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Front wheel drive tech

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by dremu, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Aargh. I SOOO prefer my leaf springs and solid axles!

    Anyway, working on a 1992 Saturn SL2 for a friend. Front struts were shot, so they got replaced. That was more fun than I imagined :doah:

    However -- and this was the original problem, actually -- there's a nasty grinding sound up front, especially on the passenger side. More so over bumpy roads and I think at lower speeds... I'm assuming it's the CV up there, axle halfshaft, whatever you call it. I presume the U-joint or birfield or whatever it uses is grinding itself to a pulp.

    Now, CV's are cheap, maybe $75 exchange, but it looks like a PITA to swap, so 'fore I start into this thing (again), I wanted to poll y'all, see if anybody had any insight into FWD cars, etc etc. Speak now and say "yes, the CV is shot, good luck sucka" or "Nope, it's the upper fizzbin" or forever hold your goat.

    -- A
     
  2. Drey

    Drey 3/4 ton status

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    My dad and I replaced CV shafts in my 86 buick Lesabre, it wasnt that big of a deal, longest part was taking the first side off because we didnt have a maintence manual or anything, and neither of us had ever done it. But we got the entire thing from Carquest, so once we got to it we just pulled it out of the diff and put the new one in.

    Make sure you get it aligned afterwords.
     
  3. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Well, I do have a Hayne's... not great, but a start.

    Why'd you pull them -- bad grinding noises, or ...?

    -- A
     
  4. Drey

    Drey 3/4 ton status

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    if i cranked the wheels it clank and bang, it also made noise under hard acceleration
     
  5. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Clunk!.

    It sounds like worn CV's if its snapping and clicking around corners under acceleration..but the grinding could be due to a loose wheel bearing too,make sure it has no play.and sounds quiet while spinning the wheel in neutral and jacked up..we often jack both sides of a FWD car up in front,get the wheels spinning about 40 mph,then shift into neutral and shut the engine off,and listen to the bearings and see if they are noisy..my friend uses a mechanics stethascope to listen to them..many get louder when cornering in the direction of the side the defective bearing is on.

    He always puts a rebuilt driveshaft with both inner and outer CV joints all rebuilt,greased and ready to use rather than try to do it himself..its not worth doing only 1 CV,if one is bad,they both are...plus we can buy rebuilt driveshafts for most FWD cars here for 59.95 or slightly more..many places here rebuilding them..its much faster to pull and put a complete driveshaft in,than to even change one CV boot..

    Most cars I've done front shafts in aren't that bad a job...unbolt the "pin" bolt from the lower ball joint,lift off the spindle,and cut the wheels all the way..pry the lower "A" frame down to get the axle out of the hub after undoing the big axle nut,with a long pry bar..(2 people isn't a bad idea)..then the shaft usually is held by a "C" clip inside the transaxle,you only have to pry the inner CV joint away from the transaxle to get it to slide out...we can do both sides on most cars in a half hour without too much trouble.

    I think a Saturn will have the front wheel bearing thats "unitized" and the whole hub with bearings bolts on with 3 or 4 bolts,like most other FWD cars..

    We had to do quite a few "shock and strut" jobs twice,when the cheapass customer wouldn't spring for new strut mount bearings,and they were not happy when the car still rattled and knocked like it did before (but rode better:D )..we told them they shoulda bought them the FIRST time..and didn't feel guilty about charging them twice either..;) ..
     
  6. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Well, this cheapass didn't change the bearings out, as they looked okay. I did repack them. Should I have? I can't imagine the bearings making that horrendous noise ... I hope!

    -- A
     
  7. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    used bearings ok..

    As long as the wheel bearings were not loose,or making noticeable noise when spun by hand,they will likely last quite awhile longer..

    I've had a few FWD cars like my Jetta and Contour that had bearings make noise when going around curves at highway speeds..sounds kinda like an airplane when the weight of the car bears down on the bearing as you take the curve..then dissapates or dissapears after you straighten out..a bad CV joint vibrates constantly,but does get louder while cornering too..

    The upper strut mount bearings make a clunking or banging "thud" kind of noise,or creaky like worn leaf spring bushings..makes the steering wheel kick back or shudder sometimes too..

    I prefer the "old way" of RWD cars,even if FWD is better for traction..I never will get use to "torque steer",or enjoy pulling a FWD transaxle to put a clutch in..they remind me of riding lawn mowers,not cars!..they suck to work on IMO..--I'd rather pull TWO SM465's than one FWD transaxle...:crazy:
     

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