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Old 11-04-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
sexystnwagon
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Do I need whole new CV with axle?

Hi Guys,

I bought a used 06 focus and I am noticing a clunking sound over bumps. I raised the car up and I found the clunk/play in the CV joint, both sides. Do I need to replace both axle's at a parts cost of $400?

Thanks


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Old 11-05-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
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You can seem to get clunk in joints that are just fine if you are simply running the play in axle one way and then the other. There's enough accumulated looseness from other parts there to make them seem bad. True bad CV joints will repeatedly make noise while turning first, if no noise with wheels turned hard and running slow in say parking lot then CV joints probably OK unless boot(s) are torn. Clunking could easily be like stabilizer bar end links, much cheaper and easier to fix.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:57 AM   #3
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Or it could be the upper strut mount bearings. Also try looking else where for axles, Rockauto has good prices.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:59 AM   #4
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Bad CV joints make a distinctively popping, snapping sound when turning the car right or left. As far as individual joints or axle assembly, you have to swedge the boot clamp on to the new joint so take into your account the price of the tool to do it. The boots are of UTMOST importance.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:17 AM   #5
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Do you have a mtx75 or an ATX?
I have a full passenger side cv axle for 00-05mtx75 or 00-10 ATX, hub and bearing with axle nut and lock ring in the BST section. No hits on it but I'm selling it cheap. All parts still in box unused. If you find you need it PM me and We can work something out.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:01 AM   #6
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How are you diagnosing this exactly?

Clunking sound going over bumps is not a sign of a bad CV. CV axles do have some horizontal movement when installed correctly- otherwise the axle would pull out when the suspension extended fully or contracted fully. There is also a very small amount of movement in the inner CV.

Each axle has 2 CVs: the inner and the outer, and yes you replace the whole axle to repair either one. I personally recommend replacing both axles at the same time because typically if one is bad, the other is not far behind.

The outer CV fails with a loud rhythmic clunking sound when making hard turns at low speeds. Eventually it will be impossible to avoid making the noise by lessening accelerator input. I always tell people to save money once they first start hearing the sound, and then replace the axle when they start noticing the sound in straight line acceleration. Sometimes this failure is caused by a damaged CV boot which lets all the grease out, but loss of grease is not the only reason why this joint can fail.

The inner is much more difficult to discern because so many other suspension issues seem to be like it. It causes a vibration at a steady speed that goes away with acceleration, or, at a steady speed, increases in vibration uphill then decreases downhill. To diagnose, lift both affected wheels off the ground, rotate the wheels and listen for a very rapid clicking sound from under the vehicle. Once again, it is not a cause for immediate concern, so save your money to replace both axles, get quotes, whatever you need to do before you pay for the repair. Inner CV axle vibrations will slowly get worse to the point where it shakes your teeth out of your head before you'll have a complete failure. If you do have a complete failure, it's just a tow truck call.

Your problem sounds like something else, so please let us know how you're diagnosing the problem. You said you jacked up the vehicle, but how did you get it to make the noise? Did you check the torque on the strut nuts with the vehicle on the ground? Did you check the bolts that hold the strut to the steering knuckle? Did you check the ball joint boot? Tie rod ends?

European Focis had problems with the cross member bolts loosening, so you might want to check those. I've not heard of it on a North American car, but it's possible.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:32 AM   #7
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I found complete axles at advanced for like 60 bucks for mk1
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
How are you diagnosing this exactly?

Clunking sound going over bumps is not a sign of a bad CV. CV axles do have some horizontal movement when installed correctly- otherwise the axle would pull out when the suspension extended fully or contracted fully. There is also a very small amount of movement in the inner CV.

Each axle has 2 CVs: the inner and the outer, and yes you replace the whole axle to repair either one. I personally recommend replacing both axles at the same time because typically if one is bad, the other is not far behind.

The outer CV fails with a loud rhythmic clunking sound when making hard turns at low speeds. Eventually it will be impossible to avoid making the noise by lessening accelerator input. I always tell people to save money once they first start hearing the sound, and then replace the axle when they start noticing the sound in straight line acceleration. Sometimes this failure is caused by a damaged CV boot which lets all the grease out, but loss of grease is not the only reason why this joint can fail.

