As I steer my van one direction i can hear a slight "knocking" coming from the side that has the weight lifted from it. I am thinking it could be a cv joint issue but not sure. Any thoughts?? Thanks much
What year & model? I assume you're talking about a Syncro or Eurovan since there are no CV's in the front suspension of a Type II or Vanagon 2WD.
A typical symptom of a CV joint going bad is a clicking or popping noise. It is usually worse in the extremes of suspension travel, or in a 4WD, extremes of steering turn. For some reason, if you hear the noise during a turn to one direction, it usually indicates the bad CV is on the OTHER axle.
You can often hear a CV grinding in it's last stages of failure.
There are a few more comments in the rear axle section on CV's. The difference in a Syncro is that it uses an integrated stub-axle CV on the front outboard, like most FWD cars. They used 2 front outer CV's, changing over mid-89 at chassis #24K-119-058. The inner is similar to the rears, although not completely interchangeable due to boot kits & spacer.
Many recommend repacking CV joints with new boot kits every 30K. A tough job on a 4WD because you're looking at 8 joints, but there have been just enough failures in the 50K range I am not willing to risk a 60K service interval. A copy of LoBro's repack instructions are included in the TechDrawings site.
The grease amount for a Syncro is 90 grams of the special CV joint moly lube, but I usually put in about 125 which matches the amount recommended for the Eurovan CVs.
Some added thoughts on repacking front CV joints on the Syncro:
The front outer's have an internal snap-ring that is a bear to remove. It requires a special snap-ring pliers (Snap-On #SRP5A, $44, or equivalent) that have flat jaws with indents to hold the straight tips of the snap-ring. The jaws are hinged so they remain parallel when opening and provide compound leverage.
It then takes 3 pair of hands and the agility of a monkey to remove the joint while holding the snap-ring open. The joint must usually be tapped off with a plastic mallet, all the time holding the tips open AND keeping the CV joint from articulating, made more difficult because you are tapping on one side or the other.
This is usually due to the fact that the splines are still pretty rough and putting the joint on, with a press no doubt, was easy. What I have done is taken small needle files and carefully clean up the splines until the joint can slide on & off by hand. A small triangular file will take the rough edges off the splines and an ignition flat file will smooth the inner grooves.
Contrary to the Bentley, you can get the front axles out of the upright without removing the lower ball joint. Remove the differential guard. Remove the nuts from the sway bar on both sides and pivot it up out of the way. Remove the inner CV joint from the differential flange and hang or rest on the longitudinal frame. Finally, remove the upper ball joint from the upper control arm. Now you can tilt the upright outward while turning the steering wheel to maximum lock towards that side, which will give you just enough room to pull the stub axle out. Use extreme caution you do not damage the seal or thin metal tension lip. Remember, the assembly is very heavy.
Unfortunately, the front half-shaft is often stuck in the CV inner race housing because of spline roughness and the first removal might require a hub puller. Don't just beat on the end of the axle or you will damage the threads. A little clean-up like the CV joints will work and prevent that problem in future repacks.
Snap-on SRP5A snap ring pliers Syncro front outer CV.jpg
Transferred from another post to consolidate similar topics.
blam0311, Junior Member, 03-13-2001 04:50 PM
I have an 86 Vanagon GL Syncro and the axle on the passenger side is spinning freely in the wheel and making a horible racket. I am told that I need a halfshaft but when I look in the factory manual I don't see any mention of a Halfshaft. Can you give me some help on where to find information on halfshaft replacement.
Thanks, Brian Lamoureaux
Bill Scholz, Junior Member, 03-13-2001 06:09 PM
"Halfshaft" is another name for the drive shaft. There are 2, one each side, thus the name "half-". The section you're looking for starts on page 40.28 of the Bentley manual.
Hi, I just bought a Syncro, Westfalia 1991 GL. I believe it has the front CV joints in there last stages after reading above posts.
Symptoms: If I steer straight down the road all is normal but just a little left or right and I get a humming vibrations coming out of each side depending on which way I steer but both sides. Front wheel right moves (cluck) when pulled out from the top of wheel which happened half way through 600 mile drive home as I was going around a paved right turning highway "switch back".
Word done: Wheel bearings and CV boots on front done last fall.
She drove to Vancouver Island's deep snow this last winter.
Her mechanic said over the phone may be tire noise. At that time wheels were all snug when testing wheel bearings before buying it.
There are others interested in the van and she will take it back if I don't want it. I not sure it will make the trip back without being on a flat bed truck.
What should I do? I really want a syncro!!! This one has 125 K km's. The body is excellent with some spots but very good. Interior excellent. Strong engine with new head gaskets.
Ok so I just went to GO Westy and they are new front axles for the syncro's for $169 a side. I will probably go for that since I think this is a good van to keep. I have missing givings though because I not sure if that is the problem or it is a wheel bearing going back because of last winter? Sorry for wrong topic Capt. Mike if it turns out to be wheel bearing!?!
Two hours later and I see that the upper ball joints on both side with right being worse than left. Could this be causing my noise/fibration? Thanks again
Thanks for all the help,
7/7/09: I have replaced upper ball joints and clunking is gone but mumming vibration is still there. I am having it aligned today since the tires show some possible tow in on both sides. Maybe that will fix the this problem. I will let you know.
[Moderator Note: This is no longer a CV joint question; see appropriate topic for further information.]
I have a 91 Westy Syncro and I am in the process of replacing my shock/springs and noticed a little while after I disconnected the upper ball joint and took out the spring/strut that my axle is no long connected to hub and will move around in inside the cv boot. I suspect this isn't suppose to happen because a clip supposed to stop that from happening? I was able to get the axle to slide back into the hub once but got onto putting the new spring/strut back in and axle slide out again which I am leaving out until I am done with strut/spring and ready to reattach the upper ball joint.
Thanks for the help...this was suppose to be an easy strut/spring job!!
I noticed a small amount of play on my front left wheel after an overnighter at Superstition a few weeks back. With the bike on a stand front end fully dropped out I can feel a slight back and forth on the front left wheel my hands are positioned at 12 o clock and 6 o clock when checking. I have since installed new upper and lower ball joints and wheels bearings. The front right wheel feels like it was built and installed by the hand of god..absolutely no play and solid as can be. However, the left side still has a minimal, but noticeable amount of play. I guess my questions is.....what other areas on my front end could cause this symptom? I have checked the tie rod ends, arm mounts, shock mounts...even snugged everything down and still, no luck. Pretty puzzled. Let me know your thoughts. Thank you
My 25 yr old 1989 Dodge PowerRam W100 4x4 truck may need the front wheel bearings re-packed and overall re-lube....What would it sound like if the service is needed??
Any recommendations, techniques recommended for proper procedure??....What about the front axle U-Joints near each front hub??..Any recommendations for proper maintenance of the U-joints??
I do NOT have a Chrysler Service manual for that year model. However, a HAYNES manual can be purchased. Is it HAYNES worth it??