bad CV joint or something else?

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Rickety Rhino
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bad CV joint or something else?

Post by Rickety Rhino » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:14 am

My 84 Tercel 4WD has a clicking/tapping noise when making a left turn, similar to times in the past when having the CV joint replaced fixed it. If the turn is while accelerating up a steep hill, there's a shuddering/shaking too. Neither one happens when turning right or going straight. My mechanic (Charley's Garage) said both CV joints look OK, the right one has a little play, but not enough to replace it, and the boots are good. He also said he can't find good replacements, only rebranded Chinese junk. Could the problem be somewhere else (steering?) I'm going on a road trip to Canada next week, and am worried about getting stuck somewhere.
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Smokey The Brake - 1984 4WD, 230K

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xirdneh
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My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
Location: seabeck, washington, USA

Re: bad CV joint or something else?

Post by xirdneh » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:17 am

Sounds like the left axle. Looks and feel of axle will not always tell you if its bad. Increased problems on acceleration has been the axle in my experience.
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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Mark
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My tercel:: 1984 Automatic, 1981 sedan
Location: Victoria, B.C.

Re: bad CV joint or something else?

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:07 pm

I've had a cv joint go bad and knock in turns when the boot was still good and I didn't feel much play. I think water can get into the boots and dilute the grease. I opened a boot up once and the grease flowed out like black liquid, even though it was cold. It was diluted in an emulsification with water.

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Rickety Rhino
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Re: bad CV joint or something else?

Post by Rickety Rhino » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:44 am

Hi xirdneh, The FAQ indicates the right axle, not the left one: " if it gets louder or worse when you turn left, the bad bearing or CV is on the right side, and vice versa. " Why do you say it sounds like the left axle? Is the FAQ wrong?
Last edited by Rickety Rhino on Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Smokey The Brake - 1984 4WD, 230K

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xirdneh
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:38 am
My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
Location: seabeck, washington, USA

Re: bad CV joint or something else?

Post by xirdneh » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:43 pm

your right
i read it wrong
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: bad CV joint or something else?

Post by Petros » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:10 pm

as the cv joints wears this is usually the first sign of wear. I once let mine go after it became noticeable, to see how long it would get before it fails. after about 20,000 miles it got so bad I had to change it out, it would violently rock the steering wheel on accelerating turns to that side, but it was still working.

So if there is a small amount of play in the right CV, that is likely the sources, I would not worry about it until it gets worse. the trip should not give you any problems. Just go easy on the accelerating left turns if you want to be safe.

If you want to be extra sure, order a replacement axle and just take it with you. If the joint should come apart you can find a local shop to install it, (it is about an hour job, regardless of what the rip off flat-rate manual says-take me about 45 min with hand tools on a gravel driveway). Though I have never felt it necessary to take an axle as a spare on the many cross country trips I have gone on.

I would not worry too much about it. the quality of axles we get these days is rather suspect, I have the CV joints go bad in 20-30k miles, rather than the 100k we used to get on quality Japanese or US made new axles.

good luck.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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Rickety Rhino
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Re: bad CV joint or something else?

Post by Rickety Rhino » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:35 pm

I replaced the right axle myself yesterday, and the clicking and thunking is gone. Thanks xirdneh for the excellent front axle replacement video! I avoided trying this job for years, and I'm stoked that I was able to do it myself! I whacked the end with a rubber hammer to get it past the final bit, because I got pooped trying to push it in by hand. I didn't want to risk the old one giving out on a long road trip, because on a previous trip, I tried the same as Petros with a bad axle, and it gave out suddenly 500 miles into the trip. Luckily I found a shop that replaced it the same day.
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Smokey The Brake - 1984 4WD, 230K

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: bad CV joint or something else?

Post by Petros » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:13 pm

good for you! bet it now feels like a different vehicle.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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