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 05:17 PM

ermm.............. what is "torsional play" in laymans terms? and what exactly do the cvs lok like?


Cvs are the things on either end of your front drive axles with the rubber boots on them. They are where the axle bends.

To check for torsional play, try to twist the drive axle in between the two cv joints, and make sure that there is no realative movement between the axle and the cv (ie you should not be able to twist the axle with the car on the ground). Not sure how clear that is??




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