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lostinthe202

Identifying a bad CV joint

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'83 GL wagon .34 million miles, manual trans

 

I've got a CV sounding click coming from up front when decent torque is applied such as starting on a steep hill. I don't see any torn boots. Is there a way to figure out which axle is bad? I'd rather not replace both if I don't have to.

 

Thanks!

 

Will-

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It is unlikely to have any axles with reman tags from those places. The previous owner is a member here and bought virtually all his parts from the dealer. It had a brand new Hitachi carb just a couple years back from the dealer... for example.

 

Good chance that the axles are just worn out. I would buy a new set of EMPI axles for it.

 

GD

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Hmm, I noticed something else this evening. There's a kind of growl/whine/clicking that seems to come and go in intensity. It's a bit hard to hear or identify since the tires that are on the car currently have a lot of road noise to them.

 

It reminds me of how bad u-joints in driveshafts sound. I know there is a drive shaft on this with a couple of u-joints, but they hardly ever see any load so I'm not inclined to suspect them. I'm happy to replace the axles, but I can't do it until I get paid and they will have to be shipped to me, so we're talking two weeks that I'll need to drive this to and from work (70 miles round trip)

 

I've driven on plenty a worn CV that clicked in the turns but didn't going straight. Here's the opposite situation, they don't click in the turns (maybe sometimes, lightly) but will going straight. And then there's the growlish noise. Thoughts?

 

Thanks!

 

Will-

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Frankly it sounds like some front wheel bearings perhaps. Those are easy - just 6207 ball bearings. Worth a look for sure and I've heard them make serious clicking and growling noises, etc.

 

To check the u-joints - when driving in a straight line - engage the 4WD and see if the noise changes.

 

GD

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Wheel bearings, I hadn't thought of that. But now that you mention it, I remember this night a few weeks back when I got this whistling from the right side. nothing I could do with the car would make it go away except for a soft left turn. It only lasted about 15 minutes. I was sure the noise was present, and I could make it show or not by veering the car to the left. But it went way and never reappeared so I didn't think much of it. Sounds like wheel bearings are a likely culprit.

 

I forget, you can check those by jacking up the suspect wheel and giving her a shake eh?

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I've driven on plenty a worn CV that clicked in the turns but didn't going straight. Here's the opposite situation, they don't click in the turns (maybe sometimes, lightly) but will going straight.

noise in turns - outer CV joint

noise/vibrations under load while moving forward - inner DOJ

 

so what you're describing is classic DOJ symptoms. but of course it could be something else as well.

 

temp guns help isolate bad wheel bearings. after driving, if one is notably hotter then it's bad.

 

the inner DOJ's also "feel" inner sometimes, like you can tell it's not on the outside (bearing/outer CV) of the vehicle, but closer to the trans. if you have any sense about it being outer or inner that might help.

 

if it turns out to be a CV - someone on the subaruxt.com forum (he's a member here too but rarely see him here), has taken both axles apart and swapped parts for an essentially free - or 'cost of boots' repair - i'm not sure which ones but there's a rotation of sorts since they tend to wear in a particular pattern - swapping parts gives them fresh surfaces to work with. the board is currently cracking out for me and not populating the webpage properly but not sure if it'll do that for you but here's his thread about it:

http://www.subaruxt.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8956&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=wayne+

 

driveshaft ujoints do fail and tend to vibrate under load and are worse at certain speeds. sometimes you can simply grab the driveshaft and shake it and notice play. sometimes the joint is seized so it seems tight on the vehicle, but off it's obviously seized and doesn't have proper articulation. sometimes you acn visually see issues with the joint too - like it's offset improperly, clean shiney metal showing, etc. having a look and shaking the shaft might be worth a couple minutes.

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I remember this night a few weeks back when I got this whistling from the right side. nothing I could do with the car would make it go away except for a soft left turn.

 

Classic wheel bearing.

 

You may not feel any play in the bearings - you can check but remember to disengage the parking brake when you check since it's on the front calipers.

 

GD

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Thanks for the info everybody. I think I might have multiple issues going on. The noise, I think, had grown really loud over a short period of time. Though it's hard to tell. I don't have years of experience with this vehicle so I don't have a good sense of how it should sound on the freeway. it's been noisy since I got it, but it's got snow tires on it and it's an old car so I know it's going to be louder than a newer vehicle just because of those two reasons.

 

The noise was bad enough on the way into work this morning that I'm taking it off the road until I have the time/money to fix it. If it's just wheel bearings, I'm hoping that I haven't smashed the bearing seat out of round!

 

I'll do some searching, but I'm imagining that I'm gonna need the inner and outer bearings and the appropriate seals. I don't have a press so I'll probably pull the hubs and take them to a shop and have them replace them for me.

 

 

Thanks for the link Gary, I'll check it out.

 

Will-

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You don't need a press for EA wheel bearings. They are 6207 ball bearings - you drift out the old one's with a brass punch and install new one's. No pressing, etc required. You can do them easily on the car without removing the knuckle. Hit up your local bearings supply for 6207-2RS bearings - should be about $8 to $12 each. You need two for each side.

 

GD

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