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  1. #1
    Bald Tire
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    Need help confirming CV joint/axle problem

    Hi all,

    Im trying to identify the problem cause of this clicking noise when turning (left or right). The noise comes from the front left wheel. Does this sound like the CV join issue?

    Both outer/inner boot look ok, but the inner boot area looks greasy.




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    Last edited by tuesdaytuesday; 10-25-2019 at 10:58 AM.

  2. #2
    El Diablo
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    Definitely have an inner seal leaking, which is not specifically a CV axle issues though the seal could have worn a groove into the axle at that spot. I'll let someone else comment on the sound as my CVs tend to blow up vs. slowly fail. Wow, that's really noticeable around the :40 mark!

  3. #3
    Street Tire
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    I don't know for sure. But it doesn't seem to be speed-related, is that what you're sensing too? Sounds something like popcorn popping and even 'springy' type noise, which points to more of a binding/unloading situation. So, I'd personally look towards suspension parts. That's an odd noise, I'll give you that.

    Are you going to do the work yourself, or take it to a shop? If taking to a shop, go ask for a suspension inspection, even if ya need to pay a little for a more comprehensive inspection. If doing the work yourself, I would suggest checking all the suspension pieces and bushings for wear or binding. That's not as hard as it seems. Support the lower A-arm with a jack, Undo the outer tie rod, the anti-sway bar connecting rod, and the upper ball joint. Tap a screwdriver or wedge and pop up the upper ball joint (should come off pretty easy). Rotate the spindle assembly around, and inspect the upper ball joint and all the joints with your hands.

    You could also (if you wanted to take it to the next level) remove the axle too since ya have the suspension apart. But to do that, remove the big nut and tap the stub shaft in before you remove the tire and undo the suspension. The "trick" to removing the axle w/o removing the lower ball joint is to support the frame with a jack stand and lower the a-arm (with a floor jack) ...lower the a-arm down enough to get enough clearance to remove the axle. If the A-arm is raised you can't get it out. So, while the axle is out, look in and inspect the outer bearings in the front diff for dryness or spalling. At that point you can also 'feel' the action of the CVs and suspension parts.

    Also before you take anything apart, lift the wheel up with a jack under the lower a-arm, and, using your hands lift up/down on the inner CV joint where it comes out of the front diff. See if you feel a lot of 'free play" there, which I've read a number of owners posted online. It's possible if there's excess free play that the axle splines or inner coupler are re-centering themselves under certain re-load conditions. Because behind the axle in your picture are 2 needle bearings, a splined coupler and an intermediate axle shaft. Those could be 'clicking' too. I had a lot of freeplay on the Dr side of mine. New bearings resolved it, but I wasn't getting that kind of noise. If you have it out, you may entertain replacing the axle too if yours has a lot of miles.

    Other than that, it's kind of a tricky noise. But in general, by doing the above inspection, you're not hurting anything. Take time to ROTATE all the suspension parts around and press on the boots as you do ...to help work grease back into the joints. That'll extend the life of them a lot.
    Last edited by Jeepwalker; 10-25-2019 at 12:20 PM.
    Jeepwalker

    '07 H3 Advent/Lux
    Jeep XJ, ZJ, WJ
    Ram & GMC 4x4's
    Toyota Hilux

  4. #4
    Street Tire
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    BTW, if you do remove the axle, replace the seal with a new GM seal.
    Jeepwalker

    '07 H3 Advent/Lux
    Jeep XJ, ZJ, WJ
    Ram & GMC 4x4's
    Toyota Hilux

  5. #5
    Low Profile
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    Is there any chance it's the traction control? It sounds almost like a solenoid popping open and closed. Do you feel any feedback in the pedal or see any dash lights? I've heard mine plenty of times out running around in the snow but with the windows closed it's a bit muffled. With how rusty that hub assembly and shield are, make sure there's nothing inside causing an issue with the wheel speed sensor that would cause the traction control to act up.
    Just another father and family man that enjoys the outdoors.

  6. #6
    El Diablo
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    Listening to it again, I'm thinking broken pieces in the front diff especially since your wheels were basically straight when some of those noises were occurring. CV noises typically occur on turns. Pull off the skid plates and drain the front diff. Remove the cover and inspect. I suspect you'll find chunks in the bottom. If it's not a diff issue, refill with about 1.6 qts of synthetic 75W-90. Diff has a reusable gasket.

    And I've also blown up diffs so I know that sound pretty well.

  7. #7
    All Terrain
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    That doesn't sound like any cv I have ever heard, more like a front diff. A bit difficult to diagnose sounds on the internet but I would probably drain and pull the front diff cover for inspection first.
    06 H3 Adv - Great, another project.
    09 H3T Alpha/Adv- Sold

  8. #8
    Bogger
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    Very unusual. Never heard that one before.
    2006 H3 Adventure & modified Rancho with SOA

  9. #9
    Low Profile
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    Just to rule out, I would also check lugnuts and studs on that tire. Iíve seen the same type of noise in aftermarket rims where people forgot to put the crush washers on.


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