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  #1  
Old 05-10-2009, 02:20 AM
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Should a new CV axle be making clunking sounds?

Edit: Sorry, this is for a 1983 240D

I'm assuming no...

Here's my story: Right rear CV axle broke about two years ago. I bought a new pair from CVJ and was going to R&R it myself, but wariness of working under jackstands in my sloped driveway, and not really needing a car for the near future, I put it off (yes, for two years!). Now that I've finished school I need a car again, so I tuned things up and got it running, then found someone at a shop to install my unused pair of axles from CVJ that had been sitting boxed up in the garage. That was this morning.

Everything was great driving around today, until I took the car for a stress test in the hills tonight. I started to hear that familiar clunking sound, which being minor at first led me to believe it was one of the muffler donuts that was torn or off. As I started to head home though the clunking got worse, and I couldn't deny that the noise was coming from the rear right side of the car. Sure enough, when I checked under the car the muffler was firmly in place, however from my visual inspection the axle looked fine (no torn boots and no leaks).

Before I call the mechanic who installed my axles, what should I check? Is it possible that the bolt that connects the axle to the hub is loose? I'm hoping it's something simple like that, especially since the sound seems to be coming from the outer part of the axle. What worries me is that when my right rear axle broke two years ago, it literally broke...the shaft snapped. Is it possible that that may have caused some kind of collateral damage, like say to the differential? The mechanic didn't mention any problems...actually he did the job pretty quickly and cheaply...about 2 hours for $200, since it was only labor, and it's a reputable shop that specializes in German/Swedish cars. One thing that is slightly bothersome is that he didn't change the differential seals, saying it wasn't really necessary and he's never seen an instance where they've leaked. Any ideas?

Everything just went too well, from getting the engine running smoothly after not having been cranked for two years, to getting a replacement battery under warranty, to having someone swap in my new axles for quick and cheap. I guess my karma wasn't as good as it seemed

Last edited by enginenr9; 05-10-2009 at 12:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2009, 06:33 AM
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Make sure your lug bolts are torqued down. I confess to missing that step more than once.

It is not likely your axle itself snapped.

Put your vehicle type and year in your signature so we can know for sure exactly what you're talking about.
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2009, 11:51 AM
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You might look at the Rear Wheel Bearing Section of the DIY and at the very end where they have checking the Bearing End Play/Thrust with the Dial Indicator. (Harbor Freight sells inexpensive magnetic bases and Dial Indicators but you have to calculate to convert mm to inchs.)
Also there is most often a Spacer/Shim that slides on the Axle shafts where they go into the Differential to take up the clearance. But, I have not read on this forum what happens it there is too much clearance.
When I changed my Axles I wanted to change the Seals on the Differential but ordered 2 Pinion Shaft Seals by Mistake.
I had to leave the old ones inplace. No leaks after over 1.5 years.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:35 PM
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I had this same problem (in the middle of Nevada and at night, no less) with new CVJ axles on both sides of my '85 300D-T (W123, OM617). Scared heck out of me. I limped into a town, got a motel, called CVJ in the morning. Guy said, in effect, don't worry about it, it'll probably go away. Couple hundred miles later, it did! Apparently, one of the little balls had popped loose and just had to pop back into its socket.

I did have CVJ send me a replacement, just in case, but I didn't install it as the problem never came back. I eventually returned the replacement and got a refund.

So I would advise driving the car for 1,000 miles or so and see if the problem doesn't just go away. Make sure you check everything in the above posts to be sure your mechanic didn't forget something like the spring washer under the nut on the outside of the axle (in the wheel hub).

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Old 05-10-2009, 03:32 PM
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Gonna put it up on jacks today and check the axle bolt/washer that connects to the hub.

Jeremy: That's reassuring to hear. How loud was the noise before it went away, and how frequent?

Diesel911: I basically made the same mistake. Kragen has pinion seals for my model so I figured I wouldn't need to order them. Then it turns out it's the differential side seals that I need.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:00 AM
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Update:

So yesterday I did a more thorough inspection. Everything was as it should be, to the best of my knowledge, other than the mechanic not flipping the slightly mushroomed original spring washers. So, I flipped the washers on both sides and drove around the rest of the day, including another hard drive through the hills. No clunking at all...

...but it wasn't going to be that easy. Today as I was coming home from a trip to the grocery this evening, it started again. Just like last time, the rhythmic clunking started out mild and gradually became louder, especially during acceleration/deceleration.

I'm thinking tomorrow I'll get under there again tomorrow and squirt some grease into the boots under the clamps and see how that goes.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:16 AM
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It was loud enough to hear at freeway speeds and the rate of clicking changed with speed, that is, it was clicking at the rate at which the axle rotated. After about 200 miles, suddenly it was gone and never returned. If you're still concerned, call CVJ and chat with them.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enginenr9 View Post
Edit: Sorry, this is for a 1983 240D

but wariness of working under jackstands in my sloped driveway,:
I use concrete blocks, 2 going in one direction and 1 on top going in the other direction. Small 2x4 to top it off if necessary.
Much safer.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:03 PM
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This is getting more interesting (and confusing), but I think I may have diagnosed this as a muffler problem after all (although I swear on the first day that I heard the noise it was most definitely coming out from the RR side). Shortly before the cars two year hiatus in my driveway, I took it to get a sleeve welded onto the breaking pipe that leads to the muffler. I didn't get a chance to drive the car much since the axle broke not long after, but I now think the shop welded too long of a sleeve, that actually ended up pushing the muffler too far back, such that it's hitting the frame when it heats up and expands. I have evidence of this: the bracket on exhaust pipe end of the muffler (the one that has contact with the rear dampener) is protruding into the metal lip of the frame that comes down under the bumper, enough so that when I took off the muffler donuts (which were hard to get off, since the muffler hangers are pushed .5"-1" out of alignment from the hangers on the frame mount) the muffler was actually supported by nothing other than the frame lip!

So, at this point I'm fairly confident that this is what is knocking, or perhaps something else farther up the exhaust may have become loose as a result. Gonna do some more troubleshooting...I'll be glad if I can rule out the axles with more certainty.

gregszustak: I thought concrete blocks were known to crumble under the weight of cars?
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:23 PM
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I sure wouldn't use or recommend cinder blocks for supporting a car or anything heavy I'm going under. They're too breakable to trust. I've read about too many people squashed under cars, and I've seen how easily cinder blocks can break. Steve
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  #11  
Old 05-14-2009, 09:45 PM
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We may be comparing apples and oranges.
This is verbage from US Concrete
"Concrete masonry comprises two basic types - cinder block and concrete block. Concrete blocks are pure concrete, whereas cinder blocks are made from coal .."
I've been using concrete blocks for years on a stone driveway, cars or trucks. I wouldn't trust cinder blocks or bricks, as mentioned they do crumble.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:58 AM
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I need to add a note for safety.
Recommended procedure for jack stands - shake the car to make sure stands are secure.
Same with the blocks - if blocks are not totally flat they will 'rock' back and forth when shaking the car, diminishing the strength.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy5848 View Post
........Apparently, one of the little balls had popped loose and just had to pop back into its socket.

Jeremy
hmmmmmm.... do the balls really pop back in place????
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:18 PM
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I keep having false leads. I have no idea anymore where this noise is coming from or what's making it. I haven't been able to find anything under the car that is loose. Time to call the mechanic.
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