The inner is much more difficult to discern because so many other suspension issues seem to be like it. It causes a vibration at a steady speed that goes away with acceleration, or, at a steady speed, increases in vibration uphill then decreases downhill. To diagnose, lift both affected wheels off the ground, rotate the wheels and listen for a very rapid clicking sound from under the vehicle. Once again, it is not a cause for immediate concern, so save your money to replace both axles, get quotes, whatever you need to do before you pay for the repair. Inner CV axle vibrations will slowly get worse to the point where it shakes your teeth out of your head before you'll have a complete failure. If you do have a complete failure, it's just a tow truck call.

Your problem sounds like something else, so please let us know how you're diagnosing the problem. You said you jacked up the vehicle, but how did you get it to make the noise? Did you check the torque on the strut nuts with the vehicle on the ground? Did you check the bolts that hold the strut to the steering knuckle? Did you check the ball joint boot? Tie rod ends?

European Focis had problems with the cross member bolts loosening, so you might want to check those. I've not heard of it on a North American car, but it's possible.
Thanks WhyNotthink for this very thorough and helpful reply. I think I need to do a little more inspecting of my car before I make any conclusions. Yesterday I jacked up my car to look for the clunking sound. As user AMC49 mentioned I checked the stabilizer bar end links. I was a little disappointed to find out that this was not the problem. I grabbed the axle shaft and shook it and there was play in the outer CV on both sides. I immediately thought this was the problem because the sound mimicked the sound I hear inside my car. The boots were fine and I only get clunking at low speed over bumps, not when I steer and gas.

Judging by what you mentioned Whynot, I will have to inspect my struts and other components a little more closely because you mentioned that play in the outer CV joints is normal. I called the local Ford Dealership today and asked them how much it would cost do diagnose the problem and they told me they charge $120 an hour labour. Looks like I won't be taking it to a dealership for advice, lol.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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There is a stabilizer bearing on the passenger side axle shaft just before the inner CV. That could be loose, but I doubt it. Shaking the axles will cause a thunk- even on good axles. Now the passenger side axle between the transmission and the bearing shouldn't move- if it does, very little. Grab the axle between the inner and outer CV, and you'll definitely get some movement. The same goes for the driver's side axle- and that is normal.

The end links usually make more of a rattling sound than what people describe as a clunk. It might actually be something not related to the suspension at all, so please give us all the information you have. It could be that your muffler hangars have rotted and are now allowing more movement in the exhaust than normal, or a bad motor mount- probably the rear mount.

To diagnose bad motor mounts you will need an assistant, and maybe some wheel chocks depending on what transmission you have. Put the vehicle in gear, set the emergency brake. If you have an automatic, it's a good idea to apply the regular brake also, and give the engine some gas. Have someone watch the engine movement. If it is more than 2 cm, then at least one of the motor mounts is bad. You can also look for other signs that some of the mounts are bad, like the front engine/passenger side mount is supposed to be filled with fluid, but if the rubber donut is soft and squishy, then there is no fluid in there- so it is bad. Typically, people with bad motor mounts notice excessive engine vibration at idle before any thunking sounds except maybe a thunk on acceleration due to the lower rear mount being bad. This one makes a thunk that feels like it is under your feet (because it is).

What's really dangerous is the ball joints on the lower control arm, but that is not the sound you're describing. Ball joints make a single distinct thunk when starting movement from a standstill, or just after stopping movement. This is because the ball is slipping out of the cup, and that one is something you should run to have fixed immediately. If that ball joint fails, then the control arm will separate from the steering knuckle and your wheel will basically fall over. There will be damage as a result, and possibly an accident. Like I wrote, ball joints make a distinct single thunk as you start moving or just after stopping.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:14 PM   #10
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Oh, one last thing, Focus wagons have a suspension problem that is unique to the wagon body. The rear suspension eats tires due to too much negative camber. You can have this fixed by installing or having installed camber adjustment bolts or adjustable control blades. The camber bolts are about $20USD, and the control blades are more like $200USD. Both will give sufficient adjustment to take out some of the negative camber so the tires won't wear on the inside as badly. You should consider this after you diagnose your current problem.
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